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DEMO/EP ROUNDUP - Spiker and Visigoth

Once more into the demo, EP, single, mini-album abyss we delve ...

First up a trad metal unit out of Germany called SPIKER, with their debut EP Heavy Metal Macht (Dying Victims Productions). The title track opens things up promisingly, a simple headbanger track that sounds right out of the 80's. However, second track 'Teufelskies' falls flat, a simple hard rocker of a track which exposes the limited skills of their vocalist. 'Der Rock Der Es Bringt' tweaks Saxon's 'Princess Of The Night' riff with a little bit of Budgie's 'Breadfan' appended for good measure. Good, but obviously a little derivative. 'Kommando' and 'Rockmanie' close out this five-tracker, the first a speedy track with a singalong chorus and the latter evoking old school Saxon once again. Altogether, a rudimentary, but fun little listen. [6]

VISIGOTH made a strong move up the melodic trad metal ladder last year with the widely revered Conqueror's Oath full length. The quest for the crown continues with a ten minute, double-sided single entitled Bells Of Awakening (Metal Blade). 'Fireseeker' opens with a melodic guitar solo before settling into a comfortable gallop and Mike Rogers takes hold of the mic, crooning professionally and convincingly. While perhaps a little obvious, sounding like a track that a band of this talent level could easily dish out on a whim, it will still appeal to fans of the genre given its catchiness. Comfort food for the trad metalist. Second track 'Abysswalker' is where the real meat-on-the-bones can be found here though, Visigoth working themselves up into a lather convincingly taking the listener on a journey into the abyss. With this little release Visigoth has positioned themselves for potential world domination if their next full-length pans out like expected. [8]

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