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Tales from the Underground
Released: 2016, Iron Shield Records
I was writing some album reviews in late October and I was in the Halloween spirit…Halloween is after all the ‘Heavy Metal Holy Day’! Please enjoy this mini-seasonal themed set of reviews of 10 albums by Cradle Of Filth Ichabod Krane, Lordi, Metal Witch, October 31, Poltergeist, Sleepy Hollow, Them and Trick or Treat!
Just in time for Halloween, Metal Witch has returned with their second album, TALES FROM THE UNDERGROUND. The band has moved from independent status from their 2008 debut album RISEN FROM THE GRAVE and are now on Iron Sheild Records. I did not hear the debut album eight years ago so I can’t really compare if there has been any change or progression but based on what I hear now, I will eventually seek out the debut, which is probably hard to find.
TALES FROM THE UNDERGROUND is a decent slab of Metal-injected Rock and roll…or is that Rock injected Metal? There are certainly elements of both styles in the bands sound. Just listen to the climatic rock and roll finale of the lead off track’ Cheers To The Underground’. Other hints you could look to the song titles like ‘ Heavy and Roll’, which in my mind nicely describes the sound a blend of Heavy Metal and Rock And Roll. I hear lots of older Accept influence (late 70’s early 80’s) in the sound of Metal with, who co-incidentally hail from Germany as well. There is a heavy Accept style guitar tone and influence in the song-writing, the intro to ‘Flute Of Shame’ could have fit very nicely on an early Accept album.
The pace of the album is a bit slow to mid-paced with good throbbing bass lines and driving rhythms. There is good crunch, and thick guitar tone, courtesy of the nice warm production. The vocal style of singer, Kay Rogowski is very gruff, also reminiscent of the Germanic anthemic sound heard by early Grave Digger, and Running Wild who were both influenced by Rock and Metal in their early days. The songs are pretty conventional, not too elaborate the chorus driving the song, decent enough soloing but nothing spectacular. The songs are quite memorable and simplistic, chanting with anthem-like qualities and good chanted back-up vocals which you just know are going to play well to the assembled sweaty mass of 400 hung-over, head-bangers on a early morning Saturday time slot at some small European retro festival.
For plodding simplistic Metal, I was surprised how much I enjoyed TALES FROM THE UNDERGROUND and found my self chanting along in the car to the aforementioned ‘Flute Of Shame’ among other tunes. Metal and Potatoes Metal, nothing exceptional but I’m glad I had a chance to check it out. All hail the witch!
1. Cheers to the Underground
2. Flute of Shame
3. God Save the Heroes
4. Heavy and Roll
5. Standing in My Way
6. Stay True
7. Still Going Strong
8. The Heart of England
9. The Man Who Shouldn't Live
10. Weapons of the Night
Kay Rogowski Vocals
Ingo Hinz Guitar
Lorenz Hoppe Guitar
Thorsten Meyer Bass
Rüdiger Voigt Drums
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