|Review: The Exalted Piledriver - Metal Manifesto|
Label: Northern Storm Records
Year released: 2008
Review online: August 1, 2009
Reviewed by: Michel Renaud
The Exalted Piledriver, better known as Piledriver back in the 80s are back after 20+ years since Stay Ugly. Metal Manifesto is more of a Heavy/Thrash hybrid – in fact it terms of Thrash this is pretty tame overall – a few heavier/rawer passages manage to give it rights to the name, but overall this sounds more like a (musically) aggressive Heavy Metal album. I've been listening to this album off and on for a few months now, and my main criticisms would be (1) The replay value is a little limited and (2) Some of the choruses are annoyingly repeated ad eternam, which can prompt one to hit the stop button after a few listens – in other words, a couple of times in a row is enough.
Not a bad album per se, but let's face it: Piledriver are kind of a humoristic band and most of the lyrics are pretty damn silly, and even the vocal lines emphasize this at times. So you pretty much have to be in the mood for this (and some will downright hate it.) I don't really see this album being talked about 20 years from now, unlike their debut Metal Inquisition. Well, a few songs can leave a lasting impression, but as a whole this is nothing groundbreaking – but it's definitely enjoyable at the moment.
Somehow I can't help but think of Venom every time I listen to this – the singer has a similar voice and style – clean but harsh, a nearly spoken style at times. Even the music isn't unlike Venom's silly numbers such as "Teacher's Pet". The music isn't anything flashy or modern – this baby could well have been released more than 20 years ago and would fit right in with the rest. Just barebones, headbangable, fist-in-the-air Thrash-tinged Heavy Metal – a mix of rather light, party-like metal and also some more obscure, sometimes bordering on "just plain dark" metal that's like a black cloud hovering over the rest.
Overall, a nice return for the band. Their style really belongs to the live setting where the songs really come to life, especially with the singer's stage antics. The best way to enjoy this is to put all seriousness aside and just enjoy it for the comedy metal that it is.
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