Kriadiaz, releasing a self-titled album this September, knows what it takes to get notoriety in the metal world - great performances on every instrument. Frenzied guitar riffs, booming drums, and an absolute pounding bass are present in nearly every track on Kriadiaz. And, in what is becoming increasingly rare in this age of hard rock, you can actually understand the lyrics from lead singer Mike Ruz.
Working out of Cleveland, Kriadiaz was formed back in 2010 by Dave Felton. Longtime metal fans probably recognize Felton as the former (and longest tenured) Mushroomhead guitarist from 1999-2012. Joining Felton and Ruz are bassist Bryan Trembly and drummer Emery Ceo. In the press release for the album, Felton boasts that the band didn't use any samples and that Kriadiaz is void of any digital doctoring. To put it simply, the band is focused on good music and good times.
Kriadiaz kicks off with "Bloodline" which interestingly begins with some southern country strumming before becoming loud and heavy. While listening to the band for the first time, the heavy influence of Pantera immediately comes to mind. Being able to sound like one of the most beloved rock acts of all time isn't an easy feat. Felton brings an infectious guitar riff to "Feed The Rats" lifting the track to new heights. Trembly shows his skills on "Wake Us" with some awesome bass. Speaking of Trembly, his work can be heard on much of the album unlike many other rock bands where the bass becomes completely lost in a mess of noise.
The band does conduct a few minor experiments on Kriadiaz, but nothing that ever ruins the main focus of the album. Perhaps blame it on my personal preference, but "10 Lives" is done in a snarl vocal style that I didn't really care for. Most will probably enjoy "Never Down" and the quickening pace of the guitar, but it sticks out amongst all the other work. "St. Louis Combo" is a half minute of more southern guitar plucking we heard earlier on the album. I would love to see if Ruz could add some vocals to a more substantial, subdued guitar piece. Hard rock fans should greatly enjoy Kriadiaz along with fans of Pantera unable to connect with most current bands.