Thursday, February 18, 2010

Gravestone - Back to Attack (Scratch Records, 1985)

Heavy Metal
Year: 1985
Country: Germany

1.I Love the Night03:55
2.The Tiger05:10
3.Back to Attack03:49
4.Break Out06:18
5.Just a Minuette01:07
6.Won't Stop Rocking03:57
7.Dirty Tales04:28
9.You Are the Sun04:08
Total playing time37:51
What better way to introduce myself then to review an album that's right up my alley, cheesy 80s heavy metal from Germany!

The band has released 5 albums between it's humble beginnings in 1977 and it's ending as another metal victim from the '90s. The first two albums are not metal, but progressive rock and are not even mentioned by the band itself anymore. I am not familiar with those lp's, but this might be something Maarten can give a review of in a distant future?
Anyways, of the three albums that mattered their best effort is this cheese-fest "Back To Attack". With songs like 'Won't stop rocking', 'I love the night' (click to listen on youtube) and 'Dirty Tales' you might suspect that this is nothing more then one of those uninspired hair metal bands that where getting a lot of attention back then, well think again, not only does this have balls, it's a German traditional heavy metal band that is not just an "Accept' clone (a real shocker).

The vocals, by Berti Majdan, are not in the raspy, heavy style that one might expect, instead it could be compared to Klaus Meine of Scorpions fame. Don't worry, you will still be able to tell the difference between the two singers, Majdan sometimes shows a NWOBHM influence and gives us a scream (as in 'back to attack') that gives the songs that extra edge that it needed. And considering it's well worth mentioning that he does not have any irritating accent.

The production is more or less what you can expect, subpar to todays standarts but not diminishing the experience.
The music itself is a mix between melodic and speedy, energetic metal. Think USA counterparts Sound Barrier but with a more raw edge, of course there are parallels with bands like Accept, Scorpions and Sinner, but unlike those bands this is one band that tried but never got out of the underground.
The songs are more or less of the same value, without really any filler tracks. A special mention for the song 'Break out' where the band has the balls to get away from the given path and tackles on a slower song that really works. All in all a top notch Teutonic metal album that is recommended for the old-school metal fan.

But let's be honest, you knew whether or not you where gonna like it from the first look on the -in my opinion- awesome traditional cover art.



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