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Epic - 100%

deft, November 3rd, 2009

Well, this is the holy grail of '80s metal: Bow Wow's ninth full-length studio album.

While starting off as a speedy/melodic hard rock band in the mid-'70s, with "Warning From Stardust" they are taking a whole different (but good) direction and set their sights high, bringing a lot of experimentation into the formula with slithery bass lines, solid and impressive guitar riffs, heavy razor-sharp drumming, and the powerfully phenomenal voice of vocalist/guitarist Kyoji Yamamoto. Talking about Kyoji, he started to use the "hammer" technique way before Eddie Van Halen made it popular in the '70s.

This album starts with the blasting single "You're Mine". When the drums kick in, you're sold! And while the hyperactive guitar insanity begins, it reminds you why they were the best of their time: they had a very original and energetic sound. Each song on this album could've been a potentially successful single back in the days anyway. Try, for instance, "Can't Get Back To You" and "20th Century Child", two powerful stadium rockers. "Heels Of The Wind" is a ballad song and although I'm not always happy with ballads, this one I never skip while listening to this record. Songs like "Abnormal Weather" and "Break Out the Trick" features such amazing guitar work bands like KISS could only dream of to release back in the 1980's. "Welcome To The Monster City" has an aggressive bass-driven touch to it and is one of the hardest songs on the album. Totally relentless!

I just simply can't get enough of this album. The production is perfect and I actually listen to it every month. Even when you listen to this album today it sounds very fresh. Bow Wow were way ahead of their time (even with their late '70s albums), and they definitely set a mood on parts of this record. An interesting, if not amazing listen.

Personal note: try to get your hands on the (Japanese) vinyl press instead of the 2000 CD reissue, since the sound on the CD is way too "loud" remastered. It sounds a bit crispy.