Metal Allegiance – Volume II: Power Drunk Majesty album review

Another meeting of minds from Metal Allegiance with Volume II: Power Drunk Majesty

Metal Allegiance Volume II cover

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Volume II: Power Drunk Majesty

Metal Allegiance Volume II cover

1. The Accuser (feat. Trevor Strnad)
2. Bound by Silence (feat. John Bush)
3. Mother Of Sin (feat. Bobby Blitz)
4. Terminal Illusion (feat. Mark Tornillo)
5. King With A Paper Crown (feat. Johan Hegg)
6. Voodoo Of The Godsend (feat. Max Cavalera)
7. Liars & Thieves (feat. Troy Sanders)
8. Impulse Control (feat. Mark Osegueda)
9. Power Drunk Majesty (Part I) [feat. Mark Osegueda]
10. Power Drunk Majesty (Part II) [feat. Floor Jansen]

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Rock and metal royalty rarely pass up the opportunity to get onstage with a bunch of friends and jam a few of the genre’s classics. But unlike the revelry of a Camp Freddy, Dimebash or Metal Masters, Metal Allegiance took it one step further, delivering a decent album and sculpting a fully fledged touring band while they were at it. Whereas their eponymous 2015 debut seemed very much a smorgasbord of ideas thrown together to complement the styles of the featured vocalists that ranged from a mellow Phil Anselmo to an all-guns-blazing Randy Blythe, Volume II: Power Drunk Majesty can boast a far more cohesive feel, with Alex Skolnick’s trademark playing and tone helping it to feel like a tribute to Testament’s entire discography. 

Of course there’s an exception to the rule with the clichéd tribal incantation of Max Cavalera’s Voodoo Of The Godsend, which would normally be a perfectly serviceable Soulfly album track, but elsewhere on the record even the deathlier The Accuser, with Trevor Strnad, has a natural connection to the chug of Bound By Silence featuring John Bush, the classicisms of Terminal Illusion, nailed by Mark Tornillo, and the triumphant two-part title track, given extra gusto by Floor Jansen. Even the Johan Hegg-helmed regality of King With A Paper Crown and Rammstein-esque industrial stomp of Troy Sanders’ stint, Liars & Thieves, have the feel and sound of an established collective, with core members Dave Ellefson, Mike Portnoy and project mastermind Mark Menghi laying down the groundwork of familiar grooves and galloping tempo. Yes the lyrics are often ropey, and given the masterpieces that the assembled talents have contributed, this is a merely a solid spin that’s miles off being the sum of its parts. However, that’s probably missing the point of this celebration of metal’s community spirit and span of idiosyncratic forms.

Adam Brennan

Rugby, Sean Bean and power ballad superfan Adam has been writing for Hammer since 2007, and has a bad habit of constructing sentences longer than most Dream Theater songs. Can usually be found cowering at the back of gigs in Bristol and Cardiff. Bruce Dickinson once called him a 'sad bastard'.