(All Album Reviews by jlneudorf)
It has been a while since I have reviewed a full fledged metal album but Siamese God, the new album from the Greek metal band Need fits the bill. It should not be surprising to hear such heavy music from the small Island country as there are other bands playing heavy music hailing from the region such as the progressive metal band Wastefall, although the two do not sound much alike.
Need formed in 2004 and released their debut album The Wisdom Machine in 2006. Siamese God is their second release. The five piece band consists of Jon V. (vocals), Ravaya (guitars, vocals), K.K. (bass), Pete (drums) and Anthony Hatzikonstantis (keys).
At times the band goes for a more modern metal approach, bordering on progressive metal, but Need can also be quite heavy, similar to Meshuggah but with a little less brutality, and heavy metal bands like Pantera. The songs on Siamese God are built on the tight guitar rhythms of Ravaya and the powerful drum work of Pete. The guitar riffs vary in intensity, sometimes subtle and melodic, and at other times quite brutal in their heaviness. There are only a few guitar solos, but I found I did not miss them at all as the staccato riffs more than makes up for the lack of solos.
There are two main vocalists, one doing the growls, the other singing in a clean voice, albeit quite aggressively at times . The album begins with the heavy "Rainy Pieces Of Hell" where violent riffs indicate what is yet to come. "Soon" is a little less heavy with the guitar carrying an Eastern melody and the vocals taking a hard rock approach, except for the growling. "Lie Before You Sleep" begins with a modern guitar groove before the heavy riffs start and the song settles in with tight rhythms. Quieter balladic sections offer a nice contrast to the heavier style. The pure metal of "Flesh Machines" has some ultra fast riffage and a pretty good guitar solo. The album ends with "The Lesson", the longest song here at over fourteen minutes. The subtle use of keys and slower paced riffs add atmosphere to their take on progressive metal. The only negative is the two minutes of silence about half way through. I have never been a fan of this as it detracts from the flow of the song.
My copy came in a digipack with full lyrics and high quality art work done by Nick Panagiotopoulos which is quite eye catching.
So there you have it. Fans of the aforementioned bands and metal in general should check out Siamese God. Overall, this is a pretty solid piece of metal and one that I will reach for again.