Type: CD Company: High Roller Release: 2015 Genre: Traditional Reviewer: Greg Watson Published: 1/15/2016
Piping hot slab of old school metal served up with plenty of soul
Sweden's Ambush chose a name that is very appropriate. For those metalheads who aren't familiar with them, myself included, once you get an earful it's like a full on ambush of the best kind. "Desecrator" is the band's second album and these Swedes are certainly not suffering the sophomore slump. Packed full with tasty riffs, delicious vocals and harmonies, and solid, well-crafted songs, "Desecrator" is a piping hot slab of old school metal served up with plenty of soul. Having a sound that ranges from Accept to Maiden, Ambush has crafted one hell of an album here. The guitars have enough pace and gallop to fuel an army of stallions running free in the wild. Singer Oskar Jacobsson has a voice that could shatter glass and signal a bombing run without even batting an eye. His voice is one of the strongest, cleanest and most powerful I've heard recently and he wields it with ferocity, grace and a keen skill. Tracks like "Possessed by Evil", "Desecrator" and "Faster" show off his ability to soar into the clouds while songs like "Southstreet Brotherhood", "Masters of the Seas" and "The Seventh Seal" showcase his subtler, yet equally powerful singing. Musically, "Desecrator" is an album that pays homage to the roots of traditional metal while throwing in a bit of thrash just to sweeten the pot a little. Tracks like "The Chain Reaction", "Faster" and "Night of the Defilers" could easily have been written by Priest or Maiden and possess the same panache and wonderment that make those bands so classic. Even more impressive is the quality of the songwriting and the tenaciousness with which each song assaults your ears and buries itself into your brain like a burrowing insect. "The Chain Reaction", "Master of the Seas" and "Possessed by Evil" are hands down my favorite tracks on the album as I find myself singing them constantly. But I challenge you to listen to this album and tell me that afterwards not one song was stuck in your head. Add in sterling production that produces the sound that ties this all up in a monstrously metal bow and you have an album that should definitely have this band becoming a much better known entity. With only 9 songs on the album, Ambush have given everyone an album that can be played straight through without any skipping. It is incredibly satisfying yet still leaves you craving even more. I'm anxious to keep an eye on these guys and await with anticipation what the future will bring for this incredibly talented band!
About this Writer: Greg Watson // Greg Watson has been hooked on the loud and heavy sounds since the summer of 1994 when he first heard the opening notes of "Operation: Mindcrime" by Queensryche. Since then his tastes have expanded and grown like the ever evolving heavy metal tree of genres. He has been an active member of Maximum Metal off and on for 10 years. In his spare time, Greg enjoys deciding the fate of his loyal subjects in the realm of Skyrim and secretly playing air keyboard to "Separate Ways" by Journey when no one is watching. He currently resides in Roanoke, VA with his wife and his metal wannabe beagle.
Maximum Metal Rating Legend - Click for Full Details