Maylene & the Sons of Disaster

III

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Southern rock didn't end with the 1970s or disappear after the heyday of Lynyrd Skynyrd, ZZ Top, the Outlaws, the Marshall Tucker Band, Black Oak Arkansas, and Molly Hatchet, but it did evolve -- and some of the gutsiest Southern rock of the '90s and 2000s was in the alternative metal realm. Bands like Alabama Thunderpussy, Hammerlock, Brand New Sin, and Backdraft have had no problem combining Southern rock and alt-metal, which is also the combination that Maylene & the Sons of Disaster have favored. Lynyrd Skynyrd and ZZ Top are prominent influences on the band's third album, III, but so are Pantera and Corrosion of Conformity; so are metalcore and hardcore. And that metalcore/hardcore element is something that separates Maylene & the Sons of Disaster from other bands that have combined Southern rock and alt-metal. There are obvious parallels between Maylene & the Sons of Disaster and the Southern-fried alt-metal of Hammerlock, Brand New Sin, and Alabama Thunderpussy; there is no reason why someone who fancies those bands shouldn't be able to get into Maylene & the Sons of Disaster as well. But that metalcore/hardcore influence adds a new dimension to the Southern rock/alt-metal fusion that has been going on in post-'80s metal, and Maylene & the Sons of Disaster come by it naturally; after all, the band was founded by singer Dallas Taylor, formerly of the Christian screamo/post-hardcore outfit Underoath. And even though III will never be mistaken for any of Underoath's albums, Taylor's in-your-face vocals nonetheless reflect his screamo/post-hardcore past. Headbangers who hold alternative metal and Southern rock in equally high regard will find III to be a consistently engaging listen.

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