Throne Of Vengeance (TOV)
Flesh Engine (Released on February 18, 2011)
Reviewed by: Reverend Rock (A 50-ish self-professed ‘expert’ on all things rock and metal since the 70’s!)
One of the greatest joys for any music lover is stumbling upon a band/CD/song that one has never heard before and feeling that rush, that instant connection to the music. That is precisely the experience that this listener had upon hearing “Flesh Engine”, the first full length release by Calgary heavy rockers Throne of Vengeance, aka TOV.
It is fitting that the album’s first track is called “Undertow” – a hypnotic riffing tune that pulls the listener deep into heavy waters. The album moves through nine additional tracks with TOV paying homage to their rock & metal heroes, the likes of Pantera, Iron Maiden, Dio and Megadeth coming to mind. Produced by veteran industry rocker Paul Sabu, Flesh Engine distinguishes itself from the pack by throwing TOV’s influences into a pot, (think NWOBHM + 80’s hard rock) and coming up with a total that is indeed greater than the sum of its parts. TOV accomplishes something that few bands manage to achieve – a unique sound that is influenced by but not derivative of their heroes.
Guitarist/Vocalist Tommy Shakes has a voice that is not unlike Dave Mustaine’s, melodic enough to keep the attention and growly enough to bring meaning to the album’s lyrics, lyrics that focus on social justice issues like war, poverty and the exploitation of the poor. They’re a nice departure from lyrics typically associated with the genre of heavy rock/metal that regurgitate the same old devil worship crap or other such negativity. TOV actually seems to give a damn about what’s going on in the world around them. The band’s rhythm section is comprised of Riley and Trevor Cobb, bassist and drummer respectively. A word about the drumming on this album: Trevor “Animal” Cobb plays on the edge for much of the album and the result is stunning – the feel and timing are frenetic and fresh, a nice departure from so much drumming today that sounds automated or click-tracked into emotionless beats.
“Flesh Engine” by Throne Of Vengeance deserves you time and effort. Buy it, listen to it, embrace it.