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Squealer – Behind Closed Doors

Squealer
Behind Closed Doors
by Erik Akos at 12 February 2018, 11:29 PM

SQUEALER are a German musical collective that mix Traditional (aka Classic) and Power Metal. Formed in Schwalmstadt, the group released their debut in 1992 and have since unleashed 7 LPs of their music to us. So yeah, they’ve been around for quite some time, but question is, how well are they doing right now? Well, today I will try to answer that question with my review of their latest disk, ”Behind Closed Doors”.

Madnessecity” is a really tasty 1.5 minute intro track with those strings in the background and the pianos halfway through; I would GLADLY listen to a 3-4 minute full version of it.

Next up is the title-track, which opens with some menacing guitar chords and progresses into the best song on the record - with solid drumming, really enjoyable guitar work and Ohmygoodness, that chorus. Its length is also perfect; close to the border of justifiable and unnecessary - plain perfection. The song's solo isn't anything special, but the overall song is easily among the best I've heard in the last few weeks; a strong 9/10.

However, it is followed by a notably weaker composition. Even though ”Time Goes By” has a more interesting guitar solo, the significantly simpler song-writing makes it a bit disappointing. By itself, it's solid, but after the masterpiece that is ”Behind Closed Doors”, it left me with a bitter feeling. In the song ”Dreamshot”, vocalist Sebastian Werner gets most of the spotlight, and he easily deserves it, with some Mike Patton-esque randomness. It's a cool extra, and would have been a great addition to the album if it wasn't almost 5 minutes long. Nevertheless, the band’s singer is the best thing about this LP, period.

Another track I feel that should be mentioned is the one ”Behind Closed Doors” concludes with; and that’s ”MOTM”. A great acoustic intro translates perfectly into a monstrous riff. It's very poppy yet charismatic and just plain cool, yet fits in well with its musical context.

Overall, I can say the album captured my attention the times I listened to it. It wasn't just background music for scrolling through my Facebook news feed, not even for the first time. I didn't have to particularly concentrate on it, it just felt natural to notice certain positive and negative aspects of it. The record also flows very well; the longer tracks are usually grouped together so it gives a long, monumental feeling but it also has it's fair share of 3-4 minute songs, all of which are placed in a way that's just…balanced.

Although I don't really have any specific problem with the music on here, I feel like besides the vocals, nothing is really stellar, and could have been done much better, but not everything has to be a masterpiece; that surely isn't and shouldn't be a requirement. Honestly, the only forgettable tracks here is ”Modern World Maniacs” and ”Worlds Collide”; and the latter would’ve been decent (it's pretty catchy) if it weren't for it's redundant length. So the album doesn’t contain much filler either.

Other than that, the further I went into this disk, the more I liked it. The production is also nothing special. It’s fitting, but not something that adds to the quality as a whole. In conclusion, I simply appreciate that they were going for many different sounds and styles throughout the record; that makes for a healthily diverse experience, with enough epic atmosphere that it feels organic and not cringy (like most PM) whilst packing enough technical skill and creative songwriting. Granted I don't listen to much Traditional or Power Metal, this mixture of the two genres is probably my favourite from a lesser known band. Would recommend it do basically anyone.

Songwriting: 8
Originality: 7
Memorability: 8
Production: 6

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
  1. Madnessecity
  2. Behind Closed Doors
  3. Time Goes By
  4. Dream Shot
  5. Foolish Man's Invasion
  6. Into The Past
  7. Brainwash
  8. Fate
  9. Modern World Maniacs
  10. Worlds Collide
  11. MOTM
Lineup:
Sebastian Werner – Vocals
Lars Döring – Guitars
Michael Schiel – Guitars
Manuel Roth "M" – Bass
Record Label: Pride & Joy Music
     


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