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Stalker - Shadow of the Sword

Shadow of the Sword
by Marcos "Big Daddy" Garcia at 20 January 2018, 8:16 AM

On some albums I hear in the present, the idea that comes to my mind is that the band is saying something like “I’m from the 80s” or “mommy, I play in a 80’s Metal band”, such is the need of some guys to be a clone of what was already done uncountable times before. Sorry, but to do such music to me is a fallacy, and you can’t fool Big Daddy here. STÄLKER, a trio from New Zealand, is a clone from the 80s, as “Shadow of the Sword” shows clearly.

It’s a Speed Metal band with a great need to be called a band from the 80s. So you’ll find all those old and moldy clichés that were eroded by the time sands. Of course I heard many bands like them on 1985 to 1988, but we aren’t in those days anymore. And sorry, but I can’t see this album as a serious thing. It’s a bad joke, that kind joke that don’t make me laugh, but is disappointing. Some of their melodies are really good, they could have done something on Old School ways, but being a clone is like to be a parasite, living off what someone did before you.

Cam Sinclair (mixing) and Luke Rowell (mastering) have a lot to explain, because with the modern techniques and powerful sound, why in the blazes their music sounds hollow, moldy and like a carbon copy of those bands from German Metal from the first half of the 80s? Moldy, raw and even with bad instrumental tunes, all of that implies in something not organic or raw, but hollow!

To deal with this album is a test of patience for old Metalheads, and although some good moments can be heard on “Total Annihilation”, “Path of Destruction”, “Shadow of the Sword”, “Demon Dawn”, the version for DEATH’s “Evil Dead” and “Steel God”. But these moments are merely pulses, not a total song. And sorry, I had enough from the 80s when I was living on those times. I prefer to hear the old albums from those years than copies like “Shadow of the Sword”.

Hope they can improve in the future, but for now, STÄLKER is a mediocre band.

Originality: 4
Songwriting: 6
Memorability: 5
Production: 3

2 Star Rating

1. Total Annihilation
2. The Mutilator
3. Path of Destruction
4. Shadow of the Sword
5. Satanic Panic
6. Shocked to Death
7. Demon Dawn
8. Master of Mayhem
9. Evil Dead (Death cover)
10. Steel God
Daif - Bass, Vocals
Chris - Guitars
Nick - Drums
Record Label: Napalm Records


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