On first spin, you might find that you really don't want to listen to this CD
again. The metal of the 1980s has been and gone, its influence on the music
scene is indelible and the lessons we learned are important, but there's no need
to repeat that era.
On subsequent spins you'll probably realize that the first impression of the
'80s is still correct, but there are some real gems here.
Slik Helvetika is from Philadelphia, not Europe, as you'd expect. (The
official name of Switzerland is 'Confoederatio Helvetica', often abbreviated as
just CH.) The band is a project of Mikhail Myers (Destroyer) whose singing and
guitar work define this album. The style is straight from the Iron Maiden /
Judas Priest how-to book of metal, punctuated with the influences of Motley Crue
and Guns 'n Roses. But it's very well played, production is good and Myers's
voice is very effective for the genre he's so tightly embraced. Expect strong,
tight riffs, a fast pace, a rock-solid rhythm section and a NWOBHM-like wailing
metal singing style. There's nothing progressive, imaginative or modern here,
although it's very good all round.
The less imaginative old-style songs tend to be concentrated toward the front
of the record, and the good stuff is nearer the end. High spots include
"Westbound train", an unconventional piece with a passage of clever guitar work.
"September" is an appealing power ballad, and the acoustic guitar work on the
two 30-second interludes and the lead solo on "Silhouette" demonstrate a
standard of musicianship that ought to be exploited more.
1. Into to War Machine
2. War Machine
4. High On You
14.Boy In Blue
15.Where Blood Spills