Company: Slaney Records Release: 2015 Genre: Thrash Reviewer: Greg Watson
Chock full of meaty riffs
North Carolina's Prowler have been been churning out their brand of blood spattered, horror tinged metal for about 5 years or so. Their second album "From the Shadows", or first depending on how you view 2013's "After You", continues to offer up some really good horror metal. Continuing their trend of utilizing horror movies for their lyrical themes, "Shadows" rips and slashes its way through eight solid tracks of theatrical thrash. Zombies, werewolves, vampires, demonic cars, vengeful ghosts, and resurrected pets are just some of the ghouls that you'll encounter on this album. One of the things that I find incredibly fascinating about this band is how perfectly they utilize the sound bites and snippets from the actual movies to enhance and contribute to the songs. A perfect example is "Out of the Fog". Referencing John Carpenter's phenomenal "The Fog", the song not only utilizes some sound clips from the movie but also uses the main theme music as part of the chorus. It's just absolutely crazy how perfect it all works together.
Musically the band have a late 80's/early 90's thrash sound to them with a bit of a Metallica style vocal delivery. Chock full of meaty riffs ripe for the rending, you find yourself bobbing your head along to almost every track on the album and pumping your fist in pure metal joy at songs like "Return to the Lot", "Out of the Fog", and "Creature Of The Black". The one hiccup on the album for me is the cover of The Ramones' "Pet Sematary". While it's cool having Jud Crandall's sound in the song, the version itself is just too slowed down and far less punky than the original and seems out of place a bit on this album. Kudos to the band for putting their own spin on it, but I just wasn't feeling this version.
The standout track for me though was a really tough one to figure out. In the end, it's a two way tie between "Out of the Fog" and "Creature of the Black". With "Creature of the Black", I have a soft spot for this monster because he's based off of a creature from H.P. Lovecraft, who is my all time favorite author. However, in addition to my love for the monster, this song is just incredibly well done from start to finish. The main riff in this track is just so easy to bang your head to.
All in all, "From the Shadows" is another solid offering from Prowler. While not as heavy as "After You", the album is a fun ride of thrash and theatrical additions that make it an easy album to listen to. I am definitely a fan of this band and anxiously await to see what is next.
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.
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