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Days of Fire

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Album Review

One of the tunes on Meatjack's Days of Fire is titled "Sea of Tranquillity," which is the sort of title one would expect to find on a new age disc. But this 2003 release is far from new age; Meatjack's focus is alternative metal and the Baltimore-based trio can be brutally ferocious at times. Obviously in love with the hammer-to-the-skull approach, Meatjack isn't afraid to pummel the listener with screaming, tortured vocals and an abundance of noisy, jagged, abrasive dissonance. But Days of Fire, for all its harshness and ferocity, is far from one-dimensional. Like Neurosis — a frequent comparison — Meatjack knows how to break things up and take headbangers on an alt-metal rollercoaster ride. There are plenty of interesting twists and turns on this CD; one minute Meatjack is violently bringing down the hammer — and a few minutes later, it's showing some mercy and providing melodic passages that tend to be dark and eerie. When the Baltimore residents decide to be harsh, they find different ways to do it. Sometimes Meatjack thrives on the sort of high-speed aggression one expects from death metal, metalcore, and grindcore; other times, the band slows things down to a doom metal-like crawl — and all of these tempo changes do their part to keep things unpredictable. If this CD has an ideal listener, it would be the sort of broad-minded headbanger who holds death metal, metalcore, doom metal, sludge, and stoner rock in equally high regard — someone who realizes that Grief, Slayer, Hatebreed, Orange Goblin, Fu Manchu, and Godflesh all have their place. Meatjack isn't the only alt-metal band that thrives on both intricacy and brutality, but on Days of Fire the band does it more skillfully and coherently than most of the competition.

Biography

Formed: 1993 in Baltimore, MD

Genre: Metal

Years Active: '90s, '00s

Often compared to Neurosis, Meatjack is an alternative metal trio that has been around the Baltimore, MD, rock scene since the early '90s. Meatjack can be brutal, ferocious, noisy, and dissonant. They aren't afraid to pound listeners with sensory assault, but they also have a sense of melody and offer melodic passages that tend to be dark and eerie. Meatjack has obviously absorbed a variety of heavy music, and comes across as a band that appreciates everyone from Slayer, Metallica, Saint Vitus, and...
Full Bio
Days of Fire, Meatjack
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