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Alliance - "Stand In My Way" (CD)

Alliance - "Stand In My Way" CD cover image

"Stand In My Way" track listing:

1. A Sight To See
2. Stand In My Way
3. 1000 Dying Men (I Am)
4. Alone In The Dark
5. Who Says
6. Between The Lines
7. Beyond The Ripped Sky
8. A Reason

Reviewed by on April 29, 2011

"That Alliance frontman Joey Polidori put the band's debut disc, 'Stand In My Way' together so well is a tribute to his strength as a player, arranger and songwriter."

Putting together a band and an album at the same time is quite a feat. That Alliance frontman Joey Polidori put the band's debut disc, "Stand In My Way" together so well is a tribute to his strength as a player, arranger and songwriter.

Polidori lists Metallica and Megadeth as two of his prime influences, and you can definitely hear some Hetfield in his vocals on "1000 Dying Men (I Am)," which is quite reminiscent of the mighty Met's work circa "Load" and "ReLoad." "Who Says" is more reminiscent of Metallica's earlier work, with a guitar break that is quite reminiscent of Kirk Hammett.

As for the Megadeth influence, it's quite present in Polidori's lightspeed lead guitar work on "Stand In My Way," which effortlessly threads high-pitched solos through the instrumental interlude that ends the song. "Alone In The Dark" is reminiscent of Megadeth circa "Cryptic Writings," with a riff reminiscent of "Trust" and an excellent, if short, acoustic interlude.

At the same time, Polidori incorporates prog-rock elements a la Dream Theater, adding complexity to tracks like the slow "Beyond The Ripped Sky" and the album's closer, "A Reason," with a couple of tricky speed changes.

On the negative side, the album doesn't exactly put its best foot forward with the opener, "A Sight To See," which lacks energy in comparison with everything else on the album. Other than that, there's not much to dislike here, save a couple tracks that could have been a little more tightly edited.

An excellent debut disc, Alliance's "Stand In My Way" shows that frontman Joey Polidori could become a potent force in metal. If you're looking for melodic thrash packed with excellent guitar work, this is one to pick up right away.

Highs: "Stand In My Way," "1000 Dying Men (I Am)" and "A Reason."

Lows: The opening track, "A Sight To See," lacks energy.

Bottom line: An excellent thrash disc with prog-rock complexity and great guitar work.

Rated 4 out of 5 skulls
4 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)