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Part honor, part cheese, all metal - 80%

Brainded Binky, July 3rd, 2014

Mark Tornillo is most famous for being that long-haired, goateed, hat-wearing dude that took Udo's place in Accept, yet still managed to be just as amazing as Udo himself. Most of us are unaware, however, of his roots in little-known New Jersey band called TT Quick in the 80's. This band had recorded two albums at that time, and one of them, "Metal of Honor" displays Tornillo's vocal abilities very well. It also displays many trademarks of not only 80's metal but also of Accept. It can be quite cheesy at times, but it's still where a young Tornillo cut his teeth.

TT Quick's music is a testament to old school metal, and that means that its riffs aren't all that complex, but they still manage to be pretty rockin'. As with a lot of bands around in the 80's, TT Quick uses pretty standard power chords for much of its songs, but they're still enough to make them powerful. "Hell to Pay" is an excellent example of a song which utilizes these power chords to create a crunching, yet catchy hook. It also makes use of an e-note rhythm to chug the riff along, another known trademark of classic 80's metal. What makes "Hell to Pay" stand out is the fact that the other guitar plays a different chord at a different octave, thus creating a distinct harmony. This is one of the reasons why this song is so addicting to listen to. The only downside to the song is that it gets kind of soft before each chorus, but other than that, it's one of many songs on "Metal of Honor" that are superb rockers.

Oh, you'll definitely hear Tornillo's vocal talents on this album. Listen, and you'll know exactly why Accept chose him to be Udo's successor. He has a very wide vocal range, just as Udo did and his voice really soars in some places, especially in the chorus of the title track. In fact, his wide vocal range combined with his gravelly voice makes him sound almost exactly like Udo singing in an American accent! That reminds me, there is the song "Front Burner", which sound exactly like an Accept song. I mean, just listen to it, the chorus has an uncanny resemblance to the chorus any song that Accept would have written, not to mention the crunching hook that it has. Isn't it funny that one of Mark's first gigs would also sound like a band he would eventually join. But a song that you'd expect to come out of any band in the 80's would probably be "Queen of the Scene". Judging by its catchy sing-along chorus, I'm sure it was probably meant for radio airplay. But even so, it's a pretty cool song, cos it's way better than a couple of other songs on here that I would say are a little sub-par...

Of course, since this is an example of classic 80's heavy metal, there are songs on "Metal of Honor" that some would consider to be dishonorable. "Come Beat the Band" is a peppy and upbeat song that borderlines utterly ridiculous. But all that would be nothing to the sheer stupidity that is "Glad all Over", a cover of a Dave Clark Five song. Since this is a cover of a group of Beatles wannabes from the 60's, you can expect it to be sugary and idiotic, as if it was, well, glad all over. Why the band chose to cover such a song is beyond me, but it would have been a whole lot worse if they covered a BeeGees song. If you were so impressed with the preceding tracks on the album, which were mostly crunching and aggressive, your jaw would hit the floor when "Glad All Over", the complete polar opposite of crunching and aggressive, begins. Tornillo's vocals don't go well with the song either cos he makes the insipid chorus sound quite annoying. In short, it's one of the low points of the album.

That said, "Metal of Honor" just might have been America's answer to Accept. The two bands have such similar traits in some songs, and especially in Tornillo's voice, that it's no wonder that Accept recruited him. I'm not so sure that many people could tell the difference, so the band pretty much disappeared not long after releasing "Sloppy Seconds". It's a shame, cos this album is actually pretty good. Granted, it sounds a lot like Accept, but still, "Metal of Honor" would be the album where the world first heard the talents of Mark Tornillo himself.

Wow, 80s metal can sure suck sometimes - 40%

UltraBoris, April 20th, 2003

This is way too high on the cheese factor and the AC/DC-isms to be any good. The vocalist has that half-shriek half-snarl that's not all that much removed from Brian Johnson, except more shrieky. Not a great singer by any means... then as for the actual music, this is anthemic '80s metal with more than a passing reference to '70s classic rock.

The opening track is probably the best, but even that isn't all that good... the problem is that for the most part the riffage is subdued, and the vocals are very high in the mix (see the verses). In the chorus, they step up the guitars quite a bit, and they come out a lot better - but in the verses and under the solo, the riffage is very minimal. The solo is cool, like on all the songs here - there is no absence of lots of noodling.

Then it kinda goes downhill from here. Front Burner is total AC/DC worship, with a very similar style riff - very simple, and lots and lots of groove. If you like that kind of stuff (really, if you like stuff like AC/DC and also Lynyrd Skynyrd) you will like this. I for one want a lot more fucking headbanging material.

The rest is similar to this, really - there isn't all that much to say. Hard as a Rock has a cool riff for a few seconds here and there. Child of Sin is not quite a ballad, but it is slower than the other tracks, while Asleep at the Wheel is a lot faster, and it sounds like some classic rock band whose name I can't be bothered to remember right now. Hell to Pay is a ballad, though it actually has a pretty cool middle section - it's most similar to 80s metal in the classic sense, oddly enough.

Queen of the Scene is yet another number that sounds typical for this album. Glad all Over is a cover, and I forget who the average is - it's less metal than the rest of the album, while Siren Song is another ballad that kinda falls flat.

So what we have here is more a party-anthem album than anything else. If you like your metal filled with lots of rockisms and enough groove to incapacitate a Pantera member, then you'll love this. But if you want your metal with balls of steel, then... no.