Chris Poland-Return to Metalopolis '02
                      © 2002 Lion Music
© 2001 Irate Music
Some of you may remember this title from a few years back. Originally released in 1990, the album gets remixed and remastered with a couple of bonus tracks. Chris Poland, an ex-guitarist of Megadeth released some great riff oriented metal on 'Metalopolis' that still stands the test of time. The album is a mix of metal and fusion and shows some very good technical proficiency that has given Chris a lasting reputation. The album also features Mark Poland, Chris' brother, on drums. The two collaborated on the effort and really made a decent album. The album remastering sounds pretty good. The updated sound breathes even more life into an already impressive effort. There is a good clarity to the new sound. As far as the music itself, you can hear a bit of Megadeth, but there is quite a bit more. The album has an intensity to it, but not necessarily from a tempo standpoint. The music also can be very atmospheric at times and flows well not to mention it's consistency in quality throughout. Some of my peronal favorites include 'Club Ded', 'Alexandria', 'Return to Metalopolis', 'The Fall of Babylon', and 'Khazad Dum'. The album really doesn't have too much in the way of weakness. Looking at the two bonus tracks, '30 Day Due' is a bit of a blues jam with some fusion. Quite different from the album, but nice nonetheless. 'The Heavy Guitar Jam' is very fusion oriented mixing a jazz feel with a solid rock sound. This is no surprise actually due to Chris' involvement with this sound in his new project OHM with bandmate Robert Pagliari whom he played with quite a few years back. Once again, different from the core sound of 'Metalopolis', but very technically proficient.

If you had never checked out this album and thought Chris was just a former guitarist of the mighty Megadeth, you are in for a big surprise. Chris was ableto really spread his wings on this album due to it being controlled by his own creative juices. There is no question of his talents and it's nice to revisit this album especially with it being done right. Very nice reissue!
It's not very often that I talk about bands of this intensity, but we need some balance around here, right? New York Metallers Irate really put the pedal to the metal and grind out a pretty heavy album. Now I've never been a big fan of the vocal style displayed on this release, but I do feel there is a place for it as well as a fanbase. The vocals are not totally death, but in some ways are close to what you may have heard Chuck Billy do more recently on some of Testaments material or maybe even more like some of Sodom's stuff. If you dig that style, these guys are right up your alley. What I like in this band is the intense use of guitar. Nothing gets overly technical and distracting from the feel, but it does get the job done. There is a bit of experimention to the sound of the guitar work i.e. crunchy heavy to melodic and then back as is displayed on 'Day of Reckoning' which keeps the listener guessing. Nice touch. The band works well with developing intensity without an all out assault. 'Already Dead' is a good example. Very disciplined musically, but has an intensity that will please. Stylistically the band retain a consistency throughout the album and seem to be comfortable in what they are doing. One other thing that struck me immediately is the great guitar tone. The band play a good chunky grind that becomes a bit infectious.  You may hear some old school influence here in my opinion. 'Dishonor' has a bit of the classic Metallica sound and structure. 12 tracks to melt your speakers with.

Irate will definitely appeal to this who like to be smacked around a bit by their music. The album is not only intense musically, but lyrically as well. The band have released a good sounding release production wise and will appeal to fans of old school Thrash and Power Metal. If you like it heavy, give these guys a listen!

For more info:

Irate Official Website