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Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Review: A.Z. - Sweating Bullets

A.Z. - Sweating Bullets
2006, A.Z.

Arab, Alabama’s A.Z. brings a bit of machismo back to heavy rock, creating melt-your face hard rock/metal on their latest album, Sweating Bullets. Led by vocalist/guitarist Clark Walker, A.Z. has made quite a name for themselves touring in the southeast United States, garnering airplay and building their fan base. While Sweating Bullets is nearly four years old, it is an apropos representation of A.Z.’s sound and energy.

Sweating Bullets opens with The Light, a dark and angry mid-tempo rocker built around heavy guitars and a vibrant bass line. Vocalist Clark Walker is believable in his passive anger, alternating between an almost speak/sing style and bouts of screaming. No Help is a song about helplessness sandwiched between heavy, violent guitar work and a nearly lyric chorus with prolific vocal harmonies. This is a great listen in general, although there a couple of spots throughout the song where things become a tad unhinged. Number 2 is wonderfully dark and heavy, whereas Ragged takes on an almost Pop/Metal feel with rap-style lyrics. This is the song most likely to impact at Modern Rock Radio based on current mores. Underrated takes a harder turn, although it does retain an almost Pop feel to the melody/vocal line. A.Z. closes with Kill Regi, recalling Black Album era Metallica crossed with a bit of Alice In Chains.

A.Z. has the heavy part of hard n heavy down pat. Sweating Bullets features vivacious hard rock and inspired energy. The songwriting varies from average to above average. Stage presence is hard to gather from a two-dimensional recording, but A.Z. carries some serious energy into the studio and it comes across on Sweating Bullets. In effect, A.Z. plays hard enough to please the metal fans and lyrically enough to grab the more Pop/Rock oriented folks. Sweating Bullets is a solid introduction to A.Z.

Rating: 3 Stars (Out of 5)

You can learn more about A.Z. at You can purchase Sweating Bullets as either a CD or Download from

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