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Back To Their Roots - 74%

GuntherTheUndying, February 20th, 2007

I'm going to go out on a limb and say Turbo is one of the most underrated bands ever. Even though most metal fans are probably unfamiliar with them, Turbo has actually been an active force in the Polish metal scene over the last twenty years. The band's style of bloodthirsty thrash was made famous throughout Poland until the early nineties when Turbo mysteriously decided to call it quits. After a near decade of hiatus, Turbo reunited, but with a slight change under their belts. The band's first record since their reunion was "Awatar," which seemed great at first for all those that supported them, but hardcore fans of the band were surprised by Turbo's decision to substitute thrash for their main inspiration: traditional heavy metal.

Turbo decided to abandon most of their thrash elements by switching to a traditional metal sound on "Awatar," and I believe it was a successful transition. The overall music isn't as fast as some of Turbo's previous material, but most of the songs manage to sound enjoyably heavy. The riffing is focused around Turbo's native style of heavy metal with small touches of prog and thrash. Fans of thrash will probably enjoy the middle of "Spectre in the Opera" when Turbo launches a monster thrash riff that has Slayer worship written all over it. This is, however, one of the few examples of thrash on this LP; there are small portions of thrash riffing throughout the course of this album, but most of the featured guitar work resembles Turbo's traditional metal roots the most.

The drumming isn't anything special since it's just a generic percussion performance of simple patterns and the occasional double bass pedal. Bassist Bogusz Rutkiewicz has a key role in "Awatar" because of his constant involvement throughout the course of the album. There are a surprisingly large amount of bass lines scattered across this record and the clear production makes it easily heard. If you like hearing a lot of bass, this is an essential CD.

Singer Grzegorz Kupczyk vocal performance is good, but he can get a bit carried away at times. Kupczyk has fantastic singing voice that he applies a majority of the time, but sometimes he'll use a low rasp that sounds a bit messy. Now I don't have a problem with deep vocals, but these "growls" sound out of place and poorly performed. Though his growls are lame, Kupczyk's singing voice is a great addition to this record. His normal voice is alike most vocalists in the heavy metal scene because of his ability to nail high notes and make some of the tunes sound a bit emotional or aggressive. Overall, Kupczyk earns points for his normal singing and nothing else.

Even though this isn't the best offering this band has done, "Awatar" is still a decent record with some great qualities. I recommend you check this one out if you like traditional metal or have had previous experiences with Turbo.

This review was written for:

Not for everybody... - 78%

Predator667, April 26th, 2005

„Awatar” is Turbo’s first album after their reunion in the 90’s. It is also their most controversial recording - many fans started to criticize the band after the release of this record. Why was it so? Let’s take a closer look…

This album was a return from brutal thrash on the band’s later albums to the band’s roots - heavy metal. “Awatar” has all the elements of this style - heavy and sharp, but also melodic guitar riffs, clean vocals with a nice vibrato and powerful, ingenious, but also not too complicated - this isn’t progressive music, there’s no need to overdo with the complexity! - drumming. However, the sound is different from the one the fans remembered from the band’s first two albums; it’s not the old-school, NWOBHM-inspired, a bit underproduced sound from such classics like “Doros³e Dzieci”. This sound is much more modern - with aggressive vocals here and there and guitars that didn’t always fit in the tradition of heavy metal - and the most orthodox metalheads hated the band for this change.

The vocals are nearly perfect - Grzegorz Kupczyk is considered the best Polish metal vocalist and he proves that opinion right on this record. He can sing clear, high pitched, with a little rasp or shout aggressively. The lyrics are about drugs, politics, falsity... Well, evil in the world in general. They’re pretty good I must say. The bass is good too - the bassist has lots to do and he does it nicely. The guitars play in an interesting way, but maybe they really are too modern? The drums make you wanna bang your head, they are just as they should be! Nevertheless, the sound of the drums isn’t really great - don’t expect a impeccable sound like Dave Lombardo’s drum kit has. It also isn’t as bad as the sound of the drums on “St. Anger”, but there are moments when the snare has a pretty annoying sound. And watch out - this isn’t pure heavy metal, so if you’re searching for something like that, then this will be a letdown for you. Take the song “Katatonia” - it has even industrial sounds in it! Or “Fa³sz” with links to folk music… Pretty uncommon to see all those elements on one album.

I would lie if I said that this is a perfect album - it isn’t, but listening to it is really fun! If you like this kind of music and the modern sound doesn’t bother you - take it. However, if you don’t like modern types of metal music - better leave it and search for some other Turbo album.