Alan Braun - Act II: Blood Covenant
Alan Braun resides in Illinois and his first album was praise and worship. This album
Act II: Blood Covenant finds him playing extreme metal instead. Quite a extreme switch if you ask me. Alan plays all the instruments here except drums, which are played by Shannon Wolf. The music is a huge mixture of many styles, but is mainly death, black, and thrash metal. The guitar playing is the highlight here. Alan does a pretty decent job on most of the songs and treats the listener to tons of good leads. I'm not positive, but some of the music sounds familiar, like I've heard it somewhere before.
Now, the vocals are where the band falls flat on their faces. The opening line of "It's happening again..." on the opening song "Satan's Sirens" sounds like Mark Solomon of Stavesacre/ex-The Crucified. In fact, it sounds exactly like him and may even be a clip, but I'm not sure. After that I think the vocals take a turn for the worse. The death growls are okay, but very amateur-ish. The clean vocals are horrid. They sound pretty retarded at times. I found myself wishing this was an instrumental album. The worst song is a metal version of "You are My All in All" by Dennis Jernigan. This song is definitely a mistake on this album. The original song is not bad, but its bad here.
Another problem I have with this band is the look. Alan needs to ditch the corny pictures on the album artwork and on his site. I'm sorry, but no one is going to take you seriously if you publish pictures like that. One pictures on his site shows him standing with his guitar on his Ford pickup. I guess Ford is the truck of choice for extreme metal artists. Anyways...you lose credibility points big time with stuff like that. Another gripe is the fact that on his "frequently" asked questions and answers on his site he pulls a really bad one as one of the questions was "Are you single?" This has nothing to do with music and I highly doubt it's a frequently asked question. He did have some uncalled for things said about his wife, but those were taken down thankfully. Anyways...I guess this is a review on the album and not the site, but the two really go hand and hand with this band and I feel that it's important to touch on both.
Overall, I do sense some potential in this band, but it's only in the music...more specifically the guitar playing. Alan needs to find a new vocalist before anything else. Then he needs to take down those embarrassing pictures. Christian gets a bad rap from many in the metal scene, let's not give them more ammo with crap like this. If you're gonna play extreme metal than do it right in every aspect.
Review By: Matt Morrow
Band Lineup: Alan Braun & Shannon Wolf
Band Website: ?