"Chanting for the Fallen"

By El Chief

South Korean speed demons SAHON are releasing the best Metallica album since "…And Justice For All." Their sixth long-play, entitled "Chanting for the Fallen," features the blistering riffs that James Hetfield and Kirk Hammett used to be able to write in the sleep. Even better, SAHON's drummer actually manages to find a beat and keep it, unlike You Know Who. 

What I love the most about "Chanting" is that the songs are super-stripped down. Only three of the eight tracks run longer than four minutes. This eliminates the wasted bullshit that has become the hallmark of too many guitar hero bands. While I do love jazz-style explorations, there are few groups that are inventive enough to warrant the riff/bridge/solo/more riff/more bridge/etc. extended format, and, yes, that even includes Exodus. SAHON's ability to banish the bloat makes this album feel like the punk derivative that thrash was always supposed to be. 

That's not to say that SAHON lacks the kind of instrumental prowess that usually elevates metal bands among their peers. To the contrary, being able to quickly go from stanza-to-solo shows that SAHON has mastered the art of songwriting by being able to boil complex arrangements to their most elemental form. That would be a fantastic lesson for Megadeth founder Dave Mustaine to learn as he summons his group back to the studio soon.

It could be a challenge for the average music lover to find "Chanting for the Fallen." Currently, Spotify stream only one of SAHON's previous albums, so who knows if this one will also be there when it releases in July. But, trust me, the hard work will be worth it once you do.