Sunday, July 13, 2008

Review: F5 - The Reckoning (2008)

F5 [ Website | MySpace ]
The Reckoning
OarFin Records

F5 - a category of tornado that is among the most destructive forces in Nature. It's also a fitting name for a heavy metal supergroup, of sorts, that includes bassist Dave Ellefson (Megadeth), drummer Jimmy DeGrasso (Megadeth, Suicidal Tendencies), and frontman Dale Steele (Sickspeed). Rounding out the formidable line-up are axemen John Davis and Steve Conley. Put together in 2004, the band released their first album - A Drug for All Seasons - a year later to positive reviews. This summer F5 will unleash their followup album, The Reckoning.

As expected, Ellefson's bass lines are first-rate and DeGrasso is flawless behind the kit. The Reckoning has an overall sound that can be compared to Disturbed, primarily due to the thunderous rhythm section. As heavy as the beats are, Steele's raspy vocal style is remarkably similar to Matthew Sanders (M. Shadows) of Avenged Sevenfold. Bundled all together, F5 delivers a very Disturbed-meets-A7X sound due to Steele's distinct style, the pounding beats from DeGrasso and Ellefson, and crunching riffs from Davis and Conely.

The Reckoning has highlights aplenty, among them the title track with its infectious chorus and razor-sharp leads. My favorite track on the album is "Rank and File". A bit loose in the first thirty seconds, the massive riffs soon break the song open with a driving groove. Again, Steele offers up a gruff yet melodious vocal performance that is punctuated by several concise solos from Davis and Conely. As the album proceeds into the later tracks, it tends to begin sounding a bit stale. The consistency from track to track is commendable and does result in a cohesive package of songs, but many elements appear again and again to leave the album feeling a little too constant. Having said that, The Reckoning remains a solid work of melodic thrash that modern metal enthusiasts should sample.

Track Listing
1No Excuse4:03
2I Am The Taker4:30
3The Reckoning3:23
4Rank and File3:42
5Love Is Dead3:51
6Through Hell3:05
7Wake Up3:08
8Cause For Concern3:38
9My End3:25
11Final Hour4:20
Total Runtime41:14

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