ADXThis long standing French band started with a trio of albums of really cool speed metal, they tried an English speaking album in 1990 (‘Weird Visions’), but for some reason or other didn’t match their expectations of their former offerings. Now there has been albums and reformation since them obviously, and their last outing ‘Ultimatum’ was a fantastic slab of power/speed and heavy metal. With ‘Non Serviam’, it isn’t broken so they aren’t going to fix it, although it sounds a touch more standard metal than earlier releases. Some of the vocal phrasing and style reminds me of Blaze Bailey’s first couple of excellent records, although ADX do have their own character and on more than a few places on this album, the old flame still burns bright and they remind you of their talent for writing good songs. But I will point out, that influence quickly subsides and ADX make their own professional mark for themselves as the album develops.

‘La mort en face’ starts with a real metal stance, the vocal melody captures the spirit during the chorus and the momentum keeps coming as does the riffing that’s rather busy and effective. The old speed metal charm is ignited with ‘La complainte du demeter’ like some early Helloween material and harks back to a time where European metal, in particular from France and Germany, reigned supreme in certain quarters for me as a then young metal fan of the faster charms of the genre. Some of the riffs, especially those of the title track are almost neo-classical and bolstered by the tempo and the unforgiving level of musicianship and the ability to command your attention throughout most of the songs on offer in their entirety. ‘L’egnime sacree’ may hold a flame to the EU power metal scene, but that does no harm, again the guitar riffs are spectacular and fulfilling with a strong emphasis on melody and togetherness throughout the track, then the solo rips! Almost with the same impact as some of Marty Friedman’s work. Another track that hits the spot is ‘Cosaques’, it’s infectious and as I listen to this album for the umpteenth time, I raise my rating and enjoyment for this release.

All in all, ADX are not going to replicate their classic trio of releases, but as the last one and this prove, they are more than strong enough the keep their heads above water and some of the chasing pack need to look over their shoulders. This is an album with quality, with vitality and a personal pleasing inclusion of vocal melody mixed with some truly magical guitar work.

(8.5/10 Paul Maddison)