Soldiering onwards with flash-point driven and raw, equitably equine and galloping, turbo charged ardor and compunction amidst new world, er, wave of traditional heavy metal dragnet is Weingarten (Baden-Württemberg)’s heart rate challenging Stallion, with third full-length in six years, perfunctorily, albeit harmlessly, titled Slaves of Time, available on both CD and 12″ vinyl under “Sverige”‘s “timeless” High Roller Records. Excess(ive) “und”s notwithstanding, these on-the-rise (& ride) Central European decimators have conjured ten congruously ripping cuts which measure up, if not slightly surpass, lot ascribed to metal World in 2017 with second focus, From The Dead, in itself, a brave and “enslaved” precursor, as well as step up, from backward efforts.
Except for filler-affecting, mid-point interrupter “Brain Dead” (more on this later), Slaves of Time – which we all are, really, come to think of it, since roughly LP’s late Feb admonition – does justice to its surplus forty-some minutes, beginning with schizophrenic, oddly “riff ziggurat-ed” opener “Waking the Demons” (a prosaic yet effective title, no-how, for what sounds sorta like Cauldron, Widow or High Heeler), as it launches straight into harried and razor-sharp mid-to-cranked tempo fulminations sure to enrapture at drop of a peevishly hifalutin jockey cap. Its sped-up, thrash-y as eves about-race at 02:17 instigates loftily cramped and no-less “feverish” bouts of scrap-yard, jaw-bone flinging, rampantly revved up gesticulations, of both (a) sonic and tonic (mis)order.
S. of T.’s totally un-succinct successor, “No Mercy”, alongside further downwind, huckleberry snortin’ revelation within “Time to Reload”, fascinatingly brings to mind a vestigial Tankard-meets-Anthrax type missive, while also (s)carrying on tradition, as well as torn, (heavy) metal flag, much in way as done for said anterior release, back whence Land was saner, more sanguine, salubrious place (and even then!). Actually, we’d have to take your temp(erature) and check your pulse, should latter fail to assiduously pump n’ flex muscles, nerves, overbites, clefts, you name it! (Hence, kangaroo boxing battle wounds worn proudly.)
Admittedly, and although I don’t overly care, that is, am left neither hot, cold, tepid or lukewarm, in regards to front jack Pauly’s (who chooses to abscond, perhaps wisely, on surname) rasp-caved, oft times shouty, at some, outright scream-y, bar/Sturgis (SD, USA) motor bike show-conducive interposing, refrains are hard to resist; (the) same goes for more commercial, not to mention visually rendered, “All In” — pure, unadulterated or (un)encumbrate’d Stallion, yo!
Leads, particularly on last cut, scorch and sizzle thanks to old hand/hat (band) Äxxl, alongside newcomer to (stampede) floor, Clode Savage – of Invisible Mirror and Piranha score, while often exhibiting wickedly ambient, or rather, fully developed and fretboard worthy style reminiscent, largely (so), of Steelwing, Ambush, Air Raid, Skull Fist, and latter’s on-the-[p]rize protege, from Mexico, Hellmidian (not to mention fellow countrymen Booze Control). Squaring off line-up, this “time” around (argh!), is bassist Christian Stämpfe, of Moros – not my clan, btw, if going by own surname – and drummer Aaron (no surname), of Pyre Procession. In any event, don’t notice any inherent difference, battery-wise, although production sounds somewhat better.
Now, by no means, is “Brain Dead” really that bad. Instead, it’s more a question of innovation gone off the ra(m)p, or roadmap, as feels too alien and maverick, in a dark, too-evil and caustic, un-Stallion kind of manner, if such makes sense, however dense. Power ballad “Die With Me” surprisingly holds the reigns tight, particularly during its cathartically lilting/lifting and/or sweet, mellifluously exerted chorus – which is certainly a first, as well as next step-up, for Pauly (Mhore). In fact, “Die With Me” harbours one of, if not “the”, rockiest, downright coolest guitar solos on record, here, prior to seething and soothing return to burn-dressing form (plus additional kick-ass, killer, kolorful leads which seem to go on forever, ever and after!).
Aside from goat ruffling nail-on-scratchboard feeling procured from all-too gentrified – thankfully, very brief! – coda to “All In”, have no right(s) to formulate or address nary complaints in Stallion’s wound up and revved, pedal through the floor method of untidy composure (in all its metal madness/radness). At risk of evoking half-job-in’ bum (omitting on second half play-by-play), will state thus: each song, thereafter middle of Slaves of Time, simply steps up in/its volume, volition and validation! For serious metal heads who dig their riffs tough, leathery and loud, whilst putting up with un-perfect but trying front man.
(That said, bet my next windfall Stallion’s fourth instalment will trump, with no room for compromise or argument, this here hoof-stomping foray – definitely no forage [foliage].)