Well, this is a surprise! I gotta say I was never a big fan of Shadows Fall, or for that matter the post-reformation Anthrax for the most part, but here is guitarist Jon Donais, lately of both those parishes, front and centre with his new band on one of the most downright enjoyable metal releases of 2022 so far!
Living Wreckage is the name of the band; and, on amazing tracks like The End of the Line they’ve got the modern metal sound to really make a noise if they get the right kinda push from label M-Theory Audio. Their sound – a rocking mix of Avenged Sevenfold, Pantera, Exhorder, the heavier elements of Skid Row and, amusingly, Bush-era Anthrax – is pitched just right to reap maximum effect, with vocalist Jeff Gard, Donais and fellow axeman Matt LeBreton forging what might just be the next truly great triumvirate of voice and guitars in heavy metal history!
Really, there’s no overstating the fact that songs like the super-melodic Blind Reality and the grindingly heavy Breaking Point cover all the bases of what makes for great metal listening to modern ears, taking enough of that classy old school feel and feeding it through the extreme metal wringer, adding enough thrashiness to keep things modern and with just a little edginess.
Donais and LeBreton really hit hard as a partnership, instinctively meshing so well together despite their stylistic differences, presenting a united front of metal that’s going to blow through the scene like a breath of fresh air, you mark my words. And when Gard gets in on the act there doesn’t seem to be any stopping this awesome quintet. His vocals on the The Voices Lied are consummately layered in the superior production by Shane Frisby, sure, but there’s no getting away from the fact that, as a raw vocal talent in waiting, Gard would appeal to hold all the aces. From that gravelly Bush roar through to a Bach (or should that be Gronwall?)-esque shriek, he simply has it all!
Like the great metal albums of days gone by, Living Wreckage effortlessly marries melody to muscle, in the process producing a memorable set of songs that all concerned with this project can be justifiably proud of. My new favourite band? They just might be!
Living Wreckage releases on September 23rd.