by Samuel Barker
June 18, 2000

File Under: New Metal
rating: C-

1. Smother

2. Bones

3. Inside

4. Want

5. D.O.A.

6. Destructive Seeds

7. MJ

8. Recognize

9. Short Fuse

10. 4 Shits & Giggles

11. Mista

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  • Level
  • For those of us who grew up on Metallica, Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, etc., there is a new breed of metal. A hard, charging metal. Fueled by angry screamed vocals, insanely fast drums, hard hitting bass, and a hard chugging guitar, the "new metal" is something to behold. Level, being out of Pittsburgh, seem right on course to being an impressive metal band. Modeling themselves after Korn and Pantera(they most resemble Pantera), Level is all about hard hitting, head baning music that you can't help but rock to. The only thing this band is lacking is a lead guitarist. Don Adrascik is one hell of a rhythm guitarist, he keeps the songs together well, but metal just isn't the same with out a lead or a blazed out solo. The drumming of Adam Hallam is absolutely sick. His drums sound like 100 kids beating on a table. It's so fast, you can barely believe it's one man. There are very strong tracks on the album, and with time, a lead guitarist, and some experience with big name acts, Level could be a great metal band.

    The album starts with "Smother". This is a metal track, complete with the macho cliche lyrics. And it rocks hard. The album is very tight for an independent release. Tightness is key in metal, and this band has it down. My favorite track on the album is "D.O.A.". It's got a nice little intro riff that's very mellow, and sets you up for a very awakening explosion later in the song. All the songs do a great job of keeping you in the groove. "Short Fuse" is also very good. It like the rest of the album keeps to the hard hitting sounds, and Mike Hreczkosiej vocals are as angry and pained as you could want from this band. The album closes with "Mista" which is my least favorite track on the album. It's got a nice sound musically, but the lyrics are kinda lame. But for 11 tracks, Level keeps your head rocking, the music was tight from start to finish.

    The album is being distributed by the band itself, so check out their website to order a copy. If you like bands like Pantera, Slipknot, Korn, or any of the other big label new metal bands, you'll love this DIY metal band out of Pittsburgh. Be sure to check out the site, and let the band know what you think. This is an enjoyable album with all the feel of a great metal band. Be sure to check it out!

    Samuel Barker is Senior Editor. Contact him at

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