Saturday, August 17, 2013

Death Dealer-War Master


How's this for a line-up? You've got Sean Peck (Cage, Empires of Eden) on vocals, Ross the Boss (ex-Manowar, Dictators, Shakin' Street, Manitoba, etc.) and Stu Marshall (Empire Of Eden, Paindivision, Saint Lucifer, etc) on guitars, Mike Davis (Lizzy Borden, Halford, Angel Rot, etc) on bass and Rhino (Manowar, Angels Of Babylon, Jack Starr's Burning Starr and tons more!) on drums! If that's not the very definition of a "super-group" then I'm not sure what is! But, the key question arises then. Does it live up to such a lofty billing? Well, let's delve into the matter at hand and see. First things first though. It is worth mentioning that Ross The Boss (who really should need introduction if you call yourself any kind of heavy metal fan!) and Rhino both played in Manowar, but neither of them at the played at the same time. So, it's more then a little interesting that they both found there way into Death Dealer right? And since you do have two former members of Manowar that means that it is more then likely you'll pick up on some of that epic metal on "War Master". Well, at least I did. Honestly, right from the word "GO" I was envisioning this Manowar meets Judas Priest power metal group. That last part has everything to do with the lead vocals of Sean Peck. On "War Master" he pulls off a fairly decent impression of Rob Halford. While it's not on every track (as he does have more of an original lead of pipes on him when he tries) it was more then enough to give me visions of the legendary front-man of Judas Priest. Moving on our way we find a backing-band of musicians that is probably as good as you'll ever get. The familiar sound of Ross The Boss can be picked up fairly easily which is always a good thing! Meaning the other pieces fall easily into place with everyone playing their part with professionalism and enthusiasm being two key words. And indeed this is both a profession sounding recording and an enthusiastic bunch of musicians so that should be all it takes to make this one killer album. Well, yes and no. As I played this album I found myself being fully charmed by epic power metal with more then enough muscle and technical wizardly to keep my attention focused on the matter at hand. As each new track opened I was further pulled in to what was some fantastic metal. Or at least through the first three tracks. For whatever reason tracks number four ("Children of Flames") and ("Curse of the Heretic") put a halt to any enjoyment I was having with "War Master". With "Children Of Flames" the band goes for more of a U.S. power metal sound, but it just never reaches it's full potential. I give them credit for trying, but it left me wanting more. With "Curse of the Heretic" I really dug about 70% of the song. How? Well, the music on hand tries to be a steamrolling Judas Priest on speed and for most of the track that does work. Unfortunately I couldn't past what was some "talk-singing" taking place behind the music. It just ruined for me what could have been this insane number! Thank the metal gods then that the next track, "Hammer Down", really kicks some serious ass! It's more then enough spunk that you're pulled back into "War Master" and for the remainder of the album you soak up some killer power metal from a band that (hopefully) proves to be more then just a side-project. With 8 tracks out of 10 hitting all the right notes (or at the very least enough nice notes that this album would warrant repeated listens) this is the kind of debut-album you want for a group like this. So, hopefully they keep at it as there is always an audience for epic power metal like this!

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