Stallion - Slaves of Time

Stallion Slaves of Time cover
Slaves of Time
High Roller Records
These “Comrade” leaning mustachio’d German metal merchants have been going on for a few years and “Slaves of Time” is their third album. Their typical speed metal owes as much to Metallica as and NWOBHM, as to earl thrash and their closest of the modern revivalists might be a band like say Skullfist.
Now their edgy, shouty, 80s blue collar metal isn’t bad and they’ve come someway, since the days they used to rip off Metallica riffs (their eponymous song is “Creeping Death”), but that doesn’t necessarily gets em in the clear. Opting to be inspired by a variety of old acts… the output is a little uneven but not too bad.
“Waking the Demons” is a fair enough introduction that sounds like Enforcer, before they decided to lighten up.
“No Mercy” has the speed metal aesthetics of early Slayer, at least riff wise with some rumbling bass to the point I thought, wow, until it goes screaming (with whatever falsettized highs) into a more job-ish simple, but to the point chorus that kinda works. The middle section suffers from mellowFORCERitis mid-temponitis and simply pisses on the cool factor that the Slayer like speedinous effect that the rest of the song manages to generate. It good to see that the lyrics tend to be quite libertarian, with strong anti-nazi sentiments. With the rise of parties like AFD in Germany it’s good to see, that not everyone’s all about the money and power.
“Time to Reload” has AC/DC rock ‘n roll like riffs and while the style is “easy” it’s also “hard” to write something good, without sounding derivative. In this case, the song sounds like Airbourne, covering Saxon. But not as good as the previous statement would have you believe. Not shite either.
“All In” starts with bits of Saxon and Priest (their 80s more RnR songs) and tries to ape that British cool factor. It manages to do so, up to a point, making it a fair effort. It’s not perfect, but it does manage to sound pretty decent. With the band not being shit hot soloists, the amount of time they dedicate to that is a little too long, while the more speedinous, but melodic exit strategy of the song isn’t such a bad idea. Actually it might be one of the better songs on the album.
“Brain Dead” is a screaming speed metal/proto thrashy effort that’s interesting. Actually, it’s another song, I didn’t mind (in a good way) as it manages to get its point across quite nicely and the break doesn’t fuck it up too much, despite it losing some speed/steam after it. Maybe it keeps it from becoming monotonous though. It’s all about the crazy media overkill.
“Die with Me” is probably the tune design to get the band some groupies. A sappy ballad that sort of tries to ape those better Accept ballads. It’s actually not as bad, but obviously the transient nasal wails in falsetto are a little hit or miss. Well, thankfully for them, they mostly are on point (past the intro).
Normally, since I did seem to like the speedier aspect of songs I should have liked “Merchants of Fear”, but the vocals end up sounding like a weaker Blitz something that persists on the musically, somewhat Motorhead-lite “Dynamiter”. I always thought Blitz sounded like a granny having a stroke, but I will admit that on a few albums he sounded like a cool ass granny… having a stroke. This might have worked better with a more Dirkschneir-y vocal.
While “Kill the Beast” opens with standard fair, a few melodic lead lines early on, sound pleasantly surprising melody wise, the track loses a bit of focus, only to regain it with a decent chorus and a nice twin guitar attack.
Lastly, “Meltdown” pays tribute to Maiden largely guitarwise, with a generic riff not really helping it and the vocal acrobatics, while landing on their feet, lacking in finesse. Well, still not terrible.
Well, they can do better, I guess, but there’s some fairly decent material on “Slaves of Time”. From a band that I found highly unoriginal and rough, they’ve graduated into one that seems to be forming some sort of an identity and beginning to display some aptitude… they’re still rough but showing decent promise.