SBS - THE GAMBLER (Independent)


                                 (Review by Stefan)

Can I have your attention for a Lithuanian band formed in the late seventies by keybaordist Vilius Kraujalis and singer Dario Rutkys. Their mission was to set up a Rock band influenced by Black Sabbath, Malmsteen, Whitesnake,... SBS (Spicy Bits Of Scandal) line up became complete after a while and to show what they were worth, the band played some festivals with a good result. In the beginning of the nineties, some guys stepped out of the SBS core and were replaced by other and especially well skilled musicians such as vocalist Vitalis 'Don Vito' Kairiukstis, one of the best Lithuanian Hard Rock shouters. The early years of existence weren't far from easy but SBS was strong enough to fight the fight and survive.  

First effort came out in 1996 by the title of ''Menulio Sviesa'', a nine song album - main pint back then was the fact founder Vilius Kraujalis teamed up with the band again. What happened next is quite unclear to me but I guess that the musicianship in the camp of SBS went up and down... it seemed they were of the track for a while, years later on they were suddenly back for more with a new line up and new songs ready to unleash. A firm occupancy of the band was found in 2005. They were stronger and better than ever, SBS was chosen to share the stage with greats like Royal Hunt and Judas Priest. From this concert, there is a Live album and DVD available called ''Gimes Laimeti''.  


Early 2006, a new guitar wonder was recruited by the name of Giedriues 'Jumbo' Balciunas. A guitar wizard known from other Lithuanian bands like Linfess and Xess. ''Tik Menulio Sviesa'', Spicy Bits Of Scandal's new effort saw daylight in 2007 - an album that received a lot of dignity by major webzines. Now they were on the right tracks and nothing couldn't kept them away to release a new output one year later on called ''The Gambler'' which is meanwhile unleashed and ready to spread a few words of.  

The entire packaging of the new effort looks awesome. A fantastic looking and very professional digi-pack within 14 new songs on ''The Gambler'' (several pages booklet with song lyrics, nice images,... plus as bonus a DVD with 4 songs recorded during live performances, a video clip for 'The Wind Of Your Soul', tons of cool pictures,... to make a long story short, something you have to be in your collection - at least if you're a fan of great Hard Rock / Metal music because that is what you can get from a band like SBS!  

Well, MTI co-editor Patrick De Sloover wrote the review for ''Tik Menulio Sviesa'', the band's previous album - now it's my turn to share my thought s with all of you concerning ''The Gambler''. Besides an intro, 'Black Angels' make its entry in full glory. Quite immediately, it was obvious to me that SBS has a strong song somewhere between Hard Rock and Euro Melodic Power Metal. Vocally wise, Mr. Klaus Meine from the Scorpions come freshen up my memory. A strong keyboard use is remarkable but in combination with awesome guitar tactics, I have no reason to complain at all. Along with the song 'The Flood' I can recommend these ones to fans of Nocturnal Rites, Rhapsody Of Fire or Astral Doors. The title track becomes more than probably a song that'll be heard on several radio or TV stations. Melodic, powerful and plenty of technical skills... sounds good to me. I want to emphasise one more time that the current guitar player of SBS is a 'gift from above' absolutely magnificent guitar player! Late Deep Purple, Rainbow fans better skip forward to a song called 'Your Life' - you won't regret at all.  

Fourteen songs over a running time of more than 65 minutes, SBS takes you all away on a journey through several decades of Rock music. They brings us old fashioned Hard Rock but also Melodic Metal worked out with symphonic, sometimes neo classical movements and most important, burning and scorching guitar duties. Watch out for fire spitting duels between both axeman and keyboardist - you are warned!  

Globally seen, ''The Gambler'' is an album with an adult character than can reach a wide range of fans for sure - both worshippers of old school Hard Rock and people into nowadays, Melodic Metal should be already on the move to order ''The Gambler'' with a reassured heart. To accomplish that mission, take a look at: 


My Points: 84 / 100