• 6/10
    DUBLIN DEATH PATROL - Ddp 4 Life - 6/10


Godfodder Records
Release date: April 13, 2007

User Review
0/10 (0 votes)

Dublin Death Patrol originally was dubbed as nametag for what was a gang of friends from Dublin, California, hanging out and going to shows together in Berkeley and what not. The guys were a gang and always seemed bigger and more rowdy than the average Berkeley crowd, and thus the Dublin Death Patrol tag was born and stuck.

The band Rampage featured vocalist Chuck Billy and his brother Andy Chuck on guitar. Of course, Billy would later join Testament; Andy kept playing locally amongst other things, and bassist Willy Lange would eventually team up with Laaz Rockit. Testament and Laaz Rockit in their reunited versions both played at the Dynamo Festival in 2005, and the idea of recording the Rampage songs written all those years ago, several covers, and what was to become additional, newly written songs for the project at hand, was born. Legacy (pre-Testament band) and later Exodus frontman Steve “Zetro” Souza used to help out at Rampage’s gigs in the past and became involved in the Dublin Death Patrol project as well. The majority of the other friends in the old gang also ended up on the record. For some, it would become a first time recording experience, whilst others include veterans that at one time or another resided in bands like Vio-Lence, Heist, and Tesla. A total of eleven musicians are featured on the record, and seven of them were there from the beginning of the creative process. Seven will also be the total amount of musicians when Dublin Death Patrol is playing live this summer.

Billy and Souza take turns and switch lead vocals on most every song and it is great to hear these two extremely distinctive voices together. Souza has been fairly quiet since he left Exodus after giving possibly his best performance ever on the excellent Tempo Of The Damned opus. Also, to hear Chuck actually lending vocals to newly recorded material, since the continuous wait for Testament to release new material, is refreshing.

The actual quality of the songs presented varies from average to better than average. The old songs (Sid Vicious, Corruption, R.I.P., Devil In Disguise) that were written 25 or so years ago don’t seem too different from the newly written material at hand, which in itself gives a feel of cohesiveness. The album is quite good taking into account the “gimmick,” or even obsolete, stigma often attached to various side projects since they are so common in the modern age. Then again, these guys have never relied on gimmicks and with the aid of material that was there already, a unified sense does come across musically as well.

A phenomena that is very common in today’s Metal is the inclusion of a classic cover on many current albums. Not only is it strikingly unnecessary when the band’s own material is good enough, but it also hammers down the sort of general (but misjudged) consensus that Metal is mostly about nostalgia, which isn’t really the case when one digs into what’s out there. The sentiment that bands do covers for the fun of it is taken, of course, but then why present songs that a large percentage of the audience knows pretty much by heart already? The inclusion of Motörhead’s ”Iron Fist,” Thin Lizzy’s ”Cold Sweat,” and ”Lights Out” (UF0), are just those kinds of songs. The only way to really justify inclusion of covers is to make them vastly different from the original, modernize them or what not, or choose more obscure stuff, which may actually encourage the listener to check out the original. None of the options is accomplished here, and though the cover of “Iron Fist” is quite enjoyable, with vocal harmonies slightly altered from the original, the well-known classics will never be bettered.

More than anything, Dublin Death Patrol deliver home the picture of brotherhood that was often synonymous with the Bay Area Thrash scene, and the album will probably bring warmth to the heart of enthusiasts of that scene. As mentioned, it also serves as something to listen to in the meantime in what seems like a never-ending wait for the forthcoming Testament studio release. This CD is for the Bay Area Thrash faithful, but it will probably not attract or bring in many new listeners not previously in tune with any of the featured musicians works.


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