So finally it has happened - a Power Metal band from Ireland! When this little bastard dropped out of the envelope, its bland cover did everything but grab my attention and so it sat there in the review pile for a few days without much notice. Did I get a shock when I hit play... because this cd is absolutely fantastic. It always strikes me as odd how people can talk of this genre and not grasp the fact that more often than not its nomer is more or less a complete fallacy; the usual application being to bands playing sugar sweet riffs and cuddly major scale melodies at a comfortable but not strenuous gallop. This band however have no hesitation in putting the POWER back into POWER METAL. This Drogheda band, hailing from that grim traffic jam capital of the entire world, have got some seriously good shit going down here and you would be an utter fool to pass it by.

It just goes to show that image means nothing, and it is completely unbelievable that the lads purveying this totally Metallik alloy look suspiciously like Indie Blokes. This though, as you will soon discover, is completely irrelevant as this cd just shreds from start to end. Drenched in the heavy metal heroism of the 80s, with great Manowar esque lyrics and a charging pace, this is the cd you need to get you up in the morning. It is amazing and pride stirring to think that this band is from Ireland, and if they keep developing at this rate for a few more years they will be filling festivals all over Europe. Lets look at whats on offer.

The guitars, whilst not being produced wonderfully and being very buzzy, play amazing riffing throughout the whole album. The riffs are exactly what you want, played consistently well and being reasonably inventive too. The drums are totally killer - hammering double bass, nice rolls and touches. And then there's the vocals. Its great to hear someone of local origin try the power metal hystrionics. Whats here is not perfect - indeed they should invest time in refining and honing the practices and techniques needed to do these properly - but they are still ballsy, gutsy and reach some soaring heights. Sometimes you hear that effort of it is a bit too much, and the vocals tremble. Still, the throat that I would most liken this too is the superb Tim Aymar from Control Denied. Go figure.

Influences are all there from the classics - early Metallica, Megadeth, Sodom, Iron Maiden etc etc - but the band also have a few hints of good old Carcass "Heartwork" in there and more recent swedish stuff too. Put in the local context - if Riffmaster General have the finesse and the style, Scavenger have the power and the aggression. It is really really fucking heavy in places - check out the double bass in "Breaking the Chains", or the madcap sodom worship of "Fall Out". All in all this band rips utterly - a self released album, 8 tracks in 34 minutes, a pro and informative web site, and healthy gigging. I havent seen them live, but on the strength of this it is beginning to look like a necessity. Buy it RIGHT NOW and remember where you heard it first.

4.8 / 5 -Ciaran Tracey ::: 04/07/02

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