Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Review: Dixie Deathwish - Houdini's Last Trick

Dixie Deathwish haven't yet released Houdini's Last Trick publicly, their debut full-length release is slated for a Summer 2012 time frame. However, the band has provided Volumes of Sin with an exclusive inside listen into the content via digital download! Cheers, guys!

Genre: Southern/Groove Metal
Label: Self-released/Independent
Release Date: TBD Summer 2012

  1. Intro
  2. Catch 22
  3. Fallen Crown
  4. Beautiful Demise
  5. Butterfly Effect
  6. Interlude
  7. Hell's Half Acre
  8. This Bloody Road
  9. Lies So True
  10. The Dream
  11. T.B.F. (Tropical Big Foot)
  12. Outro
Total Playtime: 46 minutes, 13 seconds





Rating: 9.0/10





Dixie Deathwish haven't yet released Houdini's Last Trick publicly, their debut full-length release is slated for a Summer 2012 time frame. However, the band has provided Volumes of Sin with an exclusive inside listen into the content via digital download! Cheers, guys!

The album begins with an intro track that is really melodic and groovy, incorporating various patterns and rhythms all within the course of a little over a minute and a half. There is a slight audible audio glitch that occurs between the transition of this introductory track and "Catch 22" that causes a momentary skip, however this could be an error with the audio file that I was sent as this didn't occur during any other track.
"Catch 22" erupts into a fiery tangent of aggression, showing off a first-rate mix of drums, bass and guitar that allows the listener to hear all three elements clearly, and this sticks throughout the entire album. Occasionally, the drums and guitar will fade a little and allow the bass to stand out, more so on this track than others. As soon as the track begins heating up, it is easy to hear the underlying Pantera influence which stands out abundantly within the vocal style.

Across the board, the lyrical contributions to this material are outstanding and show a large range of emotion from anger to despair. One half of this album is full of self-reflection reference within songs such as "Fallen Crown" and "Lies So True" while the other half paints a grisly, blood-soaked scene with the aid of "Hell's Half Acre", "Beautiful Demise" and many of the other tracks. During the first handful of songs the material feels crowded by vocal fillers such as screams and growls, but this dies out a little less than midway through the carnage.

There is a well placed instrumental interlude halfway through the album which allows the material a brief chance to break free from the onslaught of vocals, giving the instruments a chance to shine by themselves. This works out well for the album, as without it there may have been a risk of the material coming off suffocated.

A great mixture of tempos are found within the content on Houdini's Last Trick which takes the listener on a roller coaster ride that lands them straight into the heart of hell itself, ensuring that boredom will not be an issue. Nearly every track has an area that slows down, and it would have been refreshing to hear one song that kept the same heart pounding pace throughout, but it works exceptionally well for Dixie Deathwish. "T.B.F. (Tropical Big Foot)" is a clean picked track devoid of drums, and incorporates audio inserts from what sounds like a t.v broadcast of a man telling his story about seeing Big Foot. The purpose of this song is to help slow the material down, getting ready for the album to end after a long instrumental Outro that really lifts the album up with a clean, high fret solo.

Southern groove metal with a unique twist, Houdini's Last Trick is power packed southern groove metal at its best. In a sea of under par and mediocre independent releases, Dixie Deathwish have brought with them stylish, memorable compositions and lyrics that make this material catchy and unique; a sure nominee for independent release of the year. The lyrics are elongated with growls quite a bit and this becomes redundant, but can be genuinely overlooked. There is an underlying Pantera vibe that stands out heavily, but Dixie Deathwish are in no way a knock-off type of band. Instead, they've taken their unique style and blended southern twang, death grit and groove rhythms into a near perfect mesh of original design. Prepare to be blown away.

Digital Download Provided by: Dixie Deathwish

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