On the day a part of the Belgian army is deployed to secure the safety in Antwerp (yes, things are starting to get out of hand here), a brand new album reached our headquarters. The almost hypnotic cover art promises this will be something 'effin-heavy', perfect for a sunny saturday morning in a future war zone, right? So I insert the CD in my stereo, put the volume up and indulge myself in pure, uncut metal. Things might be about to get ugly here but I've found an awesome soundtrack for the events to come.
My Name Is God (from now on abbreviated to MNIG) is a quartet from Antwerp. This untitled album is their debut, after an e.p. earlier. The band went through great lengths to record this one. The mastering was done by Uwe Teichert (a.o. dEUS, Placebo, Public Enemy, Drums are for Parades). Frank Rotthier (a.o. Diablo Blvd., Bliksem, Toxic Shock) was responsible for the mixing. It's clear that MNIG has a lot of confidence in their own abilities and will no longer be satisfied by staying stuck in the Antwerp metal underground. The band is definately rooted in the hardcore scene but by the end of the album (especially in 'The Astronaut' , these elements are almost completely gone. After the creepy intro 'Nightmares' the listener is treated to a thirty minute metal assault that reaches a surprisingly high quality. 'Cristopher Reeve' sounds like a blend of Terror, Thought Industry and a bit of Evergrey. With regular tempo shifts and very powerfull riffs (Pantera?) MNIG immediately convinces.
'Weeping Lions' is another solid headbanger, well able to dispense some whiplashes at will. On the following songs, the hardcore elements become a lot clearer again, mainly in the vocals. 'Bullfrog' opens with a short Iron Maiden ike intro but quickly adopts the same power and complexity that made Machine Head a headliner. This blend of styles makes the album very interesting and shows an evolution in sound that is very promising.But
the final two songs really show what this band is capable of. 'Ravages Of Time' has a lot more atmosphere than the previous songs. This is definately not hardcore anymore, maybe a bit of sludge or post-whatever but a very good song nonetheless. And then there's 'The Astronaut', the song with the highest 'hell-yeah' calibre of the entire album. The immensely powerful sound lifts the band up to almost epic proportions.
To conclude: buy this album! It shows a band that has been growing and evolving in the past few years and will probably continue to do so. MNIG is band that has found a perfect balance between power and melody. The album is well-varied and as heavy as the cover promised. If these guys get the exposure they deserve, they really might become a fierce competitor in the Belgian (and why not European) metal scene.