"Shocking Its Prey"

(Heavy Artillery)

01. Volture
02. Heavy Metal Machine
03. The Horde
04. Night Walker
05. Cheap Thrillz
06. Heathens Revenge

RATING: 7.5/10

An impressive debut album and another indicator of Heavy Artillery's ear for good traditional metal and thrash, VOLTURE's "Shocking Its Prey" may be a throwback release in many respects, but dated it is not. Given the "high-powered heavy metal" heard on "Shocking Its Prey", it makes sense that the band would involve members of crossover thrashers MUNICIPAL WASTE and trad-metallers TWISTED TOWER DIRE. Any way you look at it, this is melodic heavy metal with balls.

Starting off with a quick paced toughie that blasts off at the 1:40 mark into a fiery riff and guitar solo, "Volture" not only has its musical roots in the '80s, but recalls a time when titling a song with the band's name was common ("Iron Maiden", "Metal Church", etc). The album remains leather tough and catchy for the remaining five cuts. "Heavy Metal Machine" features a vocal/riff pattern on the verse reminiscent of "Screaming For Vengeance"-era JUDAS PRIEST, much like the "Shocking Its Prey" album cover reminds of the artwork from that seminal release. Where the group's style splits from the thrashy elements and PRIEST-type muscularity is during the extra tuneful choruses that fall somewhere between FIREWIND and DREAM EVIL. Much of that has to do with vocals from Brent Hubbard that are similar to DREAM EVIL's Niklas Isfeldt. Hubbard's ear-piercing scream on the refrain of "Cheap Thrillz" is one of the album's most exultant moments. A little CANDLEMASS doom bleeds into NWOBHM on album closer "Heathen's Revenge".

Those blasts from the past and arrangement changeups show up with some frequency on the disc (Ryan Waste's Lemmy-esque bass solo during "Night Walker" another example). When combined with the hooky songwriting, they end up going a long way toward helping "Shocking Its Prey" to stand out from the gads of retro acts that have been flooding the scene as of late. Hopefully, the next release will be a proper full-length. When that one drops, we may be witnessing an even higher voltage level from VOLTURE.


To comment on a BLABBERMOUTH.NET story or review, you must be logged in to an active personal account on Facebook. Once you're logged in, you will be able to comment. User comments or postings do not reflect the viewpoint of BLABBERMOUTH.NET and BLABBERMOUTH.NET does not endorse, or guarantee the accuracy of, any user comment. To report spam or any abusive, obscene, defamatory, racist, homophobic or threatening comments, or anything that may violate any applicable laws, use the "Report to Facebook" and "Mark as spam" links that appear next to the comments themselves. To do so, click the downward arrow on the top-right corner of the Facebook comment (the arrow is invisible until you roll over it) and select the appropriate action. You can also send an e-mail to blabbermouthinbox(@)gmail.com with pertinent details. BLABBERMOUTH.NET reserves the right to "hide" comments that may be considered offensive, illegal or inappropriate and to "ban" users that violate the site's Terms Of Service. Hidden comments will still appear to the user and to the user's Facebook friends. If a new comment is published from a "banned" user or contains a blacklisted word, this comment will automatically have limited visibility (the "banned" user's comments will only be visible to the user and the user's Facebook friends).