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Stallion - From The Dead

From The Dead
by Harry Green at 17 July 2017, 5:30 AM

STALLION, formed in Baden-Wurttemburg in 2013, are another more recent entry in the German traditional metal market, having released one full-length, “Rise and Ride” in 2014, prior to this release, “From the Dead” released June 30th. I say “traditional metal” because their material could separately be slotted into a number of retro genres – power, speed, thrash, regular old heavy metal and sometimes hard rock. On this album, the band do retro right, even if they do end up a bit repetitive for it – but as far as old-school goes their riffing is exactly what you’d be looking for. The production has pretty high reverb, particularly on the vocals. The singer uses the customary power/thrash accusatory shriek, but has a strong set of tenor pipes on him when he needs to use them. The leads are purposeful and fun, providing the vital lifeblood of such an album, and the drummer varies the tempo enough to provide enjoyable compositions.

They combine a decent range of influences – JUDAS PRIEST is perhaps foremost, as is typically the case with every traditional power metal band, but you’ll hear pretty strong strains of ACCEPT, ANTHRAX, EXODUS, DARK ANGEL, MÖTORHEAD, Raven, and even early VAN HALEN.  Generally retro bands don’t borrow from more than one group from their time period, but by taking a handful of relatively distinct late 80’s subgenres STALLION manage to create fairly memorable songs.

As a matter of fact, album opener “Underground Society” is fairly emblematic, moving from speed metal to thrash to a bouncing traditional power metal riff and a soaring chorus. “Down and Out” brings DOKKEN and RATT to mind. “Lord of the Trenches” is much more an old-school uptempo power metal outing. “From the Dead” and “Step Aside” are probably the most speed/thrash type songs on here – in fact, elements of the verse riffs sound like prototypical death metal. “Hold the Line” and “Waiting for a Sign” are particularly good examples of a more traditional heavy (dare I say glam) metal influence. “Awaken the Night” blends elements reminiscent of DEF LEPPARD’s “Too Late for Love” with caffeinated speed metal flourishes in a compositional style that ends up sound just a little like traditional doom. However, the 50’s rock-n-roll section in “Blackbox” is perhaps the most charming interlude to be heard here.

If you like retro but you’re also bored to death of hearing it being retread, this album will be a pleasant departure. STALLION put enough thought into varying their influences that they stand out and manage to mitigate occasionally subpar songwriting by having each track be fairly unique. Tributes abound, but if you want to hear all the 80’s metal combined into one album that coheres and makes a singular outing, “From the Dead” is the way to go.

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

3 Star Rating

1. Underground Society
2. Down And Out
3. Hold The Line
4. Waiting For A Sign
5. From The Dead
6. Kill Fascists
7. Lord Of The Trenches
8. Blackbox
9. Step Aside
10. Awaken The Night
Pauly - Vocals
Äxxl - Guitars
Oli - Guitars
Niki - Bass
Aaron – Drums
Record Label: High Roller Records


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Edited 20 June 2018

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