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Gun Barrel - Outlaw Invasion (CD)

Gun Barrel
Outlaw Invasion
by Grigoris Chronis at 10 June 2008, 1:06 PM

Keep On Movin'…listening to this song again and again, I wonder why limited do write hard 'n' heavy tunes straight from the heart nowadays…GUN BARREL strikes back with a brand new album, and - if your likes tend towards the straightforward riff-full side of classic Heavy Metal - you have on fear in trusting Outlaw Invasion. This album/band should spit fire onstage!
2005's Bombard Your Soul did actually bombard my guts, 100% in no resistance of mine. The Cologne-based quartet has found the appropriate balance regarding old-school and 'fresh' ingredients in its music; the former dealin' with (mostly) the songwriting/playing and the latter flirting (partially) with the sound. If your cup of tea is bands that pay tribute to their roots, then GUN BARREL will strike you out! The ideals of SAXON (and NWOBHM, in general), MOTORHEAD, KROKUS and SINNER with a slice of ROSE TATTOO, a touch of 90s IRON MAIDEN and some tiny Euro Power feel, all 'printed' on hardrockin'/metallic plate. For those familiar with the band's discography, it is essential to state that Outlaw Invasion is slightly better than the - excellent, anyway - Bombard Your Soul. Points of 'upgrade' that my ears did check out? Xaver's voice is more confident, resembling to legendary frontmen's personalities (Biff Byford and Marc Storace did I incidentally bring in mind). He preserves the same middle-pitch frequencies in his singing, with lots of 'guts' and smoky vocals were needed.
In addition, Rolf's playing is more firm, bearing the same attitude as witnessed in all GUN BARREL releases but unveiling some ongoing maturity/integrity not usually observed in today's (mostly) 'look-at-me-playing' axemen. Brief but ample, distinct yet multi-dimensional, and kinda 'melodic' at times; you'll love his licks while his soloing will not let you down by any means. The rhythm section is fat, bearing in mind no complex performance is needed for GUN BARREL's songlist, still I'd prefer a better sound in the snare drum, I'd dare saying; OK, no worries anyway.
I was blown away with Front Killers, a bombastic rollin' thunder with excellent riffs from Rolf Tanzius. M.I.L.F. goes German-meets-England in a fast tempo, too, while The Reedemer is an up-march diamond that will drive old-school metalheads crazy. Wanted Man sees a more 'American' side of GUN BARREL in the beginning, with Cheap, Wild & Nasty also being capable of scoring more as an e.g. single release or promo video. As for Keep On Movin'? SAXON would kill to have this one on their own setlist. Not to forget, Tomorrow Never Comes sees an emotional semi-ballad rocker, with Xaver sounding as a mix of Blaze Bayley and Lemmy.
GUN BARREL is not an 100% pure (in today's terms) 'Metal' album but is 100% Metal-played. If you feel this kind of 'mainly retro' music can see no signs of optimization, then Outlaw Invasion's simply not for you. For the rest, GUN BARREL has released a very 'strong' CD. Buy or cry, in other words.
P.S.: For lovers of the aforementioned bands, add on point to the total score. I just tried to keep up with today's less-than-thirty metalheads' dogmas in the rating.

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
Invasion Warning
Front Killers
Turn To Black
Wanted Man
The Redeemer
Keep On Movin'
Cheap, Wild & Nasty
Brother To Brother
Ghost Inside
M.I.L.F.
Tomorrow Never Comes
Outlaw Invasion
Parting Kiss
Lineup:
Rolf Tanzius - Guitar
Xaver Drexler - Vocals
Tomcat Kintgen - Bass
Toni Pinciroli - Drums
Record Label: LMP
     


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