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Road Warrior - Mach II Award winner

Road Warrior
Mach II
by Neil Cook at 11 June 2020, 4:55 AM

ROAD WARRIORS are, in their own words, from “The Unforgiving Wastes Of South Australia”, and they play full on goinzoid, retro, powerful Heavy Metal. The roots of this trios music is definitely in the 80’s, unashamedly I would suggest. Massive riffs, a pounding driving drum sound, and street level vocal delivery, raw power, but no without melody. The sound is solid rock.  Most songs are mid-paced head banging, no-nonsense Metal, with many influences, such as PRIEST, MAIDEN and their ilk, but also some of the early pioneers of Power Metal, SAVATAGE, early QUEENSRYCHE and CRIMSON GLORY spring to mind.

That said the opening track “Tonight’s The Nightmare” reminded me of heavier Y&T, “Black Tiger” era, and that is not someone bad to be compared to. Next up is “Fox Devils Wild”.  Probably the fastest paced song on the album.  The main riff could be one of Fast Eddie’s, the song has that sort of fast head-banging pace, that hints at the sort of Rock & Roll Lem and the boys pounded out. “Fiend Behind The Scenes” slows the pace down a touch, without letting up on the intensity, or the groove.  The guitar is the king on this collection of songs, and none more so than here.

Thunder n’ Fighting” is such an 80’s title, and wasn’t quite what I was expecting.  I thought this was going to be all bar room bravado, but no we get a melodramatic OTT macho Power Metal workout that is part MANOWAR, part Tony Martin “Headless Cross” BLACK SABBATH, singing a sword and sorcery epic RJD would be proud of. “The Diamond Forge” propels us in the same direction.  Mid-paced heaviness, with a nod to the Power and almost Progressiveness of CRIMSON GLORY or QUEENSRYCHE’s early days.  The soloing on the outro of this track is spot on.

Nocturnal Arrest” speeds things up a bit again, built on a serious driving, pounding drum sound, and the bass really makes its presence felt on this one. The vocals are also at another level here.  A very strong contender for song of the album… “Rest For The Wicked” running it a close second.  I think “Wired” has the title, only just, and because it feels more balanced and structured. This one is great, and epitimises the bands sound, but it does that by trying just that little bit too hard to cram too much in.

However then along comes the last track “Rest For The Wicked”.  Brilliant riffage for the intro, then both the melody and the melodrama, builds and builds to a crescendo! This band and in particular this album is unashamedly retro, but never slipping into pastiche or parody, they deliver their music in their fashion, which happens to be based on this particular style and time.

And power to them for delivery such a brilliant sounding album. I would have this happily sitting next to any of the above mentioned bands in my collection, but then that is the music and the period that I cut my musical teeth on, and will always be part of my musical DNA.

Songwriting: 9
Originality: 9
Memorability: 9
Production: 9

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Tonight’s The Nightmare
2. Fox Devils Wild
3. Fiend Behind The Scenes
4. Thunder n’ Fighting
5. The Diamond Forge
6. Nocturnal Arrest
7. Wired
8. Rest For The Wicked
Lineup:
Denimal - Vocals, Bass
Overdryve - Guitars
Villon – Drums
Record Label: Gates of Hell Records
     


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Edited 26 February 2021
 

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