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Metal/Prog Metal CD Reviews

Revolution Engine

Fist and Flame

Review by Gary Hill

I was just sent this for a review in February of 2022, That's a shame because if I had heard this album the year it was released (apparently 2018), it would have probably made my list of best of the year. I love this groups brand of edgy rap metal. They capture extreme edges while also managing to groove. The lyrics have important messages, but whether you pick up on them or not, there is plenty to enjoy here. The most obvious comparison is Rage At the Machine, but this sound is unique, really.

This review is available in book (paperback and hardcover) form in Music Street Journal: 2022  Volume 2. More information and purchase links can be found at: garyhillauthor.com/Music-Street-Journal-2022.

Track by Track Review
Juggernaut Generation
The sound of a phone call to 911 opens this. The track pounds out gradually from there with the percussion coming in first. This is mean and a real powerhouse. This a full on rap metal stomper. I'm definitely reminded of Rage Against the Machine on this powerhouse.
Business Suit Bonfire
a funky kind of groove brings this track in. If the opener made me think of RATM, it's an even more obvious comparison here. This is screaming hot, pounding and so cool. I love the stereo effect section mid-track. The bass work on this is on fire, too.
Bullet the Blue Sky
This comes in heavy and dramatic, but a bit tentative and restrained. The powerhouse metal grind gets this thing going with style. While a band like this covering U2 might seem odd, this particular song was pretty heavy for U2. They turn this thing into a plodding, super heavy pure metal screamer. This is more of a doom metal thing than it is rap metal. It's so cool, too. I always liked the original version of this song, but this thing just elevates it so far beyond that. I absolutely love this thing.
Fight the New Drug
The riff that brings this thing is almost Sabbath-like. The tune works out to more of that RATM vibe. This is a powerhouse screamer on an album full of effective music.
Lynchpin Children
The riffing on this is so strong. This is another powerhouse rap metal screamer.
Burn Unit
Now, this is a big change. It has a mellower, echoey kind of psychedelic vibe to it as it gets moving. It's so effective and so cool. The track builds outward after the first verse, but more as intensification of the rest of the song. This turns pretty metallic for a while, but goes back down to the earlier sections. This song is such a change, but it's also magic.
War Child
No, this is not a cover of the Jethro Tull song of the same name. A killer riff brings this thing in. The track works out as another rap metal number. It is packed full of meaty charm and style. It's bit less in-your-face as some of the other music here, but it's definitely a rocker. There is a full on Sabbath-like movement later in the track.
Lower Your Weapons
I love the killer metal groove on this thing. It's anthemic, powerful and so tasty. It's a somewhat changed flavor, but so cool.
Dying to Live

Here we get another powerhouse screamer. This is more like RATM, but has plenty of other things in it, too. I can even hear some hints of shoegaze in the mix. This is angry, deep and compelling.

321 Draw
Furious, fired and gloriously mean, this is another screaming hot metal tune. The riff driving it is cool, and the tune just rocks like crazy.
Burn Unit (Acoustic)
As you can gather from the parenthetical and title, this is an alternate version of the earlier song. The cut works pretty well in this format. While the guitar on this is acoustic, there are other layers of sound in the mix. I'd say that I definitely prefer the main version, but this has its charms, too.
 
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