Friday, January 31, 2014

French Metal Friday: Sultan's Seed

First known as Synthèse, who, having formed in 1981, released a single called "Black Ghetto" in 1984 before releasing one full-length studio album entitled "Prisoner" two years later, the French act Sultan's Seed remain another one of those long-lost, one and done bands. Their sole-release, "Aimin' For Victory", which, like "Prisoner" before it, was released in 1986 and stands as a solid heavy metal/speed metal release, seemingly came and went with little in the way of fanfare which seems a shame. Despite outward appearances (see horrific band photo above!) Sultan's Seed, which carried the same exact line-up over from Synthèse (making one wonder if the there was actually that much of a style-changed or if the moniker change was simply an attempt at having a more Americanized name?), was fronted by the capable Marc Dura and rounded out by skilled guitarist Gerard Jendrzejewski and the none-too-shabby rhythm section of bassist Pierre Blanchet and drummer Philippe Blanchet (brothers?). Musically (at least for Sultan's Seed) an album like "Aimin' For Victory" falls squarely into the heavy meal/(near) speed metal category that was all the favor a few years prior to this album's release although there are moments when the band almost comes across as a (raw) eighties metal version of Van Halen like on "Spread Your Wings" and "Hot Rock'n Roll"! Elsewhere tracks like the title cut showcase a real maturity and the understanding that much can be achieved by perfecting the balance of hard rock rhythms and traditional heavy metal solos. The only downsides to Sultan's Seed lone album would be the under-produced nature of the record and the dreadful inclusion of a number like "Let Me A Chance". Obviously the band was trying their hand at writing a commercial power ballad (something that really took off towards the late eighties/early nineties in all of it's nauseous glory!), but the track crashes and burns shortly after takeoff leaving no survivors! Thankfully it's the only track of it's kind on "Aimin' For Victory" and, with the invention of the fast-forward button on most modern day stereos, it can be easily avoided! After this particular eight-track release the band issued two demos (in 1987 and 1988 respectively) before (seemingly overnight?) disappearing. Current whereabouts remain unknown....   

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