Ostrogoth - Last Tribe Standing

Ostrogoth Last Tribe Standing EP cover
Last Tribe Standing
Empire Records
Ostrogoth, the classic metallers from Belgium, return with a new EP after, “ages” literally, since their last full scale recording was all the way back in 1987. The band has toured sporadically since then, maintaining a rather reserved profile. Even with half or more of the line-up changed, due to various ailments, even the death of certain members, (ie the late Rudy “WhiteShark” Vercruysse just left us, early this January, stricken by cancer but was so committed that he both played on the EP and toured with the band, until December, to the point when he could do it “no more”) the band which now boasts only drummer, Mario Pauwels as the one remaining from the “old days” still manages to sound very consistent with their past having found new members that really “fit” well within its ranks and are respectful to the bands legacy and sound.
This extended play, features some four new songs, that are a quite good indication for what the band is all about in these days and age, as well as four “oldies” recorded recently – which are a bridge to the past and showcase the band where they seem to be, untouchable, on stage...
The new songs sound like a logical continuation to the material that was found on “Too Hot” and “Feelings of Fury” which found the band, injecting a bit more melody in the proceedings, but still maintaining the harshness of classic heavy metal and some classic, razor sharp riffing, that’s quite trademark. New singer Josey Hindrix manages to sufficiently evoke his predecessors live, but is by default a little more melodic, as a singer, bringing to mind people like Marc Storace, from Krokus and the like, but with a little less rasp and lower body in their voice. Newer guitarist Dario Frodo, along with the late “WhiteShark” come up with excellent riffs and beautiful solo, (with all due respect, the fact that the late “Shark” was so cool as to suggest a replacement, to the band as soon as he got, the terrible news, designating his successor only goes to show how cool and dedicated to metal and to his companions he was. The guy asked to be buried with an Ostrogoth shirt and people to have a bit of a HM party/gathering in his memory at his funeral... wow... eternal respect!). Blackie Lawless lookalike, bassist, the mysteriously named Stripe, (thankfully sans the assless chops) is also helping the aforementioned Pauwels, to provide the groove and all together, these fine gentlemen deliver a kick ass EP, just as the original Ostrogoth did, all those years ago with “The Fool Moon’s Eyes”.
“No Risk Taken” begins with some melodic guitar noodling, only to very soon switch to a pretty sick riff, with Hindrix, just come and lay down a mysterious, but pretty cool chorus, before that meaty riff, returns... A rep later, a pretty cool and melodic solo, that gets doubled, midway is laid, before the chorus hits back home… Cool! All is good, in Ostro-land and pretty similar to what you might remember from the past...
The monumental “Clouds” is the “speedy” anthem of the EP, which may boast a rather simple, but totally effective chorus... it’s epic and fast as it is metal, through and through… if you liked the “Full Moon’s Eyes”, well it’s highly likely that you’ll like this too.
“Return to the Heroes Museum” is a nod and an update to the “original” “Heroes Museum”, with the band, stating that they have returned. It’s a fairly melodic number, based on a riff barrage that is pretty much reminiscent and in the same league as the original. The late “Sharky”, just lays down another pretty meaningful if a little short solo...
The title track “Last Tribe Standing” is heralded by an ominous, slow riff, that repeats throughout the song and no less than three solos, two by Dario and one by the “Shark”… cool stuff. It’s got a little unusual chorus with the last line of it, no rhyming with the rest, which makes it stand out, a bit, in all truth. But so be it. Be “The Last Tribe Standing”.
There are also the 4 oldies, recorded during 2014, allegedly during the summer months, them being a roaring take on “Heroes Museum”… Hey, Mr Life ...ain’t that cool?! The tracks seems to be “edited” to segue together, or they could have been recorded all at the same time… next up is “The Full Moon’s Eyes” with Josey, asking everyone to go wild and try to match the bands, on stage ferocity… a trip to “Paris by Night” follows, and it sounds super heavy and nasty… oh that riff and solos… just awesome. Last but not least, the band catches some “Rock Fever” and it’s pretty contagious… as the crowd seems to catch it too... just great stuff!
All in all a very nice, return from the unrepentant Belgian metallers, that fate has hit hard, but are still a band of brother, a tribe that’s standing, “The Last Tribe Standing”...  Hail to the fallen, “hero”. Rudy, you will never be forgotten! Metal is Forever…