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Rapid Strike – Rapid Strike

Rapid Strike
Rapid Strike
by Dave "That Metal Guy" Campbell at 13 July 2021, 9:32 AM

Initially formed in 2010, Croatian Rock/Metal band RAPID STRIKE has since achieved recognition from fans around the globe with their distinct and recognizable sound that bridges the gap between Metal and Rock. After their successful debut album, international tours and fierce festival appearances, their brand new, self-titled album is finally here. Lead guitarist and primary songwriter Hrvoje Madiraca has crafted an album full of mean riffs, crazy solos, catchy melodies, meaningful lyrics and strong, yet beautiful vocals provided by English vocalist Bexie James, their latest addition to the lineup. A band with a truly international character now, the band aims to reach out and touch the sky. “Rapid Strike” contains eight tracks.

“Just a Lie” leads off the album. Some bluesy slide guitars open the song, followed by some great leads and a heavy, distorted sound. The female vocals are both emotive and powerful at the same time. But it’s almost as if there are two separate songs within…the style changes drastically and without transitions. “Night of the Unholy” begins with an 80’s riff and some audible bass notes. The sound is tough, but these are riffs that you have heard before. “Sweet Terror” is a mid-tempo song that features an old riff and a long scream to open the song. There is a glaring disconnect between the vocals and the music. The repeated pig squeals in the lead parts get a bit cliché.

“Sailing on” is the obligatory “power ballad” on the album. It begins with clean guitars and melancholy vocals. Bexie really does have a nice voice, but it seems wasted in the band. As the sound lingers on, it starts to weigh on me. “Betrayal is a Sin” opens with another re-hashed 80’s riff, devoid of character and personality. Oh boy, the harsh vocals do not work well here at all. It would be best to leave those behind. “Losing You” is another ballad, that begins with piano and clean guitar, along with some strings. The doleful nature of the song doesn’t really grab me at all. I keep waiting on a crescendo, and when it arrives, it’s lackluster.

“Viper’s Nest” is a short song that now makes three in a row that began with clean tones. From there, it slows down, with a heavy riff, and some guitar pyro. As I mentioned, the lead guitarist is fairly good, but does not do enough to counteract the bogged down feeling that I get. “Shout it Out” closes the album. It’s a pretty bad and cliché sound here. The band is trying to be tough and edgy, but in the end it comes off as any cheesy 80’s band, trying to get by with elementary riffing and a strong vocalist.

Honestly, the band sounds like the fictional band CRUCIAL TAUNT from the “Wayne’s World” movies…a strong female lead vocalist, but the rest of band isn’t really that strong, with the exception of the lead guitarist. He really puts his all into the music, and although he is a bit on the sloppy side, he nails down many good runs. It really didn’t measure up to how it’s advertised, with a disconnect between many of the vocals to the music. A great vocalist does not an album make, and I have to question the band’s musical path. It’ just another Hard Rock band without an edge to separate themselves from thousands of others.

Songwriting: 5
Musicianship: 7
Memorability: 3
Production: 6

2 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Just a Lie
2. Night of the Unholy
3. Sweet Terror
4. Sailing on
5. Betrayal is a Sin
6. Losing You
7. Viper´s Nest
8. Shout it Out
Lineup:
Bexie James – Vocals
Hrvoje Madiraca – Lead and Rhythm guitars
Ante Pupačić Pupi – Lead and Rhythm guitars
(Session) – Bass
(Session) – Drums
Record Label: WormHoleDeath Productions
     


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