This second album from northern California’s Shadowkiller is a very loose concept album, based around the the pain and suffering of the German forces fighting to save themselves, their families and their homeland at the tail of the Second World War, but dealing with the horror of conflict on the front line in general, telling as it does stories of fighting spirit and determination, to overcome the odds – or die trying.
It is unsurprising, therefore, that ‘Until The War…’ has a very militaristic feel to it, from the taut precision of Gary Neff’s exuberant timekeeping through the short, sharp riffs of the twin guitar riffs, underpinned in turn by the rumbling artillery of Dan Lynch’s thick bass lines. Actually, it is in the latter regard that lies my only major problem with this otherwise decent and effective aural assault: in far too many places, the mix is muddier than the fields which the German troops defended to their dying breaths, with the bass more often than not reduced to nothing more than background noise.
With Joe Liszt sounding like a more melodic Blackie Lawless on lead vocals, the songs are professionally written and performed: they’re not going to win any awards for outstanding originality, but they are an extremely listenable collection of tunes which will appeal to fans of good old-fashioned straight-ahead metal with grit in its bloodstream and dirt under the nails of its trigger finger.
Tracklist: Flames Of War / Generation Strong / Legacy / A Price For Freedom / Staring Into Oblivion / Survival / The Blood Of Many / Until The War Is Won / We Stand Unbroken
Recommended listening: Staring Into Oblivion
‘Until The War Is Won’ is out now on Pure Steel Records.