The Sixpounder – Going To Hell? Permission Granted! (2011)

Posted: July 20, 2011 in Music

Here at The Nutwork, we love listening to new bands. As we sift through the endless stacks of CDs, we try to make it a point to grab something we haven’t heard of from time to time from some band that no one knows about. More times than not, these listens are disenchanting, terrible wastes of time, and we move on to something more recognizable and accepted by our readers.

But every once in a while, we catch a listen with enough “plus” that we feel obligated to enlighten you to what we think may be something special. Such is the case with Poland’s The Sixpounder. Admittedly, the album cover got us. A cuddly take on the three-headed Cerberus had us immediately thinking something good was inside, but we didn’t really know what to expect. No press release, no wikipedia – nothing.

What we do know is that the album was released May 24, 2011 – and it is a perfect testament to how busy we have been around here that we are only getting to this now, but blame it on me. June and July were loaded with major label releases from top level bands that we simply couldn’t ignore, and there are only so many albums we can can listen to. But now that we’ve leveled out a bit, we can finally start hand-picking some stuff and throwing some unique, unheralded stuff your way.

And there’s no better way to begin that trend than with this album. Going To Hell? Permission Granted! is the debut release from The Sixpounder. Although this is the first release for these five rockers, it’s not their first rodeo. The band recently won the Polish leg of the 2010 Wacken Metal Battle, and stirred up quite the buzz in the European music scene along the way.

And with good reason. While described officially as a mix between rock and roll and metal, for us it felt like the end result of a hand-picked selection of many of the core sounds on the metal scene. There’s a little of everything here, and it’s intertwined to near perfection. It’s not metalcore, death metal, thrash, nu-metal or groove. Instead, the band takes some of the more definable aspects of each genre and makes it their own.

You’ll be reminded of many recognizable bands here – from Soilwork, Megadeth, and In Flames, to Slipknot, Shadows Fall, Crematory, and countless others. It may be for a song or just a bridge or chorus along the way. The band just happens to be THAT versatile. Outside of being flexible to their style, Sixpounder also comes across extremely committed to writing and performing dedicated, accessible songs. When a band comes at you with the energy and velocity like Going To Hell… has, you can’t help but take notice.

Building intricate textures and layers, then ripping them down and starting again – sometimes within the same song – usually leads to making things uneasy and complicated for the listener, but this all seemed to flow together perfectly. You know through the album’s entirety that you are listening to the same band – just a band that can seemingly do it all.

It would be great to sit and go through this whole CD note by note and track by track, but there’s so much detail from one to the next that you would go insane reading it if I didn’t go insane writing it first. So instead, we are going to hit the highlights and leave the rest to your imagination. I will tell you here that amazon.com has the entire disc for $7.99, so if ANY of this strikes a chord, I highly suggest breaking out a ten-spot and getting your change.

After a short “freight-train” intro, the album officially kicks off with the energized “Plastic Bag” – which is one of the disc’s stronger tracks. We mentioned the band’s ability to move and groove between styles, and this song exemplifies that. You’re not sure if it’s meant to be melodic , nu-metal or thrash, as it jerks you back and forth throughout. Throw some mostly hardcore-style vocal emphasis on top of it, and you end up with three and a half minutes of metal grab-bag excellence.

Next in line in the noteworthy list is “Crimson Skies” reminded us of Dark Tranquility with a heavy groove and growl stomping all over a softer keyboard line in the background. We love this kind of layering, and it’s done here as well as we’ve ever heard. If you pay close enough attention here, you’ll find the technical hints along the way as well – which in combination with the rest of the madness makes a very cohesive, smart anthem.

The very next track grabbed our attention as well. “The Last True Cowboy Manifesto” starts off with an almost-cheesy campfire banjo, cow sounds, and gunfire echoes, but quickly slams into a southern/groove vibe that lends hints towards Pantera and Lamb of God. The pinch harmonics give a new, unexpected element, and helped make the track our favorite of the bunch.

For editorial’s sake, we are going to fast-forward a few tracks (which means skipping “Creation: 1,” “Mimic,” and “For Those Who Betrayed,” which are all good tracks) and dive straight into “A Heart Beat.”

This track is worth mentioning, as it is as powerful as they come. It starts off with 1:49 of near-ballad crooning, then suddenly takes a paradigm shift into a weighty metalcore minute of mayhem. It finishes with a return to the soft-edged intro, but the emotional tsunami had already laid us to waste. With seamless transition, I actually had to triple-check my iPod to make sure we were on to the next track – “The Moment of Triumph.” Everything that was light on the previous track gained heaviness here faster than Kirstie Alley at a KFC. Thunderous drums, solid hooks and triumphant vocals carry this track to near-epic metalcore proportions. This back-to-back assault is strong – and accessible – and just may end up being this album’s calling card.

We’ll skip the odd, rapcore-influenced “Stephanie” and the closing outro “…Permission Granted” (which is just the same oepning freight train chugging off into the distance), and instead focus our attention on the bonus track.

Nothing of this album really felt like Slayer, so I found it strange that they chose to cover the band’s “Bloodlines” here. However, they found a way to succeed. It’s a bit heavier here, but fuck, it’s a Slayer song. The Sixpounder show here that nothing – and I mean NOTHING – is out of their range. This is a well-designed, powerful homage to one of metal’s most legendary bands, and it sounds eager and natural.

Bottom line, this was the first I had heard of these guys, but I’m sure it won’t be the last. In fact, the resonating effect had us wanting more. With that not an option, we opted for a second listen. And a third, then a fourth. Each time, new levels presented themselves and other nuances rose to the surface. This is a great metal album. It may be a little too genre-defying for the purist, but for us it presented something different, which is exactly what we look for each and ever time we press “play.”

Highly recommended.

8.5/10

Tracklist:
1. Going To Hell…
2. Plastic Bag
3. An Ode to Murder by John Doe
4. Crimson Skies
5. Last True Cowboy Manifesto
6. Creation: 1
7. Mimic
8. For Those Who Betrayed
9. A Heart Beat
10. The Moment of Triumph
11. Stephanie
12. …Permission Granted
13. Bloodline (Bonus track)

http://www.amazon.com/Going-Hell-Permission-Granted-Explicit/dp/B0052Q35J0/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1311098354&sr=8-1

MySpace: Link | Official Site: Link

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