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Ostrogoth Chapter 1: Speed - 93%

DesecratorJ, September 2nd, 2018

One could say that back in the early 80s, the metal music was being exploited at its maximum in the UK with the NWOBHM. I kind of agree with such statement, but even back then, some countries had their metal scene. In Belgium, in that case, we have Ostrogoth, who in the 80s, was one of the first band to play such music in that country. Of course, there are some other bands too among them, like Killer, Crossfire or Acid. Formed in 1980, they released a few demos before being signed to their home country label "Mausoleum Records". Influenced by the NWOBHM, Ostrogoth played a very interesting form of metal in their first years, they kind of sounded like a mix of bands like Iron Maiden, Grim Reaper, Tokyo Blade with a touch of USPM that bands such has Savage Grace and Omen were playing. However, these guys were quite early, and pretty much helped innovating such sound to some extent.

The first official release of Ostrogoth, called "Full Moon's Eyes" was released 35 years ago in 1983. What we have on this EP is four tracks and features arguably the best material from the band's career. Although it took me a while to finally listen to their records, it took no time to become one of my favorite bands of genre. You get pretty much everything in this album to make it a flawless gem to be quite honest. Firstly, you have the guitarists duet of "Sphinx" and "White Shark" (Both R.I.P.), that made outstanding solos and melodies like Iron Maiden or Judas Priest did. Of course, you also get a talentful singer nicknamed "Red Star" who has a unique voice tone that varies with high-pitched to a bit more harsh and even melodic as well. To make the EP even more enjoyable, the production work is amazing with its balanced instruments in the mix. Everything is easily audible and the sound has a bit of a raw feeling even if it's still very clean. The best new is that no tracks is actually bad at all.

The opener of this mini-album is the self-titled "Full Moon's Eyes", which is also the highlight of the whole record. It starts with a medieval atmosphere introduction before turning into a speed metal riffing assault. This song is catchy as hell to with its pre-chorus and actual chorus, the lyrics and verses are easy to follow-up to, which is probably why It got stuck in my head. Basically the same applies to the following track "Heroes' Museum", which is another speed metal attack, but also contain a nice guitar solo and furious drumming, especially in the beginning before the vocals kicks-in. The catchiness of this EP is incredible, to me at least, a track like "Rock Fever" is just great with its fast-paced drums and the melody of the guitars and vocals. The only problem of this song is its short duration, otherwise, it's just perfect, to be quite fair. Despite the awesomeness of this record, the track "Paris By Night" is a little let down compared to the other tracks. This one is more slow-paced and does not have the same level of energy even if it goes crazy during a small part of the songĀ­. However, the vocals and its lyrics are still catchy and fits within the structure, proving that these guys knew how to compose great songs.

Overall, this release is exceptional and a must-listen to every fans of old school 80s heavy, speed or power metal. It's a unique release as the sound of Ostrogoth will vary a bit on their subsequent releases, such has "Ecstasy and Danger" or "Too Hot". Their sound will evolve even more into what USPM band did in the 80s, which is still a pretty damn cool thing for those that like this genre, and I am a part of them. Anyway, it's Definitely a band and a record to look up to if you don't know them, I really recommend you to give them a listen!

Favorite songs:

Full Moon's Eyes
Rock Fever