ALCOHOLIC ALLIANCE DISCIPLES is one of those bands that make you imagine all members have a beard. And I mean that in a good way! “Prayers For Snakes” is the Italian shredders’ first full length album, and only their second release overall, following the 2009 self-titled EP. “PRAYERS FOR SNAKES” was mixed and mastered by Marco Angioni at Death Island Studio (DK), and last I’ve heard ALCOHOLIC ALLIANCE DISCIPLES was still looking for a label in order to publish and distribute.

ALCOHOLIC ALLIANCE DISCIPLES will send you through the heaviest, sometimes corniest, darkest moments of 90’s Rock and Metal memories. Back when the world was overrun by grunge attire, Kobain copycats, Dimebag enthusiasts and far too many metal-gone-country records (you know who I am talking about); Listening to AAD is a bit like sifting through the grooviest eras of giants like BLACK SABBATH, METALLICA, PANTERA, DOWN and MACHINE-HEAD. I hardly mean any of this as a negative influence or a bad outcome, I actually think it’s refreshing to hear a band revive a style so truthfully and poetic. Point is, I am all fed up with Groove Metal but these guys pull it off perfect. There’s also a strong southern-rock vibe and a massive, thick sound that wraps it all together.

The song writing is super tight and the entire album oozes with swagger and style. With that in mind, it should surprise no one that a band so heavily influenced by some of the most rehashed sub-genres in the rock world brings very little in terms of “freshness” and almost none of it is unique. Having said that, the album is still really well written and if in the mood for a heavy, mean, catchy listen, “Prayers For Snakes” will hit you like a ton of fun smashing through your forehead.

The bands’ musical skills are near perfect (within the Southern Rock / Groove Metal realm, that is) and the musicianship does come off real tight and polished. The vocals are good and match perfectly with the drunken, cowboy-gone-Metalheads atmosphere, delivering a very solid performance. The drumming is relentless, pounding and has a great fat sound; Guitar work is effective and most riffs on the album are good and interesting. I could live without some of the pinch harmonics – Zakk Wylde-style, that I thought were too frequent, but that’s just me.

The album opens with “Seven Days And Seven Nights”, not a bad song by any means, and though I enjoyed the last half of it tremendously, the first 3:30 minutes didn’t manage to construct any significant tension in dire need of resolution nor deliver enough attention grabbing moments. Just ok, heavy riffs. ”With All My Strength” is a real heavy coaster ride and has one of the most delicious solos on the album. “Voodoo Night” is another banger with extremely catchy riffs, a strong hook and a nasty bass lick right at the end. “Inner Fight” starts rough and heavy then mellows down to a smoother mid paced section with a rich, melodic solo (perhaps the best on the album), Slowly drawing back the heaviness as speed returns for a vicious, almost thrashy ending.

The artwork is killer, blending comic like snakes, skulls, cowboys (there’s even a Lemmy-looking dude all over the place!), demons, ladies, naked demon-ladies, you name it. A lot of it reminded me of the fabulous artwork on ROB ZOMBIE’s “Hellbilly Deluxe”, and it’s just as bad-ass looking and engaging.

Overall, If ALCOHOLIC ALLIANCE DISCIPLES will stick around long enough, I’m sure the right crowds will find them and the band can and should be blessed with the proper popularity. If you’re reading this yet still decide to pass, you’re missing out on something real, real fun.

Songwriting:  9
Musicianship:  8
Memorability:  8
Production:  8

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