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Ugly Melon - 'Just A Man' http://www.rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/c8/be/87/ugly-melon-just-a-man-43-1558643444.jpg Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     May 23, 2019    
 
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More riffs than a Brexit cabinet and more Metal than a scrap yard.

Ugly Melon herald from Toronto, Canada, and were formed in 2017 when childhood friends/former bandmates Lu Cachie (lead guitar) and Tony La Selva (vocals) came together. They were joined by Franklin Wyles (drums) and John Liberatore (bass guitar) who also played in garage bands with them twenty-five years ago; completing the line-up are Joe T. (guitar) and Biagio DiBlasi (keyboards).

For 'Just A Man', the group have taken elements from the greatest Metal bands of the seventies, eighties and nineties, and then added their own unique quality to produce a fantastic record for the modern era. The major influence (not to be confused with plagiarism) is the Godfathers Of Heavy Metal – Black Sabbath (all eras). Indeed, even the album artwork is surely a nod to Sabbath's debut self-titled release.

The opus kicks off with the mid-paced rocker 'Father's Eyes' which eventually picks up the pace with the obligatory 'Children Of The Grave' riff. The intro to 'It's My Time' suggests another mid-paced song, but it's a thundering riff that makes up the backbone to this Sabbath-inspired (Ronnie James Dio period) anthem; it also contains some impressive guitar work by Cachie. The production is courtesy of Dusty Chesterfield and it is top-draw, especially on 'You Want More' which could easily have been "Track 13" from Metallica's 'The Black Album'.

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The vocals are often the weak link in many Metal groups (in my view), but that's not the case here. La Selva's voice is sublime; it's crystal clear, immensely powerful and unique yet with allusions to Ronnie James Dio, Dee Snider, Chris Cornell and Layne Stayley!

The Doom Metal of 'Drawn And Quartered' sounds like a glorious collaboration of Sabbath and Soundgarden, while an interesting, slowed-down cover of the Dio classic 'Rainbow In The Dark' works well. The fact that this is not the best number on the record is testament to Cachie's song-writing (La Selva provides the lyrics). 'If You're Wrong' and the epic title track see the band in philosophical mood questioning theology, the latter paying homage to Grunge/Doom Metal. Arguably, as all the tracks are first class, Ugly Melon save the best for last with 'Bring Them Home' which features a tectonic-sized riff and another immense vocal performance by La Selva.

If you want an album with more riffs than a Brexit cabinet and more Metal than a scrap yard, then 'Just A Man' should be a high priority on your shopping list.

Mark Donnelly

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