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Stallion > Rise and Ride > Reviews
Stallion - Rise and Ride

Cosplay band nr 7853 - 40%

morbert, May 29th, 2020

Okay, how many rock/metal bands were called Stallion throughout the years? Six that we know of. What we have here is a 'new' Stallion from Germany playing pure eighties metal. The members however were born in the nineties. Yeah, you've heard me. This is one of the cosplay bands. Anyone else noticed how all these very, very young kids who loved thrash metal in 2008-2010, stole all the spandex & denim from their parents and thrift shops before all of a sudden switching en masse to traditional heavy and speedmetal around 2011/2012 at the time Midnight released 'Satanic Royalty' and Skull Fist unleashed 'Head öf the Pack'. Because that was the new hype for that generation. Well, here in northwestern Europe that was exactly what happened.

It's not without reason all retro thrashbands from this region started somewhere 2005-2010 and the speed metal / traditional retrogroups around 2012/2013. This generation turned out to be extremely hype sensitive! Unfortunately going back to an age before they were born means that their musical (annd visual) constructs are firmly hindered by dogma and historical puritanism, leaving almost no room for any imagination, personality nor creativity. Just look at the bandphotos. For instance guitarist Äxxl just tries to look like someone from Tokyo Blade and late-eighties Sodom at the same time. It is very contrived. And wearing a Bolt Thrower shirt on your spandex Japanese flag trousers when playing live doesn't give you extra street cred, Pauly.

However this could all be no problem at all if the music is great, right? Well that's where Stallion fails on the majority of the material. But they actually manage to have some fun moments.

The second song 'Wild Stallions' (a clear nod to Wyld Stallyns from the eighties Bill & Ted movie) is pure speed metal. Nothing special, fun riffs, good (catchy) chorus. And the vocals do manage to make this kind of song work. But as a whole vocalist Pauly just isn't that good. A raw melodic yet very limited voice. His vocals do work on faster and/or more aggressive songs like 'The Right One', 'Canadian Steele', 'Stigmatized' and the earlier mentioned 'Wild Stallions' .

However when the pace goes down, all shortcoming of the band are painfully obvious. 'Bills to Pay' sounds like an Accept reject, 'Wooden Horse' is plain boring and 'Streets of Sin' is just pathetic with probably the worst cheesy chorus you'll hear in years. The band doesn't have a Steve Clark, Richie Sambora or Adrian Smith in their mids to write or perform decent midpaced rockers. Nor do they have the right vocals. The vocal shortcomings really reveal themselves on songs like these.

A song like 'The Devil Never Sleeps ' is pretty good but would've been perfect with someone like King Diamond singing it (is has a strong KD vibe musically) Opener 'Rise and Ride' only has a good chorus working for it but the rest of the song is meandering (flat out boring) and that guitar melody starting at 3:07 is blatantly stolen from Metallica. Come on guys! Not cool.

So, another cosplay band with a few songs that have 'it' but even more bad snoozers.

Standout tracks:
- The Right One
- Canadian Steele
- Stigmatized
- Wild Stallions
Also worth mentioning because it's almost good: 'The Devil Never Sleeps'

4,5 good songs out of 10 minus 5 point deduction for Metallica plagiarism means a 40% score.

Unapologetic speed/heavy nostalgia - and it's good - 77%

Drequon, December 27th, 2014

I wasn't expecting much from Stallion when I pushed the play button. Though I'm an enthusiast of old-school NWOBHM and 80's metal music in general, I was never that much into the nostalgia wave that tries to make the 2010's sound like 1987 or thereabouts - and a single glance to Stallion's artwork and band photos reveals that we're not dealing with a flamboyant, avantgarde metal act at all. But title-track "Rise and Ride" surprised me in no uncertain terms, with a bombastic spoken intro, great guitar work and an extremely catchy chorus. I still get myself singing "rise! and ride!" from time to time, believe me! Though surely predictable as hell, "Rise and Ride" is an awesome song, plain and simple - and perhaps that's how we can resume these German speed metallers as well. We all have seen those bullet belts and patched jackets countless times before, and there's nothing new in Stallion's approach to heavy metal, but there's a refreshing thing about their music and attitude that is simply too hard to ignore.

Many bands out there are trying to reinvent the wheel when it comes to heavy metal, with different levels of success: Stallion just have a laugh on all those pathetic losers and play metal as old-school as it gets, with a complete disregard for anything new or unpredictable. Name your favorite obscure speed/heavy bands, from Enforcer to Reaper and from Skull Fist to Metal Inquisitor: somehow Stallion manages to resemble them all, and many more. Still (and quite surprisingly) Stallion doesn't sound too lame or derivative: the riffs are mostly very interesting (although obviously a bit worn out as a whole), the slightly sleazy vocals of Pauli are considerably unique and the compositions are catchy and dynamic most of the time.

