Review by JD on May 14, 2012.
With a name like Charlie Shred for a band, I was expecting a few things. Wild guitars, over the top riffs and Dragonforce styled rip-off shred-o-rama. Let me tell you, how fucking wrong it was to assume this shit. This album surprised me, and then got my collective juices flowing. This is shredding 101... but musically.
After many name changes for the band, not to mention some frustrating line-up juggling and possibly more than a few prayers added in for good measure, Sweden’s Charlie Shred was born to burn up the six strings and the metal world give a collective smile. Reminding me sort of if Helloween and Theocracy mixing with some American Power Metal... you get what this band is all about.
I was in awe the instant I heard 'Panic', a song that was polished, yet retained a little roughness that made the track that much more bold. Other tracks that are as good are the mid tempo almost a heavy ballad like 'Welcome To Hell' (not the Venom classic) and the straight forward, intense and sweeping instrumental 'The Ancestors Guide'. Even the controlled riffing opus to video games 'Game Over' soars and takes flight showing maturity and yet youthful chaos. Perfect showcase for these amazing Swedes and their melodic take on shred.
Over production seems to be one of the few problems with the album as a whole, because it seems to let the power of the music get seriously handcuffed in favour of the overly controlled and almost stifling processed sound that ends up choking the feel of the music. Setting that glitch aside, Charlie Shred is musically so impressive, yet each track is memorable and enjoyable. I found myself replaying the album over and over again.
Categorical Rating Breakdown
Rating: 8.6 out of 10