Early Man | Death Potion

The End (2010)
By DANIEL BROCKMAN  |  July 20, 2010
3.5 3.5 Stars


Metal is a tough game: for all the talk about ferocity and velocity, success is often predicated on timing alone. And being ahead of the curve — well, that's a plus only if you want to be seen as an unheralded trailblazer. Such is life for Early Man, who, back when floppy downtuned strings and big pants were still hanging in there, led the way for countless other metal acts to go back to pre-1985 NWOBHM/thrash.

Now that thrash is back, they're trying to capitalize with this long-player, a sprawling work that rests on Mike Conte's twisty riffs and cool vocal stylings. It isn't as fast, frenzied, or atom-bomb explosive as many acts that have formed since the band's '05 debut, Closing In, but sometimes, as Gurney Halleck says in Dune, the slow blade penetrates the shield. Not that this record is lazily paced, but Conte & Co. aren't using speed as a diversion or a crutch. Instead, it's all about power and solid hitting, like a grunting tennis match played by pros who are in it for the long haul.

From the chugging Hetfieldian gusto of "Someone Else's Nightmare" to the piercing screams and juggernaut charge of "Six Mothers of the War God," Death Potion is packed with enough blistering metal moments to distinguish it from those who have followed Early Man in the thrash-is-back sweepstakes.

Related: Photos: Metric at House of Blues, The Big Hurt: Faces refaced, A band, a part, More more >
  Topics: CD Reviews , Entertainment, Music, The End
| More

Most Popular
Share this entry with Delicious
  •   THE STROKES | COMEDOWN MACHINE  |  March 18, 2013
    The Strokes burst out in a post-9/11 musical world with a sound that was compact and airtight, melodies coiled frictionlessly in beats and fuzzed vocals.
  •   KMFDM IS A DRUG AGAINST BORE  |  March 13, 2013
    "In hindsight, honestly, it's almost impossible how it all happened."
  •   PALLBEARER SURVIVE EXTINCTION  |  February 20, 2013
    We all know that there is nothing more metal than a war.
  •   WHAT'S F'N NEXT? CHVRCHES  |  February 01, 2013
    If you are in a band and you've heard of Chvrches, you probably hate them.
  •   GLISS | LANGSOM DANS  |  February 01, 2013
    If rock and roll is three chords and the truth, then the mutant genre offspring shoegaze can be summed up as one chord, three fuzzboxes, and a sullen, muttered bleat.

 See all articles by: DANIEL BROCKMAN