Frankenbok – Vicious Lawless (Album Review)

Frankenbok – Vicious Lawless
Released: 14th July 2017

Frankenbok Line Up —

Aaron Butler // Guitar
Tim Miedecke // Bass & Vocals
Tom Rossell // Drums
Daniel White // Lead Vocals
Reiki Barbosa // Guitar

Frankenbok Online —

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There’s a lot to be said about Australian rock and metal. We’ve got a great music scene that’s just growing bigger and better with each new year. Australian musicians are all extremely hard working, determined to succeed and forever look to push the envelope. These adjectives (and a few more truthfully) are an easy way to describe the heavy metal quintet that is Frankenbok.

If I had to reduce the band’s sound down to a few elements, I’d have to say it sounds like the vocalist of Widow Sunday fronting a thrashy, Australian Pantera. This sounds like something that the entire nation could get behind, and you’d be wrong to think that it wouldn’t appeal to you. Thrash fans will be hard pressed to find anything to dislike in tracks like ‘Stalker Stalker’ and ‘Drive it Into the Ground’, as the pace lets up just enough to make sure you don’t drown in speed before dunking you back under for another beating. Drummer Tom Rossell is absolutely unrelenting in his abuse of the drum kit, playing far beyond what is required of your average, every day heavy metal drummer. At times, this is a welcome addition, but on others, it feels too overwhelming; brief respites of the guitar are meant to give space in fast music, but if the drums continue to erratically blast their way through the mix, there’s no respite at all.

 

This isn’t to say that the entirety of Vicious Lawless is one slab of 9000bpm thrash inspired noise. There are various moments of identity throughout the album, such as the transitional track ‘Lost Rituals of the Corporate Psycho’ which elicit the same feelings as Roots era Sepultura, or the more classical sounding ‘Lifeline (Give ‘Em Enough Rope)’ that gallops through it’s five some minutes with almost Metallicaesque character (the good kind of Metallica, no fear) with a sufficiently satisfying chorus that shows off the catchiness that lurks inside the guitarists’ fretwork. ‘Tombs of Solid Gold’ use the same kind of vocal stylings as the aforementioned, which, for me, sounds more appealing than the rest of the album, when taking into account the way all the other instruments interact.

Frankenbok have showcased an amazing amount of talent and evolution with this album, but maybe it’s the context of its release (being sandwiched between a TON of great music this month) or the fact that I don’t really like thrash/classical heavy metal that much, but I just can’t find anything that’s overtly memorable about the album. In that same vein, I can’t find anything I DISLIKE either so, take that as you will.  Vicious Lawless is a very adequate album; it just fails to really stick with me after I turn it off.

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Vicious Lawless Track Listing –

  1. Stalker, Stalker
  2. Drive it Into the Ground
  3. Lost Rituals of the Corporate Psycho
  4. Voodoo Inc.
  5. Lifeline (Give ‘Em Enough Rope)
  6. PTSD
  7. Of Chaos and Fear
  8. Segregate the Masses
  9. Tombs of Solid Gold
  10. Fuck Off or Destroy

Rating: 2/5
Vicious Lawless is available for Pre-Order here
Review by – Dylonov Tomasivich

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