New Music Review: HE WAS A GOD ‘Muckraker’


Rating: 8.5 / 10 Stars

Rating: 8.5 out of 10.

HE WAS A GOD is: Benjamin Curns (vocals), Chris Densky (drums/percussion), Tony Pellino (guitars/keys/backing vocals/programming), Dan Perrone (bass), Ray Zvovushe (lead guitar)

REVIEW – HE WAS A GOD‘s debut album ‘Muckraker,’ set to release on February 23, 2024, emerges as a formidable force within the metal genre, showcasing a band that is not only technically proficient but also deeply introspective and socially conscious. Following a series of dynamic live performances alongside acts like Goatwhore and Katatonia in 2023, the Connecticut metal quintet enlisted the expertise of renowned engineer Ryan Boesch to capture the essence of their sound. The result is an 11-track exploration of aggression, hope, rage, and optimism that carves out a distinct space for HE WAS A GOD in the metal landscape, addressing social and political grievances with a raw, unfiltered honesty that resonates with the listener.

Muckraker‘ kicks off with “Forward March,” a track that encapsulates the band’s ability to blend crunchy riffs with strong vocals against a backdrop of screaming guitars and solid rhythms. This opening salvo sets the tone for an album that refuses to pull punches, engaging listeners with its intensity and compelling them to confront the themes laid bare. As the album progresses through tracks like “Pestilence” and “Track Marks,” it becomes evident that HE WAS A GOD excels in creating music that not only demands physical response—through swaying, grooving, fist-pumping, and headbanging—but also emotional engagement, as the slow, heavy draw of “Track Marks” demonstrates.

“Two New Stars” and “Knight To Rook Three” showcase the band’s versatility, from inducing an irrepressible urge to clap, foot-tap, and play air guitar, to evoking a state of dreamy introspection. It’s in these moments that ‘Muckraker‘ reveals its depth, inviting listeners into a reflective space even as it continues to deliver the heavy, driving metal for which the band is known. The journey through these varied emotional landscapes underscores the album’s core narrative: a call to awareness and action in the face of societal and personal challenges.

The latter half of the album, with tracks like “The Great Divide” and “Escape Plan,” delves deeper into the thematic heart of ‘Muckraker.’ Here, the band’s mastery of dynamic composition shines, from the thundering drums and thumping bass to the strong vocals and crunchy guitars, all serving to heighten the sense of urgency and the call for reflection. “Class Dismissed,” “Game Of Pretend,” and “Incarnadine” continue this trend, each adding layers to the album’s rich tapestry of sound and meaning. “Blood On Our Hands” stands as a poignant finale, its dark emotions and powerful vocals encapsulating the album’s introspective journey and leaving a lasting impression of the band’s musicianship and message.

Muckraker‘ is not just an album; it’s a statement, a reflection of a band that channels the energy and angst of their times into a powerful musical expression. HE WAS A GOD has created an album that is as much a call to action as it is a testament to the band’s musical prowess. Through ‘Muckraker,’ HE WAS A GOD not only showcases their skill and depth as musicians but also establishes themselves as a voice of reflection and defiance in a world teetering on the edge of profound change. It’s an album that demands to be heard, not just for its musicality but for the message it carries, a mirror held up to the listener, reflecting the complexities of the contemporary moment with unflinching clarity and compelling urgency.

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