Heaviest album of the year? Never mind what these guys think, listen and decide for yourself!
Heavy is good. Heavy done right is even better. Now throw in really stellar influences all while making it your own sound. Well, that, my friends, is a great place to be when releasing an album. Thankfully this very bit of advice is what Cleveland's own Kriadiaz has done with their self-titled debut. Since 2010, Dave Felton from Mushroomhead and these metal slingers have been bringing the mud-hole stomping, and does this debut ever pack some punch! Taking much love from the masters Pantera, Crowbar, Down, with hints of Lamb Of God, and a Black Sabbath type of ominousness, Kriadiaz have crafted a very heavy solid 90?s era heavy metal album that kicks teeth down throats with no chance of apology!
With fourteen tracks this record is a solid sea monster of sound. The guitars are thick, albeit sometimes fuzzy, but never lose that crunch or the attitude they are bringing. "Bloodline" and "Long Time Gone" open the album with an evil right hook to the jaw. "Bloodline" has some nice acoustic string picking and then blasts into the fray. Old-school Pantera is drenching both these songs. That is not to say this is just a copycat act; hell no. Instead of just mimicking, what I saw with Kriadiaz is a near-perfect picture of how a band should be influenced by the greats of old, all the while making their own sound. The leads in both these songs totally shred and from that point the album never lets you second guess the quality journey you have embarked upon.
Yes, it's obvious that Kriadiaz has lavishly taken the Pantera heavy metal playbook. In addition, there's also a dash of southern, and even sludge metal essence, to the underlying heart of the music; remember that Kriadiaz does draw from Down, as well. While not hazardously overpowering, the southern/sludge ingredients add flavor to the listeners palate and bring a more rounded sense of total maturity to the musicianship; "Ten Lives Lived,"The Rebuilding," "Burning," and "Soulchaser" all portray this hint or aftertaste of southern metal and hints of sludge. One of the strongest points of this record is the song consistency. We don't see an overly sludgy song or a straight up southern metal track. Instead, we are treated to one of the most masterfully blended and well paced records I've heard all year that allows for hints without leaving the formula already established.
Just so there's no doubt, the Pantera-esque 90?s metal that Kriadiaz wields is massive in both undertaking and result. The guitar work is top notch. Solos, of which there are many, are handled with a dual flare of artistry and powerful confidence. The rhythm section is tight and keeps heads banging for the whole music experience. While the vast majority of the record keeps a more mid-paced groove, the speedier "Lepers & Liars" doesn't feel forced and in fact packs quite a terrific knuckle sandwich down the throat.
Earlier I mentioned a sort of Black Sabbath ominousness. Well, that really starts to hit when the sheer depth of the album can be fully appreciated. Even as the final song, one of the two instrumentals ("The Saint Louis Combo" being the other), "Stoner Funeral," has some hints toward a Sabbath touch. The entire record has a real overhang of an ominous, mountain-like heaviness that really opens the doorway to experience Kriadiaz from a nostalgic perspective. While not much of a direct sound-alike, there's a similar Mastodon kind of cleverness to Kriadiaz's songwriting, in that the consistent aggression are not just blunt force objects, but in fact cohesive storytellers that reveal the heavy heartbeat of the art.
In the end, Kriadiaz has given us a slab pure heaviness that really is top notch. From top to bottom this is one brutal heavy metal record that sure to win them listeners. If the tough guy vibes of Black Label Society, Lamb Of God, Primate, (old) Metallica, all the way to Pantera and Down reverberate in your soul, then you totally owe it to yourself to spin this beastly Kriadiaz. This will surprise the many of you who thought that good ol' mud-hole stomping metal had fallen asleep. Kriadiaz has most assuredly won a spot on my years best list, hands down, so get ready to be awoken by one of the heaviest, well played, and most entertainingly enjoyable heavy metal records of 2012.
It's well documented how PANTERA gave birth to a new Metal branch with striking riffs, Southern grooves and full of attitude vocals and how many young bands tried to follow their lead the years that followed. But a lot of water did run under the bridge and nowadays I think this wave of bands has weakened as the interest has moved towards the Metalcore genres. 'Weakened' does not mean vanished and so KRIADIAZ are one of those acts still loyal to that sound and this is their debut and self-titled release.
There is nothing complicated here and after the nice Southern Blues clean guitar licks everything becomes clear through the groovy guitar riffage, the compact drumming and the in-your-face-early Anselmo vocals. Indeed, PANTERA's name is written with bold letters in the band's influences from the slower tempo breaks to the Dimebag guitar solo and the solid as granite rhythm section. The vibrato action in "Long Time Gone" is awesome as Mike Ruz sings "Long time gooooone" following Anselmo's articulation, "Feed The Rats" smells South from miles away with killer bass lines and "Never Down" gets faster and I think brings some MACHINE HEAD finishing touches to make things even more explosive. One of my favorites is the two-minutes long and riff driven "Lepers & Liars" that provides some quality headbanging time, so the listener has to leave his beer before getting into the mosh-pit action. After all, this type of Metal goes hand-in-hand with beer consumption, right? I really enjoyed the bass-based "Wake Us" and had some Southern/Stoner fun with the slow yet ton heavy "Stoner Funeral". Really, could you expect something different with a song title like this? This instrumental track reveals KRIADIAZ's relation with the current Stoner scene and, based on their heavier direction, I am sure things will get even better in the next album.
