Alabama Thunderpussy - Open Fire Review
by Matt Hensch
By the time Fulton Hill had settled in with Alabama Thunderpussy fans, vocalist Jonny Wells left the band and the group was on a quest to hunt down their next singer. ATP eventually stumbled upon former Exhorder vocalist Kyle Thomas, who later ended up joining the band in 2006. The result of this new line-up later produced Open Fire. Now you may think this is close to the same band that was active a few years back, but think again; ATP completely reload their inventory of explosive hard rock with a fresh new voice that makes Open Fire a classic southern rock record.
Alabama Thunderpussy's trademark brand of southern-fried hard rock is factored in with the band's clear metal influence on Open Fire, and it makes it very enjoyable. The riffs played here are basically heavy metal riffs with a strong emphasis on deep distortion. The low guitar distortion is commonly used on most the tracks and it makes the songs slow and heavy. "Void Of Harmony" and "None Shall Return" are some of the stand-out tunes here because they have faster riffs and drum beats that are rarely found on Open Fire. There are also some surprisingly good melodic riffs on "The Beggar" and "Valor" that divert the album's sound while maintaining a solid southern rock feeling. Those of you who enjoy a nice round of guitar solos will probably enjoy Open Fire due to the amount of seasonable leads packed into this disc.
The dirty hard rock feel that revolves around ATP's sound is the perfect match for Kyle Thomas and his amazing vocals. The former Exhorder frontman's style resembles the voice of other southern rock singers because of his raspy tone and ripping screams. Thomas is also able to change his mood from an energetic songbird to a possessed beast during the dark title track where he uses deep vocals and evil tones throughout the song's duration. When it comes to other ATP singers and southern rock yodelers in general, Kyle Thomas has one of the most unique and powerful voices around and is the best possible fit for this band.
Overall, Open Fire is one of the greatest southern metal albums I've ever heard and is definitely Alabama Thunderpussy's best LP thus far. This is vital if you have any ATP record or have an interest in the southern metal scene. Get this album!
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