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Twinball - Slave - 2006 - Spiritual Beast

Track Listing
1. Freak Of Nature
2. Never Alive
3. Heroes
4. Slave
5. Rain
6. Puppets
7. Faces
8. Mockingbird
9. Burn
10. Sorrow
11. Blind My Eyes
12. Promises (Japan bonus track)
Who says downloading is a terrible thing? If it wasn't for downloading who the Hell would even discover some of these talented metal bands that are basically untapped resources for even the smaller labels? Case in point is Twinball. Terrible album cover. A label that is overpriced and has poor distribution. A band that I have never heard in four plus years of reviewing music and fourteen years of collecting obscure metal from around the world. Downloading is basically the only chance that anyone will even discover this band. Sure I haven't paid them a penny, but word of mouth should do plenty for a band in this sort of predicament. What is Twinball? A damn fine melodic rock band that should be sitting on the top of the global modern rock charts.

The band is a Swedish outfit sporting their newest record, a sophomore effort entitled "Slave". The band originally started as a Thin Lizzy cover band known as Bad Reputation. In 2002 the group released their debut album, "Remnants Of A Broken Soul", on Sweden Rock Records. Those of you who enjoy the likes of Winger, Pink Cream 69, and Fozzy should find plenty of freedom with "Slave", an album that is soaked in twin guitar melody, ascending leads, and one fantastic vocalist in Daniel Samuelsson.

From the opener, "Freak Of Nature", the band just explodes with melody, working in some uplifting vocal patterns while entwining it with fantastic leads and smooth twin guitar. Vocalist Samuelsson reminds me of Fozzy's Chris Jericho here, with a great vocal tone that is perfect for these super clean, polished tracks. "Never Alive" fits in a huge Sabbath styled groove before slowing down to a more laid back song that is reminiscent of Andi Deris' (Helloween) solo records. The track has a great mid-tempo groove that has a rather addictive hook, perfect for mixing up the softer passages with a bit of metallic ringing. "Heroes" works in that same style as well, an effective ballad that is penned about the current situation in the Middle East (see Winger "IV"). The title cut reminds me of "Jar Of Flies" era Alice In Chains with a bit more heaviness in the Godsmack vein. "Rain" and "Puppets" ring true with a solid heavy metal backbone, complete with that addictive hook that makes this band so radio friendly at times. "Blind My Eyes" is pure Van Halen, a strong, ripping cut that reminds me of Halen's "Unchained".

There you have it, a fantastic melodic rock offering that isn't your wimpy AOR or your average run of the mill modern rock flavor. The band is really a new, fresh sound in today's market. Samuelsson really does have a Chris Jericho feel, but at times he reminds me of Pink Cream 69's David Readman, with his high voice similar to Warrant's Jani Lane. The whole album works perfectly and is really the record that I wanted out of the disappointing Soul Sirkus record. Look out for Twinball and if you can pick this one up it is worth $15 for sure! Also, if anyone has heard the first record from these guys drop me a line and let me know how it is.

--EC 1.20.07

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 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.

Eric Compton2/1/2007


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