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Ruffians: Desert of Tears

US heavy metallers Ruffians formed in the early 80's and released an EP and some demos before their break-up in 1989. They had a good run, and made a name for themselves, especially as their first vocalist Carl Albert and current bassist Tommy Sisco also played in Vicious Rumors at one point. It's a shame that both Albert and their former bassist Dan Houra passed away. Albert was replaced by Rich Wilde in 1986, who, along with the other members, is still doing the reunion album. Actually, drummer Luke Bowman is also an interesting member, since he was the original drummer of Laaz Rockit, even for a very short time. Just a little history background reveals the potential of these guys, who decided to regroup and release a brand new album, following their well-received There & Back compilation in 2004.

Desert of Tears is the band's first full album in over twenty years. They did, however, do some of these songs on their 2004 live album when they also played several important festivals in Europe, notably Bang Your Head. Their music is still firmly rooted in the 80's, bordering on what most listeners like to call US power metal a la Iced Earth. Lots of heavy riffs and soaring vocals, big rhythms, and melodic guitar solos are what make the band. "Running Blind" is a song earlier Iced Earth fans may want to check out; full of melodic guitars and scorching screams. Although Rich Wilde's vocals may not be as powerful and vicious as they were two decades ago, he injects unquestionable energy into the platter. On the deeply growling "I Believe", with killer dual lead work; the darker "Day of the Champion" and "I Will Fly", two mid-tempo efforts, relying on thick rhythms and extended guitar work, Wilde lays down some phenomenal screams.

The somewhat Priest-like "Live by the Sword" is a great work of speedy melodic metal, with an anthemic chorus, while "Soldiers Fate" recalls Vicious Rumors with its boomy riffs. Sisco defines "Chosen One" with unmistakable bass notes; while the largely acoustic ballad "It Ain't Over" and the final song "Freedom" provide extra diversity. The band is certainly capable of churning out high-speed, rocking metal songs alongside moving power ballads, never veering off the classic 80's path.

There must be lots of Ruffians fans who have waited for this disc. They will not be disappointed.

Track Listing

  1. I Believe
  2. Running Blind
  3. Day of the Champion
  4. Desert of Tears
  5. I Will Fly
  6. Darkest of Light
  7. It Ain't Over
  8. Live by the Sword
  9. Soldier's Fate
  10. Chosen One
  11. Freedom

Added: September 23rd 2006
Reviewer: Murat Batmaz
Related Link: Ruffians website
Hits: 2724
Language: english

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