Birds Of Prey

The Hell Preacher

Written by: PP on 28/05/2009 16:57:58

Let me start off with an apology for taking so long with Birds Of Prey's third album "The Hell Preacher" (I've had it for over two months), while simultaneously making the apology negligible because of the copy protection measures utilized by Relapse. The label protects most of their albums with the most annoying copy protection known to man, the track-split, where the album is split into 99 separate tracks to prevent ripping. Therefore the record was pretty far down on my priority list considering I'd actually have to pop in the CD into my drive each time I wanted to listen to it, thus majorly screwing up my Winamp playlist and generally being a huge annoyance. You see, I'm not like our scribe EW who still prefers to live in the middle ages and actually pop in a CD/vinyl for the listening experience, I need to have the album on my playlist and/or in my iPod. But enough blabber and into the review...Birds Of Prey is a side project of members from Baroness, Municipal Waste and Alabama Thunderpussy, so the credentials are certainly there, but how does that combination work on "The Hell Preacher"?

The short answer? Rather well without being particularly special. The band plays metal 'n' roll, think Motörhead type rock n roll vibes except in a way more metal format. It has the dirtiness and sleaziness of rock and roll, but also the instrumental prowess of death metal complete with blazing solos. Basically Birds Of Prey sound precisely like Entombed: thrashy, rolling guitar licks setting a high tempo, and a particularly rumbling, gravelly rock'n'roll type of vocalist yelling on top. The songs are quite catchy for a release this heavy, with plenty of memorable reference points in rough choruses and interesting riff/chord progressions. Most of the time the point is to play fucking fast rock 'n' roll with a distinct death metal undertone, but occasionally the band diverges into a more experimental direction as well, varying the speed and structure of their expression. Best example of the latter is probably "Warriors Of Mud...The Hellfighters" which finishes off with almost two minutes of twisted, hypnotic repeat-riffage (think Meshuggah here), while the former is best represented by tracks like "Taking On Our Winter Blood" and the album opener "Momma".

But despite having its moments, the forty minutes of the record pass by largely unnoticed. You may be nodding your head from track one to track twelve non-stop, but when it comes to naming specific tracks from the record, I reckon most people will be in trouble. The reason for this is simple: the songs may be metal'n'roll alright, but as a full album, they come across as somewhat monotonous. There's also the added problem that Entombed has written these same songs before Birds Of Prey, and as is almost always the case in situations of this type, they did it far better.

Download: Momma, Taking On Our Winter Blood, The Excavation
For the fans of: Entombed, Alabama Thunderpussy, Municipal Waste, Motörhead
Listen: Myspace

Release date 04.05.2009

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