Stallion: From The Dead (High Roller Records)
High Roller Records only deal in one kind of heavy metal, it smells of leather, wears a bandana and high tops and gets played at full volume with riffs faster than a bullet train. High Roller is home of so many traditional metal bands it's difficult to keep up with them as the nature of the genre, as witnessed by the NWOBHM the first time around, does tend to throw out bands that sound very similar. As such Stallion sound like Accept, early Helloween and Running Wild it's German metal at it's most Teutonic, the band hail from Baden-Württemberg in Deutschland and you can hear those influences come through with the razor sharp riffs weaving in and out throughout the drums rarely dropping below 120 bpm and high shrieked vocals shattering glass if played loud. That's really all I can say about this record, listen to Underground Society and the stomping Down And Out and you'll hear all you need to, although I would say Underground Society would have been better at the end of the record. Still if you haven't moved on from 1985 then Stallion will gallop it's way into your heart. 6/10
All 41: The World's Best Hope (Frontiers Records)
Another month another Frontiers Collab, this time it's Giant and Strangeways singer Terry Brock teaming up with Robert Berry (bass & lead vocals) and Gary Pihl (guitar) of Alliance (Pihl also has time served in Boston and with The Red Rocker Sammy Hagar), rounding out the quartet is drummer Mat Starr who has played for Ace Frehley and Mr Big. Just before I get to the record, let me say just how good the band name and album title is All 41 or All-4(four)-1(one) it really got my linguistic sense tingling. Musically the only thing that will be tingling is if you love a total cheese fest from start to finish, I know a certain Mrs H that will love this (sorry Paul) it's saccharine, with dual vocals of Night Ranger, in Berry they have the ideal counterpoint to Brock's soaring vocals. Take the more melodic parts of Mr Big, add a sprinkling of Van Hagar and Foreigner then set it all to laser guided precision musicianship and All 41 are like a good jigsaw puzzle, it may seem a little twee at first but when all the pieces fit the completed project is actually very satisfying. 7/10
Gehtika: The Great Reclamation (Self Released)
Gehtika are a blackend death metal group from Coventry but they state their music has a twist, which anyone who has seen them live will attest to. Similarly to their Italian counterparts Fleshgod Apocalypse Gehtika play a furious, style of death metal that brings intelligent lyricism, with a concept and orchestral touches such as piano and strings to their music meaning that the blastbeating, groove heavy, carnivorous riffs are interrupted by the haunting piano or cello break, Existence Or Oblivion has both and the way they are brought into the song they add to it rather than detract.
This isn't Andrew Lloyd Webber though (or indeed Julian) the metal is still the order of the day, Beneath The Catacombs has drumming Behemoth's Inferno would be proud of, the shredded vocals are brilliant as well strong and Satanic just as they should be. Having release two albums, shared the stage with Fleshgod, Crowbar and Raging Speedhorn, played Bloodstock twice this EP shows exactly why the band have had so much success, it's five songs are a brutal caption of Gehtika's brilliance as a band, support the underground pick this up. 8/10