March 12, 2009 | , | 4

Hemoptysis, Who Needs A Shepherd?

Hemoptysis: Who Needs A Shepherd?

I suppose one way to avoid joining the glut of new wave thrash that’s been spawning uncontrollably over the past few years is to bake in the sweltering Phoenix, AZ sun for a good long while. The four dudes that make up Hemoptysis have certainly done that and more in developing a wildly entertaining blend of old school thrash with elements of modern melodic death metal.

Who Needs a Shepherd?, the band’s debut EP, is a mid-tempo thrasher that is well balanced across the board. The vocal delivery is raw with an appropriate amount of aggression, partnering perfectly with guitars that have just the right about of distortion and presence on the disc. The rhythm section lays down some nicely timed double bass blasts and keeps the momentum chugging along at a great pace.

To put it simply, the five tracks on this disc are infectious, exciting and absurdly fun to listen to.

Shadow of Death
The EP’s opener gets things off to a great start with memorable, throwback riffing and nicely timed drums. Once the vocals come in at :40 the group settle in to a mid-paced tempo with plenty of chugging groove for you to head bang to. There’s a nice bit of older Arch Enemy in the structure of this one so it has an immediately recognizable and familiar feel that’s easy to get lost in. From 3:10 till the end of the track is a series of well performed and fitting solos that trade back and forth between the two guitarists. This is a hell of a way to introduce yourself to the metal world.

Who Needs a Shepherd?
“Who Needs a Shepherd?” starts off with some light riffing and a sound clip that is reminiscent of Megadeth. A big scream comes in at :48 and is quickly followed by driving riffs and a steady pounding from the drums. Another slick lead just before the two minute mark layers over the steady riffing and raw vocal delivery. These guys know how to add depth to a song. Be ready to ratchet up your head banging a notch or five around 3:40 or so with a driving lead and quickened rhythm.

And the World Dies
This next one is on the darker and more bruising side when compared with the first two tracks. It’s still got that old school vibe to it, but with a good deal more aggression. The vocal patterns on this song are also a bit more varied and match the frenetic tempo changes nicely. There are a pair of slick leads at the two minute mark that shred pretty hard.

All for You
Galloping guitars get this one off to a rowdy start as the band settles into a thundering groove. I’m digging the drum work pounding behind the melodic riffing and raw vocals — the overall track is pretty damned tight. The 2:14 mark sees some more melodies thrown into the mix nicely. There’s also a sweet lead just before the three minute mark.

A Traitor
The final track on the EP starts off with pounding drums and whirling guitars for the first 20 or so second before the guys open up a can of galloping whoop ass. There’s a thicker tone to this song that’s dominated by the drum work and thundering rhythms. It’s a dark and evil track that shows some variety from the band.

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I’ve listened to this disc several times now and each time it seems to get more enjoyable. For a demo EP, the musicianship is outstanding and tight. Check them out.

Favorite Tracks:
All of them

Additional Notes: