BANSHEE - MINDSLAVE (Snowblind Productions)
(Review by Officer Nice)
I already own all previous albums of this US Melodic Power Metal band. This is just the kind of Metal I adore and so it’s obvious I added their previous works to my collection. I always liked this band and especially “Race Against Time” was a blast, as far as I know there was even a video-clip from “Shoot Down The Night” that reached the MTV-charts. Looking back to the history of Banshee we can only decide these Americans never received what they actually deserved because this is first class Metal, a story that fits hundreds of American bands. Banshee had in their past, to me, similarities with Leatherwolf, not only musical wise but also because of their looks. A bit the looks of a Glam Metal band but their music was far better, not even comparable.
Since years it was quiet around Banshee. George Call now joined their forces and have to admit I was thrilled when I heard the news about it. This has nothing to do with the fact I met George several times but to me he simply belongs to the best singers in the Metal scène! I assure you that what he did with Aska and Omen, although he couldn't really do 'his thing' in this band of old veterans, was outstanding. If we mention Jorn Lande, Bruce Dickinson and Ronnie James Dio amongst the best vocalists on earth than we're obliged to say that George Call is nearby! What makes his vocal lines so addicting and exceptional is that specific, call it unique timbre. A voice that is too special to describe but lies somewhere between Ian Gillan and upper god Dio! The difference is that at least 95% of the Metal scène never heard of a man called George 'Aska' Call.
From the moment I received “Mindslave” I gave it spin after spin. “Taming The Beast”, a track you'll sing along at once and “Floodgates Of Hell” easily blew me away. Not difficult with those fantastic catchy guitar riffs, superb drum parts and bass lines that really impresses the listener! Add some emotional played guitar solos and you know what I’m talking about. Above that, the tracks are foreseen of seducing choruses and refrains on which mister Call strikes you down without any mercy and he starts his journey of giving cold shivers! The riffs and acoustic parts, along with the vocals are really mindblowing, take the entrance of ""Floodgates Of Hell" as the ultimate example! Headbanging stuff!
After a few spins I had the feeling that both opening tracks were the strongest part of this CD, too strong for the rest of this record. So totally wrong! From the title track until the Godlike “Godless” Banshee also takes me under their spell. The final song reminds me by the way to the old Black Sabbath with Ian Gillan ("Disturbing The Priest” etc. from "Born Again”). All songs have their own character and their own strong points, making it harder and harder, even impossible to pick out my favourite track! Even the semi-ballad "Legend lost"(dedicated to Ronnie James Dio) brings me in that kind of special mood only 'classic' albums are capable to. I am considering this one as a candidate of “Best album of 2012”.
And no, not only George Call’s fantastic voice is responsible for it but allow me to say that the way he puts all of his emotions and intensity in his vocals will leave you behind with eyes wide shut! That bit of a raw timbre in his throat that breathes so much emotions, awesome! The album contains a diversity of Metal tracks that fans of melodic US Power Metal will bow their head deep for! It’s another proof that US Metal reigns supreme! “The Phalanx” is an outstanding instrumental track that brings you in the same mood as the works of for example Vinnie Moore or Marty Friendman, a bit less superfast leads but no man will care. It only shows what kind of fine guitar-players are around here and let’s hope the future of this band looks bright!
Not many more words to spend anymore about this one! This band is full of great musicians and is fronted by a man that belongs to the top 20 of the best Metal singers ever! George Call brings Banshee a bit closer to his own band Aska but fans of Leatherwolf, Conception, Black Sabbath (Ian Gillan era) etc. won’t believe their ears! This is a ‘must have’ CD, an album that overgrows every subgenre in Metal and is already a classic album if you would ask me. Check www.bansheerocks.com and order this masterpiece! Let’s hope this band will be added on the bill for the 2013 edition of Keep It True Festival!
My Points: 97 / 100