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Switchblade: Heavy Weapons

When you think of bands from far flung regions of the world, most bring a flavour, or at least a hint of their homeland to what they offer. However Israel's Switchblade have taken a different tack altogether, serving up a powerful blend of NWOBHM values and latter day Iron Maiden gallops while also adding a more Germanic Metal sheen. The band formed in 2005 and with virtually no Israeli traditional Metal scene to rely on for support, it has to be said that eight years down the line it is impressive that Switchblade are not only still going strong, but releasing their debut album, Heavy Weapons.

The title track kicks the album into full throttled life, guitars scything, vocals soaring, drums machine gunning. More albums should open this way, with no silly "scene setting" introduction, no daft noises and no atmospheric fade ins. Instead Switchblade lay down exactly what they are all about from the off and in truth by the time this track is finished you'll be able to decide whether this band are for you or not, with this no nonsense approach representing what Heavy Weapons is all about. Vocally Lior "Steinmetal" Stein bares some similarities to Bruce Dickinson but there's also a hint of Midnight (Crimson Glory) in there too. Occasionally the high notes do seem a little beyond him, but more often than not he nails every line and in a lower, more aggressive setting his tuneful bark is a mighty weapon indeed. "Euphoria" continues down the Maiden path, with guitar lines leading from the front, before the excellent "Metalista" gloriously romps into view, bringing an altogether more clinical Accpet like hit, striding strongly and with purpose through a catchy gang sung chorus.

The eight years crafting and honing the tracks which make up this release certainly haven't gone to waste, each of the nine songs holding their own and demanding attention, whether that be the slower "Lost Lovers Unite", the mid paced melody and drum crashingly atmospheric "The Lost Kingdom", or the full pelt charge of "Endless War", where the post Maiden work of Blaze Bayley springs to mind. Guitarist Federico "FedeRock" Taich brings real energy to each track, but special mention must also go to the excellent rhythm partnership of bassist Sascha Latman and drummer Moshe "Moshpit" Sabach, who really infuse this album with an urgency so many new bands operating in this style lack.

Switchblade might not win any originality contests, but for a first helping of traditional Metal from Israel, I have to say that I'm suitably impressed and very much intrigued to hear more.

Track Listing
1. Heavy Weapons
2. Euphoria
3. Metalista
4. Lost Lovers Unite
5. The Lost Kingdom (Instrumental)
6. Infernal Paradise
7. Curse Of The Father, Sins Of The Son
8. Into The Unknown
9. Endless War

Added: January 6th 2014
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Related Link: Killer Metal Records
Hits: 1889
Language: english

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