Mike Albert Project – Afterlife (2009, Big Deal Records)
- Blind Man’s Bluff
- Dr. Death
- Weapons Of Mass Destruction
- Why Do You Always Say Goodbye
- UMFR (censored version)
Mike Albert – Lead Guitar & Backing Vocals
Richard Schroeder – Lead Vocals
Jon Escobedo – Bass
Angel Lujan – Drums
Ruben Martinez – Guitars
Producer: Mike Albert
Total Time = 39:29
Old school Thrash fans might recognize the name Mike Albert as he was the touring guitarist for Megadeth back in 1985 around the time of KILLING IS MY BUSINESS….AND BUSINESS IS GOOD. Mike replaced original Megadeth guitarist Chris Poland after the album’s completion, went on tour, but left the band after the tour due to conflicts with Dave Mustaine. After years of writing and other musical projects, AFTERLIFE is the debut record of the Mike Albert Project.
AFTERLIFE is an album that blends the early Thrash movement from the early to mid-’80s, with a dose of Zakk Wylde’s Black Label Society and today’s Doom & Stoner Metal scenes. Get all that? What I’m trying to get at is the album sounds retro but with a modern flavor…..and that still makes no sense! AFTERLIFE is definitely heavy…..it has a solid twin axe attack, a fat billowing bass and attacking drums while lead throat Richard Schroeder has a deep rugged delivery. The playing is very good and that may have to do with Schroeder, Lujan and Martinez playing together for a while in Decimate Inc., a Thrash band from California that was together from 2002 to 2005.
Most of the songs sound pretty much the same with the Thrash/Traditional Metal base but things do slow down for more of a Hard Rock or Doom sound. There’s 11 songs on the record and the opening track ‘Octavia’ is a quick 30 second instrumental that seems so unnecessary, I hate it when bands use a quick instrumental on a record and call it a “song”. The Project makes up for it with ‘Realms’, a slower MASTER OF PUPPETS-era Metallica styled song with a hint of seasoned Metal Church for good measure. The old school Thrash starts with ‘Blind Man’s Bluff’ and the modern Metal with ‘Stalker’. Listening to ‘Stalker’ closely, I just realize now that there’s a similarity in the vocal style of Schroeder with early Scott Weiland (on the 1st Stone Temple Pilots record) and Sully Erna (Godsmack) on top of the Zakk Wylde thing. Let’s see, more Thrash with ‘Dr. Death’ and ‘Afterlife’, the latter has harsh modern Metal vocals/growls. ‘ Hypnotic’ has some melodic flourishes and ‘Weapons Of Mass Destruction’ slowly builds into a fast Metal track and then ‘UMFR’ (U Mother Fuck R) is another heavy tune that sounds pretty much like the rest but it has the harsh vocals and the opening drum solo…..a lot of drums in this song! ‘Why Do You Always Say Goodbye’ sounds old school Metal but then it takes a Godsmack style when the lyrics start. Last song is a censored version of ‘UMFR’. Totally unnecessary but I see the point to get the commercial side of the band going, maybe because it’s available on most online outlets for download like iTunes?
There’s promise! No doubt that the Mike Albert Project is talented and the music is heavy but I just couldn’t totally get into the album. I either heard the old school style or the modern style and I became distracted. Maybe a lot has to do with the Zakk Wylde/Black Label Society/Godsmack sound? If there was more Thrash or Traditional Metal then I’d like it a lot more. Maybe that’s a result of Mike Albert’s lineage in Megadeth and I expected a certain style? AFTERLIFE isn’t a bad record but it didn’t hold my attention either. I’ll keep an eye on this band because there’s a lot of talent here, I’d like to hear what they come up with on the next record.
‘Realms’, ‘Dr. Death’, Afterlife