AlphaTiger-iDentity_CDRaise those horns everyone – and let me see those fists in the air! Oh Yes – The third album from German Metallers Alpha Tiger has arrived…and it’s a full-on Metal-fest! OK, I know the other two were hardly jazz-rock, but all the German Metal stops have been pulled out this time around – Alpha Tiger have sharpened their claws (OK, it’s the only pun I’m doing despite the urge) and are offering up healthy doses of air punching, powerful Heavy Metal at every turn. And now I’m probably going to sap all the fun and spontaneity out of it and make it all sound banal and tedious by analysing the crap out of it. I’m sorry, it’s what I do…

Alpha Tiger have a major penchant for the classic German Power/Heavy Metal of days yore, as well as some more recent bands – but when you have a very talented singer who has massive amounts of Geoff Tate and Michael Kiske – as well as hints of Bruce Dickinson, Ray Alder and Tobias Sammet, you have the luxury to choose exactly what Heavy area your Metal boat is floated (as it were…). The rest of the band are not lacking in talent either! Edguy crop up again in the music (especially on the piano intro’d ‘Closer Than Yesterday’) along with Gamma Ray, Evidence One, Steel Prophet and more. Much more actually – ‘Lady Liberty’ makes me think of Unisonic, ‘Long Way Of Redemption’ and the title track remind me of Twilightning, there is a classic Iron Maiden lilt to ‘Revolution In Progress’ and then ‘Scripted Reality’ + ‘Shut Up and Think’ remind me of Glenmore and Rawhead Rexx respectively (the same singer in different bands, a different intensity, y’see). That said – Alpha Tiger aren’t clones, they’ve just managed to blend these bands into their own modern sound. And whether it’s by accident or design, it’s still quite an accomplishment.

Alpha Tiger aren’t genre-hopping. They aren’t Power, Progressive or any other sub-genre, and they don’t need to be pinned to one. They are just Heavy Metal. Sometimes angst-ridden, sometimes positive and inspirational, but always Heavy Metal. They aren’t harking on about the past, they are influenced by it – celebrating it, but really these twenty-somethings are just some guys who have grown up on Metal and are playing what they want to hear. That totally comes through in the music they create – and what better reason to be in a band!

(7.5/10 Andy Barker)