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Album Reviews : Envenomed – The Walking Shred

By on August 11, 2019

Melbourne thrash/power band Envenomed return with their second full-length The Walking Shred, a follow up to 2014’s Evil Unseen. For those not familiar with the band, Envenomed play a fairly melodic brand of thrash metal, reminiscent of Metallica infused with Avenged Sevenfold, Iron Maiden, Megadeth and a range of other modern metal and rock classics. With their new album, they continue their thrashing assault delivering twelve tracks of punchy riffing.

The pair of opening songs ‘The Walking Shred’ and ‘Abandon Hope’ essentially function as a single song, building a moody, intro into a full headbanger of a riff to set the stage for the album. This song will clearly be a good opener for live gigs and serves well to open the album, building on the opening chord progression well with good uses of harmony for suspense in the bridge. Other highlights include the opening riff to ‘Rebellion’ that serves as a great transition point from the previous ballad ‘Fate Closes The Door’ and provides a strong mid-point to the album. ‘The Haunting’ has another slew of strong riffs, from the opening thrashy moments to the excellent bridge riff that could be straight from Master of Puppets. ‘All That Remains’ and ‘Aware’ showcase their aggressive thrash side mixed in with their melodic, power metal-influenced side; ‘All that Remains’ sports an excellent chorus and some fantastically heavy moments toward the end while ‘Aware’ features strong riffing alongside a chorus that reminds me of Eurhythmics’ ‘Sweet Dreams (Are Made of These)’ in the vocal melody.

Envenomed are not a one-note band, however. ‘Fate Closes the Door’ is an excellent reflective ballad and comes at the perfect time in the album to provide some contrast. ‘The Dead’ provides a truly stand out chorus that elevates an otherwise somewhat generic song to great heights. The solos across the album also bear comment as they generally mix technical skill with an excellent sense of melody, structure, and phrasing. No solo overstays its welcome or veers off into ‘shred wank’ territory, (a rare achievement in metal!) but all are tasteful, well placed and engaging. This is true of all the bands’ performances – the musicianship is tight and lively across the board and is augmented well by the production style that provides clarity without compromising heaviness.

There are some odd choices on this album though. The opening to ‘Through The Cold’ is a good moment, recalling Metallica’s ‘Blackened’, but the lead guitar is overpoweringly prominent in the mix throughout the chorus, obscuring the vocals in what is otherwise a good song with some great riffs. ‘Sacrifice’ is a decent song, with strong riffs but lacks a real shining moment to elevate it to the level of the other tracks and perhaps could have been cut or put aside as a bonus track/B-side to preserve the overall impact of the album, though it serves well as a closer to the main album. The final two tracks sit apart as bonus material for the interested fan. The cover of Lenny Kravitz’s ‘Are You Gonna Go My Way’ is fun, catchy and well done, providing some contrast amongst the otherwise punchy thrash metal of the rest of the album. ‘Metal United’ is likewise a catchy track, perhaps a little more power metal than the rest of the songs but is a nice homage to the festival of the same name in Australia. 

The Walking Shred is by no means a weak album; with some rearrangement and ruthless editing the overall punch of the album could be improved, yet there is still plenty of great material throughout. Fans of the band will no doubt enjoy the latest metal serving from Envenomed and fans of all types of metal will find something to enjoy here. I’d be particularly keen to hear some of these songs live, as many songs seem to be written for the live gigs that will no doubt be on their way from a young, hungry Aussie band.

Band: Envenomed
Album:  The Walking Shred
Year: 2019
Genre: Thrash Metal
Label: El Puerto Records
Origin: Australia
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About

Ben is a metalhead originally from Sydney, who has now moved to Hobart to pursue a PhD in Australian extreme metal. When not studying, writing about or playing metal, he can be found playing video games, browsing Reddit, knitting, fending off his cat or helping out at his local church.