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DEMO/EP ROUNDUP - Orphan Devil and Torpedo

It's time to delve once more into demo/single/EP/mini-albums to try to find the next "big thing".

First up we have the debut 7-inch from Finland's Orphan Devil for those who worship at the altar of the NWOBHM. Specifically, if you've worn off the grooves of your Iron Maiden and Angel Witch debuts, then you are hereby ordered to check this out, but pronto. The Angel Witch influence comes through in the memorable, yet dark, song writing, while the upbeat Maiden rhythm section acts as an offset, providing some light. If that ain't enough, the vocals come across like a cross between Kevin Heybourne and Paul Di'Anno's efforts at the mic. Lest you think that this is merely a retro band though, think again, as Orphan Devil inject a speed metal element and some youthful enthusiasm to make sure that they have created their own sound. Nine minutes of absolutely riveting energetic trad/speed here. (8)

Next we have the six-track, twenty-eight minute demo from Torpedo entitled Mechanic Tyrants (the title inspired by the Terminator movie series). Sitting firmly in the speed metal realm, but with some melodic trad guitar work interspersed, the German unit make a bee-line for "blow-back-your-hair" status, rarely letting up. Problem is that the production/mix (completed by the band themselves) lets them down, the thin mix leaving them sounding harried and hurried, rather than fuel injected. Regardless, you can hear some cool stuff going on here, references to Exciter, Goddo and Priest mixed in (you find 'em!) for good measure, while the youthful exuberance is undeniable. Really cool untrained, 'headbanger-off-the-streets' vocals too, that hearken back to Jess Cox' performance on Tygers Of Pan Tang's immortal Wild Cats. Lots of promise here. (6.5)

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