Monday, 10 October 2011

[ALBUM REVIEW] Sign of the Jackal - The Beyond

Genre: Heavy Metal

1. Hellhounds
2. Head Over Heels
3. Heavy Metal Demons
4. Paganini Horror
5. Night of the Undead

The Beyond is Italian horror-mad heavy metal mavericks The Sign of the Jackal’s debut EP. Recently signed to Heavy Artillery and a full length pencilled in for later this year, there’s not been a better time than the current for eighties throwback, spandex sporting testosterone fuelled heavy metal. With Enforcer, Cauldron, Portrait, In Solitude and Christian Mistress all making waves among a plethora of others, you’re spoilt for choice.

I mention Christian Mistress for they share one common asset, a female front woman with an ‘all out, balls out’ attitude, something which is unfortunately so few and far between these days. It’s gutsy, unadulterated metal ripped shamelessly straight out of the eighties, in the days where blonde perms and tight leather trousers were perfectly acceptable; a nostalgia trip perhaps, but when it’s executed as sublime as this, there’s nothing else in the world I’d rather listen to.

Our ‘Doro’ in question is Laura Coller, and she tears her way through this all too brief affair like a woman possessed. There’s no need to state the main influences by now, but if you guessed Warlock, Hellion and Maiden you’d be right on the money. Blistering duelling leads, high tempo drumming and Maiden-esque riffs driven by Laura’s compelling vocals, it’s a heavy metal aficionado’s dream.

From Killer’s styled intro on “Hellhounds” right through to the fantastic adrenaline pumping marriage of Bob and Max’s weaving guitar work and Laura wailing “Through the heat of the night” on“Night of the Undead” , I dare you to not clench your fist, even just once. Even the instrumental "Paganini Horror" is nothing but intense, flawless heavy metal, though something tells me they were listening to “You Give Love a Bad Name” before the recording. The resemblance is uncanny at times.

If you ever wondered what Enforcer would have sounded like with a female singer, well then here’s your answer. Straight from the church of true metal, The Beyond is twenty minutes of unrelenting metal excellence. If this is a taste of what’s to come, the full length better hurry the fuck up. From a country better known for its weak power metal and limp wristed ‘goth’ metal, I’m impressed!


Buy it!


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