"Freedom Metal"

(Cruz Del Sur)

01. Hijack The Night
02. Night Oath
03. The Turning Stone
04. Womanize
05. Heat Feeler
06. Ol' Girl
07. Greek Fire
08. 500 More

RATING: 8/10

How about those Chicago boys? In keeping with Cruz Del Sur's legacy of releasing some of the world's best heavy metal (in the most traditional sense), the Italian label can take pride in BIBLE OF THE DEVIL's fifth full-length album, "Freedom Metal". It does not disappoint. The Windy City quartet bring you old school riffs, twin leads, and the kind of melodies that'll make you recall a time when melody was essential to good heavy metal. Engineering king Sanford Parker nails the recording too, although that will come as no surprise to anyone that has been paying attention these past few years.

So what makes BIBLE OF THE DEVIL tick? Why New Wave of British Heavy Metal and good 'ole 70s hard rock fire of course. They've gotten it down to a science on "Freedom Metal". They key is combining the big guitar jam worthiness of the latter with the triumphant and tuneful songwriting of the former. Opener "Hijack the Night" is the quintessential case in point with a deceptively simple chorus that is impossible to forget and a whole lot of six-string firepower for the seven-minute duration. You may even detect the sounds DEF LEPPARD as they were heard as youngsters on "On Through the Night". Of course, there are plenty of early (as in Paul Di'Anno era) IRON MAIDEN harmonies happening with "The Turning Stone" and "Night Oath", although it is heard as an influence woven into the group's own sound, rather than coming off as style mimicry. You'll also hear a bit of "Love Gun"-era KISS on the chorus to "Night Oath", right down to the vaguely Paul Stanley vocal treatment. Count "Womanize" as another album highlight for its pure metal power and killer chorus. "Heat Feeler" works as the changeup piece with a steady beat and acoustic picking during the first half of the song before things go electric, while good time rocker "Ol' Girl" just may be the best THIN LIZZY tribute I've ever heard, and I'm not just talking about the twin leads; Mark Hoffman hits the target with his Phil Lynott vocal pattern. What a blast!

"Freedom Metal" is indeed a fine follow-up to its impressive predecessor, "The Diabolic Possession". Word on the street is that a BIBLE OF THE DEVIL live show is one hell of an event; I'll not miss them next time around.


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