Predator Of The Empire
5/2/2003 - Review by: Eric Compton
Steel Attack - Predator Of The Empire - reviewed by: EC
My biggest fault of the band thus far has been the dissapointing vocals, and apparently that was a concern of the band as well. With this third release the band welcomes new front man Dick Johnson to the fold. Johnson brings a much more mature vocal sound to the band, almost sounding like a neo-classical singer, hitting all the highs and lows just fine. Needless to say this vocal improvement polishes the band's sound and completes a Steel Attack lineup that could very well be the new leaders of the German power scene.
Tracks like "Cursed Land" and "The Darkness" sound light years better with Johnson on the stick, with the music not changing drastically from the prior albums. Fans of the Steel Attack sound will consume other songs such as "Point Of No Return", "Heavy Metal God", and the "The Holy Sign", which all mix Running Wild's complex riffing with Helloween's gallop.
What really stands out here is the unique "tightness" of the group, playing full scale power metal assaults with the strings, but laying down heavy groove based licks as well, almost sounding like Pantera at times. Not alot of bands are mixing this style together, although Iron Fire has mastered this technique on their "Over The Edge" album. This hybrid sound almost reminds me of the flashy Gothenburg sound, which mixes heaviness with the melody of Thin Lizzy or Helloween.
Predator Of The Empire is an absolute improvement all around, and I wish the band much success in the future. I think with this release Steel Attack has firmly established that they are waiting to take the torch from older bands like Grave Digger, Helloween, and Running Wild.
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