12thOdeFrom Malta, these guys play their metal very much in line with the British scene, NWOBHM wouldn’t be accurate as they are not British, but you get the idea. The influences are varied and to my ears there’s a lot of similarities to current Soldier, Dirty Deeds/Chariot, with the latter two more notable for vocal comparisons in both tone and range. However, 12th Ode don’t really break the mould and push the vocals too much, they are all at a relatively comfortable octave level and to push higher would probably strain them.

Tracks like the closing ‘Witch Hunter’ really stand out, it’s very vibrant and has plenty of style from the heart racing tempo to the wicked guitar licks and solo. The middle section of the album features a couple of good tracks, those being ‘Master of Your Fate’ and the Elixir sounding ‘No Respite’. ‘Forever Wild’ and the opener ‘Such a Wild Thing’ are another couple of decent stompers to sink your teeth into but other than the closer, there’s nothing really jumping out of the box to make 12th Ode stand out from the crowd.

Overall, it’s an accomplished album, the production is quite modern and could be made a touch dirtier in my mind that would give some of the lesser tracks more ambience and bite. Essentially, it’s a comfortable album that sits in a safe place compared to many of their contemporaries.

(6.5/10 Paul Maddison)