My first experience of this Australian band was their two track demo tape ‘Ignition’, this jumped out of the review list so I went for it.
As expected, they’ve stuck to their traditional metal influences and laid them bare. For me I find this an album to which you could refer to as a history lesson, a teaching in the greats, all combined into a new band and album release. The production isn’t great, that’s the only downside to some of the tracks. As for the tracks themselves and Road Warrior, they love their Savatage, Iced Earth, Riot, Judas Priest and Mercyful Fate.
The opener ‘Don’t Fight Fate’ is pretty nondescript and has a worrying start, however, the cobwebs are gone and ‘Devil’s in Waiting’ belts out some classic riffs. Akin to some Mercyful Fate material, vocalist Denimal (Blake – also known for his work in Cauldron Black Ram) even tries some falsetto, the sense of the devils minor scale really shines through here. ‘Tease and Torture’ is a touch more accessible then ‘Sweating out the Poison’ enhances the bands creativity. With ‘…Poison’ I feel there’s plenty of Savatage and Iced Earth. There are a few progressive elements too (‘On Iron Wing’ in parts). My stand out track is ‘Back Alley Tokyo Woman’. This has a massive blueprint to Priest’s ‘Stained Class’ era. Laden with a vintage tone, riff and arrangement, it’s very reminiscent of the aforementioned metal gods. Road Warrior personalised this influence and drives forward in true Mad Max style (the band name was inspired by Mad Max 2 movie aka “The Road Warrior”).
Overall, this is a pleasing masculine release and it’s great to see more bands surfacing from the southern hemisphere playing a style that’s something I really enjoy. As suggested in the PR material, it’s not conventional in terms of toeing the line with many other fads of late, it has its own metal presence and this is a great starting point for Road Warrior.
(8/10 Paul Maddison)