Step Cousin - Experiments in Sound [Expanded] (2012) Metal Pulse Radio

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This is a very RARE version of this classic album. This is the 2012 remastered and expanded edition limited to 100 copies on Dale Huffman's Shattered Chains Records a Metal Pulse Radio Production.

These copies are signed by the band and individually numbered up to 100. As this was released by Dale Huffman and Metal Pulse Radio it wont be repressed again and it is bitter sweet that we are offering you these last 10 copies for your personal collection.

Act Fast on this one! 

1. Where the Door Leads (3:58)
2. Bitter Reminder (2:23)
3. Slide The Wheel (2:51)
4. To the Grave (3:02)
5. Can't Get Out (3:40)
6. Raised from the Silence (2:24)
7. Despise (2:55)
8. Take It All Away (4:57)
9. You Remain (3:00)
10. I Will Surrender (4:05)
11. Bitter Reminder 2 (2:44)
12. Tribulation (3:40)
13. Fear No Fear (3:41)
14. Prodigal and Swine (3:41)

- Review courtesy of No Life Til Metal 

Step Cousin are a heavy metal band formed by Kelly Matthews (Drums, Bass, Vocals) and Jeff Grady (Guitars) in Missouri, USA. Kelly and Jeff also make up the core of Lordchain. "Experiments in Sound" was the band's first full-length album, originally released in 2000 on the band's own Corduroy Records. The album was only pressed in limited quantities and was nearly impossible to find. Finally in December 2012, the album was remastered and finally re-released on CD with five bonus tracks.

My initial interest in this band stemmed from the fact that they recorded a cover of Vengeance Rising's "Can't Get Out". With that, I had to check out Step Cousin and purchased the original CD pressing of "Experiments" back in the early 2000's. "Experiments in Sound" is more than just the title of this album, it's also a statement of what to expect. For the most part Step Cousin play their own brand of thrash metal fused with a lot of early death metal influences. In fact, at times the band reminds me of early Mortification, so much so in fact that when I first received the CD I checked the liner notes to see if perhaps Steve Rowe was brought in as a guest vocalist for some songs. Several of the songs have that early Mort sound. As a matter of fact, "Raised from the Silence" and "Despise" both could have been recorded by Mortification. However, this band doesn't stick rigidly to this style and throw in plenty of surprises.

Nothing is more of a surprise than a flute solo in the middle of opening track "Where the Door Leads". The song is a mid-paced number with heavy, crunchy guitars and the whimsy flute solo stands in stark contrast. As well, Kelly Matthews doesn't stick to any one style of vocals on this album. While the lion's share of the vocals are of the growled thrash metal variety, there are also clean vocals and even some hardcore-style shouts mixed in. "Slide the Wheel" opens with some clean vocals while "Take It All Away" starts off with guttural death vocals that later morph back into the thrash style then into some clean vocals during the chorus that almost sound out of place in this song. Of course this all falls under the banner of "experiments" in sound. Surprisingly the Vengeance Rising cover stays pretty true to the original. The original album ended with "You Remain", a groove laden track that sounds a bit more like Kelly and Jeff's other band Lordchain.

The 2012 comes with a four page insert and has five bonus tracks. Though the insert isn't fancy, it does feature a song by song commentary by Kelly Matthews. The bonus tracks are a nice addition as well. In particular the heavy mid-paced grind of "I Will Surrender" fits neatly onto this album. The album now ends with a somber acoustic track titled "Prodigal and Swine".