CD Review: Age Of Evil – Get Dead

Made up of two sets of brothers, this Scottsdale, Arizona outfit are playing old school metal right into a new age of glory. It’s surprising just how good these guys are considering that two out of four band members are still only teenagers. The Get Dead EP marks the band’s second offering and within its six tracks, Age Of Evil includes a little taste of everything. Like a good box of Christmas chocolates, tear off the cellophane wrapping and delve inside for a sample of self-penned, covered and live tracks, two of each and thankfully no Turkish delight to be found.

Opening the EP are the two new tracks, starting with, “Cruel Intentions”, a throwback to thrash metal’s heyday and probably the best of the six tracks. One can’t help but wonder who vocalist, Jeremy Goldberg may be singing about with lyrics that include, “You can’t imagine what is running through my head/ after I’m done with you, you’ll wish you were dead”. Obviously there is a little more life experience here than with the average young man. All four members offer up relentless energy on the track from start to finish. The instrumentation is both skilled and full of real passion. On lead guitar and drums, the Ziff brothers’ show that they are as accomplished musicians as anyone else in their field.

Get Dead’s slick production value continues on with its title track. This one will certainly move you. Not to keep hitting the same nail but it’s the collective age of the group that is most impressive when taking in consideration the mastery of their artistic tools. There really is only one direction left for these guys and that direction is up. But will the Age of Evil reach the heights obtained by their predecessors, Skid Row and Judas Priest, the two bands covered on the EP? Only time will tell. If not for the diminishing affect that the grunge movement had on the genre of metal, I would have to say yes.

“Slave to the Grind” and “Hellion” are two very lofty choices of covers but the band not only pulls them off but also adds to their already brilliant musicality. The success of these recordings is due largely to Jeremy Goldberg’s crisp vocal instrument. He is able to do a lot more with his vocals than most others recording in the same genre. As dark as some of the themes within the lyrics are, he brings a brightness that adds freshness to the entire EP and it is no different on the two covers.

The EP comes to its conclusion but by no means winds down with two songs recorded from a live set. Age of Evil is so tight throughout the first four tracks of Get Dead that it is hard to believe that it is not a trick of production rather than hard work and an ample dose of talent. These live recordings go a long way to disprove this theory of studio trickery as the band’s music is just as effective, if not more so when taken out of the studio. Expect to hear from these guys a lot more in the near future.