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Prisoner Of The Mind
July 2010
Released: 2010, Indie
Rating: 3.0/5
Reviewer: JP

Summer is a great time for discovering new music. This month I’d like to introduce our readers to seven newer bands from the province of Alberta, Canada. I’ve asked some local bands of different styles to participate and they all said yes. Western Canada is already well-known in the global scene with veteran bands like Three Inches of Blood, Into Eternity and Divinity and so now we introduce to a crop of promising young hopefuls from Alberta. Feel free to check out the other reviews in this series including Chron Goblin, Derailed, Kobra And The Lotus, Mares Of Thrace, Striker and The Unravelling.

Hellrazer might be the longer standing band of the seven bands in this feature as they had a debut album back in 2007, but they are not an extraordinarily active entity. Some line-up changes, a new look and a new heavier approach distinguish, their second album as an improvement.

I spoke with the band and they suggested that going into the song-writing phase they were in ‘a bit of a Manowar phase’, which is always a good thing! I’m always in a Manowar state of mind and the additional true Metal feel serves the band well. Songs like ‘Metal Alliance’ and ‘Warlord’ (not a cover) exemplify this newer, more aggressive sound.

The presentation is professional, with kind of a cool, skull-dungeon thing happening symbolically representing being a ‘Prisoner of the Mind’ I would imagine. The whole thing has of course lyrics, liner notes and some guest female vocal spots from Julia Badescu in the form of some operatic flourishes which accentuate certain songs nicely.

The most striking comparison to me are the vocals of DRZ. He has this odd vibrato that reminds me a lot of Mike Scalzi of Slough Feg, so that’s pretty cool. In fact the overall sound in terms of composition and delivery remind me of Slough Feg as well. There could be worse bands to be compared to! The album surges along pretty relentlessly with the occasional slower moment, but never just all out speed. Some of the songs have a bit more meat on their bones clocking in over 7 minutes, with some extended intros, a bit of acoustic work, some vocals, but never getting too progressive, the songs always circle back to the metal.

I enjoy this disc more than the debut and Hellrazer are just another excellent example of one of the rare few (but growing in number) traditional style metal bands playing in Alberta.
Track Listing

1. The Death March of Bataan
2. Nailed To The Cross
3. Vendetta
4. Metal Alliance
5. Prisoner Of The Mind
6. Futile Rebellion
7. Going For Glory
8. Ghost Rider
9. Raining Fire
10. Warlord


DRZ-Vocals, guitar
Stan Nakanishi-Guitar
Dan Houser-Bass

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