Beltfed Weapon – Raining Plague EP
Release Date: 31/10/2015
Review by Dawn King
One thing I love about my job as a reviewer is the range of metal I have access to now, genres I would not normally listen to and bands that haven’t, as yet, come into my radar.
Beltfed Weapon was one such band. Having never even heard the name before, I probably would still be none the wiser to them if it hadn’t been for the power of social media and becoming friends with Frank Hetzel on Facebook and LinkedIn. Now, here was a guy determined to get his music out, sending me a hard copy cd in the post when all electronic methods let him down. And I am so glad he did.
Beltfed Weapon was formed by rhythm guitarist/songwriter Frank in Seattle, Washington in 1999 and they have since played alongside bands such as Overkill, Metal Church, Nile, Kreator, Nevermore, Obituary and Testament, to name but a few.
Frank put the band into a hiatus in 2009 after various line-up changes but relaunched it in 2014 and “Raining Plague” was released on 31st October 2015.
Featuring the talents of many musicians, this is a band who have expanded their sound with increased speed, precision and melody while keeping the aggression fans have come to expect.
Brutally thrashing yet melodic, punchy but groovy guitar sounds of Andy Beech on lead and Frank Hetzel on rhythm coupled with great guest solos from Jeff Loomis (Arch Enemy, Nevermore) and Matt Wicklund (God Forbid, Warrel Dane), some of metal’s most impressive shredders, have given these thrash metallers a much more progressive sound than previous Beltfed Weapon releases, appealing to a wider audience, and the rhythm section of Steve DiGiorgio (Testament, Death) on bass and Frederik Widigs (still with Marduk) on drums feature in their own right and don’t just fade into the background.
Vocalist Dean Sternberg combines his clean vocals with rougher ones, normally more suited to death metal, and although I am not usually a fan of so-called ‘dirty’ vocals, the mix works well here.
All in all, I loved this 6 track EP. I have already featured my favourite track “Darkness Falls” on my radio show and I hope to play more in the future. I have seen this EP being called ‘a killer ep’ and I must say I have to agree. Each time I listen through it, I hear something different, so although it is in your face brutal thrash metal, it is also deep with lots of layers. It gives any metal loving fan everything they could possibly want, and all in six tracks.
So get yourself a copy and thrash til your head hurts. You know you want to!
1. Szcred Reprisal
2. Mind Rape
3. Darkness Falls
4. Black Matter Clarity
5. Spread Your Wings
6. Raining Plague
Frank Hetzel – Guitars
Andy Beech – Guitars (lead)
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