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Mean Streak - Declaration Of War (CD) Award winner

Mean Streak
Declaration Of War
by Jonathan Maphet at 13 January 2011, 11:01 PM

MEANSTREAK has been busy. They have released two singles and two full albums in two years. After hearing their newest record, I am left hoping I get to hear their debut. I am not sure it will be as good though since their bio sheet indicates that both guitarists are new additions. As good as they sound. I find it hard to believe they are anything but at improvement, even despite any evidence to the contrary. The singer has a high pitched voice that borders on annoying, but I can take it. The rest of the music makes up for his voice. Also, the guitar is very melodic. If they keep it up, they have a good future. The song structure is strong. It is very oriented to the power metal genre. They have it down pat. It’s always nice to hear a band 'get it' in regards to this genre. I have noticed of late that several bands are diluting their power metal with growling vocals the ruin the song. This is not the case here. I am not saying that growling makes a record bad, it does not, but if you label the album as strictly "Power Metal" and nothing else, then the expectations for there to be clean vocals throughout will be there, and it is shock to the system to hear menacing growls where they don’t belong.

The beginning of the song, "Crimson Sky" sounds exactly like church organ, then the guitars crunch slowly and then singing starts and the pace remains slow. Most power metal bands always throw in the token slow song and/or a ballad to prove that they can do more than just play fast and furiously. My only question is this, “who doesn’t think a band can play slow if they want to”? It always feels out of place on a true power metal album, forced and contrived. If it is done to prove something, I would love to know what that is. Obviously it’s just to add variety, but does AC/DC have variety? NO, every single album sounds exactly the same and they sell out stadiums in an hour. That said, I have never been able to understand why a band feels it must cater to a segment that isn’t interested in power metal to begin with. What is the point? A pop music fan is not going to buy a heavy metal album due to one slow song that is absolutely not going to get any airplay. There is always the skip option.

Please don’t confuse me trying to make a point as severe criticism, because almost all bands of this genre do it. I just chose now to address the topic. You get many epic choruses here, and all the subject matter is perfect for a power metal release. All you have to do is read the song titles to know what you’re going to get. I like that. Money is too scarce for guessing games. Also, the guitar solos are so amazing you will forget the slow songs. The production is so solid that you will probably have a big smile on your face. There is some truly great song writing to be found here. It’s not just all about speed and screams. The background vocals are “epic” as they should be. There are far too many great songs on this album to let the two slow songs get in the way of a potential purchase.

Overall, this album delivers the goods. My favorite lyric of the album is this, "In a superficial time, we are for real". That sums it up perfectly. Go to their Myspace page and listen for yourselves. The guitar work alone is worth buying this new record. Sweden has delivered yet another talented heavy metal band.

4 Star Rating

1. Declaration Of War
2. In For The Kill
3. Crimson Sky
4. The End Of The Rainbow
5. As You Sow You Shall Reap
6. No Mans Land
7. Brothers Til The End
8. Sons Of Metal
9. Singn In The Sky
10. History Of Lies
11. The Oblation
Peter Andersson - Bass
Andy La Guerin - Vocals
Jonas Källsbäck - Drums
Patrik Gardberg - Guitar
David Andersson - Guitar
Record Label: Black Lodge


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Edited 24 March 2023

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