Viper

Alpha Tiger – iDentity Review

Alpha Tiger – iDentity Review

“In the recesses of my chrome and iron 80s heart, I have endless affection for the early Fates Warning albums like The Specter Within and Awaken the Guardian. They just don’t make classy, traditional metal like that anymore and I wish more retro noodle heads would turn their gaze back to that golden era of metal and give it a go.” What’s new, pussy cat? Quite a bit, actually.

Hibria – Silent Revenge Review

Hibria – Silent Revenge Review

“There are a lot of good bands down there in South America and they always seem to pop up out of nowhere and surprise you. Brazil’s Hibria did just that with their 2004 Defying the Rules debut, which rocked a type of heavy power metal quite similar to Riot‘s Thundersteel mixed with classic Euro-power like old Helloween. It was surprisingly mature and polished for a debut and had a number of great songs that earned permanent playlist rotation. Their Skull Collectors follow-up was solid enough, but I didn’t think much of the Blind Ride platter released in 2011. I feared they were in the classic Dimishing Returns Death Spiral and hoped they could find a way back to the glory of that awesome debut.” Nothing is worse than a promising band caught in a creative death spiral! Can Hibria avoid disaster and guide the ship back to the promised land of power metal? Steel Druhm is on scene and it was clearly the wrong week for him to quit sniffing glue.

Alpha Tiger – Beneath the Surface Review

Alpha Tiger – Beneath the Surface Review

“Move your skinny asses over, Enforcer, there’s a new sheriff in Retro City and the name is really shitty. I know a pussy cat name like Alpha Tiger won’t inspire much faith amongst the angry metal masses, but trust me, the music more than makes up for the cheese-tastic moniker (which belongs on a third-rate Japanese video game where you brawl through a zoo and up the food chain). This is unapologetically old school, traditional metal taking its cues from early 80s American acts like Agent Steel, Armored Saint, John Arch era-Fates Warning, Sacred Oath and Crimson Glory.” Yes, Steel Druhm is delivering MORE retro metal for your consideration!! Deal with it. ROAR!

Angrily Unreviewed: Split Heaven – Street Law

Angrily Unreviewed: Split Heaven – Street Law

Our first entry in the Angrily Unreviewed sweepstakes is Street Law, the third release by Mexican retro metallers Split Heaven (available on Pure Steel Records). Following in the footsteps of other 80’s style retro rockers like Steelwing, Enforcer and Wolf, Split Heaven serves up old school metal with a patina of hard rock and more than a little cheese (the album cover alone is worth fifty pounds of Velveeta). Now, before you turn up your elitist metal nose, this is some powerful, authentic stuff from a bunch of hungry youngins and it rocks harder than Thor at a Manowar concert. Songs like “Time Warrior,” “Street Law,” “Lonewolf” and especially “Night of the Jaguar” overflow with unrestrained enthusiasm and exuberance and manage to hit that 80’s style dead on. Closest in sound to Enforcer, they actually remind me a lot of Theatre of Fate-era Viper, old Obsession and Attacker, these guys play fast, loud and with real urgency. Great riffs are everywhere and while there’s that typical Maiden style here and there, they do their own thing as well. The vocals by Eligio Valenzuela are high pitched and a bit shrill but go along quite well with the vintage riffing and soloing style.