It’s about time Early Man put out a new full-length album. Their last one was Closing In, released close to five years ago on Matador records, which really wasn’t the right label for a power/speed metal band. But they signed to the End records after that and released a four-song EP in 2008 before releasing their second LP here, Death Potion.
On Closing In, I kind of got Black Sabbath meets Kreator – but I don’t feel the Sabbath in their new record at all. Death Potion is harder and thrashier than Early Man have ever been, with more of a Slayer meets Mercyful Fate feeling at this point in their career. They’ve toured with one of my favorite bands – 3 Inches of Blood – and 3 Inches fans should absolutely love this record as well. A song like “Fight” definitely has that same epic feel as a 3 Inches of Blood tune, but with angrier lyrics like “all right, so you wanna fight/my fists are sticks of dynamite/ fuck you if you’re talkin’ to me/my fuel goes quick like TNT” rather than “destroying orcs and dungeons and dragons” type material.
Other than the kick-ass riffs across the board with these guys, the thing that really stands out are the ultra-clean vocals – the most human-sounding vocals I personally have listened to on a metal record in months. It’s nice every now and then to be able to understand a lyric. I’ve learned to not pay much attention to them in metal since most are indecipherable, so being able to follow along is an added bonus.
The album was produced by Jack Endino, who certainly brought out the best in the group. The riffs are pretty damn creative from start to finish, and the group brings metal riffs and melody together pretty damn well. Early Man’s Death Potion is well worth a spin or two.