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Czar – No One is Alone if No One is Alive
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Czar – No One is Alone if No One is Alive

Chicago is the place 3 guys, named Jason Novak, Brian Elza and Dan Brill, call home. This trio formed a band call Czar in 2009 and 2013 sees the release of their 2nd album, the progtastically entitled ‘No One is Alone if No One is Alive’ (henceforth referred to as ‘No One..’). Fuelled by ‘Outer Space, History of Punishment and Torture and Life on Earth’, their album cover merely hints at their thought processes, with half a dozen bodies swinging from a hanging tree!

As for the album itself, it is a fucking beauty! Full of progressive melody, crushing guitars, blast-beat drumming and confident vocals, it is an album that sneaks upon you and crashes a baseball bat deep into the skull. With tracks as superbly constructed as opener ‘Whorchard’ is, with it’s Mastodon influence seeping from every pore, you just know these guys won’t let you down. ‘Aortic Flower’ features a galloping riff that you could listen to all night long and shake your head like a demented zombie ambling after yon Englishman playing an American in The Walking Dead! Alas, it is only a small part of the song, but the whole track is immense. Check it out in the link below.

There are other stand-out tracks on ‘No One..’. ‘Fuming Rotters’ oozes class as well as menace. ‘Priestess’ also lumps a home run out of Wrigley Field with a degree of aplomb.  However, I wish to thank ‘Czar’, for many years I have argued that The Beatles wrote songs that could have been very, very heavy. Their version of ‘I Want You (She’s So Heavy)’ is nothing short of magnificent.

Normally, when your favourite song on the album is a cover, you would worry that the album was poor. Well, I can categorically announce that this is not the case for ‘No One..’. By the time ‘Empty Thrones’ announces the end of the album, you can only sit and appreciate what you heard. Czar have released one of the best albums of 2013 and I urge anyone with a degree of Heavy Metal in their body to beg, steal, borrow or, in a more beneficial manner for the band, buy this album.  You will regret it if you don’t.