II is the exciting Ferret Records follow up to the breakout self titled debut from Alabama's spiritedly southern flavored hard rock / metal pride, Maylene And The Sons Of Disaster. The band's most recent work is a grand re-supply of all the elements that first launched Maylene deep into the hard music scene. Dallas Taylor's inspiring, southern accented vocals are generally severely abrasive and dynamic, but occasionally he deviates into more melodic singing. The drums and bass are extremely heavy with tight fills and the multiple guitars are mind blowing. The aggressive energy possessed by this album seems to seize hold of the listener's ears, tear them apart, drag 'em through a muddy cotton field, and leave them exhausted in the hot grass.
The final two tracks bring the wild adventure to a contrastingly mellow end. Despite being so divergent from the ferocity of the rest of the record, they fit in nicely and provide a welcomed rest from the previous beating. "Tale Of The Runaways" is pulled off commendably as a slow, melancholy, southern rock tune with clean vocals all the way through and "The Day Hell Broke Loose At Sicard Hollow" is a soft, reflective, guitar instrumental that closes the record quite pleasantly.
There are plenty of wholesome lines in the song lyrics. Songs such as "Memories Of The Grove" and "Death is An Alcoholic" address the topic of having hope in Christ amidst brokenness, "Thank God grace has come my way. Tomorrow hope awaits living closer to the end.," "When you fall apart you tend to change. I won't be breathing for too long. There's more to me than this moment I do believe...All these things are getting better. You're stronger than you look." Another lyrical theme from "Don't Ever Cross A Trowel" and "Everyone Needs A Hasting" is the need for bold faith, "I'll never stop believing, but today I'll stop the pleasing. Lay it all down and the judging will come. To people like you we'll never be good enough," "Let me stay here and hide my eyes from the bitter world. Lord knows I'm not ready to shine... Let me at the cruel outside. Chances are turning over. The vessel is on its way."
I can't say this album surpasses the impressive self-titled debut in any aspect. Undoubtedly, this sequel is one of the more significant heavy records so far this year but I hope that Maylene will push their limits further in future efforts so they won't become worn out. The band hasn't changed or tried anything significantly new with their latest project, but anyone itching for another barbaric, southern- style, musical journey will certainly be satisfied with II.- Review date: 6/20/07, written by Tim Harro
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