Friday, 1 June 2012

[ALBUM REVIEW] Gun Barrel - Brace for Impact

Genre - Hard Rock/Heavy Metal

1. No Survival On Arrival
2. Brace For Impact
3. Dancing On Torpedoes
4. Books Of Live
5. Start A Riot
6. Stand Your Ground
7. Diamond Bullets
8. With Might And Main
9. The Wild Hunt
10. Turbölence & Decadence
11. Big Taboo

It’s been two years since the untimely death of previous vocalist Xaver Drexler, and GUN BARREL have finally returned with their latest effort entitled “Brace for Impact”, continuing on their journey to deliver their own cheesy variety of hard-rocking Metal to the unsuspecting masses and further imprint their ethos that if a song doesn’t contain a catchy hook, sharp solo and reckless attitude then it ain’t worth a shit. Hailing from Western Germany and a region famous for giving us acts such as GRAVE DIGGER, RAGE, and BLIND GUARDIAN among many others, GUN BARREL have always had a lot to live up to. “Brace for Impact” is a fairly fun albeit simplistic release laden with a heavy attitude and foot-stomping numbers that take their lines from AC/DC’s riff driven sleaze and SAXON among many others.

Being the first time I’ve heard these guys I’ve no experience as to what their previous material with Xaver sounded like, but if it sounded at all like this then it can’t have been too bad at all. Their new vocalist Patrick actually sounds like some sort of a hybrid between Andi Deris and AXEL RUDI PELL’S first vocalist, Charlie Huhn, I mean as far as vocalists go in this vein of Metal he’s more than apt, but there’s no real personality or range in his voice and it gets rather mundane after a while. Again guitar wise it’s competent enough, by the book AC/DC and MOTORHEAD rhythms and short solos are littered all over “Brace for Impact” but there’s nothing that really hits you and makes you think “Wow!”

A handful of tracks I can stomach, but by the time it reached eleven though I just started to switch off; still, for those who have a penchant for that kind of thing along with those sugary HELLOWEEN and GAMMA RAY styled choruses like those ingrained on ‘Stand Your Ground’ and the title track then by all means take a shot, but for every one of those or ‘Big Taboo’ there’s another coma inducing ‘With Might and Main’ or trite and clichéd ‘Turbolence and Decadence’ to balance it out in the wrong direction. It’s far from earth shattering material, and though it lacks any real longevity and individuality it is a briefly entertaining, well produced listen with albeit limited replay value. The song writing could do with a little more flair and potency to add a bit more depth to proceedings as the way it stands it becomes a little too commercially safe and one dimensional  to these ears.


Originally written for The Metal Observer

Sounds like - Axel Rudi Pell, Deris era Helloween, AC/DC

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