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The Chain Goes On

Pure Steel (2014)
Rating: 6/10

From its introduction of sci-fi narration and scowling wild cat, Italy’s Ancillotti are merely preparing us for their take on fist-clenching, chest pounding classic heavy metal delivered in the vein of Motörhead. Ancillotti are named after Strana Officina and Bud Tribe vocalist Daniele “Bud” Ancillotti (vocals), who is joined by his brother Sandro “Bid” Ancillotti (bass) and his son Brian Ancillotti (drums), along with Luciano “Ciano” Toscani (guitar).

The Chain Goes On is the debut full-length opus from these metalheads who revel in the rather generic topic of rock ’n’ roll mayhem; the result being 11 half-decent, leather-clad minor metal anthems which like to speak of headbanging and how rock ’n’ roll isn’t dead.

Yep, it gallops along with vigour and does exactly what it says on the tin, keeping the heavy metal flames burning by opting for that traditional metal approach which brings to mind the likes of Iron Maiden and the racier snorts of Accept and Tank.

Thankfully, there’s rarely a hint of cheese in sight. These guys are clearly pumped up by their love and worship of metal to the point of writing some spiky little numbers such as the opening ‘Bang Your Head’, the extremely impressive ‘Cyberland’, with its whirling solos, and the punchy ‘Devil Inside’.

It is a tad predictable at times, but I don’t think these guys wanted to be anything else except metal disciples paying homage to the 80s scene. It’s all delivered with conviction and “Bud” has quite a good snarl about his vocals, but what makes the album so entertaining and meaty are the riffs. The gnarly ‘Liar’, the slightly formulaic ‘Legacy Of Rock’ and the volcanic ‘Warrior’ all do their best to convince us that metal is the law, but I guess because it’s so easy to mock this type of nostalgic metal we sometimes lose sight of the fact it’s often endearing in its simplistic nature.

The Chain Goes On for all of its fire and masculinity is nothing more than a rather basic heavy metal exercise that deals in metal-by-numbers riffs, lyrics and vocals which many of you would have heard years ago, but if you can look past the mediocrity and go grab yourself a few beers while this is on, then maybe, just maybe, Ancillotti will charm you a tad more than countless other revival acts doing the rounds. These guys have put a lot of toil into this platter and for that I give them credit. I’m unsure if they can carve a career out of such limited vision, but for now their debut album provides enough fuel for the fire.

Neil Arnold

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