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Road Warrior - Power

Road Warrior
Power
by Dave Nowels at 14 October 2018, 11:18 AM

ROAD WARRIOR’s “Power” opens forcefully with wailing melodic guitar, that evolves into chants and galloping riffs. The song is “Don’t Fight Fate” and it’s instantly reminiscent of 80’s NWOBHM bands such as METAL CHURCH and GRIM REAPER, MANOWAR and of course Maiden. I’m immediately intrigued. Coming to us from South Australia, ROAD WARRIOR’s album, “Power” is via Gates of Hell Records, and I’ll be damned if that association isn’t appropriate and fitting. There’s an old school darkness, and evil permeating from “Power”, from the album’s cover to the songs collected within.

The follow-up to their “Ignition” demo, “Power” showcases the trio of, bassist/vocalist Denimal Blake, guitarist Overdryve and Villion on the drums. Track two is “On Iron Wings” and it’s impressive how much sound these guys strategically capture. “…Wings” covers an impressive amount of ground. It’s fast paced, but slows to build on an evil theme, before raging to conclusion. “Devils In Waiting” is pretty darn fascinating. Opening with a contemplative musical interlude, the song quickly sheds that disguise, and pulls the listener into a shredding rocker. Falsetto vocals, evil imagery, interesting time changes, and appropriate chugging riffs follow.

“I am The Hunger” introduces some creative approaches to the standard NWOBHM fare. Guitarist Overdryve knows his chops, and isn’t afraid to showcase them all. Yet, his playing never comes across as “showboating”. Rather, he carefully inserts this technique here, and that one there. Similarly, Blake’s bass stylistically fills the holes created by the lack of a second guitar, all while weaving in and around Villion’s thundering drum approach. “Tease n’ Torture” adds a Thrash element somewhat, though maybe it’s just the first time it’s been so apparent. Through repeated listens, I keep finding elements I previously overlooked. There’s a lot happening here, and the fact that this is only a trio continues to surprise and impress.

“Sweating Out The Poison” takes us into the home stretch of the album, and is the one track that really failed to resonate with me. It’s still an interesting track, and features some great playing, it’s just that it feels like it was the last song completed for the album. Maybe it was rushed, and not given the careful approach that the other tracks seem to have been given. Regardless, just because it doesn’t work for me, I have no doubt others will love it. “Back Alley Tokyo Woman” brings me back in, connecting on all points once again. The song has a sultry, “TYGERS OF PAN TANG” feel that I really dig. The album concludes with “The Future Is Passed” and definitely ends on a high note.  Again displaying originality with their song composition, the band utilizes time changes and creative playing to really elevate this song to one of my favorites of the album. The whole band shines on this one.

In closing, I’m glad I found this one. ROAD WARRIOR have a tremendous up-side, and a staggering amount of potential. With only eight tracks, “Power” really only seems to hint at what the band might have in store for the future. Hopefully their deal with Gates of Hell Records includes a couple more albums, and that will allow them the ability to gain more confidence and hone their sound even more.

Songwriting: 7
Originality: 8
Memorability: 9
Production: 8

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:

1. Don't Fight Fate
2. On Iron Wings
3. Devils In Waiting
4. I Am Hunger
5. Tease n' Torture
6. Sweating Out The Poison
7. Back Alley Tokyo Woman
8. The Future Is Passed

Lineup:
Denimal Blake – Vocals & Thunderpunch Bass Guitar
Overdryve – Lead Guitar
Villon – Drums & Backing Vocals
Record Label: Gates of Hell Records
     


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Edited 13 November 2018
 

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