Good day all,
I will be on a mini vacation this week so I will be posting a couple of reviews I wrote for METAL BUZZ in case you missed them. Please make sure you visit http://metalbuzz.net/site/ where you may see some things from me that you normally wouldn’t see here. Nevertheless, enjoy!
Striker: Armed To The Teeth (Napalm)
Dust Bolt: Violent Demolition (Napalm)
When deciding on what I would review from this week’s list of new releases (which was very small) two releases stuck out to me; the first one Striker’s Armed to the Teeth and the second is a debut by the German thrashers Dust Bolt Violent Demolition. Let’s talk about them shall we?
One of the issues I always have is being able to review an album and not instantly compare it to the metal of my younger years when arguably the best metal was being created. There has definitely been a lot of really great metal music created in the past few years, but what was done in the 70’s, 80’s, and early to mid 90’s is going to be hard to top no matter who you are. Sure Anthrax’s Worship Music is a great album but is it really better than Among the Living? I don’t think so, that album really landed Anthrax in the pantheon of thrash and for as great as the new album is, it just isn’t as good as ATL, but damn close. Similarly the two albums I talk about here are really good albums, Striker’s for sure is a great album from start to finish and Dust Bolt’s debut harkens back to the glory days of German thrash, but again it is hard for me not to compare them to the past. However, a great thing about that is being able to recognize the influences of the new bands that are around today and enjoy that side of what they are doing. Whether intentional or not there are obvious influences in both of these albums and that makes it easier for me to convey their sound and strengths to you, all of my readers!
First, Striker’s latest release Armed to the Teeth, what I like about Striker and this new album is they have significantly progressed as a band since their previous release and it really shows on this strong power metal album. The cohesiveness of this band is evident in every note, solo and the solid and dependable time of the rhythm section of this band. Every song on this album is strong and thankfully they went with straight power from beginning to end. Some of the more stand out songs on this album are the opening track “Forever”, the mid-tempo crushers of “Fight for Your Life”, “Wolf Gang”, and “Can’t Stop the Rush”. Overall this album is full of excellent songs that should be enjoyed by anyone who is a fan of real power metal (and not the kind with keyboards and flutes and fairies singing).
The obvious influences on this album come from some of the other power metal giants like Riot, Wolf, and some of the older bands like Banshee and Accept. The Accept linkage shouldn’t be all that surprising as Michael Wagner is the producer of this album. Wagner was the producer of some of Accept’s bigger albums in the 80’s and Wagner’s power metal experience obviously helped guide Striker into a proper power metal album. Much like the latest Accept albums the general rawness of this album is obvious and the production is just raw enough to leave some grit on the table and not be over compressed like we sometimes see with today’s technology. The most interesting thing as well as the most telling thing about this release from Striker is that the first single for the album “Let it Burn” is probably the weakest song in the mix and it is a really good song, and that should tell you something.
Dust Bolt’s debut album Violent Demolition also is a strong release from this German thrash band. But I can tell you while I listen to this album I spend a lot of time picking out the influences that this band is emulating on this album. There are the obvious songs that harkens back to Kreator and Destruction, mainly the opening track “Opulence Contaminated” and “Violent Abolition” whose song title could have been taken directly from a Kreator album. The song “Deviance” is a strong song with a catchy rhythm to it but when I hear it I instantly think on Metallica’s “Master of Puppets” or “Creeping Death” again, not a bad thing but definitely there. Overall I think this is a strong debut for this band. Strong Teutonic Thrash with tight playing within the group and vocals that lend to the strengths of the rest of the band. Be forewarned though that the vocals are basically clean so if you are looking for the grunting and screaming this is not the album for you. This album doesn’t break any new ground as a matter of fact it digs up old ground in the thrash arena but it is certainly worth a listen and it is an excellent album for those of us into “old school” thrash.
Song of the Day: http://youtu.be/qDqWWtqMoW4
Until Later, Peace!