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Slik Helvetika: Slik Helvetika

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.

Track Listing:
1. Into to War Machine
2. War Machine
3. Scream
4. High On You
5. Skies
6. Ride
7. Viand
8. September
9. Swine
11.She Kills
13.Westbound Train
14.Boy In Blue
15.Where Blood Spills

Added: January 31st 2006
Reviewer: Duncan Glenday
Related Link: Slik Helvetika's Web Site
Hits: 4361
Language: english

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Slik Helvetika: Slik Helvetika
Posted by Steve Ambrosius, SoT Staff Writer on 2006-01-31 20:10:01
My Score:

Slik Helvetika have created the most uneven CD I think I have ever reviewed. Every time I want to compliment a section of music, they do something to ruin the moment. Every time I want to lambaste them, a little guitar solo, or other feature makes me take notice. We must remember that Slik Helvetika is a debut CD, but it is from the veteran rocker Mikhail Myers.

The Judas Priest influences can not be ignored, but "Silhouette" and "Westbound Train" shows a side of what the band could do if it stretched a little. Way too much of this CD sounds like one recording session where songs were developed on the fly, one after the other. There is no mistaking the musicianship within these tight riffs, which at times can wow you, but overall there just isn't enough variety to make you want to spend your money here.

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