The fifteen years since first leaving Lucifer’s fires has not dampened the roar in the heart and throat of Transport League or the voracious swing in their feral enterprise, nor indeed the ravenous virulence of a sound which is always preying on new hellish flavours. The proof is all there in the viscera of their new album, A Million Volt Scream: a release which lures, embraces, and devours the senses with the greatest ravening intent yet from the Swedish outfit so that never has the well-established term upon the band’s music, Boogie From Hell, been more apt.
Emerging in 1994 Transport League embraced the sound of early Clutch with as they say “some hints of Cathedral and Corrosion of Conformity.” Swiftly it established its own ever evolving character and by the 2013 release of fifth album, Boogie From Hell, was the fuel to that enduring moniker. Even as the band has continued to explore new shades and avenues it has remained fitting to that declaration as shown by A Million Volt Scream. It is an encounter bred from a ferocious cauldron of mutually heavy metal and rock with just as healthy and hungry essences of punk, sludge, and alternative trespasses; infernal rock ‘n’ roll if you would.
A Million Volt Scream wasted no time with subtle persuasion, warning sirens allowing a moment to run away before its title track opener stalks with eager rhythmic instincts. That alone proves gripping bait but once the band’s renowned rapacious grooves uncage their swing, entanglement is inescapable. The track hits its stride with a devilish swagger, the vocals of guitarist Tony Jelencovich a masterful scowl within the unappeasable contagion. Rich imagination only adds to the temptation, the track’s Pantera meets Rob Zombie like breath twisted and ignited with industrial lined apocalyptic proclamation.
1200 Goddamned follows, the rhythms of drummer Mattias Starander again a potent and insatiable coaxing before the song uncages its full belly of riffs and grooves, the exploits of Jelencovich and lead guitarist Peter Hunyadi mercilessly infectious and invasive just as is the former’s great grungy tones. Even with its eager swing, there is a riveting predatory edge to the bass of Dennis Österdal, his lines threat and temptation together much as song and sound around them across the release.
Fair to say with ears and appetite already hooked both only found a lustier attention as next up Monster Human leered in and began stalking their ground. Its menacing bounce and mischievous sonic glints swiftly stole subservience, another Rob Zombie-esque swing this time merged with a Rammstein scented industrial intimidation only adding to the captivation before relief at the departure of its fiendishness is swiftly stolen by the dark deeds and drama of Dawn Of Lucifer. The band’s already multi-flavoured sound is stretched again as the track’s alternative metal breeding reveals the seed of bands similar to Faith No More, Dog Fashion Disco, and Mushroomhead though emerging as inimitable Transport League alchemy. Simply put though, as to be honest applying to all tracks within the album, it is inventively yet instinctively bred rabid rock ‘n’ roll and proved unapologetically irresistible.
Vultures is next up, the song immediately wrapping grooved sonic wires around the senses then manipulating them like a puppeteer to its own carnal swing. Carnivorous in every essence, viral with just as forceful a zeal, the track is another esurient stalking and a major contender for best track honours while Vanished Empire brings its own creative enmity to bear with dissonance carrying craft and again a strain of rabidity to offer its own imposing challenge.
Facedown Bondage might not quite have ignited the same heights of delirium but with its southern rock irritancy and contagion aligned to groove metal embroiled contention it too proved thick pleasure to breed greed for as too Slave In Orbit with its low slung stoner grooves and funk metal intimation. As with all tracks though, it is the perpetual current of imagination which adds the unpredictability and individuality that seals already done deals.
The final pair of Creature Grunts and Rabid Horizon leaves nothing to be desired as A Million Volt Scream departs as impressively as it began. The first is another song which sparks thoughts of Mike Patton and co at certain moments as it hungrily strolls, its severe catchiness spun with intoxicating grooves and rhythms which manage to simultaneously punish and seduce. The final track is basically a slab of untamed rock ‘n’ roll, a beast of intensity and motion which even the dearly departed could not prevent swinging their bones to.
Their sound is indeed boogie from the inferno below though such it’s and specifically the inescapable temptation of A Million Volt Scream it is hard to tell if Transport League work for the Devil or he dances to their tune.
A Million Volt Scream is out now via Mighty Music; available @ http://targetshop.dk/transport-league and https://targetgroup.bandcamp.com/album/a-million-volt-scream-2
Pete RingMaster 090/09/2019
Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright