Outlaw were formed 3 years ago in Finland, Outlaw take influence from US Power Metal, the NWOBHM scene and traditional metal, a-la classic 80’s Priest and Maiden. From the initial track, ‘Hell’s Thunder’, vocalist Lee Anvel sounds like a cross between Blackie Lawless and Dee Snider, that gritty tone is present in certain places. The album title track is a faster paced affair, classic vocal line and a hook that gets you each time you play it. The intro to ‘Speed Calls’ is a touch Dead Boys (or rather the Overkill version of) ‘Sonic Reducer’ mixing with ‘You Can’t Stop Rock ‘n’ Roll’ until the verse starts. It’s very addictive; again the vocal melody grabs you and entices a sing along. There’s a real sense of epic metal when the story is unfolded for ‘Heroes of Telemark’. Those who know their WW2 history will know the story set in Norway at a heavy water plant used to enrich uranium. As vocalist Lee Anvel states, “We wanted to make a track like Maiden’s ‘Where Eagles Dare’”, to be fair; it’s very apt and comparable. A strong level of song writing comes out, for the former and remainder of the album tracks generally sit a lot more basic than this mini epic.
There is, as suggested, a Scandinavian vibe to the sound, the ambience and the echo, it sounds typical of 80’s bands from that region, but overall, powerful enough not to sound dated in current times. The latter part of the release makes me come to this statement with the likes of the excellent ‘Tyrants of Ice’. When it comes to the closer ‘Thunderstone’ we get to more of a European sound. All in all, ‘Marauders’ is a well-rounded effort. Although as you may have spotted, the artwork is a touch basic! I actually thought this was an older album re-issued when I took a look at the cover without listening to the music or reading about the band before I delved into this review.
Material for the second release is already underway, we are promised more US Power Metal influence, which for me is an excellent prospect. Whilst many may undeservedly view this as just another heavy metal album for modern times, look beneath the surface; hear your idols rolled into one. The album is really enjoyable, strong and well written.
(8/10 Paul Maddison)