One of the great things about being a reviewer for Metal-Rules.com is exposure to new bands that would otherwise slip under the radar. Thus we have an obligation to bring the same to our readers with new bands that are not on a big label, not getting big push from some PR company etc. Such is the case with this nice surprise from Slovakia in the form of Vindex. The band has been around for almost 7 years now and NO MIDDLE GROUND is their first for the Slovakian label Street Production. Their previous release, POWER FORGE, was from 2005. The style of metal found on NO MIDDLE GROUND is something fans of Grave Digger and Accept will love right away, especially for the vocal style.
“Read the Stars” opens the album with more of a Grave Digger speedy power metal feel. This is not typical of the album as most material is mid-paced headbanging fist pumpers. A slower crunchy track, the album’s title track, “No Middle Ground”, follows. This is more in the traditional metal Accept vein. The opening riffs of this one are great – very classic heavy metal. The double time feel at the beginning of the chorus is another bright spot on the song. A big classic 80’s metal riff opens “Truth Will Out”. Sections like that are what grabbed my attention on first listen through the CD. The double kicking power metal feel returns with the beginning of “Trigger Your Fantasy” followed by a cool guitar harmony section and then some galloping riffing. The vocals are noticeably doubled in the chorus on this one. The backing voice is a bit weird sounding and didn’t add much to the song for me. That said, this is still one of the stronger songs of the CD. “Evermore” is another of the albums speedier songs, although it’s not executed at all out break-neck speed. “The Crossroads” starts out with a Yngwie-like neo-classical riffing feel. This melody/riff section is repeated later in the song and stands out for me as does the song’s bass solo…very cool! Right now, this is perhaps my favorite track on the album due to it’s musicianship. A close follow up is the album closer “Gloria” which again has nods to Grave Digger and Maiden. The riffing is busy and the song features one of the more memorable chorus sections on the album.
The only song on here I do not like is “Fools Don’t Change”. The pop-metal feel and keyboards on this one ruin it. This is not the bands strong point and songs like this do not belong on the album.
Even though Vindex are not re-writing the book of heavy metal, they’ve studied it well. The band should have no problem winning over fans of classic heavy metal and fans of bands like Grave Digger, Accept, and Saxon. If that is something you’re interested in, you’d do well to check out Vindex right away!
No Videos Available