The third album from Alabama’s six-piece Maylene And The Sons Of Disaster (creatively titled “III”) is a tough one to classify. While Maylene’s previous efforts can be easily described as “southern-fried metalcore,” “III” has the band led by ex-Underoath vocalist Dallas Taylor branching out into different territory.
To start with, Taylor’s vocals on the album are a bit more diverse than the typical “scream the verse/sing the chorus” formula that (let’s face it) some of your favorite bands are addicted to. While fans of Underoath and He Is Legend will feel right at home with the throaty screaming on “Settling Scores By Burning Bridges” and “Just A Shock,” these are more than balanced out by tracks like the half-bluegrass “Oh Lonely Grave” and the straight-up Southern rock songs “No Good Son” and “Listen Close.”
No, this is not one of those metal albums where every track sounds just like the one before it. “III” is sometimes metal, sometimes country/bluegrass-core, and sometimes rock n’ roll. It’s as much Lynyrd Skynyrd as it is Every Time I Die, and that’s not a bad thing.
Then there’s the guitars. Having three of them in a band may seem gimmicky, but the trio of Chad Huff, Kelly Scott Nunn and Jake Duncan does not disappoint. From the banjos on “Waiting On My Deathbed” and “Step Up (I’m On It)” to the acoustic, bluesy “Oh Lonely Grave,” this record offers a lot more than Maylene’s previous efforts. But don’t worry, the metal riffs haven’t gone anywhere - I dare you not to bang your head to “Settling Scores By Burning Bridges.”
“III” is a heavy Southern rock album, period. It’s one of the most diverse offerings I’ve heard in a while, and without a new Volbeat album slated for 2009, it might be the most Southern thing released this year.
-- Morgan S.--