The Knoxville, Tennessee alt-metallers 10 YEARS have returned to the fray with a new album titled “Violent Allies” to be released on Mascot Records on 18th September.
To date, the band has released eight studio albums, the most recent being (How to Live) As Ghosts, released on October 27, 2017, which garnered 51 million views with the lead single from the album “Novacaine” clocking up 29m alone.
Founders Matt Wantland (rhythm guitar) and Brian Vodinh (guitar, drums) are still on the team, which also features lead vocalist Jesse Hasek (since 2002).
The band is largely inspired by the Los Angeles band Tool, and reviewers have compared the singing of vocalist Hasek to that of Tool frontman Maynard James Keenan.
Like (How to Live) As Ghosts, the new disc “Violent Allies” was again produced by GRAMMY® award-winning producer Howard Benson [My Chemical Romance, Halestorm].
“We got back to why we love music with the maturity of where we’re at in our lives. We were able to harness that love of creating from a wiser and more developed perspective…” says singer Jesse Hasek.
“We were hard on ourselves,” adds guitarist Brian Vodinh. “It was more intense than during records past, but it was worth it. The outcome was exactly what we wanted it to be.”
Album opener “The Shift” (video shared below) is a clonk of hoofbeat rhythms and deeply impressive guitar. The voice moves from plaintive sonority to expressive whump in a heartbeat. And the truncheon-blows of power found in the singalong chorus convince rather than bludgeon. This is a piece of battlemented exhortation.
Jesse’s piano-backed voice on “The Unknown” is like liquefied gingersnap — sweet and clenching — as the lofty number transitions from polyclonal pounding to riveting spectacle. This is a wonderful piece of balladic opera.
For a song that tries to expose the constipated disappointment of copycatting, it’s a bit rich that “Déjà Vu” sounds so Marilyn Mansonish…
However, the number is heady and comes supercharged with emotion-packed thrill, despite the moralizing. The track is a bit more machinist than the others on the new album, with vignetted beats and passionately spat out speedboat vocalizations. We all know what it’s like to be bombarded with bad news and craziness — so we might relate to the sentiment in this piece “turn off my brain, this all sounds the same…” when we think of the incessant punditry and muckraking sensationalism we find ourselves pummeled with every minute of the day.
This is an extraordinary album. Of gunfire and generosity. Of pyrotechny and plush precision. Five Stars!
Words: @neilmach 2020 ©