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Barbarians Of The Wasteland

Killer Metal (2014)
Rating: 4/10

So it looks like “contemporary” metal has hit a brick wall in its attempts to revive the past. Portuguese-based metal maniacs Dragon’s Kiss is another run-of-the-mill band featuring ex-Nashville Pussy man Adam Neal, who – alongside Hugo Conim (Dawnrider, Leather Synn) – has constructed an eight-track slab of metal mediocrity which is archetypal metal-by-numbers.

That’s not to say that it’s all bad, but those of you who have the attention span of a gnat may find that this album is beyond the realms of formulaic. There’s nothing wrong of course in paying homage to the days of old, but sometimes it can be quite a dull exercise trawling through the countless clones who in leather-clad fury attempt to dredge up the likes of W.A.S.P. and a hint of New Wave Of British Heavy Metal flavour.

The problem is of course is that as the duo churns out the likes of ‘Ride For Revenge’, ‘Wild Pack Of Dogs’ and ‘Castle Of The Witch’, I’m not actually reminded of heavy metal’s heyday but instead have echoes of metal parody, something which spoof acts such as England’s Bad News were keen to exploit. This is so standard in its stance that it could only probably be appreciated if one had never heard of heavy metal before.

The lyrics are the same clichéd stuff, the music is generic and the vocals a barking shout, and not once do the fires of mayhem rise above a barbecue. I still get the impression that those in attendance have been dressed by the record company in order to look “metal”.

Sorry to be so sceptical. In fact, these guys are probably decent fellas, but the only snippets of entertainment come in the shape of two cover versions – The New Order’s ‘Rock ‘N’ Roll Soldiers’ and Marquis De Sade’s ‘Somewhere Up In The Mountains’, which is probably the best track on the album. Other than that it’s copy and paste heavy metal which tries in vain to resurrect the vintage sounds that excited us so much as kids back in the 80s.

Of all the original tracks thrown at us like custard pies, only the opener ‘Barbarians Of The Wasteland’ comes away with its head held high, and that’s only because of its driving riff. Lyrically though, it’s nigh on atrocious – “Rape, torture and kill… just for thrills”; really guys? Is that all you could come up with?

Metal of this ilk and quality is two-a-penny today, but I guess it always has been. Whereas some of the cheesier bands of the 80s may nowadays be considered as cult, however, groups such as Dragon’s Kiss won’t fare as well.

Neil Arnold

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