Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Slander-Resolution Defiance

Stormspell Records

English heavy metal band Slander, formed in 1990 and initially only active until 1993, released it's full-length debut album, "Careless Talk Costs Lives", way back in 1991. Now lead by vocalist Martin Moffwood (Stonefist), Slander are back on the scene with their long-anticipated sophomore LP. Clocking in at just under 38 minutes, Slander's "Resolution Defiance" comes along some 26 years after the group's critically-acclaimed debut. It also serves as the follow-up to Slander's 2013 split with Twisted State of Mind. Along with new and improved vocalist Martin Moffwood, Paul Snape makes his studio debut as Slander's bass player. He joins guitarist Ian Snape (2014-present) and founding members Andy Saxon-Lamb (guitars) and Andy "Eddie" Edwards (drums). With these new members in place, Slander comes out with all guns blazing and they make up for lost time with album number two. Things open up strong with the slightly-atmospheric "Lazarus" (a one minute instrumental opener) which runs straight into the metallic muscle punch of "Backs Against The Wall". The (riff-heavy) metal rocker "The Machine Keeps on Rolling" is next and it's followed up by the equally-awesome "When We Die". From there we have the slick title cut, the N.W.O.B.H.M.-infused "Take Me Down", and the powerful "Juggernaut". The album's longest track, "In a Dark Place", closes things out with a bang. It's a hard-edged/rock-steady take on classic heavy metal and it is beyond epic! Ultimately this is as perfect an album as one can get! And no, I don't say that lightly. From start to finish Slander's new album gets a A+ grade! Thanks to the addition of second guitarist Ian Snape and the marked improvement that is Martin Moffwood, Slander's new album is a step forward from what was already a dynamite sound! When it came to Slander's debut, N.W.O.B.H.M. meets eighties heavy metal is the description I used when I first heard it. Those influences are still here, but on album number two they have been merged with creative and highly-memorable heavy/hard rock. With Any Saxon-Lamb on one side and Ian Snape on the other, "Resolution Defiance" features some of the best guitar work that I have heard in a very long time! Whether it is the general riffs (which are energetic and just plain fun!) or the simply killer guitar solos, "Resolution Defiance" greatly benefits from having Andy Saxon-Lamb backed-up by a second guitarist. Special praise should also be given to Slander's new & improved rhyme second (I'm loving Paul's bass work and the always reliable drumming of Andy "Eddie" Edwards!) and the great vocal work of Martin Moffwood. Collectively-speaking, Slander circa 2017 is the best line-up to date and it has produced an album that cannot be topped! Even though it hasn't been officially released yet, "Resolution Defiance" is my vote for the heavy metal album of the year!! We can only hope that it doesn't take nearly as long for album number three to arrive!

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