I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again, those Germans know how to make good metal that you can just kick back, nod your head to and raise the horns and more importantly just enjoy. Granted, I was expecting something more akin to Motley Crue, Poison and the likes with a name like Alpha Tiger but I really should have known better given where they’re from.
Beneath The Surface, their second release, is like a step back in time at times. After a delicately building intro, The Alliance gallops out at you throwing riffs that are part Helloween, part Gamma Ray and have all those trademark Germanic flourishing runs in between. You can’t help but draw similarities to these two bands with this track, thanks in part to Stephan Dietrich’s superbly crystal clear voice that puts you in mind of a young Michael Kiske.
This pace and trend continues with the spiky From Outer Space that has a great soaring chorus that shows Dietrich’s power and range well before Waiting For A Sign gently pulls us back into a place of tranquility and peace before tearing into an old school power ballad replete with some soulful guitar work that rips into some great twin melodies.
Title track Beneath the Surface returns with a vengeance to the pace and intensity of the start of the album, with some brilliant drum and bass work throughout. The track has some superbly technical shredding and a real anthemic chorus.
Straight out rocker Along The Rising Sun carries us along and into the far more progressive and expansive Eden Lies in Ruins as it shows Alpha Tiger’s musicality to its fullest, allowing them to throw a little bit of everything into the mix.
Heading towards the end of the album, Rain catches you out as it initially brings to mind 80s hair metal and a ballad that is more akin to something Whitesnake, Europe or similar would have pulled out back in the day… and then it kicks into that unmistakeably Germanic speed metal style. Crescent Moon returns to the progressive notes of Eden but is more akin to a sprawling rock ballad with its studied approach before final track We Came from the Gutter draws the album to a close in anthemic fashion.
It’s a good second album from these guys and I definitely enjoyed it given my love of Helloween, however, I do feel they’re still wearing their influences a little close to their hearts and struggling to break away and produce something that carries their own mark. That said, if you are into the likes of Helloween and their ilk you’ll most certainly enjoy this.
Beneath The Surface is released on 28 January 2013 via Century Media.
2. The Alliance
3. From Outer Space
4. Waiting For A Sign
5. Beneath The Surface
6. Along The Rising Sun
7. Eden Lies in Ruins
9. Crescent Moon
10. We Came From The Gutter
ALPHA TIGER are:
Stephan Dietrich – Vocals, Piano
Peter Langforth – Guitar, Backing Vocals
Alexander Backasch – Guitar
Dirk Frei – Bass
David Schleif – Drums