Heavy Metal Chainsaw
Iron Pegasus Records
Metalucifer has quickly become a household brand when it comes to old school heavy metal from Japan, with just three full length albums (and a whole host of EPs, live and split albums) under their belts required to solidify their reputation in the underground worldwide. Heavy Metal Chainsaw is their second full length album, released 10 years back in 2001, 5 years after their debut Heavy Metal Drill, displaying the typical gap between releases.
Compared to the extremely raw and unpolished song qualities on Heavy Metal Drill, Heavy Metal Chainsaw displays a growth in the songwriting of the band. Throughout the album are songs that instantly catch the ears of the listener, and it doesn’t take much effort on the band’s part to get the listener headbanging and fully indulge in the old-school vibe that the songs emanate. As usual, Gezolucifer’s vocals are one of the main focuses on the album, with his broken pronunciation of many of the English words that does nothing but add to the charm, just like on Sabbat releases. Gezolucifer alternates between normal singing vocals and those that push his vocal limits, causing him to at times threaten to go out of tune, and at times causing him to just scream out the lyrics. And this is how heavy metal vocals should be done, without the artificial vocal layering that many bands tend to use and displays the sincerity and authenticity of the music.
The references to classic NWOBHM bands like Iron Maiden and Judas Priest are numerous and easily spotted throughout the album, with harmonised twin-lead guitar solos constantly present like on Heavy Metal Chainsaw and Warriors Ride on the Chariots, and with some of them even reminding listeners of Iron Maiden classics, and almost brings the vision of Bruce Dickinson commanding the crowds into the more imaginative listener’s mind. Guitarists Elizaveat and Elizabigore’s solos, while feature much finger acrobatics, manage to remain melodic at the same time as evident on Flight of Iron Pegasus. Tracks like Northern Heroes scream old school with the song structure, and the way the song is executed, and Heavy Metal Revolution‘s riffs almost sound like it could come off a Paul Di’Anno era Maiden (specifically, Wrathchild), with the slight punk feel infused.
The instrumental track Metalucifer (Zwei) is perhaps the best track to represent the individual members’ talents, presenting listeners with more than 6 minutes of nothing but awesome riff after awesome riff, and on this track the guitar solos focus more on the melody and emotions rather than simply the speed and technicalities and provides something fresh for the ears. Gezolucifer’s bass is also extra prominent on this track and shows his abilities on his instrument, often bringing in quirky moments instead of simply playing a rhythmic role.
While many bands try to show off their “metal-ness” through the usage of more masculine and metal-related lyrical themes end up sounding overly cheesy, for some reason Metalucifer does not end up like these bands, being in a league of its own. Songs like Flight of Iron Pegasus and Warriors Ride on the Chariots, instead of coming across as cheesy, are catchy and ballsy as hell and without knowing it, one will start singing along with the choruses of these songs.
Metalucifer/Sabbat will be performing on 24th February 2012 (Friday). For details, click here.
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