Artist:  Alpha Tiger
   Title: Men Or Machine
   Label: Sonic Attack

Are you like me, do you remember when Heavy Metal was the one genre of metal and we all went to see the same bands whether it was Priest, AC/DC, Maiden, Saxon or Motorhead.  The uniform of choice was denim and leather, when grown men sewed patches and embroidered their favourite band logos on the backs of their Wrangler jackets ... oh those were simpler times! (When men were men and sheep were nervous...).

Now these times are about to come flooding back if Karl Walterbach and his new label Sonic Attack have anything to do with it.  The label is not only embracing the past but also the present, integrating the familiar silver disc CD’s with downloads and Internet campaigns through the likes of Myspace and other social networks.

So with this the labels second release to date are the Saxony Metal of Alpha Tiger and their album ‘Man Or Machine’.  The band led by the powerful vocal might of Stephan Dietrich, who reminds me of a mix between Bruce Dickinson and Geoff Tate, a power combination I think you must agree.  He along with the twin guitars of Peter Langforth and Alexander Backasch, the hard hitting rhythm section of Axel Patzold on drums and Dirk Frei on bass, complete the Alpha Tiger line-up.

The album may take its spiritual inspiration from the early eighties metal, but this is taken to new heights with the production of Godi Hildmann, who together with the band has produced an album that ticks all the right boxes for any fan of great Heavy Metal.

From the opener ‘Starriders’ you soon feel the awesome power of Dietrich’s stunning vocals.  This layered with the fiery licks of the twin guitars confirm you know this is going to be metal with a bite.  This vibe continues with the riff fuelled ‘Crimson Desert’ and the exceptional ‘Man Or Machine’, the latter really mixing old school with a modern symphonic tone.  If this is Saxony Metal then give me more of the same!

But the album and the band aren’t all about thrashing it around, they do have a melodic side and this is brought to the forefront on the haunting ‘When Autumn Leaves Fall’, which delivers on so many fronts.  Right from musicianship to the superb vocals this one really is something special and shows the wealth of talent on offer with this band.

It's back to the straight up metal with the Maiden-esque twin guitar driven ‘Against The Time’, this song gives Langforth and Backasch the change to really go all out and believe me the do.  The massive guitar sound is continued with ‘Martyr’s Paradise’ before the band really show their metal might with the rampaging ‘Karma’, before bringing it back down a touch with the old school ‘Exit: Night”.

The album closes with what I would describe as true Saxony Metal, the mix of folk styled flute at the intro has that medieval feel, but this is just the intro as the track opens up it all guns blazing once more.  This wraps up what is a great flagship album for the label and let's hope fans of true metal with embrace not just the band, but the label as well.  You can check out the bands Myspace site www.myspace.com/alphatigerband for more info.

Tracklisting:

1. Starriders
2. Crimson Desert
3. Man Or Machine
4. When Autumn Leaves Fall
5. Against The Time
6. Martyr's Paradise
7. Karma
8. Exit: Night
9. Black Star Pariah

                   

 

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