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Alphastate - Out Of The Black (Reissue) Award winner

Out Of The Black (Reissue)
by Kai Naiman at 28 March 2020, 5:42 AM

In a world where IRON MAIDEN, even after over four decades, still reign the Heavy Metal scene, many artists from every corner of the globe try to reenact, and perhaps reinvent, the genre back to its state in its glorious days. One name worth mentioning is the Athens-based powerhouse of ALPHASTATE; with vocals that on the higher register sit nearly on par with that of one Bruce Dickinson, single-manned mean and engaging guitar riff madness and comfortably-suitable drumlines that complete the package, their novel reissue of their 2015 opus, “Out Of The Black”, deemed to portray the resurgence of that golden era.

While the production on the entire record feels more modern and denser than that of their ancestors-the-genre, the songs featured, with the way they are structured and composed, pay a colossal tribute to the way Heavy Metal songs were written, back when the segregation between the genres was still a thing unheard of. Practically every track on this collection begins with a slide down through the scales of a heavily-distorted guitar – a reminder that this album is a modern alteration of the classic sound. Generally speaking - every note played by Pete Breaker doesn’t go unnoticed and flat. The tasty and meaty riffs and solos are included in every single track and give the listener no reason to turn to the bore side.

Usually comfortably pacing within the mid-tempo, “Out Of The Black” is an album that would not disappoint any classic Heavy Metal fan. As previously stated, Manos Xanthakis’ vocals are incredibly intense and to-the-point – approaching the vicinity of IRON MAIDEN’s own frontman, where, at times, it’s hard to differentiate between them. In the slower and mellower front, in tracks of the likes of “World’s Control”, his vocals become more theatric and melodic, and are heavily distinguished from the other.

With the release of their latest chapter, “The Grind”, the latest reissue of “Out Of The Black” is a terrific record that captivates and modernizes the elements that made Heavy Metal legends what they are – and while the majority of contemporary artists put an effort into forging their own tune, others in the likes of ALPHASTATE choose to retract to the origins and recapture the sensation those have brought. The main difference is, ALPHASTATE, unlike many others who attempted, were successful at doing just that.

Songwriting: 9
Musicianship: 9
Memorability: 7
Production: 8

4 Star Rating

1. Out Of The Black
2. Last Day
3. Don’t Look Back
4. Before The Soul Departs
5. Great Divide
6. Road To Hell
7. World’s Control
8. Only Chance
9. The System
10. The End
Manos Xanthakis – Vocals
Pete Breaker – Guitars
Fivos Andriopoulos – Drums
Record Label: Sliptrick Records


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