ATTACKER - GIANTS OF CANAAN (Metal On Metal Records)
(Review by Stefan)
Well, the glory days are back for all those hooked on the mighty forces of Classic US Power Metal! All because of the fifth and new album from ‘The Lords Of Thunder’, better known as the New Jersey based Attacker whose album was recently released through Metal On Metal Records! This eleven tracks effort entitled “Giants Of Canaan” is so incredibly fantastic that my favourite album of 2013 is already known! Having been into the world of US Metal for decades, I’m sure that no one will beat this new Attacker album. Some claim that musical perfection does not exist within the Metal community but an output of this calibre proves the opposite. Every musical aspect of “Giants Of Canaan”, every single detail is so fantastically well developed that I can only state it as the fact that we're dealing with total perfection here.
A world class Metal band like Attacker deserve to team up a renowned label as well so they signed with Metal On Metal Records a while ago. No doubt that this record company is one of the most coveted for ones at the moment, CEO/prestigious cover artist Jowita Kaminska and her husband are real specialists in delivering Metal music as it should be. Since their inception in 2008 they have released many amazing albums from which Attacker's new output must be one the ultimate highlights. As usually, Jowita created also the cover art for the release and it has to be said that the end result looks fabulous once again!
The album was recorded at the Katalomi Studios in New Jersey. Attacker's drummer Michael Sabatini together with Patrick Guden took care of the mixing and engineering, and the mastering was done by the renowned engineer Alan Douches at the West West Side Music (New York).
Actually, there are two reasons to praise Attacker – first and foremost for the release of the almighty new, transcendent album “Giants Of Canaan” but also for their delivery of awesome US Metal throughout the last 30 years. A career that started with “Battle At Helms Deep” LP (1985) followed by my absolute fave one entitled “The Second Coming” featuring one of the best US Metal singers, John Leone, who passed away later on. It took 16 years for the follow up to arrive – “Soul Taker” saw the day of light in 2004... Two years later, album number 4 “The Unknown” was released. Like on the debut, Bob Mitchell was in charge to make a stand behind the microphone with his very distinct, high-pitched and sharp as a knife voice... unique! However in 2008 Attacker parted ways with Bob, so the original member Michael Sabatini’s hunt for a worthy replacement started. It took a while but the new singer was finally found in Bobby Lucas aka “Leather Lungs”, a nickname that suits him very well. Cold blue steel is running through this awesome vocalist's veins as soon as he starts to sing. He has already proven his magnificent skills in other bands such as Overlorde, Seven Witches and Morbid Sin, three bands where Bobby played a major part with his amazing singing. In Attacker’s 30 years of existence, there were three singers on board. All of them awesome performers and owners of world class voices!
Let us eventually proceed with the order of the day, Attacker’s new album “Giants Of Canaan”. Everything on this new effort gives me devastating 80s Metal which is great! Excellent sound quality, not too polished but straight in your face and hard as steel. Attacker goes back to their roots, especially to “The Second Coming” era. After listening to just a few songs, I knew I was onto something extraordinary! This is, without a single doubt, a fantastic album that has an enormous impact on my heart and soul. Being a US Metal fanatic for about 30 years, I didn't expect that one particular band could surprise me in a way Attacker does with “Giants Of Canaan”. This product grabbed me by the throat right from the start until the very last moment. How beautiful can US Power Metal be?!
Bobby Lucas was obviously having the time of his life delivering a superb blend of mid-range clean vocals and tremendous high pitched screams... he brings to my mind the good old singers like Bruce Dickinson (Iron Maiden), Geoff Tate (Queensryche), Ski (Deadly Blessing/Faith Factor), Carl Albert (ex-Vicious Rumors/Villain), David Wayne (ex-Metal Church), Michael Kiske (ex-Helloween) and James Rivera (Helstar). Epic, inspired tracks with tons of great riffs and flickering, sharp as a knife leads. Attacker knows how to maintain the perfect balance between the massive powerful and the melodic parts. Also the more calm moments, the ‘breaks’ are fantastic... as I said before, music perfection becomes reality here!
Each song on “Giants Of Canaan” has its own strong character that results in a real roller-coaster ride through the valleys of US Power Metal. Attacker shows what Classic US Power Metal is all about most of all, but I also want to mention a touch of Thrash Metal because of the thrash laden guitar riffs. It happens quite often that US Power Metal bands flirt with thrash – take for instance Helstar, Vicious Rumours and Metal Church. And for the best examples on this album I recommend you check out the title track or “Steel Vengeance”. These songs let you hear how fantastic Attacker really is... I’m speechless! Fans of “The Second Coming” album will have a blast with the song “Black Winds Calling”, and last one “The Glen Of The Ghost” has epic traces of good ol’ Iron Maiden. “Sands Of Time” is definitely responsible for the chills running down my spine thanks to the incredible vocal performance of Bobby Lucas, the awesome technical and melodic guitar tactics of Mike Benetatos and Pat Marinelli, which really speak to my imagination. Also, nothing but admiration for the mighty and very technical killer drummer Michael Sabatini and bass virtuoso in charge, Jon Hanemann.
I’d like to recommend “Giants Of Canaan” to each and every US Power Metal maniac who likes to be thrilled in a classic manner. I’m sure that fans of Vicious Rumors (Carl Albert era), Iron Maiden (Powerslave/Piece Of Mind period), Helstar in days of Remnants Of War/Distant Thunder/Nosferatu), New Eden and its superior debut effort Through The Make Believe, Eidolon, Antithesis, Pharaoh, Steel Prophet, Cage, Steel Assassin, Gothic Knights, Taunted will have a blast with Attacker’s new output. If you like high-pitched vocals and a lethal dose of outstanding, pure US Metal guitar riffs with big variety and tempo changes – “Giants Of Canaan” will take you into higher spheres. It can be described as the ultimate equivalent of “The Second Coming”! Once again, I’m overwhelmed by the grace of US Metal and looking forward to seeing these guys at the next edition of Belgian Ages Of Metal Festival at the end of September 2013.
Order your own copy right HERE or visit the Metal On Metal Records homepage at: http://metal-on-metal.com/. Normally, we at Metal To Infinity webzine write only one review per album. Well, because of our everlasting admiration for Attacker and US Metal in general, there is another review (written by Officer Nice) posted at the following url: http://metaltoinfinity.be/CDREVIEWS/Attacker_Giantsofcanaan.html ...An additional gesture for a world class band!
My Points: 100 / 100