As I said this is not a hard-to-understand album and hence does not require additional spins to reveal its potential. Everything starts hitting you in the face from the first song and keep banging until the peace of mind that comes with the album closing instrumental. To put it in fewer words; if you like PANTERA, get this one! 7/10
Cleveland based metal band Kriadiaz recently released their first full length album but before we get into the album too much a little bit about the band. The band is a project that was started a few years ago by former Mushroomhead guitarist Dave Felton, he is joined by Bryan Trembly on bass, Emery Ceo on drums and Mike Ruz on lead vocals. All of these guys are exceptionally talented and come together to make a sound that is unlike anything else out there right now.
Their debut album was highly anticipated by their fan base and it certainly did not disappoint. The album brings together 14 heavy hitting tunes in one nicely packaged CD that is sure to rupture your ear drums, but I mean that in a good way. This has to be one of the best metal albums of the year hands down. Upon listening to the album for the first time it reminded me a lot of old school Pantera, it's heavy, raw and very powerful. It's one of those albums that you can put in your cd player and listen all the way through without hearing a bad song. If I had to pick a favorite I think I would go with Lepers & Liars the guitar solos in that song are simply amazing, blend that with the driving drum beat and it ends up being one hell of a great song but why take my word for it?
Up From The Underground
Kriadiaz, pronounced (Cree-uh-dee-yaz) is a new band put together by former Mushroomhead guitarist Dave "Gravy" Felton. This is a brutal metal outfit who's influence drips with southern sludge metal in the vein of Pantera, Crowbar and Down. The 13 song offering is rife with catchy riffs that would make Dimebag proud. Earth shaking bass lines, pounding drums and vocals that call to mind Phillip Anselmo in his prime. Stand out tracks include : "Blood Line" with it's bluesy acoustic intro that kicks straight into a blistering verse, chorus, bridge that reminds the listener of something from the Vulgar Display Of Power album. "Feed The Rats", "Long Time Gone" and "Soul Chaser" plod along with chunky riffs and face melting guitar solo's. If "Ten Lives Lived" doesnt invoke images of insane mosh pits with it's stomping riffs then you need to check your pulse. "Torch The Earth" rages along at a mid-pace with fist clenching rythms and a bluesy solo piece that calls to mind a heavy metal Lynyrd Skynyrd. "Stoner Funeral" is a doom-fueled instrumental that will chill the spine and get the heads of every metal purist nodding in tempo. If your sick of breakdown riddled music, and all the Meshuggah wannabe's crowding the scene right now, then Kriadiaz will be a breath of much needed fresh air you will surely enjoy. I had the pleasure of chatting with former Mushroomhead/current Kriadiaz guitarist Dave "Gravy" Felton to get the scoop on this awesome new band and some insight on his former band as well. Enjoy this interview!!!
What starts up with a little of acoustic in the beginning, soon becomes a plate of southern fried heaviness with Kriadiaz's debut self-titled debut. Though the disc has it's raw quality, this is the best stab I've heard at Pantera in a long time. "Bloodline 4:01" reminds me a hell of a lot of "Fucking Hostile" and it's complete with a definitely "Dime-Approved" solo.
But these guys don't just do Pantera, they redefine Pantera. Each and every track in here offers something different, but it's all just as dirty, gritty and sludgy as Pantera were at their heaviest. One could even say that this band filled in what might have been that next Pantera record that none of us ever got to hear because of an enraged football player. The solos are massive, making their presence widely known in the drumming that favors Vinnie, and the vocals which sound very close to, if not damn near the same as Phil Anselmo's bark.
Truth be told, there's not a bad track on this disc. Everything comes out hevay in way or another, but like The Great Southern Trendkill, the band is not afraid to experiment with their dirty southern thrash. For those who thought the new Down album was good, but not near as heavy as it should've been, these guys bring that heaviness ten-fold with tracks like "The Rebuilding 3:34", "Soul Chaser 4:02" and "Torching The Earth 3:53." But don't forget that those songs also come with a healthy dose of once again, "Dime- Approved" solos.
Somebody has got to get this one down to Phil or Vinnie. It's really that fucking good, and I think it would really bring back that sense of nostalgia that these guys had when they were playing this shit back in the day. If this some kind of goddamned Pantera tribute album, then it's the best that I've heard in fucking years. Make that, it's the best Pantera tribute album that I've ever heard in my life, or since ever hearing fucking Pantera.
The disc even ends on an instrumental that I could only assume was written as a tribute to Dime's memory. It's called "Stoner Funeral 4:36" and it might even bring a tear or two to your eye, when you listen to this one and remember how much of a pioneer he was, and what a great all around person he was.
But that's the kind of message that Kriadiaz want to make, and even though you can't fucking pronounce their name now, you're going to fight with yourself to get that name right when you're recommending them to other people. Because you will - yes, you will; be recommending them to other people.
The best Pantera album I've ever heard, since the real Pantera. An absolute must for the year. If you don't have this album, then you need to GET this album. Check them out on Shark Sausage Records. You'll be glad you did. 10/10