So what happens when you combine the thrash vets of Anthrax and Megadeth with the modern metal vibes of Hatebreed and Trivium? A really stale album apparently. Supergroups are already a cesspool for mediocrity; trying to bring the best elements of each musician’s respective band into a super-sounding project. These projects have never quite stood the test of time however, and rightfully so.
The band in this instance is called Metal Allegiance, maybe in an effort to ally the different types of bands and genres that just shouldn’t play together. The fact that 25 musicians are part of this project should raise a few red flags alone. But be advised that Metal Allegiance doesn’t combine the best elements of Exodus and Sepultura with the modern grooves of Arch Enemy and Lamb of God. Not in the slightest. Instead, the album is a watered down version of greatness and falls into the unforgiving generic supergroup curse.
The self-titled album’s only redeeming songs are “Gift of Pain” and “Pledge of Allegiance”. Other positive attributes include the flawless bass section (composed of David Ellefson, Frank Bello, and Mark Menghi), powerful vocal deliveries solely from Mark Osogueda and Randy Blythe, and whirlwhind solos from Alex Skolnick and Gary Holt (and too many more to list). Otherwise, there’s nothing enticing about the record.
Keep in mind this is coming from a guy who has worshipped many of these folks for years. But “Metal Allegiance” mostly clocks in as generic dad rock. Chuck Billy and Phil Anselmo should’ve stopped singing a long time ago anyways so the fact that they continue to produce their raspy groans on this project is beyond me. Mike Portnoy’s proggy influence (particularly on “Triangulum”) completely disrupt what little flow the songs have going for them.
This was actually frustrating to listen to. It seems like everyone came in the studio and recorded the first things that popped into their heads and didn’t bother opting for cohesiveness. It’s quite clear they’re doing this for themselves, and that’s totally fine. But when you’re just casually recording metal to jam with all your friends you can’t expect a durable album to stem forth. With certain exceptions, “Metal Allegiance” was just too much of a train wreck to enjoy.