Album: Katch Me
Reviewer: Zeke Haskell
Photos: Courtesy of the Altered myspace.
Altered with fans
Sound: Altered is a band from Atwood, Kentucky (about 20 miles south of the Nati). These rough-around-the-edges guys aren’t exactly breaking musical barriers but they bring to the table an old-school heavy metal vibe, sprinkled with contemporary flourishes. Right from the start of the album it is clear that 80’s and 90’s metal still lives within Altered. These Kentucky boys sound like they should be taking whiskey body shots off strippers on Sunset Boulavard in Cali, with their wah-wah laden guitar solos and sludgy riffing that call to mind Alice In Chains mixed with Metallica and Motley Crue.
Lyrics and Vocals: Lyrics on Katch Me revolve around subjects like women, cars, war, and isolation. Lead vocalist “Cage” comes off as a smoky Vince Neil and Phil Anselmo while maintaining an original tone that shines but has moments of cliche uncertainty, like an occasionally reverberated laugh that sounds like James Hetfield at the end of Master of Puppets. Cage’s melodies are drenched in rock n’ roll attitude, with a range that goes from in-your-face highs to gutturally grimy lows.
Altered at Boomerang's bar in St. Bernard
Impression: A great biker bar soundtrack. The first song, Just Another Day carries a middle-finger message to anti-war advocates but it’s use of back up vocals and a speech in the bridge make the most unique track on the album. Other songs like Rolled Under Stone seem to give a bad-boy point of view on break up and recovery. The live recorded There gives great contrast to the heavier tracks with a more Stone Temple Pilots feel.
The musicality of lead guitarist “Zambini” and the rest of the band is undoubted in their skill but questioned in their originality. The song writing is heavy metal through-and-through but rough, like the rest of the sound, and could use a little more polish. However, bands like Altered have a hard time conveying their full experience through only the recorded songs; a lot of the power comes in the live experience of seeing them on stage. Just something for the reader to keep in mind.
Overall Rating: 6.5/10
Check out altered on myspace: myspace.com/alteredatwood