I was very interested in reviewing this new album by Charlie Shred, a band I had never heard of. At first, I thought it was a weird name for a band, and they must be a “hair-metal” band due to their name. I was in for a surprise!
Before you continue to read the review, let me say this. If you are a huge fan of any of the following bands, skip the rest of this review and go buy this CD ASAP. Trust me, you will be pleased. Edguy, Yngwie Malmsteem, Impellitteri, Rob Rock, Theocracy, Metallica, Iron Maiden.
Ok, now that we have that out of the way, let’s get into the review!
The album starts off with “Arise”, which is an introduction song clocking in at 48 seconds. It starts out with a crow making a crow noise, then adds symphony and percussion style melody that segments nicely into the second song, “Panic”. “Panic” starts out with some cool guitar riffs, then goes into a keyboard riff, then the guitar riffs, then the keyboard riff, then the song starts rocking! This is an uptempo melodic metal song, and the chorus is definitely memorable! I actually found myself humming the chorus the day after my first initial listen!
“Death Comes to All” kicks in next, and it keeps up the pace established with the last song. It is another uptemp metal tune. The chorus may not be as memorable, but the guitar solo shreds! Clocking in at 5:04, it’s another good song to bang your head to!
“The Rose” follows starting out with a cool drum beat, then the keys and guitars kick in. This song is a slower pace, still heavy guitar riffs throughout the verses, chorus, and again, listen to that guitar solo! On this song, lead singer Calle Sundberg is sounding somewhat like James Hetfield. Clocking in at 3:55, a solid rocking metal tune that will get your feet moving.
“Tainted Inside”, the fifth track on the album, clocks in at just 3:33, but now I am better understand why they call themselves Charlie Shred. This tune absolutely shredded my eardrums when I cranked it up, and I think I have whiplash from it. Not quite thrash, but fast, heavy riffing power metal that you’ll want to rock out to and reminiscent of early Metallica. The chorus is another melodic chorus and uses keys in the background. The guitar solos simply “Shred”.
Track number 6 comes in at 2:59 and is titled “Time To Die”. Again, Sundberg sounds close to James Hetfield of Metallica fame, close but not exactly. This song is also a fast shredding headbanger, and starts out similar to “Whiplash” by Metallica. This song literally kicks butt! Too bad it ends so early! The rythym section, which has performed solidly and consistently throughout the album, start to really shine here on this tune.
“The Ancestors Guide” is song number 7 on this disc, and is an instrumental tune. Clocking in at 3:15, this rocking metal tune reminds me strongly of Iron Maiden and Judas Priest. I believe Charlie Shred could stand toe to toe with both of those bands as far as the music goes. As far as live, well, I haven’t seen them live as of yet, so we’ll have to wait and see.
“Game Over” kicks off with a quarter being dropped into an arcade machine of yesteryear and then the metal kicks in. Let me tell you, the rythym section, rounded out by Johan Tranborg on Bass, and Tommy ReinXeed (lead singer for the band ReinXeed) on the drums, is killing it on this track! This song clocks in at 5”11, great rythym guitars, great rythym on the bass/drums makes this a kick-butt metal tune. Again, up their with Maiden, Priest, and Metallica. Listen to the lead guitar solo, you’ll love it!
“Welcome To Hell”, track 9, begins with great guitar riffs and a great double kick drum. While maybe not as fast and heavy as the previous few tunes, this is still a great and memorable melodic metal song that rocks the hell out of you! Again, another solid effort and highly recommended. Check the bass/drum part of this song where the snare drum is running at 32nd notes and then the kick drum comes in at 16th notes, very nice drumming and transition!
The last track on the disc, “Fall Down” clocks in at 6:30 and begins with some killer drumming and guitar riffing. This song is heavy mid-tempo changing to fast tempo. I hear the Hetfield influences in the vocals again. I love the bass rythym and harmonies on this track. The drums complement the bass very well. Definitely one of those songs you will want to listen to over and over again.
Overall, this is an excellent debut album that you will return to again and again if power metal is your thing. This is the type of metal that started the big metal movement in the 1980’s, and has endured all of these years. You owe it to yourself to check this out, I don’t think you’ll find anything better out there this year!
Rating: 10/10 (Note: I rarely give 10’s out, very rare!)
Written by Thrasher777 [Brian]
03. Death Comes To All
04. The Rose
05. Tainted Inside
06. Time To Die
07. The Ancestors Guide
08. Game Over
09. Welcome To Hell
10. Fall Down
Calle Sundberg – Vocals & guitars
Mattias Johansson – Lead guitars
Johan Tranborg – Bass
Tommy ReinXeed – Drums, backing vocals & additional guitars & keyboards