To many Randy Weitzel is known by the “Blood Legion” fan base of the band In This Moment as “War Machine”. A title he has held “other” guitarist since his joining the band in 2011 for his unique character persona mannerisms and guitar shredding style. Now that, In This Moment has gone on a break, working on a new album scheduled for the fall, Weitzel’s brainchild band Three Thirteen which include, drummer Jimmy Schultz (Soulbleed/SunflowerDead), bassist Elaina Bangma (Soulbeed) and guitarist Steve Marshall (Soulbleed) have released upon the world their third and latest album which was released November 11, 2016 entitled, Dawn of the Shred.
With Weitzel on lead vocal and main guitar duty, fans get to see a side of him they often don’t see, not to mention a sound different from the In This Moment genre. Although the last two albums from Three Thirteen have had a focus and style based off “old school KISS, AC/DC vibe”, Dawn of the Shred as stated by Weitzel himself “is influenced by the first couple of Metallica, Megadeth and Anthrax records…I wanted to do something that old school Metal and Thrash fans would dig….”
What fans will get from the album, Dawn of the Shred is just that one full of some of the most jaw dropping, face melting guitar shredding solos mixed with an undead zombie apocalyptic theme and some outstanding vocal performances.
From the first track “(Welcome to Hell) Devil in the Flesh”, the listener is taken on a journey, a slow guitar ride, spoken electronica words are repeated in the beginning as dueling guitars start to build layering the song while percussion section comes in to make its mark then the track turns to full on Thrash Metal. In comes Weitzel’s vocals that are strong with a slight snarl he truly shows off his expressive chops.
Though the whole album is strong and fierce musically, lyrically and vocally there are a few songs that will sure be fan favorites such as “American Massacre” which turns from speed metal to hard rock at times allowing for some amazing shredding to occur that will leave the listener speechless. Another being “Evilution” with an acoustic dueling guitar entrance that is minimalistic and stunning which leads into a pure Hard Rock song. The ability for Weitzel and company to understand and transition from one genre to another seems to be something they shine at throughout Dawn of the Shred as it is often a common thread in the songs.
A song for the heavier music fans is “Blood Soil”, allowing for a true Metal experience, one cannot help but find the chorus extremely catchy. Perfectly placed and exhibited on the track so that it almost seems as if Weitzel and Three Thirteen wanted the fans to sing along “Blood, Soot, Soil” in unison and continue if mimicked for a live setting makes for a strong outspoken cry.
The album finished off with a strong performance, allowing for Weitzel, Marshall, Bangma and Schulz to show of a steady beginning with an almost haunting unison sound which then turns into a Heavy Metal brigade that brings about the end of the record with more of electronica zombie like tracks and a bomb explosion.
Dawn of the Shred, proves that Three Thirteen has the ability to create a concept like album along with proving the immense talent and diversity each member brings to the table. The past two albums have proven to introduce Three Thirteen to the world, but with this album a new era has come. Weitzel decided to take another path with his love of “cool melody hooks, shredding guitars and topics and horror movies and aliens” into the picture. Showing off a new side of the band musically, proves Weitzel can truly wear numerous musical hats as singer, songwriter, guitar player and concept designer to say the least. Dawn of the Shred is “trash infused metal to eat brains to….”