Oconomowoc hard rockers Sliver delivers a blend of heavy metal and hard rock that results in a killer debut EP. The self titled record is driven by the guitars of Brandon Dawley and Ryan Cederoth, as they flow effortlessly between the metal and rock riffs and proceed to rattle your teeth with some balls to the wall solos that would make Kirk Hammett and Jerry Cantrell proud. Bassist Dan James and Drummer Mark Vanmassenhove do their part as a formidable back line, while Joshua Lubbert’s vocals deliver lines like “catch your breath if you can, turn into a beast no longer a man” with an effective rock howl that perfectly emotes every line he sings. Some of the bands influences are easily recognizable. The nods to Godsmack, Alice in Chains, and Metallica are all over these songs.
“Liberty” is a standout track that kicks off the album with the band showing you everything in its arsenal. James’ bass leads the mid tempo song with a simple crunchy riff that guides the song under Lubbert’s vocals about war. Mid song, the band breaks it down as the rhythm section slows down with an easy clean guitar in the background as a supple mini-solo plays over it. A melodic vocal bridge comes in, before the song kicks back into gear with some killer dueling guitar solos, while some backing vocals arrive just in time to perfectly accentuate it all. It’s an epic track that not only shows the band has chops as musicians, but their craftsmanship and songwriting abilities are exceptional.
The self titled debut EP by Sliver is perfect for anyone who loves the heavy guitar driven melodic rock sound. It’s can’t be said enough how exceptional the guitar work is on this album. The vocals emote each song perfectly, while avoiding the common rock band mistake of trying too hard. The band put in a killer effort into these 5 tracks and came out with a damn fine EP. You should probably go listen to it. It’s good.