Faultline presents straight-ahead loud and ballsy rock, period. Born in the still smoldering remnants of the 1980’s Richmond metal scene without the sludge, acid-washed jeans or big hair, Faultline follows the lead of those Reagan-era small bar headbangers without the sleaze rock influence of dormant metalheads. Faultline’s new album Fractured is a no-frills sustained slow-burn combination of new millennium rock delivered in explosive 4-minute bites with snarling lyrics and a high-energy, blazing audio presence, while encompassing what seems to be the band’s trademarks: catchy hooks, fast rhythms and aggressive lead guitar.

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Faultline is fueled by a remarkably talented quintet, including flashy lead guitarist Derek Chittendon backed by stylish rhythm guitarist and background vocalist Jarrod Hoover, Doc Capocelli on an almost surgically controlled bass and unpretentious drummer Jon Ward. Vocalist Damian Allen croons, shouts and growls with uncompromising range, whether it’s the deliberate and sustained howls of the lead song “Contention” or “Way Back Home” to the more controlled melodies of “I.C.”, but then he shows his true pipes in the more subdued “Resentment” and “Your Denial”.

Faultline is a growling but deliberately controlled band that proves that metal rock does not have to come with excessive chugging and screaming baggage. They play unapologetic traditional American rock without any frills or gimmicks, just confident vocals, actual melodic guitar playing and a steady backend beat. The production of Fractured is exceptional, with the talent of the members allowed to shine without gratuitous dubbing or layering. Having the goods, Faultline submits cool, commercial songwriting ability and superior musicianship, destined to be a total package metal group. No tricks, just great music.