The lyrical subjects are perfectly adequate for such a musical stance: almost all songs are anything but subtle, talking about how proud they are of being old-fashioned metalheads and how the rest of the world can just fuck off for all they care. "The Right One", for instance, speaks at length about the issues created when you don't know which glass of beer at the table is yours (yeah, seriously), whereas "Watch Out" is a thoughtful reflection on the perils of bullying and "Canadian Steele" discourses about bands from Canada the guys happen to enjoy quite a lot (I kid you not, believe me). It's all stupendously brain-dead most of the time, and that's exactly what's charming about Stallion: they can sing about such silly things and mean it from the bottom of their hearts, being immensely funny and quite convincing at the same time. It's not an easy equilibrium to achieve, so all credit were is due for the lads.

Apart from the very impressive opening with the title track, my personal favorites would be "Stigmatized" (nicely combining speedy riffing with a melodic, sarcastic chorus), "Wild Stallions" (high risk of neck injury if you bang your head as fast as it demands), "Bill to Pay" (hard-rocking heavy metal in a mid-80s' Judas Priest vein) and "The Devil Never Sleeps", when the group assumes a bit more of adventurous spirit and create some semi-somber atmospheres for great effect. Sometimes it just don't work as planned, that's for sure - "Streets of Sin", for instance, is a bit too simple for its own good and "Wooden Horse" also could be better. But I must say that this CD is more consistent than I thought it would be, and it even (shock horror) grew on me after repeated listens!

I'm very curious to see just how far can Stallion go with such a well-worn formula: "Rise and Ride" is sure an enjoyable record, but so many feet have treaded this road that it's difficult to imagine what else these guys can do to stand out in the crowd. As for now, the best you can do is to crank the volume up, crack a beer and disturb the neighbours with a fair dose of loud, unapologetic speed/heavy metal. That's what Stallion does best and let's face it, we all need some of it from time to time.

- originally published at drequon.blogspot.com

Must go faster. - 84%

iamntbatman, December 3rd, 2014

It's always frustrating waiting ages and ages for a cool band to get their act together and release new material, so I was incredibly pleased to find out that the ripping German speed metallers Stallion were putting out their debut full-length just a couple months after I first heard their boner-inducing Mounting the World EP*. Don't be misled by the decidedly Running Wild-ish first track (cool as it is); this stuff has more to do with stuff like Canada's Striker or maybe Enforcer and old Accept than it does with Rolf and Co., but at the same time Stallion have a strong identity of their own due in no small part to frontman Paul's effects-tinged vocals that are nice and powerful but seeping with loads of glammy 80's sleaze.

Despite having a lot of fun with this, I think it's sort of telling that the one track the band opted to carry over from the EP is "Canadian Steele" rather than the incendiary speed metal madness of "Shadow Run", which was my favorite song from Mounting the World. It featured the most wild, over-the-top speed metal riffing on the whole thing, so choosing a slower number instead gave me some hint as to the direction Rise and Ride would take, and unfortunately I guessed correctly. Yep, sadly this is a slower record on average. There aren't really any ballads, but things slow down into hard rocking territory fairly often ("Streets of Sin," "Bill to Pay", etc.).

While I will admit to having an unabashed biased for the speed metal bits by default, it doesn't really help that the slower, rockier numbers are just kind of dull in spots. Take "Streets of Sin" - there's a nice sweat'n'leather refrain, but the main verse parts are just dull, generic "strum a muted powerchord, then change to a different one and strum that instead". The difference in energy levels between songs like that and utter face rippers like "Stigmatized" is just plain monumental. I'm probably also mentally comparing these guys to another recent speed metal find of mine, Finland's Speedtrap, who similarly revel in wicked fast speed metal bits but are smart enough to spend almost their entire album playing that stuff, instead of segregating it into a few really cool tracks while leaving the rest of the album to languish around in boring Accept b-side territory.

It's not that the rockers put me to completely to sleep, either. The whole album sounds totally pristine, with plenty of muscle in the guitars while still leaving tons of room for the playful bass and workhorse drums to breathe, and of course Paul sounds great throughout, so even when the songwriting starts to drag a bit everything still sounds really nice, and even the least interesting tracks have some pretty solid lead work to catch your ear when the riffs themselves kind of just happen. It's also not difficult to be amused by the band's hyper-immature, aggressive lyrics, like "Watch Out" which has lyrics that I'm fairly certain I wrote in high school about some "fucking dick" I hated at the time. The song's also got a really great main guitar lick, which places it a step above some of the other slower songs.

I really think I would have been just as pumped about this album as I was about the EP if it had been about three songs and twelve minutes shorter than it is. It's not that it's really overlong - hell, it's only 43 minutes front to back, pretty standard length - but there's just something incredibly great in the simplicity of just-shy-of-a-half-hour speed metal albums that aren't afraid to take keep their foot on the gas for nearly the entire duration. Stallion are clearly good enough at writing really killer speed metal tunes anyway, so my best guess is that the slow dull rock songs exist entirely to give the band something to play to take a breather during their live sets so that their hands don't fall off. Even so, this is still shitloads of fun, if a couple notches shy of revelatory.

*I try to squeeze in as many references to HORSE! COCK! as I can in my life.