How time flies. Yet again, it's time for this column to appear. Fortunately, I am perfectly supplied with plenty of review material.
An aside, if you have a funny bone you need to scratch check out Yiddish Wonderland on iTunes.
Holy Grail: Crisis in Utopia
This album is very Germanic, thrash-tinged metal, and has quite a bit in common with 80s vintage metal. The lead vocalist has a habit of screeching on the high notes rather than singing, but that does not distract from the music as much as it could. We are very spoiled in metal circles these days with a whole bunch of damn good singers. Three of the members of this band were in White Wizzard.
They are LA metallers who seem to combine a touch of the 80s LA scene with European metal. It’s a bit more WASP than power metal, but good fun nonetheless. I hear quite a bit of Accept in these guys.
There is no hint of modern metal on this release. It might be new wave of metal, but its feet are firmly in old school. Considering they were former members of WW, that isn't a shock. WW peddle a similar sort of unabashed throwback metal.
This a decent release, that shows a great deal of promise on tracks like “Fight to Kill”. It’s a track with all the fist-raising drive that you would expect. Tracks like that make it pretty obvious why the band ended up on the stage at this year’s Wacken festival in Germany.
This is most Germanic, LA metal you will ever hear. A band to keep an eye, and it's clear why quite a few in the metal community are anticipating this release.
Iron Fire: Metalmorphosized
What first strikes you with this release is the rather cheesy name of the album. It reminds me of the metal veteran of some of those awful also-ran metal bands of the late 80s. Baring that, Manowar in their “leaner” years is a good comparison. In fact, this is just German metal done rather well. The vocalist is what gives the band a slightly different take on the genre, he sounds like a metal Bon Jovi.
There are also some death grunts popping up every so often.
All the stalwart elements are on here, including blast-beat drumming and that wonderful clop-clop sound so often found in these bands. That is not to say this a bad album at all, it's just not exactly ground-breaking in any way. It's pleasant enough, but none of the tracks reach out to grab the listener in any significant way. It has no lasting power. It's all a bit of “meh,” which really is a shame.