This is a Texan super group, I first I thought this was the Texas Metal Legions destined to play Keep It True next year, but it’s not, although some of the same musicians feature. Primarily, it’s a project put together by Robert Williams (Witches Mark/Ignitor) but features a list, too many to mention here. Notable appearances include Felix Griffin (D.R.I. / Bat), James Rivera (Helstar and many others), Ross the Boss Friedman (Death Dealer and obviously Manowar) & Jason McMaster (Watchtower, Dangerous Toys, Ignitor) . There’s a mash of styles, some work better than others.
Opener ‘Texas Metal Outlaws’ is a near speed metal classic, taking in the elements of Priest, but a lot of speed metal, this sets the standard high for the release. Next we have ‘Malt Liquor Maniac’, another Priest inspiration, again more than average. The cover of Riot’s ‘Running from the Law’ (featuring Riot bassist Donnie Van Stavern) is pretty cool, although from a lesser known release ‘Born in America’. From this song forward, the album merges into baseline metal that’s pretty similar in stance. Having said that, the opening section of ‘Echoes of Memory’ hit the speed metal pace once again. This one features James Rivera on vocals, as you would expect, it goes high and it goes long, a typical Rivera performance. The last track is specially adapted metal version of ‘That’s What Friends Are For’ – Burt Bacharach, made famous by Dionne Warwick, the cheesy happy track, made a little slicker. Although the intro spoken word taking the “p” out of the original, really doesn’t work out too well, cover over one’s head springs to mind! Tongue in cheek aside, its lyrically adapted and tells a good motivational story.
This is an album that starts out promising and does what every other super group’s album does. It merges too many influences at once, however, it’s not a painful experience, and it is one of the better releases. The faster, Priest and speed metal influenced tracks work out much more favourable for me personally, with every track you are checking out who is playing to see if you notice the difference, but hey, it’s a decent metal release, but it’s not ground breaking, I don’t believe it is meant to be to be fair. Enjoy as you see fit.
(7/10 Paul Maddison)