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Marauder - Face The Mirror (CD)

Marauder
Face The Mirror
by Grigoris Chronis at 02 June 2008, 10:03 AM

Wherever you read this review from, in every edge of the world, you too have some heroic Metal bands you feel they are the pride of your country. Well, regarding Greece, MARAUDER was, is and will ever be one of the most impressive 'classic' Metal bands. For a country mostly known due to its 'extreme' Metal bands, MARAUDER has written its own piece of metallic history for more than fifteen years now. Not on-purpose 'epic' or 'power' or 'speed'; just - and most of all - heavy!
The quintet's new album has already been released via Heart Of Steel Records, but - poor promotion/distribution? - it was not until a couple of weeks ago that I managed to get a copy. This is their 4th full-length CD, and - listening to the album for a couple of times in a row to get a first idea - it, again, suffers from a slight-more-than-middling production. And that's a pity, since I've seen the band live more that thirty times - MARAUDER is a live band - and they really sound better onstage. Don't get me wrong, the sound is not bad, not even average, but for the value of MARAUDER it does fall kinda short. And that's the only clear minus.
The cover artwork may unveil a secret or two: yes, the songlist's basic pattern steps on some 'thinking' base. No, no prog or technical stuff; Face The Mirror includes a dozen of songs full of Heavy Metal energy, based on the ideals of all of DIO, IRON MAIDEN, RIOT, ACCEPT, PRIMAL FEAR and (early) GAMMA RAY and will leave no disappointment on your face, since there's a variety in tempos, the guitar themes are - again - impressive, the dual leads are exciting and the rhythm section is solid as hell. It is just that the impression I got that MARAUDER wanted to work hard on a more solicitous album this time; I do not have the songs' lyrics available to clear out the 'linking', but I think this is the most multi-view album they've so far released.
Singer Alexander Kostarakos holds the 'foreground' scepter; he does sound good, powerful and passionate - while he can goes epic when needed - but I'm left with the impression that he could do even better. He's convincing, whatsoever, plus he really 'upgrades' the songs' amplitude with his harsh yet confident approach. The songs themselves provide such a milieu; Who Am I?'s substance may as well be the title skeptics itself, Naya and Dark Riders are 80s mid-tempo Metal anthems, The Beast Is On The Highway cuts it teeth in mid-pace headbanging, Face The Mirror and The End Of A Madman break loose in a teutonic blast and Nemesis gets serious again while Hearts Made Of Steele bears this Britain-meets-America up-tempo relief. Last but not least, Until We Fall presents an 'epic' MANOWAR-meets-RHAPSODY drums-less tune in full 'knight' mode. Here, the vocals are really astonishing.
Old-fashioned Heavy Metal with some 'fresh air'; MARAUDER has again found the appropriate balance and - if you're already familiar with the band - Face The Mirror stands tall and proud, delivering - once again - an honest doze of metallic volume with top velocity and no-doubt candor. If your Metal is a) 80s-based but not wanna be retro-pushed, c) pure 'heavy' and c) from the heart, then you should not let the chance get away. Face the mirror and let your 'mirror' self decide.
P.S.: Faraway sees a more 'melodic' side of MARAUDER, which initially brought a big ?. Listening to the song again and again, without really knowing why, I now consider it one of my faves off the new album.

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
Who Am I?
I Am (The One)
Face The Mirror
Hearts Made Of Steele
Nemesis
Born To Rock
Naya
Dark Riders
The End Of A Madman
Faraway
The Beast Is On The Highway
Until We Fall
Lineup:
George Sofronas - Guitar
Andreas Tsaousis - Guitar
Grigoris Vlachos - Drums
Thodoris Paralis - Bass
Alexander Kostarakos - Vocals
Record Label: Heart Of Steel Records
     


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