Temple of Brutality
Lethal Agenda

Lethal Agenda first caught my attention when I saw the name Dave Ellefson, as I enjoyed his work with Megadeth. So first things first, I checked out their Myspace page and website, to basically find out nothing more about them except that they call themselves metal/hardcore/thrash (thanks Myspace), and after popping in the CD, I can say that’s a pretty fair assessment.

Not a million miles away from the thrash/groove approach of early Machine Head or Pantera (but not a soundalike), with a good dose of the early hardcore tinged version of Clutch (I’m thinking of the first two or three albums here). The Clutch feel is primarily a courtesy of vocalist Todd Barnes, as he reminds me of a good deal of Neil Fallon in those early days, though there are several tracks (“Beating the Man”, “Hammer”, and “Doesn’t Matter”) where the music itself has a strong Clutch feel. The bands more ‘metal’ moments (“Lethal Agenda”, “Already Dead”, “Art of War”) are where the Machine Head and Pantera moments stand out more, while a track like “Isabel” is just too simple and meat-headed (even though I like that stuff most of the time) for it’s own good.

Lethal Agenda has a well enough production, staying away from over produced, holding a thick, well-rounded sound, but all this just adds up to nothing more than a somewhat solid release, but reasonably, how many ‘solid’ releases are out there these days? Lots, as far as I can tell. There are simply too many releases of this nature to really pay attention to something that is merely ‘solid’, as you can easily find yourself drowning in them. In the end, Lethal Agenda can be described as an enjoyable listen, but unessential and ultimately forgettable, though for those who really dig on any of the aforementioned bands, you may want to give this a shot. Who knows? Maybe you’ll enjoy it much more than I did.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Larry "Staylow" Owens
January 7th, 2008

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