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Not a fan - 45%

Grumpy Cat, September 22nd, 2022

I wish I could write a hyperbolic review about how this is the worst album I've ever heard, because that would at least be entertaining, but the truth is that this album doesn't deserve that, in fact it doesn't deserve much at all including praise.

If you ever want to listen to 43 minutes of plodding chugs and trad metal riffs that were tossed out as filler 35 years ago then you are certainly welcome, this is probably good music for drinking with the boys and singing along to at concerts, it has a lot of references to drinking, a laid back easy going vibe and call and response sections to cater for both those activities, but again it's 42 minutes of plodding mid paced riffs with only sparse offerings of double pedal work or fills. Good trade off there? Can't say I think so.

There are some standout moments, for example the opening "dun duhduhdun' over that lil drum beat has a definitive resemblance to Sepultura's Refuse/Resist and then features a very cut and dry chuggy metalcore style breakdown, one of the other songs, can't remember which, had a little clean section where they just played the lead without distortion for.... reasons? Saxons and Vikings also provides that kinda little self referential wink to remind you not to take the Viking thing to seriously, as well as has vocals provided by the dude from Saxon so it's at least the most interesting of the lot in those regards.

Kind of a closing note here but it also just feels like the vibe isn't right, like its very one note. Each song really has that drink and sing along vibe and if the band was aiming to make 9 of these kinda arena metal, Wacken Fest anthem type songs more power to them, but calling the very first song Get in the Ring and then not having it be a fast paced aggressive mosh rager like Death in Fire or A Beast Am I feels like false advertising and bad way to kick off an album. In fairness it is the quickest of the bunch and most liberal with the double pedal but it still just doesn't hit quite right, especially the chorus where it drops to like half tempo.