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Mean Streak - Metal Slave (CD)

Mean Streak
Metal Slave
by Grigoris Chronis at 13 September 2009, 3:41 PM

Surfing in the Swedish band's MySpace page, the day before the CD would start spinning in my player, it was an instant decision to listen to the track called Rock City first alone after reading this was the very first tune MEAN STREAK founder Peter Anderson came with prior to formatting this outfit. No particular reason 'bout this, I assume, apart from a primitive obsession first song(s) may declare the inner need for specific songwriting style and/or band formation standards. Maybe…
Don't know if the band's bio is to given much credit in terms of historical sequence liability, but (many) Swedish bands always show a high level of musicianship and 'know where I stand' attitude while Black Lodge Records surely is a label you should always expect the unexpected from its roster - and that's healthy in our who-stole-who era (style/sound wise). So, Metal Slave kicks in as the debut album for MEAN STREAK and let's see if the band is up for the task.
Band name: good, bringing forth Y&T's legendary album to mind…or TOKYO BLADE's 1984 classic.
Album title: Self-explanatory.
Cover artwork: In a 'vintage' color palette, expresses what's off to be heard; would love to see the band's logo in bigger lettering, though.
Music: would not sufficiently agree with the Press release stating that the band carries on the traditional sound from 80's Metal giants such as JUDAS PRIEST and IRON MAIDEN, except if only thinking that - more or less - every Metal band flirting with the traditional style shall draw some inspiration from these two legends' gigantic works. On the other hand, MEAN STREAK truly follows some paths built from the most powerful bands in the NWOBHM era, while also Metal Slave shall satisfy a lot fans that like Metal music the way it was developed in Germany/Sweden in the early/mid 80s (ACCEPT, SINNER or E.F. BAND are some apt names just brought to mind); the name of RIOT does fit in, too, especially the American outfit's pre-Thundersteel works. Overall, MEAN STREAK's music is 90% Heavy - little of Power/Epic, no anything else - with straightforward riffs, melodic leads, passionate vocals, ands simple tempos.
Sound: The album (produced by the band and mixed by Fredrik Nordstrom) surely sounds vintage. There's a 70s Hard Rock aesthetics overall, with a mix that gives justice whatsoever. Juvenille Metal fans will have a heard time trying to get along with the outcome.
Lyrics: the track titles are fitting to a band playing 'classic' Metal. Lyrical subjects will surely appear to be familiar to old-school metalheads.
Taken as a whole, Metal Slave is a good album and - without sufficient explanation, maybe - has its own identity; and everybody know how hard this can be when you're dealin' with the traditional Metal field. Would recommend it to 80s Metal lovers, while limited is the chance followers of more modern or extreme metallic paths will show a minimum interest.
P.S.: Rock City is one the finest moments throughout the whole CD; case closed.

3 Star Rating

Whom The Gods Love Die Young
Battle Within
Eyes Of A Stranger
The Seventh Sign
Raise Your Hands
Rock City
Sin City Lights
Carved In Stone
Metal Slave
Sinner n' Saints
Peter Anderson - Bass
Andy La Guerin - Vocals, Guitar
Yngve Frank - Guitar
Jonas Kallsback - Drums
Record Label: Black Lodge Records


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