Lionize
Destruction Manual


4.0
excellent

Review

by Greg Fisher STAFF
October 23rd, 2011 | 15 replies | 5,510 views


Release Date: 2011 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Blood-thirsty like a freak of nature...

With as many as two hundred tour dates being scheduled for this year, Maryland-based Lionize are legitimately the busiest rock act around. While being the old-fashioned way of garnering the audience, exciting live shows are what really makes the band of this kind relevant. Indeed, released early this year “Destruction Manual” sounds like a live album at its core due to its purposefully raw production. Lionize once again deliver a refreshing take on roots/reggae, the style that has already been successfully explored on their previous releases. “Destruction Manual” incorporates a healthy dose of riff-driven hard rock while keeping previous reggae and funk influences intact. This sudden shift in style works in the album's favor making for a more cerebral, livelier presentation which revolves around heavy reggae beats, spaced-out keys and groovy guitar work.

"Destruction Manual" is the type of album that allows the musicians to show off their considerable skills. Enticing bass lines and complex, constantly pounding drumming just set the stage for chilling, off-beat Hammond organ soundscapes, intricately crafted, brazen riffs and mood-fitting guitar solos. Nate Bergman's soul-induced vocals are tailor-made for this specific kind of music. He has a knack for using the appropriate inflection of his voice in every given moment of the song crafting plenty of admirable vocal harmonies which sound both natural and genuine. The impression that Lionize are a cream-of-the-crop rock outfit is additionally strengthened by Bergman's clever, thoroughly affecting lyrics that range from self-reflective to pop-culture inspired. As a result, the album's laid-back tone sometimes gets interspersed with some food-for-thought cuts in “Savior Of Fontana” or “Nation Builders.”

In essence, most tracks included in the disc fuse bouncy Caribbean rhythms with stylish hard rock to great effect. This is exactly the case with “You're Trying To Kill Me” whose reggae verses are contrasted with heavy guitar-laden chorus that's also quite irresistible. On the other hand, “Dumb And Dangerous” has the infectious funk vibe which builds to this really fitting line: “Blood-thirsty like a freak of nature” (referencing the act's horror-themed EP, "Mummies Wrapped In Money"). The album's arguably at its best during more intense, heavier tracks. “Nation Builders” shares the same lofty vibe with some of Clutch's most iconic compositions. The slow-burning verses along with a sublime refrain explode into a truly amazing climax. In contrast, “No Exit” has its classic rock lead-in, trippy verses, and a hook-driven chorus that make it one of the record's standout tracks. Regrettably, the songwriting isn't so consistently powerful on the entire disc. Especially its second half contains some clunky, fairly uninspired moments in clearly lesser “They Arrive” and “The Alhambra Inn.”

Coming from the act that has gained almost no press or radio publicity, “Destruction Manual” is by far the most surprising heavy rock release of the year. The album's greatest asset is perhaps its inclination to eradicate boundaries between fans of totally different musical backgrounds. Both reggae and stoner rock crowd will definitely embrace this album. In fact, Lionize are sufficiently accessible, creative and unique to have a much wider appeal than that.



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user ratings (16)
Chart.
3.8
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
greg84
Staff Reviewer
October 23rd 2011



7351 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

You're Trying to Kill Me:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9QbyWaWi-fc

Savior of Fontana (live):
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q8YjAEj4I_M

No Exit (live):
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0iIj1GGq4ak

Digging: Royal Blood - Royal Blood

Gyromania
October 23rd 2011



15482 Comments


Great as always, Greg. I'll check those songs out when I get some time.

greg84
Staff Reviewer
October 23rd 2011



7351 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thanks man. Much appreciated.

cb123
October 24th 2011



2006 Comments


good review man as always, dunno if this would appeal to much to me though

JamieTwort
Contributing Reviewer
October 24th 2011



20363 Comments


Great review Greg. I need to check this out, that video you gave me the link to the other day is awesome.

greg84
Staff Reviewer
October 24th 2011



7351 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thanks guys. The whole album is quite awesome. I can't see anybody who's into hard rock disliking it. So yeah. Check this one out asap.

Jethro42
October 24th 2011



12391 Comments


^ I listened to the same song as Jamie. Original for the least; Hard Rock meets Reggae and Funky with the presence of some Hammond and vocal harmonies...which makes me curious enough to check this album out in its entirety.
Good write-up as usual, dude.

greg84
Staff Reviewer
October 24th 2011



7351 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thanks a bunch bro. The three links I posted in the first comment are quite representative. So check them out. And I failed to mention (kind of on purpose) that Tim Sult (of Clutch) is the lead guitarist for this band.

greg84
Staff Reviewer
November 5th 2011



7351 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Their new song available for free download:

pentimentomusic.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/10/Lionize-Superczar.mp3

WatchItExplode
December 22nd 2011



3221 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

So I didn't check out the new one but this solid, albeit somewhat bland.

greg84
Staff Reviewer
December 22nd 2011



7351 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Give it some time to sink in. It'll grow on you. The new one is still a much greater album as a whole.

WatchItExplode
December 22nd 2011



3221 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

yeah, wasn't as easy to access.....great groove here, good for a party

What sets the new one apart from this? (I can't be bothered to re-read your review, sorry)

greg84
Staff Reviewer
December 22nd 2011



7351 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

It's just generally more consistent. Every track is as good as the best cuts on this album. They also got more diverse. Plus, the lyrics got more relatable and heartfelt. Just a general improvement.

Sirob
November 9th 2012



2653 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Album Rating: Sex

rules

greg84
Staff Reviewer
November 9th 2012



7351 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Yes. Superczar is even better than this.



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