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Heavy Cross - Street Wolf Award winner

Heavy Cross
Street Wolf
by Kartik Chandrasekhar at 14 January 2013, 12:06 PM

Listening to this two song 7’’ EP, one would think this came out around 1981-82. But it’s from the 21st century! This was a shock to me because it really does sound like something out the early 80s. This Finnish band has down the NWOBHM classic sound justice. While some might be dismissive and say ‘this band rips off IRON MAIDEN, TYGERS OF PAN TANG, JUDAS PRIEST and SAXON, I think it’s great that these guys have brought back that sound. Melodic guitar playing combined with catchy riffs and supportive drumming – you got that! The singing may not be the music’s strongest point but it’s reasonable enough. You can understand what the vocalist is singing even if his range isn’t all that broad. He certainly knows how to keep a tune nonetheless!

"Street Wolf" is the first song off the EP. It starts off with a nice chug a la Iron Maiden followed a simple yet highly effective melodic line to complement. The drumming isn’t exactly spectacular but it’s adequate – and as long as it supports the song well, that’s fine. The singing is, as mentioned earlier, melodic even if somewhat monotonous in range. There’s a catchy chorus with some vocal harmonies. It’s a catchy chorus consisting of the song’s title and about how the Street Wolf is a back alley killer and how he’s going to kill you. Fun stuff! The guitar solo is heavily inspired by Adrian Smith and Dave Murray of IRON MAIDEN. It sounds fantastic! Once the solo finishes, the song changes to a clean picked section and some singing over the guitar part. Judging by the singer’s accent, you can tell that English is not his first language. But really, does that matter? Not to me. The rest of the song follows with a repetition of the chorus which fades. A good song!

"Red Light Woman" does it get more Rockish than that? That’d be mighty hard to top! The song even starts off with a riff that’s very Rock N' Roll in nature, with a groove on the skins to complement! The lyrics – well, they talk about a very attractive woman. Much like its predecessor, the song features a catchy chorus. A hooky solo comes soon afterwards. It’s one that would make the great Michael Schenker proud! The song ends rather abruptly after a melodic riff. Abrupt endings are often a source of aggravation to many in any form of entertainment (like the Sopranos for instance). While I would have preferred the ending to either fade out (think METALLICA’s masterpiece "Fade to Black") or end abruptly but predictably (such as METALLICA’s "Trapped under Ice" or MEGADETH’s "Holy Wars"), I still enjoyed this song.

I’m a sucker for the NWOBHM sound, I really am. So it was guaranteed 100% that I would enjoy this EP. For all its shortcomings, I really quite like it and would recommend it to any fellow headbanger. Give it a shot!

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Street Wolf
2. Red Light Woman
Lineup:
Satanic Tyrant Werwolf (Lauri Penntila)– All Instruments
Record Label: Hells Headbangers Records
     


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