Released: 2012, Lighten The Underground
The Greeks had a very strong year for Metal, despite a depressed economy. Many young bands like Tidal Dreams, Scorcher, Validor, Wardrum and Sacred Blood all put out great records. Some veterans also put out albums namely Firewind and Marauder, but the granddaddy of the Greek Metal scene is Power Crue and they have released their 4th album. They have allegedly been around since 1986 but have only released those few albums so obviously they are not very prolific. I dropped by their website and read the band history, it is actually quite interesting, lots of detail of the various incarnations of the band, line-up changes and so on. Despite sporadic output, there is some life in the band as a new, young label named Lighten The Underground has issued this new album and reissued the debut album THE SIGN OF RAGE that was originally issued in 1996.
WRECK THE ETERNAL TYRANNY is my first introduction to the band even I had heard about them many years ago but poor global distribution and small labels did not really make this underground Metal act accessible to a wider audience. The band has currently expanded to a quintet since 2005’s album NIGHT…MARES, by adding a new drummer and new vocalist. The band has guys who have been slogging it out deep in the Greek Metal underground for years in bands with names like ‘Power Drops’ and Power Storm’. See a trend? Yes, Power Crue is Power Metal and a damn fine band too.
The voice of Kostas Tokas is clear and powerful and he hits some great high notes. His voice is quite smooth as well and he holds some great notes with a passionate delivery. Another thing I noticed right away was the fiery drumming of Takis on the drums. He adds a lot of punch and flair to the songs, I especially liked his performance on the song ‘Chessboard Soldiers’. He is busy with lots of fills and rolls and knows when to hold off on the double-kick, transitioning from pounding to galloping to double-kick with ease.
The riffs and solos really drive the songs, presenting the listener with very classic, full Metal riffs, that you can really sink you teeth into, or in other words head-bang to very well. Although Power Crue is Power Metal they are not really a happy Euro Metal style, they are much more traditional in the classic style and could even perhaps be mistaken for an USPM band reminding me of great bands like Gothic Knights, AxeHammer, Jag Panzer, New Eden and so forth. It is a stripped down Metal album no choirs, no keyboards, no orchestral elements, no female vocals or crazy lists of guest starts, just five guys churning out crunchy Metal. There is a tiny bit of acoustic guitar, but it’s just for a bit of juxtaposition in introductions and the ends of the songs. The songs have some interesting arrangements and are a bit longer, many of them in six-minute range allowing the riffs to really sink in.
I have used this analogy many times before with other bands but Power Crue are true survivors and battle-hardened veterans of the Metal wars. The have ground it out in the trenches (bars) for years when many people thought Metal was not cool. They kept going and I really hope this time, more people hear WRECK THE ETERNAL TYRANNY and recognize the talent and drive that these traditionalists have.