|Over here at kvltsite, we really like our dose of current bands that are out there to break all the norms and come up with something completely different and not sound like anything that came before. On the other hand, we also like bands that do sound like their influences but their idea is to just write great songs within that well-marked territory. Sheavy is clearly among the latter. Steve Hennesset, the vocalist is one of the more noted Ozzy clones around. These Canadians have been consistent through their 12 year something career, just releasing their sixth album titled The Machine that Won the War and the first featuring two guitars.Sleeping Assassin is a short two and a half minute song that kick starts this album with a late-70s-Sabbath-meets-vintage-Trouble-with-Ozzy-on-vocals kind of vibe going on with a groovy raw riff, a couple of changes and a solo break in the middle. Things come to a creative peak around the third song Humanoid which has some really brilliant songwriting and a chorus to kill for. Following this, Dawn of the Black Orchid is your classic doom song built around a simple slow 4 chord evil riff but around the 1 and a half minute mark, there’s that bridge kicks in to make things more dynamic and a really cool harmony bit to close the song out.
Aboard the Mothership is another interesting song – it begins with a driving bass line on top of very 70s powerchords and some nasty wall-of-sound cymbal work. Remember the Black & Blue concert video from the 70s? It had Black Sabbath with Dio and Blue Oyster Cult co-headlining and completely kicking all sorts of ass. This song is like an exact cross between the two. Somehow in the middle of the album, the bass lines are becoming more noticeable because between the last song and Rings of Saturn, you have some really groovy running bass lines to make the old Geezer proud. I dig the intro and the outro especially on this song, the powerful harmonies.
Here Falls the Shadow begins with a classic slow doom riff that we talked about earlier but goes to a clean part for the verses. Arpeggiated chords over moving basslines, rimshots and clean guitar licks to dress things up. It’s clean but not as clean as the browser cache of this dude who shares his computer with his sister. Still got a bit of that old dirt hanging in there. I especially love the way the song always peaks during the choruses and goes back to the tranquil bit during the verses. Very Iommi influenced is an understatement. Lords of Radiation boasts the only guitar solo trade-off here between Dan Moore and Tommy Boland. The leads on The Machine that Won the War are otherwise almost entirely blues and pentatonic based, ballsy, often wah infested, fitting the album alright but falling a little short of awesome.
One of Us Must Be Dead has the most unique vocal lines of the album (and when I say that, I mean the least Ozzy-like vocals of the album) and with the grooves, the crunchy riffs and delicious songwriting of this caliber, this has to be one of my picks.
It’s interesting when a band with this style is doing a sci-fi-war concept album. This album is based upon one Isaac Asimov‘s story of the same name.
This is a really fine album with warm analog-based production. Better than 2006′s Republic? too. Lap it all up.