SANDSTORM - Time To Strike
October 16, 2019, a month ago
The debut, from high pitched vocal (falsetto, somewhere between a dog whistle and the wail of Raven's John Gallagher), traditional metal trio, out of Vancouver. Rudimentary plodding hard rock meets early, mid-tempo Judas Priest/Manowar (depending upon which of the half dozen tracks are being discussed), complete with cowbell on side-to-side swaying tempo of “Witchman, Sorcerer Of Satan” and Priest-ly “Hymn Of The Hell Knights”.
If you're into thrash, speed or otherwise frenetic rhythms, stay away from this Sandstorm. Disc opens with mellow guitar/bass/synth only to unleash first single/video “Death Is Near” (check out YouTube). There's a gritty downbeat groove to “Whips And Chains”. Spoken intro, atop lone synth, greets “Denizen Of Hell”, a more upbeat, fist thruster, with off kilter yips and yells. Odd, the inclusion of keyboard embellishment as band portrays themselves as nuts & bolts threepiece, nothing more. Appreciate the stylistic effort, but a few burrs have to be ground down before this becomes smooth to the touch (or ears).