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Belligerent Damsels and Valiant Cavaliers - 94%

bayern, June 22nd, 2017

The third female-fronted German metal act after Warlock and Holy Moses, this band took a central position between the two as their style was more aggressive and belligerent than the one of the Doro Pesch gang, but wasn’t as ferocious and thrash-fixated as the one of The Moses. The EP reviewed here came as a fine blend between two meisterwerks that came out a year earlier, Angel Dust’s “Into the Dark Past” and Exumer’s “Possessed by Fire”, with echoes of Helloween’s “Walls of Jericho” as well.

The opener “We Come to Fight” is a major statement of intent, both music and title-wise, the officiant stomping beginning soon replaced by a whirlwind of furious vitriolic riffs as the guys (and a girl) take no prisoners with their prime speed/thrash approach over which soar Cornelia Ernst’s attached high-strung vocals that sound close to the ones of Doro Pesch, only more belligerent and a tad more high-strung; that opener is a rip-roaring headbanger with a fever-pitch lead-driven epitaph. “Nuclear Death” is a smashing bursting speedster splitting everyone at the seams within 4-min, reaching thrashy proportions with ease also finding the time for a portion of blistering leads. “Knock Down the Door” has an enchanting balladic beginning, but the speed/thrashing ”madness” resumes on full-throttle Ernst sounding more pissed and boisterous assisting the fast-paced melee with panache, with superb melodic configurations standing on the side as well together with less dynamic stomping escapades. “Grave of the Unknown” carries on with the exciting “carnage” with speedy riffs flying from all sides, pure early Angel Dust with Ernst shouting her lungs out to a really dramatic effect with loads of infectious melodies again, and outstanding work from both the bass player and the lead guitarist the latter stealing a few minutes for himself in the second half to display his Shrapnel-like talents. “Possessed Preacher” is an encompassing 9-min progressiver which “flirts” with the ballad at first showing Ernst in a brighter, more lyrical light before the speedy showdown commences the band showing to all past, present and future practitioners how speed metal can be sustained for over 7-min with very few stops from the hyper-active “freighter”; watch out for the never-ending supply of dazzling melodic hooks which even beat the Kai Hansen and Michael Weikath exploits on the early Helloween recordings.

An absolutely arresting beginning which sadly remained just an underground phenomenon. The “Time to Rethink” demo contained another five tracks of the same high quality, but again this didn’t amount to fortune and glory. I guess this may have been a reason for the band to change their style in the early-90’s to much more melodic progressive metal. The latter decision finally proved fruitful as they were given the chance to record two whole full-lengths neither of which having even a tiny bit of the brave, overtly aggressive flair of the previous propositions. Speed/thrash metal didn’t cover them with fame, but at least made them the unsung heroes (and heroines) of all the fight-prone wayward warriors who were marching into battle singing/humming their early hymns.

Absolute Aggression - 79%

DeathRiderDoom, March 15th, 2010

I’ll keep things pretty brief here, but this is actually quite a badass EP. It’s one of those ones you own for ages but always forget about, and kicks you in the teeth when it comes on. In the tradition of bands like Znowhite, Chastain, Malibu Barbi, Hawaii, this is aggressive, often fast, and ironically ballsy female-fronted heavy metal, with a focus on sweet riffs, heavy, smashing drums, sweat drenched attitude and shredding solos. A remarkable caliber release for a debut, and from a style somewhat more expected of North America than Germany, this little EP is recommendable, advisable and any number of further synonyms for “worth grabbing”. There’s a nasty, rough snaring edge to it, very thrash orientated riffage, and some of the more heavier drums you’e likely to hear out of 1987. All in all – this is very strong, kickass heavy metal.

While all tracks are pretty solid, the onslaught ‘Nuclear Death’ offers just about as much as any headbanger could want in a track, we have slow bits with menacing, skillfull riffs, shredding solos, and blitzkrieg moments with pounding double bass, topped with snarly, shouted commands from vocalist Tanja Ivenz. This thriller may just well top the album. ‘Knock Down the Door’ is perhaps just as good, with some evil opening riffs, and pounding double kick that remind of something out of Flotsam & Jetsam’s ‘Doomsday for the Deceiver’. Carrying on the evil tone here, we have brooding, metallic riffs which convey a strong sense of evil, interspliced with frequent eruptions in to pure thrash crossover style sections, where Ivenz shouts evil obscenities at the listener, with powery themes. Your opener is an aggressive stunner not to be messed with.

Very solid; all tracks are good, and this band is an absolute riff-machine, not to mention a rather garish display of drumming talent by Gerd "Turbo" Haußmann. If you like aggressive old school speed metal, then this will certainly be to your liking. This is one of those bands with almost too much talent – it’s exploding out everywhere, and molds into one heck of a speed/thrash debut. Lightning pace attacks are intersliced with massive headbang moments (intro to ‘Grave of the Unknown’) in an album with cool themes, great solos, awesome riffs, technical guitar talent. In vocalist Tanja Ivenz, the band may not a have a singer with a command of notes and soulful, vibrato mastery like Don Dokken but she does have a command of a little attribute called ‘tude. Anyway great album. Check it out.

DeathRiderDoom