STALKER - Shadow Of The Sword
November 27, 2017, a year ago
Loving the resurgence of old school speed metal. This Kiwi trio is another entry, to place alongside the likes of Evil Invaders or Enforcer. Like a brake-less 18-wheeler careening down the Alps, there's no slowing, despite coming dangerously close to derailing or overturning at some turns, but once completed, looking back and smiling at the thought of surviving a harrowing ride. Rapid fire delivered vocals are from the early Destruction (Schmier) school of shrieks, yelps and off-kilter wails.
Not sure what the opening couple of seconds of clanking chains sound effects adds to “The Mutilator”, a whiplash inducing neck snapper! With most of the ten selections failing to exceed four minutes, military cadence drum introduced “Path Of Destruction”, with its album champion 5:20 duration, offers the lone (albeit fleeting) respite from endless barrage of riffs and hyperbolic vocals. Not much in the way of coherent lyrics, this is all about presentation. Good album to listen to on headphones, with all the channel switching guitars. Blazing riffs kick off whammy bar happy “Satanic Panic”. The over-in-a-second (not literally) “Shocked To Death” recalls vintage Exciter! A meandering spoken voiceover begins punky, primitive snare bashing “Demon Dawn”, while “master Of Mayhem” is a more metallic take, at a similar tempo. Can't get much faster than “Evil Dead”. Disc ends with absolutely percussion pummeling “Steel God”. The pace, intensity and vocalizations will not be to everyone's liking, but for speed freaks, this is a welcome addition, in a suddenly growing (reactivated) field.