Thursday, September 11, 2008

Metal Inquisitor - Doomsday For The Heretic

While Metal Inquisitor is certainly their own band with a certain classic style, I believe it isn't outlandish or without (crystal) logic to say that Doomsday for the Heretic can best be described as a more thrashed and, definitely far more British (shhhh... I know they are German), version of a band that rhymes with "vanilla code" and comes from Kansas. El Rojo's vocal style is definitely reminiscent of Mark Sheltons with a healthy dose of Saxon's Peter Byford's own, anthemic style mixed in.

The tone suits everything that this album is about. The guitars are edgy with lots of treble and mid range, allowing the bass to really fill up the low end audibly. The drums are basic in sounds and in technique. Don't expect blast beats, crazy fast double bass or a four minute long drum solo halfway through the third track.

A lot of the band's sound is a clever reworking of other influential acts. The short acoustic intro immediately reminded me of the intro to Fight Fire With Fire though with a more romantic-era underpinning than Metallica could ever muster although Restricted Agony sounds like a less interesting throw-away song from Kill Em All right down to the Seek and Destroyish "ALRIGHT!." Vocally this one sounds much more like Bobby Blitz on Taking Over than Shelton or Peter Byford leading me to believe that El Rojo seems to still be finding his own style.

Although Thane of Cowder's opening riff reminds me of "Losfer Words" and other parts remind me of the chorus in Blind Guardian's "Don't Break the Circle," I find that the this and the next two songs are the strongest part of this album. Star Chaser - though somewhat Priesty in its naming and even more Halfordesque in its possible connotations) is catchy and easily singable. El Rojo's voice becomes more distinct at times during these songs. Midnight Rider continues with the memorable riffs and Priestisms.

Throughout this album though there is no doubt about what era Metal Inquisitor wished they were in. The entire album reeks of forgotten high tops, patched denim and leather, and mullets. Hell, Metal Inquisitor make me wish I was around during the heyday of metal. The album's title track is one of the best fist pumping and air guitar playing tracks I've heard in a long time. The last song on the album is a CD only track (the LP has an LP only track) with a guitar tone that I would compare to AC/DC on The Razors Edge album.

Now, don't go thinking that this is a modern day, flawless representation of what 80's metal sounded like because this album has its flaws. Infamia is the "epic" twin guitar dueling track on the album and yet, for its memorable melody falls short due to a haphazard structure which rears its ugly form most noticeably in the guitar lead section which, though interesting at first, ends rather sloppily with an awkward transition back into the main song section. Legion of Grey, though the shortest track suffers from the inclusion of a strange instrumental section and Logan's Run has some excellent sections though it could use some lead riff boostage. It has a great chorus and a great solo section but is thin otherwise. The inclusion of a sample mid song doesn't do much for me either.


Edit 2012: This album has become one of my absolute favorite albums and in hindsight this review is not accurate. This album is as close as we've gotten to a modern day classic in most regards. GET THIS AND BUY IT TONIGHT!

No comments: