Sins And Greed
10/3/2005 - Review by: Vinaya Saksena
Blitzkrieg - Sins And Greed - 2005 - Metal Nation
And true to form, "Sins and Greed" opens with the sound of a train picking up speed, followed by a chugging, staccato riff that mimics said vehicle, until it all finally collides head-on into the exhilarating lead-off tune “Hell Express.” Already, there is a feeling of familiarity here- something utterly predictable, yet utterly welcome. The melodic and upbeat “Standing Still” follows suit, offering another dose of heavy but uplifting and pleasant old-school metal vibes for those who love this sort of thing. From there on, Sins and Greed is a solid, enjoyable, if somewhat inconsistent sort of affair. Basic, but riveting head-banging fare is in no short supply, with aggressive riff-rockers like “Traitor’s Gate,” “Excessive Force” and “Desolation Angel” offering pretty much all an old-school metalhead could ask for in this regard. Unfortunately, the album does occasionally lag in the creativity and catchiness departments, with the vaguely nu-metal flavored “Rise” in particular sounding forced and uninspired.
Having said that, however, I find that there are signs of quality beyond the surface level on this album, particularly with regard to the lyrics and the band’s overall musical skills. Frontman (and lone remaining original member) Brian Ross is pretty much the dominant musical force on the album, using his impressive range and unique, likable vocal inflections to raise these songs above their otherwise average status. His lyrical musings are substantive as well, with subject matter including abuse of power (on the bully-bashing “Excessive Force”) and the need for tolerance (the surprisingly touching ballad “Eyes of the World”), in addition to his penchant for sci-fi and horror movie fare. Behind him, brothers Phil and Paul Brewis prove a competent, but never overly polished rhythm section, while guitarists Paul Nesbitt and Ken Johnson keep the proceedings interesting with their basic, but skillful and enjoyable interplay.
In short, Blitzkrieg remains a reliable and vital force in the world of metal, and "Sins and Greed" is another fine offering from them. Sure there’s nothing particularly earth-shattering here, but in an age of untalented pop posers and bland, uninspiring one-hit wonders, it is somehow comforting to know that a band like Blitzkrieg soldiers on, just doing there thing regardless of what fate may bring.
Note: A couple of cool treats are thrown in at the end of the album. First is a reverent cover of Judas Priest’s legendary “Hell-bent For Leather,” with a riveting vocal performance from Ross. The second is a hidden bonus track, but I won’t tell you what it is. You’ll have to buy it and see for yourself.
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