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Raw, Middle-Eastern Inflected Death Metal - 70%

FullMetalAttorney, April 21st, 2011

Weapon is a Canadian death metal band which appears to have begun its existence in Bangladesh. (And they have one of the coolest band names ever.) I picked up their sophomore full-length From the Devil's Tomb after I heard them compared to their fellow Canadians, Mitochondrion.

And then I was completely confused by that comparison, as they sound nothing like Mitochondrion. Instead, imagine what would happen if Melechesh went death metal and opted for a raw production. Nile would seem to be the most obvious thing to compare this to, since it's death metal with a lot of Middle Eastern styled leads, but in terms of songwriting it's much less dense and the leads are often played in a blackened Middle Eastern style, so the similarities to Melechesh are stronger. The solos are interesting and widely varied, from an old-school heavy metal one on the title track to a whammy bar-reliant one on "The Inner Wolf". The bass and rhythm guitar seem tied together, playing the same thing throughout the album, with the rare exception of some of the mellower parts. The hoarse growl/rasp vocals are convincingly done. But it's the drums that draw the most praise from me, with a very natural sound and a wide variety of interesting fills (especially check out "Vested in Surplice, and Violet Stole"). Traditional instruments also make a few appearances.

Most of the album is mid-paced, with "The Inner Wolf" being the slowest track and "Sardonyx" being the fastest. Mostly-mellow instrumental "LEFTHANDPATHYOGA" serves to mix things up a bit more as well. And the album finishes shy of an hour, so it doesn't last too long. All of this sounds like very high praise, but there are a few duds. "Vortex - 11724" and "Trishul" are both pretty boring, so their inclusion drags the whole thing down despite a number of other great tracks.

The Verdict: If you like Melechesh, and you like death metal with raw production, you should definitely check out Weapon. From the Devil's Tomb has an approach you haven't heard before, and it has a lot of great music on it.

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