Released: 2013, Steel Cartel
I’m a big fan of super-groups and all-star projects. Conventional wisdom in the metal community (at least in my experience talking to people) that super-groups rarely leave up to the hype and often the strength of the parts does not always translate into a good group. Well, I tend to like these types of bands to hear how various members play and interact in a new scenario and an individuals preference for these type of band may depend on who is in the band. Well in the case of Death Dealer I’m pleased to report the band is as strong as the individual players.
I know it is dull way to start a review by explaining who the various members in Death Dealer are but it is a necessary evil. Sean Peck (vocals, Cage) and Stu Marshall (guitar, Empires of Eden) joined forces and recruited Mike Davis (ex-Lizzy Borden, Halford) on bass. A pair of heavy-hitters, in the form of ex-Manowar members, Ross The Boss (guitar) and Rhino (drums), fill out the ranks. That line-up should be enough for you to go buy it. In fact, I could pretty much just end the review right here.
WAR MASTER present ten cuts of Metal so flawless and true you would have to have a PhD in Metallurgy to detect any impurity. From the ultra-sonic opening screams of the opening cut, to the relentless double-kick attack of Rhino to riffs stacked up to the sky, this album is as about Metal as you can get. That does not mean there are no dynamics however. ‘Children Of Flames’, starts with a brooding atmospheric introduction with some acoustic guitar and a subdued vocal line from Peck and even a bit of whistling! The song maintains a slower tempo and great feel as it increases in tempo and intensity. The album has it all fast songs, anthemic pounders, and tons of top-notch individual performances. Ross and Stu compliment each other nicely with tons of blazing solos to be heard. There are some super-catchy parts come chorus time as well, like ‘Hammer Down’. The production is clear and loud and the lyrics are classic Metal fare of rebellion, defiance, aggression and power without falling into crudity or cliché. Peck delivers the lyrics punctuated by mighty screams all over the album. This guys voice keep getting better and better If Jorn Lande is being hailed as the new Dio, Peck is surely the new Halford.
To my ears, this is what I really look for in my Metal, that’s why WAR MASTER gets top marks. I recently had the pleasure of speaking with Sean Peck and he reinforces the fact that this is a band, not some photo-shopped project created by a label. Watch for Death Dealer to play in the US, Europe and Japan in the future but until then pick up WAR MASTER and enter the war!