Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Escapetor - Fear



The email submissions continue to hold surprises.  Here is a band that has been slogging around Norway since 1999 with various lineups but are probably unknown outside of their native land.  I know I have never heard of them before.  Out of nowhere comes a pretty decent album.  I can't tell exactly what it is I like about the album but it is very listenable and really grows on you.

The name of the band is a curious thing.  They pronounce it “Escape-tor”.  I have no idea what that means or is, but if you follow bands that live in countries where English is not the first language you will see all kinds of interesting band names.  And I'm sure if I had to come up with a Norwegian band name it would not go well.  So we'll give them a pass on that.

They describe themselves as a thrash metal band, but honestly, outside of a few flourishes here and there I don't think that is accurate.  The album opening track, “The Queen”, is probably the closest they come to thrash, as the song is mostly a thrash style and tempo, but otherwise they are what I would call a classic metal band.  The band that they most resemble to me, at least on this recording, is Black Album era Metallica, who certainly were a thrash band at the beginning but weren't by the point of that album.  There is a lot of mid-tempo music, similar to the Black Album, and the guitars are recorded with the same crunch.  They actually move within genres, sometimes even in the same song.  Their self-titled track, “Escapetor”, is a pretty heavy piece of metal that breaks down in a folk/pirate metal style a couple of times during the song.  They almost get up to a NWOBHM sound at times as well.  They are just a good, heavy metal band, flashing back to a time when it was just heavy metal, not so subdivided as metal is now.

“Mr. Hyde” is another one that you could almost call a thrash song, and one of my favorites on the album.  Just kind of gallops and plows along crushing everything in its path.  And there is a tune called “Creatures Of The Night”.   Although it's not a KISS cover it's a really good song.  One critique I would make of the album is that it is just a bit too long.  These guys really hit their stride on the songs that clock in around four or four and a half minutes in length, yet half the album is made up of songs longer than that.  A little help from a producer who would tell them that last riff idea really doesn't need to be tacked on to the end of the song would help things be a little more accessible.

Albums don't have to break new ground or be the best of the year in order to be good and enjoyable.  This one is proof of that.  Good songs, good playing, and good times will be had when you push play on this one.

- ODIN



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