(By Pat ‘Riot’ Whitaker, Lead Journalist/Writer, RiffRelevant.com)
The heavy metal scene, underground, community, or whatever term you prefer, continually astounds me.
I say that even after nearly 40 years entrenched within it on some level or another, be it from fan to aficionado and beyond. Sometimes that astounding amazement is good, sometimes it is not. Where we find ourselves today is somewhere right in the middle.
I say that because what we have here is somewhat of a quandary (at least for me) and it is one bound to the début album from Chicago’s Professor Emeritus. It is titled “Take Me To The Gallows” and it was just recently dropped via No Remorse Records and, getting more to the point, it is powerfully freaking fantastic!
That’s where this modicum of a “dilemma” comes in for me, because I don’t fathom how metal heads everywhere aren’t raving about this opus. Sure, there are some reviews beginning to break the surface (duh!) and maybe it is one of the two things – 1. The album is new and the word is just getting out. 2. Some people really have no clue what killer fucking heavy metal is – To be honest, I am leaning more toward option two because this is an ongoing conundrum for me and the music-loving masses as it is.
What the quintet of MP Papai (vocals), Lee Smith (guitar), Tyler Antram (guitar), Jose Salazar (bass) and Rüsty Glöckle (drums), aka Professor Emeritus, are or have done here, is nothing short of incredible to me. These guys have hammered out a damned near-perfect début consisting of enthralling doom, heavy melodic rock and prime power metal.
Seven songs of the sort only spawned by years of worshiping at the altars of such bands from the old school like Judas Priest, to the more contemporary ala Solitude Aeturnus or Iced Earth. That is impacted into every note and nuance of these epic songs, each one containing diverse explorations of tempo-significant time alterations.
In layman’s terms, these songs pull you through a plethora of musical twists and turns, all while varying the energy propelling them. You truly feel the power of this power metal, and it is great and grand indeed. This is all while the amazing vocals deliver, and deliver again and again, with soaring emotion and striking resonance. You have to experience this heavy metal, my friends, and in doing so, I believe you will come to understand the profundity of my words here.
There is no cherry-picking this song or spotlighting this track or the other, no. I suggest one set the conditions necessary is to sit down, devoid of any possible distractions, and delve into Professor Emeritus‘ “Take Me To The Gallows” from the start. Do such and I firmly, faithfully, and fearlessly feel you shall become a fan of the band and their début, almost instantaneously.
Put my claims to the test as soon as you can and see where you stand. In the process, you too may come to feel the confusion and frustration that I do at the true injustice of the musical realm, one where crap bands like (insert fecal-like band) are showered in reverence, while a truly deserving one are not so much. But whatever, this record kicks ass and I know it. Now learn it for yourself.