Wind Wraith - Minions of metal 3.5/5

Reviewed: 9-29-06





Tracklist:

1. Minions of metal
2. Eternal void
3. Nightmares
4. Lake of time
5. Behind the iron mask
6. Stranger in the sky
7. The fallen one
8. Road to glory
9. Bloodbath
10. The Devil's path
11. Let the blood run red


You know a band wants to take you old-school metal when the CD begins with the sound of needle hitting a vinyl record, and ends with an excellent cover of Thor's "Let the blood run red" (although, admittedly, that band always struck me as crossing the joke side of the line that Manowar walked on the other side.)

This CD is the 2nd release (although their first CD was re-recorded) is very straightforward, direct, U.S. styled heavy metal in the vein of Dio, Metal Church, and Accept. The songwriting is especially "direct", aka, simple, in terms of most of the choruses being "Title x 4", but are effective and pretty good within this range. The songs grow on you pretty easily, and this becomes a CD that is quite accessible to sit and enjoy without really struggling to get into the lyrics or songs. It's somewhat of the U.S. equivalent of the evolved Tad Morose/Nocturnal Rites sound and feeling, carrying a bit of that era of Tony Martin Sabbath, even Manowar without the same level of epic majesty. Musically, for instance, songs like "Nightmares" are similar to Manowar's "Return of the warlord" style, while "Behind the iron mask" blasts you with an uptempo beginning reminiscent of Metal Church's "Nightmares" and similar tracks.

Vocalist Scott Oliva is one of the leather lunged, mid-range singers, somewhat reminscent of Tim Aymar (Pharaoh, Control Denied), and the music itself reminds me of the style of one of his earlier projects, Psycho Scream. The guitars and rhythm section are all quite strong, coming together in a tight, focused, straightforward U.S. metal platter. The lyrics are somewhat the equivalent of the music, typical metal subject matter, delivered nicely but without a tremendous amount of detail or depth. The CD features pretty solid production (although a strangely low volume).

Overall, this is nothing totally original (although, as years and hundreds of releases past, let's face it, almost nothing is), nor does it aspire to the most complex in the U.S. style. But for those looking for very high quality, memorable, extremely straightforward U.S. metal that is definitely "pick-up-and-play", you should really enjoy this release.



CRAIG




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