Welcome back Avenger ! Yet another North East based NWOBHM band showing they still have what it takes with the release of their new studio album The Slaughter Never Stops, available now via Rocksector Records. Avenger formed in 1982 in Newcastle Upon Tyne but unfortunately only got to record two studio albums, Bloodsports in 1984 and Killer Elite in 1985, both were on the classic Neat Record label. Aside from a compilation via Sanctuary Records in 2002 called Too Wild To Tame, The Slaughter Never Stops marks a thirty year anniversary for the band.
Eleven tracks at a running time of just under forty five minutes seem to pass by in the blink of an eye as it is a powerful return by the band. A brief galloping intro entitled ‘Mace Imperial’ ends with a ticking clock which links us to following track ‘Race Against Time’. It is drum driven heavy metal with a churning riff midsection with scorching guitar solos and the piercing vocals of Ian Swift, one of two longstanding members, the other being Gary Young on drums. Other noteworthy tracks are ‘Fate’. It courses along like early Saxon with Ian throwing in a few Biff like snarls here and there.
‘Fields Of The Burnt’ is another drum driven number. More of a hard rock song but speeds up with headbanging riff changes midway. The pedal is put to the floor with ‘Into The Nexus’, the heaviest track on the album. The breakneck tempos fly by like Blaze Bayley era Iron Maiden with plenty of air guitar inducing riffs/solos and a lung busting vocal from Ian. The Maiden influences show on ‘In Arcadia Go’ with some tasty twin lead guitar work backed by almost thrash metal riffing which coincidentally leads us into a Maiden cover of ‘Killers’. Avenger certainly do it justice with a faultless vocal and musically a heavier take on the original.
‘Flayer Psychosis’, at seven minutes long is a multi time change epic featuring some frenetic Schenker like guitar solos and a fist clenching, gritty vocal. The album ends with a heavy duty number called ‘Midnight Mass Destruction’. The time changes bring to mind ‘In My Darkest Hour’ at times as the intensity increases with Gary Young showing the young guns how to do it with another punishing assault on his kit. The track fades out on an acoustic guitar like the calm after the storm.
A European tour is planned for Jan/Feb 2014 and also a performance at the S.O.S Festival in the UK in July.
Avenger band line up :-
Ian Swift – Lead vocals.
Sean Jeffries – Guitar.
Gary Young – Drums/backing vocals.
Liam Thompson – Guitar/backing vocals.
Ian “fuzz” Fulton – Bass guitar/backing vocals.
Race Against Time.
Fields Of The Burnt.
Into The Nexus.
In Arcadia Go.
Killers (Iron Maiden cover).
Shot To Hell.
Midnight Mass Destruction.