Released: 2010, EmanesMETAL Records
Reviewer: Luxi Lahtinen
Gang started out in 1990 under the Gush X moniker (the name was later changed to Gang in 1993). This French metal band has come a long way since their days of punk-ish and core-ish influenced heavy metal – recording 4 full-length albums altogether between 1993-2007.
With their 5th album in order, simply and logically titled as V, Gang also celebrates their 20 anniversary, making this album even more meaningful to them based on that thought. This 10-track effort is actually a surprisingly balanced effort from this French group, in which the band mixes pure and straightforward old school heavy metal with some occasional thrash influences. Gang does their thing well – sounding like a band that makes you want to see them live. The band doesn't really surprise its listener any other way but sounding charged, very energized and ready to entertain you the best way they possibly can - with a good load of straightforward and catchy heavy metal songs that they have managed to gather for V. In fact, I could say that they play the kind of US-flavored heavy/thrash/pre-power metal metal (Marshall Law, Griffin, Helstar and the like) that was churned out back in the late ´80s, and in which a good and skilled vocalist´s role became an integral and important part of the band in order to stand out from the masses. Gang has got one; Bill has a good voice, being able to use his voice from more harsh and mean sounding vocal parts to very melodic type of singing (check out “Kill Me”), accompanied by high-pitched screams here and there. You might want to check “Sacrifice” out for some of those high-pitched scream work of the Bill-dude.
In my opinion the band sounds at their best whenever they decide to take a ride on more thrash-orientated territories. The testosterone-filled riffing, added with lightly Mr. Mustaine type of vocals in “Into the Silence of the Sea” brought – surprise, surprise, Megadeth to my mind in some peculiar way. And who wouldn´t love those Priest-influences in “Believer/Betrayer”. The song sounds like the Priest- camp in steroids.
V is a successful attempt from this French metal band Gang to celebrate their 20 years anniversary for what it is (honest and well played heavy metal, with some thrash mixed in), and I believe this stuff will find quite a lot takers for sure.