This is a late review, but that’s what happens when you live in Canada and get eight days of summer per year: you spend all your time frolicking amongst the dandelions instead of in a darkened room blaring metal. Anyhow, this new release from Stallion grabbed my attention for only one reason: in 2013 they had a song called “Canadian Steele.” Never mind the fact that Stallion are a German band: a reference to Canada in the form of a thrashier version of Judas Priest pricks up my ears. From the Dead is the band’s second album, and promises to be a trve heavy metal platter in every sense of the phrase.

“Underground Society” is the lead-off track, pure 80s metal with guitars panned left and right, staccato riffing. When the vocals come in a minute into the track they throw you off – if Stallion tried I bet they could be a Bullet tribute band. Meaning the music here kicks ass but the vocals are shrieky almost to the point of comedy. Singer Pauly (all these guys have only first names) likens himself to a cross between the vocalists from Cirith Ungol and Bullet. Not inaccurate, but to me he sounds like what I imagine Joe Elliot would sound like if he sang for a thrash band. I have a love/hate relationship with these vocals – just like I do with Bullet’s Hell Hofer. At times he kicks ass, but at other times the screechiness is beyond irritating. How the listener feels about Pauly’s voice will be the gamebreaker for From the Dead.

Vocals aside, though, this is a super old-school metal album. Pretty much every song sounds straight from 1985, with big drums, aggressive guitars, and growling bass. This is a tight, talented band. “Down and Out” is a mid-paced anthem, while “Hold the Line” picks the pace up. Perhaps the oddest song on the album is “Waiting for a Sign.” It starts immediately with a verse – and thus Pauly’s vocals – and sounds much like the rest of the album, until the chorus, which is saturated with 80s synth patches, turning the song into bubblegum metal. But hold on! Halfway through the band kicks into high gear, “Waiting for a Sign” becomes a thrash song, and then after some frantic moments devolves back into the 80s hair metal. Weird. Lucky for our faithful readers, the band has put all their songs on YouTube, so this is the one I chose to feature. Check it out.

Musically this is a really fun album, but there are numerous flaws that will probably keep From the Dead from garnering too much airplay here. As much as I want to like this, the boxy drum sounds tend to wear down one’s ears, Pauly’s vocals never really let up, walking a fine line between cool and ludicrous but far too often tripping into the latter, and finally, a few of the songs (like “Waiting for a Sign”) outstay their welcome. Half are over five minutes when they could be four, and more enjoyable. The exception is “Kill Fascists,” which lasts all of seventeen seconds – maybe I should have linked to that video?

Ultimately, Stallion’s From the Dead comes off as a bit of a conundrum. It’s more polished and well put together than their earlier work, and there’s some really good songs on here (the title track kicks butt, as does album closer “Awaken the Night”), but the polarizing vocals make the long songs longer, leaving me wishing I could hear this album with a different singer. But if you like Bullet, or can imagine what Def Leppard would sound like as a thrashy German act, this might be your cup of tea.


Rating: 2.5/5.0
DR: 7 | Format Reviewed: 320 kbps mp3
Label: High Roller Records
Websites: stallion2013.bandcamp.com | heavymetalstallion.com | facebook.com/heavymetalstallion
Releases Worldwide: June 30th, 2017

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  • Nola Trash Talk

    Holy Transformers soundtrack, Batman!

  • Brutalist_Receptacle

    NEIGH.

  • Kryopsis

    Due to the vocals, Stallion often sounds like outright parody rather than a loving tribute (e.g. Night Flight Orchestra).

    • Brutalist_Receptacle

      I like them better in the 80s when they were RATT

      • Brent Johnson

        Exactly what I was thinking listening to that imbedded track.

        • Chris

          Wait, that means Steven Pearcy sounds like Joe Elliot if he fronted a thrash band.

          • Juan Manuel Pinto Guerra

            Only if Joe Elliot thinks Dokken is thrash.

  • ssorg

    So what you’re saying is that you’re not too wyld about this stallyn?

  • Jeremy Freeman

    The guy in the middle looks like Jimmy Fallon when he was on SNL HAHAH!!

  • Juan Manuel Pinto Guerra

    Mmm… white hi-tops, bandanas, bullet belts, ultra tight jeans, porn staches… this picture screams “we’re dressed up as Metalheads for Halloween”

    • Thatguy

      They look like a bunch of dirty hippies.

      • Juan Manuel Pinto Guerra

        I’d yell at them to get off my lawn! Get off my lawn, you bunch of dirty hippies!

  • Juan Manuel Pinto Guerra

    The fact you may like Glam Metal as much as Thrash Metal doesn’t mean they go well mixed together.

  • Ono Trümmer

    I’ve got a real problem with the cover. Seriously. The Stahlhelm-aesthetics. The letters. And last but not least the not even badly disguised swastika in the claws of an eagle. Is there something I don’t get or is this really as bad as it looks?
    Or is it the Stallion who is eating the Third-Reichy symbols? Can’t tell for sure on my tiny screen…

    • Jeffrey Dean

      Did you figure out what was up with the Nazi imagery? Cause it’s really disturbing me…

      • Ono Trümmer

        Guess it’s meant to be a stallion tearing down the eagle-and-swastika-idol… Clumsy, but at least staggering into the right direction.

  • I.B. Hurtin

    I couldn’t take even a minute of those vocals!

  • Nathan Schmidt

    I like it.

  • GWW

    Who the hell is Bullet!? Never heard of them.