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Lizzy Borden - Appointment with Death Review

by Matt Hensch

Lizzy Borden has done something during their lifespan that many people haven't realized: they've never released a bad record! Magnificent CDs like Master of Disguise have paved successful roads for this legendary band in both mainstream and underground standards, but such a sturdy background could never slow down America's heavy metal frontrunners, even after an absence lasting several years. Once Lizzy Borden turned seventeen years old, each member took some time off to focus on side-projects (mainly Starwood) and other hobbies before they came back with 2007's Appointment with Death. Marking the sixth record under the infamous moniker, Appointment with Death firmly exposes the pulsing energy and stellar identity that made Lizzy Borden famous, but with a few interesting twists in the meantime. Don't look for any trendy feces from these 80s rockers, because everyone's favorite conceptual faction is still kicking out classic heavy metal the way it was meant to sound: fast and heavy.

On this golden march, Lizzy Borden harkens back to their ever-so-memorable traditional metal roots with beefy guitar hooks, rolling bass lines, upbeat attitudes, and catchy-as-heroin choruses. Newcomer Ira Black hunts down redundancy with blasting riffs that acquire an old-school feel while shoving addictive chemicals into your brain. Black's biggest contribution, however, is the man's insane soloing show in which his frets are utterly destroyed by quick fingers and flaming chord picking. But of course, Lizzy Borden himself once again has a phenomenal vocal display of wonderful all-around singing, yet such a quality was pretty damn obvious considering how great his voice is on past studio performances.

Now a lot of folks will be expecting a typical retro-laden release, which is correct, but there's a major instrumental change in the Lizzy Borden camp: increased technicality. In musical terms, Black's riffs are shown by diversified chord progression rhythms presenting a lot of gallops and crazy licks pleasantly make their way through the sound barrier. Still, it's important to point out his playing speed demonstrates a clear enlargement from previous efforts due to large amounts of blazing chops and solos; not a relevant factor before, but definitely a nice addition here. Longtime drummer Joey Scott also gives a complex edge to this record by operating nimble patterns, swift fills, and a ton of double-bass pedaling over Black's rapid riffing, which obviously molds a faster impression on the listener. Punching out old-school metal over the course of two decades hasn't stopped Lizzy Borden from pumping more dynamic attributes into their veins, and the injection process leaves nothing but a slick structure of faster, heavier metal.

Appointment with Death isn't a sign of Lizzy Borden achieving absolute perfection, but mere goodness instead; they just wanted a kickass record, which is exactly what emerges here. This CD marks nearly twenty-five years in the metal business for the prop-wielding crew, and it's certainly amazing to hear the entire band focusing on technicality and heaviness rather than quasi-Mφtley Crόe worship or some other dumb form of rock. Lizzy Borden's sixth full-length offering acts as an essential collectable to any fan of this timeless squad, yet Appointment with Death warmly extends its hand to those curious about one of metal's most consistent groups; an appointment that shouldn't be missed by anyone.

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Lizzy Borden - Appointment with Death


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