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Touch the sky! You... will... DIE!!! - 92%

PhantomLord86, April 22nd, 2007

This EP needs no introduction, so let's go straight to the music.

In retrospective, it is quite obvious that this EP along with Walls of Jericho represent a sound that will not be found on later albums. This is normally considered 'speed metal' but since that doesn't describe very well what the music is about, I think of this release as a sort of 'melodic thrash'. There are a bunch of thrash elements here, but with a more melodic approach.

The production is actually quite poor, but it is understandable since it is the band's first release and also this was recorded in 1985, so you can't expect much more. Anyway, it does not help at all.

Kai's voice is very immature and not very good, he sounds like a teenager trying to imitate Halford's screams. Luckily the whole band would realize that they needed a real singer and hire Michael Kiske a couple of years later. This songs with Kiske at the helm are even better, check out the Kiske rendition of 'Victim of Fate' found on the remaster of the Keeper I album. Also Kai's higher (falsetto) notes are not good and he doesn't hit every single note. This is easily noticeable at the end of 'Murderer'. However, he is not crappy and is bearable throughout most of the EP or mini-LP or whatever.

The guitar work is very very good and quite developed for a debut - it is quite hard to find a verse that features a single-note pattern, which is good. The riffs are highly complex and well achieved, as well as the twin guitar leads.
The album is full of catchy guitar lines, especially in the choruses. For a good example check 'Victim of Fate' chorus riff, the same one that is used on the intro.

That song also features the only slow-down moment at the 2 minutes mark. It is a very good idea because it adds something more and takes away the repetitiveness feeling of an album made of pure speed. This one is not repetitive anyway, but this slow-down adds something not usually found. Unluckily it also features some very annoying vocal lines by Kai, who tries to sound evil with an almost black-metalish voice but fails miserably.

Cry for Freedom also starts slowly and seems to be a sort of epic until you reach the 1:53 mark, where all the fury of the speed is unleashed and a ooooh-ooooh chorus takes over. This song is very complete, with a very nice verse and a ball-grabbing solo.

Overall, this is a great EP. Highly recommended to fans of melody and speed.