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Album Reviews : Frankenbok – Cheers, Beers & Beards!

By on April 19, 2013

371189Melbourne based band, Frankenbok have been doing this for a quite a while now. Having released four full-length albums since 1997, their latest release, Cheers, Beers & Beards! is a groove metal and beer fuelled haze of insanity. Featuring six previously unreleased studio tracks from their most current full-length, The End of All You Know (2011), it also includes four live tracks from their upcoming DVD.

Within the first twenty seconds of their opening track, “Flyblown” it fires up with a shredding riff that recalls Machine Head before erupting into a double bass groove that immediately has you headbanging. It is an excellent prelude to the chaos that follows, and a brilliant way to open the album. The lyrics are addictive and the fast-paced groove keeps you enthralled.

“Rebels in the Sewer” is an interesting track for the album as its sound seems more akin to something like Clutch than what you’d usually expect from a thrash/groove metal act. Notably, however, is the next track on the album; “Black Saturday”, an instrumental done in tribute to those who went through the bush fires that swept across Victoria in February 2009. Not as acoustic as you may initially think, the song possesses a more rock-driven rhythm that carries throughout the instrumental. You can respect the band for what they’ve done here. With the events of Black Saturday still fresh in the minds of many, Frankenbok have approached the musicianship for this track with sincerity and reverence.

The next track on the album is pure post-thrash mayhem. “Bottom Feeder” is like some crazed hybrid of early Pantera-esque aggression and the death metal bands of the early ‘90’s, especially the likes of Cannibal Corpse or Immolation. The track never lets up, and blasts its way through two minutes of unapologetic, thrashy excellence.

There is such a wide variety of different musical styles on this album, and even though I’m sure these songs were cut from The End of All You Know due to time constraints, it still makes me wonder why they couldn’t find a way to fit them in. The distortion is high, the growls are deep, and the album is overflowing with prime Australian brew.

“So I Started a Cult” is yet another example of how versatile this band can be. The union of hard rock and thrash is very welcomed here. This is just a fun song to listen to. It isn’t intended to be taken seriously, and the driving guitar riffs of Aaron Butler and Nathan ‘Yeti’ Amatnieks complement Mick Morley’s drum work and the fine vocal work of Dan McDougall. The lyrics are catchy and infectious, and “So I Started a Cult” is a song I can honestly see becoming a fan favourite on their live set.

With a riff that has you immediately headbanging and ripping out the air guitar, “Cut the Rope” is a great closer for the main portion of the album. The riff resonates sweetly in your ears like the taste of that last drop of beer before your schooner is emptied.

The complimentary previews of their upcoming live DVD keep much the same formula as the rest of the album, but they’re enjoyable additions nonetheless. The band excels on the part of groove metal, with their riffs, vocals and drumming perfectly tailored to this style of metal. And while as a whole it is an enjoyable album, I do wish that the bass work of Tim Miedecke was more prevalent and noticeable than it appears here.

For those familiar with the bands previous work, or for those who are only coming to hear them for the first time, Cheers, Beers & Beards! is a fine introduction to Frankenbok and to their unique style of post-thrash/groove metal.

Band: Frankenbok
Album: Cheers, Beers & Beards!
Year: 2013
Genre: Groove/Thrash
Label: Fair Dinkum Records
Origin: Melbourne, Australia

Track list:
1. Flyblown
2. Rebels in the Sewers
3. Black Saturday
4. Bottom Feeder
5. So I Started A Cult
6. Cut The Rope
7. Victims (live)
8. Gone Evil X21 (live)
9. Dig (live)
10. Triumph (live)


Jonathon is an aspiring fantasy/sci-fi novelist and music journalist. Thanks to the influence of the music he grew up with, he has always possessed a keen interest in metal and rock. He is also a huge fan of mythology, legend, and folklore from all across the world. You should follow him on Twitter.