BATTLE RAIDER - Battle Raider
October 3, 2017, a year ago
Sophomore effort from traditional minded Mexican outfit that references “early Queenrsyche, Cirth Ungol, Iron Maiden, early Fates Warning, Crimson Glory, and even Manowar”. Translation: a guitar showcase, with fast, neo-classical stylings and high register singing. “Flying Fingers” opener hits both squarely on the head. Taking fictitious surnames, the new singer goes by Steve Scheepers and while he possess neither the command of the English language, nor the power of his Primal Fear/ex-Gamma Ray mentor, gives some idea of where the vocals are headed.
Surprisingly, apart from shrill screams, the band's title track is rather pedestrian. Would have expected something more frenetic, like follow-up “Hard Flyer”. A galloping double bass attack greets “Atlanteans Of Gold”, which paves way for trilling/soaring voiced “Early Fantasy”. The initial portion of the “Tartan Piper Alpha” instrumental has a different, more Black Sabbath overtone, then the fleet fingers take over the latter half. At first, the 9:27 “Commander” appears to pick up, right where the instrumental left off, with a flamenco flourish, but settles into grittier sound, with restrained twin leads. “A Sioux Prayer” finale melds two intros together (one bass/one guitar) before finally getting down to business, more Spanish guitar and bass melodies. Only for underground metal nerds, like myself, who love this kind of stuff!