SOUTHERN FLAME, Whiskey Metal (2007, self-released)
Big ol’ skull looms over a rebel flag motif which itself is placed over a more distant photo of the woods. Everything is green (more the color of absinthe than whiskey) and the skull is stretch on the horizontal so that the dome of the skull is square and the eyes are so wide it almost appears as if the skull’s wearing sunglasses. A lame logo is stamped over the forehead. Ugly as hell cover art, but the skull certainly qualifies as “big” AND “dumb.”
Just looking at the band name, the album title and the cover artwork (and song title “Dang Doe Tango”), I figured this West Virginia band was going to sound a lot like Black Label Society. Sure enough, it does. Take the song “Dixie Metal.” Generic, mid-paced chunka-chunka riffs that have zero personality, with a vocalist that sounds like a totally drunk Phil Anselmo meets Zakk Wylde. It’s like the NOLA sludge sound infused with tons of Lynyrd Skynyrd. Just the kind of junk I will go out of my way to avoid, so…I’m outta here, I cannot take any more Southern Flame. I don’t like whiskey either.
— Friar Wagner