As 2020 draws near to the end, last minute Christmas shopping is all the rage when, lockdowns bound the freedoms from an invisible enemy that plagues our lands. Many artists and bands are fighting their way to release music that has been on hold for most of the year or using the time in writing new material to keep things moving before years end.
Motivik is one of those bands that is definitely worth the wait, featuring Ryan Roebuck (Ritual Servant) on vocals, while performing all the instruments and with Courtney Simmons also on vocal duties, with their brand new album Death Of A Gunman through Los Angeles based label Roxx Records.
Beginning with the track Inception it blasts with the band Tourniquet similarities of the 00′ era. Fans of Luke Easter and his type of rasp vocal technique, that’s bound with catchy melodic hooks and fast tempo strategies that has been created as a great album opener. Away kicks in with a power metal intro that carries a beautiful clean vocal that holds some familiar voice work to former Oblivion Myth vocalist Ray LeGrand. Again with smooth deliveries and riff changes that mixes nicely throughout the track which is complimented with a cranking guitar solo, to tantalize the taste buds.
I’ve already mentioned strategies so far until Lament caught me off guard, with a peaceful acoustic instrumental that already won me over, with a medieval sense of calmness. With it carries a strong energy in which follows the direction their ultimately heading towards with the mixture of other stringed instruments that gives that overall tone and atmosphere.
The Past Of Tomorrow follows after with a nice piano introduction followed by metal core breakdowns and elements of thrashy, black metal goodness. The song blends honest hard rock, with ballad like techniques with thrash metal genre, but with that it keeps the song moving in a forward direction. Souls Of Torment continues the trend with a mixture of slower and faster tempos, as within this track I’m still hearing the Luke Easter rasp like vocal delivery that makes the song quite enjoyable as more creativity is noticed throughout, as it gives you that old school thrash metal feel that really resonates to my growing up with this particular style.
Straight in your face, melodic track Undismembered again has the band Tourniquet‘s sound that I find is becoming quite repetitive through their much heavier and thrash driven elements, however they are still keeping a strong stance with it’s desired musical vocabulary. One Your Way Down is directly a hard rocking song that with it’s top notch licks and changes, which is something coming out bands from yesteryear (Bon Jovi, Guardian & Faster Pussycat) which gives you some idea on how this album changes directions once again, which mixes the full length release nicely. This is certainly one of my favorite tracks from this offering.
Pale Rider is next on the bill, as a well rounded track that keeps with it’s constant exposure to us thus far, creativity to mold all of it together with fast-paced and abstract tones that fits very comfortably. Finally, Let It Be Known (No pun intended of course), ends the album with a smooth and harmonious acoustic ballad, that compliments and reveals the quality of creativity in Ryan’s songwriting, vocal capacities and the talent’s of this man and his project which concludes a solid end to the album.
My overall take on Ryan Roebuck’s project Motivik and his release Death Of A Gunman, is that it is a strong and well balanced album. With top notch production quality, a great mix for all listeners that love hard rock anthems, thrash metal deliveries and endless power driven songs. With balances of creative harmony, that has made this a very enjoyable and a constantly remembered album. I seriously look forward to seeing the future that holds for Motivik and Ryan.
Christian Sullivan – 9/10 (The Metal Onslaught)