Gun Barrel - Battle-Tested
Gun Barrel managed to catch my attention a year ago with the really good debut Power-Dive, and now they are back with another album which basically continues where the first one left us. There are a few details that differs: the sound and the contrast between the good and the less good songs, but apart from that it's the same thing we get this time too. Mix the driven riffs from Wolf with the rough rock'n'roll dirtyness from Motörhead, throw in some good singalong refrains in style of early Accept - there you have the simple concept of Gun Barrel.
Before I even had checked who had produced, the name "Piet Sielck" came immediatly to mind when hearing the arrangements and choruses, and yes - he is responsible, and it can clearly be heard. It has on more than one occasion a very Iron Savior-ish feeling over it. The man is a genius behind the recordingequipment according to me, and this is no exception with a fresh, clear and very rich sound. Also involved in the producing, mixing and mastering was noone less than Uwe Lulis (Rebellion, ex. Grave Digger).
There are a few songs that passes by pretty unnoticed on this album, whereas I think the previous album was slightly more even all over, but the good songs on this album (which still is in good majority) are way better. There are a few low marks on this one, but the ones that are good are way better I think so the grades are saved.
The lyrics almost exclusivly deal with subjects like beer and parties, and the music is a very fine mixture of good partymusic, but at the same time serious metal with enough amount of quality. It is appearant that they really want to stick to the winning concept that the previous album offered, and I am fine with that for another album since the songs are still very good. Motörhead has done the same thing for over 20 years now, and noone complains there....personally I think this is better than most that Lemmy & Co. have managed to produce over the years.
At the end of the album the more mighty choruses seem to be less present, but on the other hand the tempo seem to increase and that make way for the more straightforward songs built on 3 chord riffs with a short and intense refrain. Final words: a very good rock/metal album which is a must during the preparty before the next night out. Go and buy!