Death Valley Dream
Locomotive Records 2008
It's great to see lesser known legends still kicking it hard after all these years. Meliah Rage are one such entity. I have been a fan of them since 1988's Kill to Survive album but regrettably lost track of them during their middle years. The album opens with the title track and it is immediately apparent that Meliah Rage is still METAL to the bone and just as hard, though with age has come wisdom and a tempering of sorts on their thrash roots. Stranger has a Rock N Roll feel to it and bounce in its step. The following track, Media has a punk/hardcore edge to it somewhat like Minor Threat but with a chorus that sort of reminds me of Nuclear Assault. A strange combination that works surprisingly well. Groove seems to be the main instrument for driving Meliah Rage's songs and Wear & Tear seems to illustrate this point most accurately but the chorus has a choppy aggression to it that hacks like a meat cleaver. War Journal, the album's shortest song is also my favorite. It has some great double bass drum work and and bar-fight toughness to it. Meanwhile Prideland recounts the adversity faced by the Native Americans and summons apparitions of Ride the Lightning era Metallica, especially in Mike Munro's gruff vocal lines. Meliah Rage, though older is still tough as nails and has the meaty riffs and well muscled songwriting to pummel the listener into submission. Death Valley Dream possesses so many memorable songs that prove these guys still have scene relevance and can kick the teeth out of many of these new thrash revivalists. "The fighting's started, the war has just begun."