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Tower - Shock to the System

Shock to the System
by Metal Wim at 11 January 2022, 10:02 PM

TOWER are a New York city based band that has just released their second full length album with “Shock To The System”. The debut “Tower” was released in 2016, and they also have a 2019 EP called “Tomorrow And Yesterday”. What this latest offering does; it makes it very clear where there influences lie. They are very much into the seventies, and “Shock To The System” could easily have come from that era. I was a teenager in those days, and experienced the rise of NWOBHM and the subsequent attraction that it caused worldwide. There were a lot a brilliant bands coming from all over the place.

TOWER would have been able to fit into those times very easily, as they have right attitude that a fast paced Heavy Metal band should have. They have two guitarists, James Denzo and Zak Penley, who work very well together and really know how to write exciting riffs. In James Jones they have a drummer who can easily keep up and does this in a way that makes you wonder how many drumsticks and covers he's broken during the recording. The band doesn't have a permanent bass player, but no worries there either, as Jeff Filmer stepped in and did a very good job at playing all the right notes.

The songs are all fast paced and extremely exciting, and full of head on fast Heavy Metal with even some NY Punk influences scattering around unexpectedly delicate. They are also very good, well balanced and harbouring a sound that really makes them shine all during all 39 minutes that this feast goes on. If I had to mention similar bands I would say that for the sound they do have a similar one to RIOT in the early eighties, but with the pace of early RAVEN. You might even want to mention the brutal power of MC5, only in the case of TOWER without the disorganisation that their peers demonstrated.

You'll notice I haven't mentioned Sarabeth Linden yet. Well, as a a vocalist she definitely is a force to be reckoned with. She has an extremely powerful voice that goes from singing to shouting and everything in between. She reminds me of a mix of Janis Joplin with Grace Slick (JEFFERSON AIRPLANE) and even some Robert Plant (LED ZEPPELIN). Her involvement promotes a rather good record to a great one. With her voice she lifts any song up and places it on a pedestal where you can only conclude that she makes the whole listening experience for “Shock To The System” into a very pleasant one.

Songwriting: 8
Musicianship: 8
Memorability: 7
Production: 9

4 Star Rating

1. Blood Moon
2. Prince of Darkness
3. Metatron
4. Running Out of Time
5. Lay Down the Law
6. Hired Gun
7. The Black Rose
8. On the Line
9. In Dreams
10. Powder Keg
Sarabeth Linden - Vocals
James Danzo - Guitar
Zak Penley - Guitar
James Jones – Drums
Record Label: Cruz Del Sur Music


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