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Mean Streak
Declaration Of War

Company: Black Lodge
Release: 2011
Genre: Power
Reviewer: EC

  • Matured and grown with their formula



  • I can honestly say that I wasn't terribly impressed with Mean Streak's debut last year. That record just fell well short of the mark, a high rung indeed considering the influx in Swedish talent. While the debut had some good vocals, decent production and a glossy packaging the end result was just par for the course. Mean Streak apparently felt the same way.

    These Swedes went back to the boards, recruiting new guitarists Patrik Gardbert (Solution 45) and David Anderson (Soilwork). This is a huge step in the right direction as this duo has perfect timing, a steadfast buffet of excellent grooves, Accept's thundering guitar and once again great production. "Declaration Of War" is a continuation of Mean Streak's classy power metal sound evident on the debut but it does more with songwriting and melodies.

    Fans of heavier Swedish power should roll with this. Easily newer acts like Savage Messiah, Lecher and Bloodbound come to mind with this sort of bombastic sound. I love the retro writing on "In For The Kill" with its perfect Sinner/Accept styled chorus. A lot of the songs on this album have that larger than life 80s chorus, a gang-like chant that was the trademark of those German bands. The title track opener has a similar feel to modern Saxon, modern production values tied to that true tradition. The really interesting facet for me was the slight experimentation, evident with the strong epic "The Oblation", a neat track with some spoken parts and "marching battle" drums.

    With a great cover, efficient songs and the recent spin on Bruce Dickinson's radio show Mean Streak are indeed riding a hot streak. These guys have matured and grown with their formula. This is polished heavy metal class that should become relevant in a crowded scene. Hats off to the guys for employing a change leading to improvement overall.


    About this Writer:
    Eric Compton // Eric Compton lives in the most haunted city in the world, St. Augustine, Florida with his family and two yorkies. He has served as senior editor for MaximumMetal.com for nearly 10 years and is the author of the heavy metal book series--Denim & Letters. His reviews, interviews and social commentary has been featured on websites like Brave Words, Blabbermouth, Metal Temple, Metal Rules, Ultimate Metal, Metal Maniacs and Wikipedia.

    Maximum Metal Rating Legend - Click for Full Details
    5 Excellent - Buy it and say a prayer to the metal gods that you were tuned on to this masterpiece. A classic.
    4-4.5 Great - Almost perfect records but there's probably a clunker or a lacking somewhere to keep it from perfection. You won't feel bad about dropping some bones on these.
    3.5 Good - Most of the record is good, but there may be some filler. This is the OK range where you'd search for the record on sale or used.
    3 Average - Some good songs, some bad ones at about a half/half ratio. Could show skills but be dull overall. Redeeming qualities for indy bands are effort and passion. Majors that don't try or suck outright end up here.
    2-2.5 Fair - Worth a listen, but best obtained by collectors. There is much better metal out there.
    1-1.5 Bad - Major problems with music, lyrics, production, etc.
    0 Terrible or an otherwise waste of your life and time.

    Note: Reviews are graded from 0-5, anything higher or not showing is from our old style. Scores, however, do not reveal the important features. The written review that accompanies the ratings is the best source of information regarding the music on our site. Reviewing is opinionated, not a qualitative science, so scores are personal to the reviewer and could reflect anything from being technically brilliant to gloriously cheesy fun.

    Demos and independent releases get some slack since the bands are often spent broke supporting themselves and trying to improve. Major releases usually have big financial backing, so they may be judged by a heavier hand. All scores can be eventually adjusted up or down by comparison of subsequent releases by the same band. We attempt to keep biases out of reviews and be advocates of the consumer without the undo influence of any band, label, management, promoter, etc.

    The best way to determine how much you may like certain music is to listen to it yourself.



    ALL FULL REVIEWS FOR: MEAN STREAK
    CD
    TITLE BAND
    DOR
    REVIEWER DATE
    Declaration Of WarMean Streak
    2011
    Eric Compton7/14/2011


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