ASKA - NINE TONGUES (Pure Steel Records)
(Review by Stefan)
Gods of US Power Metal named Aska began its quest early 90’s with albums like “Aska” (1991), “Immortal” (1994), “Six Tongues” EP (1996) followed by “Nine Tongues” a year later on. A small label called EMA Records released these albums in a good way but they were quite hard to find in local record stores because of Aska’s distribution wasn’t that good as during the following years. Three full albums and an EP, all of these products should not be missing in each and every US Metal maniac’s collection. Afterwards, the name Aska got more and more fame, mighty good albums like “Avenger” (2000) and “Absolute Power (2007) lifted the band to a much higher, more International level… speaking for my own, Aska belongs on top of my alltime favourite US Metal bands. What makes them so attractive is in the first place their pure US Power Metal character delivered by excellent musicians like the phenomenal good singer/guitarist George Call. He’s one of a kind due to his unique timbre as he once again showcased with the release of Banshee’s new album “Mindslave”, a few months ago. Superb effort made for US Metal freaks surely!
Back to the real point of this review, Germany based Pure Steel Records released both “Avenger” and “Absolute Power” a while ago as LP version. Early May 2013, this great label did the same with Aska’s “Nine Tongues” album which is now available as LP as well as on CD. Fans of US Metal should be very grateful with this gesture, three fantastic albums re-released in the best possible way so better hurry up to order something unique. As for “Nine Tongues”, the remastering duties were in hands of Rocco Stellmacher (ex-Merlin/Mind Odyssey/Gorgons Eyes). The limited vinyl edition contains 100 orange and 400 black items to be directly ordered while hit the red coloured links !
Best Aska album to me is the unbeatable “Avenger” effort, no doubt about. To compare this superb piece of US Power Metal with; for example “Nine Tongues”, well there is quite a difference that can be heard. Typical American Heavy/Power Metal hits me in the face with killer songs like opener ‘The Stalker’ and followers ‘Leprosy’, ‘Question’, ‘Blood Of The Wolf’, the compelling ‘Killashandra’ and last beautiful one ‘The Dream’. It need to be said that ‘Little Sister’ feels like an unexpected kick in the head. Too much party rock minded, a style that does not fit for a great and pure Metal band like Aska. ‘Liquid Courage’ has also a rocking feel on board, although I hear a good Metal riff which makes this one a little bit more acceptable. Fortunately, Aska recorded songs of this level never again as years passed by!
In some ways, “Nine Tongues” differs from the rest of their albums due to a few unexpected musical twists and turns but maybe that’s why you must order the album… to expect the unexpected. Dropping the silver disc into the layer of my CD appliance, the index lights up to 10 tracks of which eight very good ones, my opinion on the remaining songs you already know. Still a very recommended album that is definitely indispensable for your own US Metal collection. Order HERE.
My Points: 85 / 100
95+ : Outstanding, high valued albums & Classic Ones… a direct purchase is advisable !
Between 90 and 95: Surpasses the style of music, must be heard/ordered by every Metal fan
Between 80 and 89: Good in its own genre, recommended for those hooked on it
Between 70 and 89: Decent but best previewing
Between 60 and 69: Rather moderate
Between 50 and 59: Bad, substandard
50- : Rubbish