By Lauren Wise
By Anthony Sandoval
By New Times Staff
By Chris Parker
By Glenn BurnSilver
By Lauren Wise
By Jason P. Woodbury
By Chase Kamp
Hemoptysis isn't the second coming of Slayer, but for a band that's only been together since 2007, their EP Who Needs a Shepherd? is solid. The band's tempo is a throwback to the mid-'80s golden era of thrash, though with Masaki Murashita's guttural growl instead of singing.
Shepherd opens with "Shadow of Death," built around a catchy chord progression and thunderstorm-in-a-tin-shack drums that give way to a sludgy refrain. The title track begins with a damned spoken word voiceover but when things start going, about a minute in, they go well. The anthemic guitar solo about two minutes in has all the drama of a Queensrÿche solo, with a crunchy bass accompaniment.
The opening riffs to "And the World Dies" sound a lot like a lower-key version of the opening riff of Billy Idol's "White Wedding" to me, but the rest of the song is not quite as catchy as Idol's. Likewise, "All for You" is boring, the same riff taking up most of the song's four minutes, with only a few seconds' break after each round. The closer, "A Traitor," is a return to form, punishing drums and a hard-charging riff along with some of the most aggressive vocals on the record.
It's probably not gonna get any non-metal fans seeking out vintage Anthrax albums, but Who Needs a Shepherd? is another quality offering from a Phoenix metal band. I look forward to hearing what they do on their first full-length.
Find everything you're looking for in your city
Find the best happy hour deals in your city
Get today's exclusive deals at savings of anywhere from 50-90%
Check out the hottest list of places and things to do around your city