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Released: 2013, Smoothline Group Ent.
Reviewer: Celtic Bob
Russ Dwarf is back releasing Dwarf material but in a somewhat different fashion. While the idea of acoustic versions of your back catalog is nothing new (Fellow Canadian Metal-Alumni: Helix did an UNPLUGGED a couple of years ago) this one comes off slightly more acoustic.
The comparisons to the Helix disc cannot be avoided when it comes to a release like this (Russ even did a duet with Brian on the last Helix studio album). Both are well done and quite different from what fans are used to. With that said, is this what the fans want? An easy response is most likely No. While it is great to see Russ releasing a new album (the first solo CD at that) the old Killer Dwarf fans want the hard rockin’ Metal songs that we loved back in the 80’s. I am not talking about re-recording the classics, I am talking all new studio tracks. A KD reunion may not be possible but a solo Russ album of originals would be welcomed by us fans. With all that said, this is about the music.
The most familiar Dwarf songs like “Keep The Spirit Alive”, “Stand Tall” and “Dirty Weapons” are all included. The only obvious omission is “Heavy Mental Breakdown”, maybe it wouldn’t lend itself to an acoustic? As mentioned a moment ago, all the songs are well done and sound really good. Some of these songs lend themselves very well to the acoustic treatment, “Doesn’t Matter” really shines and spotlights that Russ still has the voice. A few I didn’t recognize so I had to go back and check out the back catalog. WIRELESS appears to be very well suited to a summer night around an open fire with a few colds ones. That remains to be tested out.
An interesting album in the same way the Helix one was. A fine listen and quite the turn from what we are used to hearing. With some luck we will get to see a heavier album from Russ in the near future. It’s been too long
1. Keep The Spirit Alive 05:00
2. Stand Tall 04:10
3. I'm Alive 03:29
4. Startin' To Shine 04:27
5. Doesn't Matter 04:31
6. Comin' Through 04:20
7. Dirty Weapons 04:53
8. Look Around 03:33
9. Four Seasons 04:54
10. Driftin' Back 04:54
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