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Bible Of The Devil - "Freedom Metal" (CD)

Bible Of The Devil - "Freedom Metal" CD cover image

"Freedom Metal" track listing:

1. Hijack The Night
2. Night Oath
3. The Turning Stone
4. Womanize
5. Heat Feeler
6. Ol' Girl
7. Greek Fire
8. 500 More

Reviewed by on January 8, 2009

"An energetic and note-worthy album that will appeal to fans of heavy and stoner metal."

On their fifth album, "Freedom Metal," Chicago stoner metal band Bible Of The Devil has taken all the elements that the genre is known for - the fuzzy lo-fi production, the intentionally-sloppy instrument work - and added their own twist on it. Blending in influences ranging from late 70’s Motorhead to "Killers"-era Iron Maiden, "Freedom Metal" is a high-octane blast from the past that gives metal the kick in the balls it desperately needs.

A lot of that has to do with the guitar duo of Mark Hoffmann and Nate Perry. Neither one is content to stick to the standard rhythm guitar/lead guitar roles; both of them do battle in the midst of the eight tracks on "Freedom Metal." Their chemistry is immediately evident, a bonding that masks other great guitar pairings like Tipton/Downing, Smith/Murray, and Clapton/Allman. The solos fly free, with the steady rhythm section of Darren Amaya and Greg Spalding, on bass and drums respectively, keeping the music from falling apart.

“Hijack The Night” is a bold and daring opener, a seven-minute epic that doesn’t ease the listener into the album slowly with a short instrumental like most metal bands. The guitar licks are fast, Hoffmann’s vocals are strong, and the chorus is highly memorable. In fact, most of the songs have noteworthy choruses, a trait of strong songwriters.

There are several longer songs sprinkled throughout "Freedom Metal," which are up to the high quality met on the opener. “Womanize” blazes a trail of destruction that doesn’t have time for a clean break or sappy lyrics; just a tale of seduction and a one-way path to hell. “Ol’ Girl” has a sleazy 70’s hard rock feel ala Aerosmith and UFO, mixed with the technical wizardry of Angel Witch and Tygers of Pan Tang. Closer “500 More” is a call to arms, a march to the plains of death, with an axe in one hand and a glass of brew in the other. A subtle clean electric guitar break is a welcome surprise; however, it is a short reprieve, as the band comes back firing on all cylinders for a thrilling conclusion.

The rest of the tracks hold up well to the more ambitious tunes. “Heat Feeler” is half Southern acoustic jam, half electric animal, with soaring guitar solos that burn a path in the sky. The one-two punch of “Night Oath” and “The Turning Stone” slow the pace down a bit and provide a breath of air after “Hijack The Night,” but they both are far from filler, two strong tracks with Perry and Hoffmann showing off their vocal harmonies in addition to their killer leads.

"Freedom Metal" is a fantastic album that should finally get Bible Of The Devil noticed in the metal circles. With phenomenal guitar work and a varied collection of tracks, "Freedom Metal" has something for every metal fan who loves to play air-guitar and crank music so loud the neighbors have the cops on speed dial. Some may be turned off by the retro sound, and the production isn’t as clean as most modern albums, but that helps to lend a unique charm to "Freedom Metal," one that stands out in the crowded sea that metal has presently become.

Highs: Stellar guitar work, strong songwriting, a knack for memorable choruses

Lows: Production is mediocre, could have used one more track

Bottom line: An energetic and note-worthy album that will appeal to fans of heavy and stoner metal.

Rated 4.0 out of 5 skulls
4.0 out of 5 skulls


Key
Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)