Review: 18 Wheels of Justice – “Execution” (DIY)

The ranks of the Boston metal scene are crowded with talent these days. There are many contenders for the throne in our fair city and it seems like talented new bands are sprouting up all of the time. One underrated band is 18 WHEELS OF JUSTICE. On their newly released second album Execution they are serving notice to everybody that they have their eyes on the prize.

Following the first few strains of “Last Man Standing” waves of blazing modern thrash riffs are unleashed. Combined with death metal and hardcore vocalizing, this is a potent combination. Adam Sloan has an otherworldly high scream and low guttural vocals that call to mind the best of the genre. His performance is savage and you feel his lyrical hatred and loathing on every song. The speedy tempos and alternating head nodding, half-time parts call to mind classic EXODUS and SLAYER moods. Drummer Sam Pothier in particular makes a lot of these times shifts possible with his fierce beats. Lead guitarist Steve Abajolie lets loose with the first of his many tasty leads. Particularly deep structure wise, the song changes guises many times; from circle-pit inciter to sing along arena metal glory and more. Most bands wouldn’t make this song the opener due to its length and I applaud their balls to do so. “Blood Red Soil” starts off a bit slower, but is no less heavy with lots of double kicks punctuated by Conor Anastasia’s strong bass work. Then more old-school riffs pop up again and the tempo is impossibly fast once more. Between Abajolie and rhythm guitarist Todd Harris they seem to have an endless stream of catchy licks churning out and that is after just two songs. Another excellent drum performance highlights “Drug War”, one of the albums top tracks. The beats here are just insane and sound so hard hitting and tight you might think its not human for a second. The slower hardcore riffs will call to mind middle-era PANTERA and their in-state brethren like SHADOWS FALL and REVOCATION. The PANTERA influence is abundant this many tracks, especially in the vocals and lead guitar work. Other tracks I really enjoyed are “Thrashole”, “Idolatry”, the beautiful instrumental “Open Sky” and “Proving Ground”. They are not only stylistically in the house with all of the neo-thrash and modern metal bands, but may separate themselves from the pack a bit due to the vocals. These guys have stepped up big time.

RATING: 8 / 10
By: Keith “Keefy” Chachkes
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