Dunsmuir “Hall of Records”
This 10 song album is set to be released on July, 22, 2016 digitally via itunes, and is included with a 1,000 LP pressing with a signed lithograph. Rock drumming grandfather Vinnie Appice joins forces with Clutch’s Neil Fallon and Fu Manchu’s Brad Davis in this supergroup rock collaboration. Clutch fans, Black Sabbath Fans, Fu Manchu fans, and drummers all over the world will no doubt rejoice with this release.
In this not complicated, but well done freshman effort, Appice’s drumming is outstanding (but how could we expect anything else). Musically, the foundation built by Black Sabbath, Dio, Judas Priest, Triumph, Iron Maiden can all be identified upon the first listen. Add to that the modern strong vocals of Clutch’s Neil Fallon and you have a modern twist on an old genre…1980s heavy metal. Dan Bone’s guitar work is crisp and bright, and fits this project well. Fu Manchu’s bassist, Brad Davis, provides a solid backbone. With the exception of some nicely placed fills by Appice, no member outshines another, and they work collaboratively to give us a good record.
As stated by the band, “Hall of Records” is a concept album that ‘tells the tale of the various fates met by the survivors of a 19th century ship wreck. What had been intended as a voyage of scientific discovery, quickly devolves into a struggle to survive the natural world, and the supernatural.’ The story-line in this concept album was lost on me…but it didn’t really matter. “Hung on the Rocks” was a good opener. It gives the listener a good taste of what will come for the rest of the album. I particularly enjoyed “What Manner of Bliss” and “The Gate.” The songs are standard length, except “Church of the Tooth” which is a dark groovy song lasting in excess of 5 minutes.
“This album is pure simple heavy Rock that Rocks,” – Appice
“We turned out some serious metal on this record and it shreds. The concept behind the lyrics is comprised of 10 tales from the survivors of a shipwreck. What had been intended as a scientific expedition, quickly deteriorates into a struggle to survive both the natural and supernatural world.” – Fallon
“This record is an intense collaboration of four minds all set on ‘destroy.’ It’s been a few years in the making and now ready to erupt. Raw and in your face, we hope you like it hot!” – Bone
“Dunsmuir has given us the opportunity to explore some of our favorite heavy metal influences. We strove to create something I hope will inspire a lot of head banging all over the world.” – Davis
While I think the intention must be simply a musical outlet for these individual rockstars, it is a decent release. In the two years it took them to complete it, there really are no surprises…it is not groundbreaking…it will not be a chart topper. But it is good musicianship, a great recording, and good straight up rock.