Alliance Of Thieves is a throwback, albeit in an acceptably modern way. Melbourne’s Meshiaak belong to the tradition of Testament, Metal Church and Armored Saint and while they certainly have a thrash grounding they add in a power metal sensibility, in the way they can vary the pacing while the tuneful content is right in your face.
Nomadic drummer John Dette adds a weight of experience, but it’s the vocals of Danny Camilleri, pitched somewhere between Joey Belladonna and John Bush, and his guitars, which combine with Dean Wells like Testament’s Alex Skolnick and Eric Peterson, that really shine through. The songs are all sophisticated without getting bogged down in over-complicated structures. You can hear the approach at its best on Drowning, Fading, Falling and the title track. Both have an undercurrent of darkness, but switch commandingly between low-key, moody passages and a more upfront, brusque attack. Throughout, Meshiaak have considerable conviction. The band never let their standards drop, revelling in old-school values, but committed to the current era.