Since reforming in early 2012, Belgium based speed metal band Drakkar have seen it fit to release a comeback album only a few months after getting back to getter… Big mistake. X-Rated Reloaded is a slow, turgid, monotonous album that really should not be classed as speed metal, putting this much loved, brain melting metal sub genre to shame as well as being one of the worst metal releases of 2012 thus far. Through slack, basic musicianship, dull/lifeless guitar riffs and some of the worst vocal lines, from one of the worst singers in metal, Drakkar have released an appalling mish mash of songs that can only be described as mind numbingly painful and musically featureless.
The production is a massive let down on X-Rated Reloaded, sounding as if this album has been recorded inside I beehive while the musicians are being painfully stung by the vicious insects, resulting in them not being able to play their instruments properly. This album would atleast been a lot more tighter and wholesome if Drakkar had bothered to pay a bit more money to get their so called “come back” album recorded professionally and if this had happened songs such as ‘Forgotten Heroes’, ‘Lords of the North’ and ‘Stand Up’ may have been slightly more musically stimulating… Probably not, but it can’t get any worse than this!
There is nothing memorable or unique about any of the song on this album and it just shows how fruitless and untalented the guys in Drakkar must be; not only as musicians, but also as song writers. The best bit has to be the final notes of ‘To My Best Friend’ or in other words… The end of the album. As soon as X-Rated Reloaded has finished chances are you won’t be able to recall any of the choruses, riffs or guitar solos on any of the songs as they aren’t able to hook the listener the moment they kick in. Basic song writing principles have just been chucked out the window with these songs and that has to be Drakkar’s greatest downfall. The fact they can’t write a catchy melody to save their lives.
Quite bluntly Drakkars’s vocalist can’t sing. He not only struggles to hit the high notes but he is predominately shouting most of the way through X-Rated Reloaded, making songs such as ‘Highlander’, ‘Rise and Fight’ and X-Rated’ unbearable and agonizing to listen to. Two things are for certain, he should never quit his day job and he should be confined away from any form of glass due to the possibility it may smash due to those horrendous squeals.
The artwork is the best bit about X-Rated Reloaded, but you don’t buy an album for the artwork… You buy it for the music, and in Drakkar’s case it’s not music at all, it’s just noise. Drakkar may have reformed only 3 months back but they should definitely consider calling it a day once again after the release of this dreadful album! [1/10]