"Birth And The Burial"

By Colonel Angus

I was wondering why Chris Broderick and Shawn Drover would leave Megadeth.  Surely it must have been a fairly cushy job; playing bigger venues and getting a steady paycheck.  After listening to "Birth And The Burial" it became very clear as to why they left.  If this is what they could come up with then Dave Mustaine really didn’t give them the ability to participate in the songwriting.  We all know that Broderick has the ability to pull off some great leads but this disk is full of catchy brutal riffs.  The drumming for this type of music is very technical and Drover really shines throughout the record.  Matt Bachand (bass) and Henry Derek (vocals) complete Act Of Defiance.  Both of them put in great performances with Derek really shining.  He really works the songs and styles his vocals to fit the tune; harsher vocals for the thrashier material and cleaner vocals for the tunes that have a groove.  I can say that "Birth And The Burial" is great firstrelease but that makes it sound like there is something still lacking.  The chemistry in the performances shows a maturity that makes this disk sound like a third or fourth release.

The album starts off with a riff crushing extravaganza called “Throwback” and it really sets the tone for the whole record.  It’s a statement of intent that lets the listener know that they have been caged and now they are loose.  The speed riffing of this cut along with “Disastrophe” and “Thy Lord Belial” prove that their talents were not used in Megadeth.  I can only imagine what "Super Collider" would have sounded like if they were given the chance to help in the songwriting department.  While there are some fast brutal tracks on offer here, there are a number of tracks that have a groove that really elevates "Birth And The Burial".  Derek uses tracks like “Obey The Fallen”, “Dead Stare” and the title track to showcase his vocals and his ability to find the right style to fit the song.  Overall, there is a nice mix of ultra-speed thrash and groove metal to keep metalheads satisfied.

Metal Blade Records has been the home of many great heavy metal and thrash bands.  I’m glad they are with a label that seems to value great music and continues to champion bands (Armored Saint for example).  I’m sure they will tour extensively for this release and I’m hoping they make it through Chicago.  I would love to witness these tracks in a live setting but for now, I’ll enjoy them on my iPod with the volume cranked to 10.