Hot on the heels of Steel Druhm‘s review of Crematory‘s Antiserum and sticking with zee Germans, we have Miracle Master‘s Tattooed Woman, which delivers an unhealthily large dose of Dio worship, a smattering of modern American hard rockers Shinedown and the growlings of Monster Magnet. It’s essentially modern hard rock, commercially orientated and radio-friendly that embraces the same post-grunge as the likes of Nickleback, Shinedown and Creed. If you’re a fan of hard rock that occasionally wanders into heavy metal territory, and Voodoo Circle‘s old-timey melody didn’t lure you in, then maybe Miracle Master‘s tattooed temptress will prove a better seductress!
Let me start by saying songs like “Miracle Masters,” “Highway to Heaven” and “We all Touch Evil” rock my socks off! Hard rock is Miracle Master‘s forte and these tracks prove it. Tattooed Woman is packed with a hefty 11 tracks and it’s only “Tattooed Woman” that’s been fooling around a little too much with the dudes from Nickleback and their oft-hated sound.
The motley crew of Miracle Master cite involvement with too many bands to mention and as I’ve crossed paths with nary a one of them, we’ll be moving right along – feel free to consult Lord Google if you feel you must. Oliver Weers is the man of the hour here and the album has a very live vibe, capturing Oliver’s essence and making him shine. His vocal style sometimes reminds me of Rick Altzi’s mid-range huskiness (Herman Frank, Masterplan) and at other times he wanders dangerously close to the gritty aggression of Russell Allen. Oliver doesn’t stick to any particular vocal style long enough for you to box him in though, and while digging into the heart of Tattooed Woman you’ll come across gems like “Why Religion” and “We All Touch Evil” where he balances hints of the madness delivered by Brent Smith of Shinedown, and “Highway To Heaven,” which ends up being the pinnacle of an evil dream, packed with just the right amount of Dave Wyndorf’s Monster Magnet-ism!
Marcel ‘Selly’ Bernhardt and Axel ‘Aki’ Reissmann rip into you with their gas-guzzling guitar work in “Stay with Me,” “Forgive Yourself,” “Will to Survive” and “Why Religion.” The solo’s are punchy and range between crunchy, devilishly trippy, twisted and pummelling, but they remain short-lived and never really hit the wankery of say Magnus Karlsson. Solo’s crop up between the 2 to 3 minute mark on most if not all tracks, which ends up feeling formulaic, bordering on lazy and leaves me thinking these axe-men need to continue on that “Highway to Heaven” and shake things up more. Michael Vetter (bass) and Andreas Minich (drums) add a catchy and easily digestible down-tempo rocking rhythm section that suits the album well.
Miracle Master have followed in the footsteps of many a hard rock band before them. Tattooed Woman is catchy as hell, but in reality, the album’s not delivering anything new or earth shattering. Not an essential addition to your record collection, but a fun one nonetheless.
DISCLAIMER: No Jorn was referenced in the making in this review (though he totally could have been!).