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Defending The Faith - Defender

=Staff's pick

Endless Scream
Magic Eyes
How Many Tears
For You*
Night People*

Genre Progressive/Power Metal
Jürgen G. Allert
Tracks 12
Robert Balci
Runningtime 60 Min.
Label Selfproduced demo
Roberto D'Amico
Release Dec. 2000
Robert Balci (programming)
Country Germany
Similar artists ---

A german trio that claims to play a mixture of progressive and powermetal - but if you ask me that progressive elements in this are very few, and I would rather classify it as heavy metal with a few progressive elements.

I choose to review this under ordinary albumreviews rather than under the demo-category, since it's a 60 minute longplayer - label-less and selfproduced/financed nevertheless, but I see this as more than a normal 4-song demo.

This band has officialy existed since 1998, when members earlier belonging to Stormwitch and Screaming formed this band and later on brought in Jürgen G. Allert in vocals who had previously played with Nightwolf, Lyons and Mindcrime.

The songs are mostly filled with brilliant riffs and passages, which I think are more related to the powermetal style than the progressive, and guitarist R. Balci (which earlier played drums, but back in 1990 decided to switch to stringbending) delivers quite a few great solos and intelligent riffs/harmonies during this hour.

The production I personally find a little bit too thin to fulfill my needs, and a more powerful drumsound and pondus in the backing and leadvocals could be desired, but it is not that bad that it has any effect on the grades I give for the album overall.

Having in mind that the band is still label-less, and have produced this all by themselves it's understandable that it yet can't be a monsterproduction.
The sound is clear and distince, but it lacks a bit of heaviness to fully bring out the power that I hear these guys have the abilities to deliver.

The fact that they are using a drumcomputer (which has turned out to be a kind of fourth member nowadays, and they actually are using during liveshows, since they are experiencing trouble finding a suitable member) are also of course a big reason to why that geniuine groovy and powerful drumsound are a bit absent.

I think that this band are showing themselves from their best side in the more straigth-on metalparts instead of where the progressive elements play a bigger part.
They have a very good riffmaker in R. Balci, and it feels like there are way more where that comes from.
In for example in Night People (which is an old Dio-cover) and Enemy, the riffs are outstanding and really catchy and are in those moments really appealing to me, and I once again come back to the fact that my personal belief is that these guys would benefit on losen more and more on the progressive parts, and concentrate on what they do best - straight-on metal.

I am positive that if these guys continue on this road they have started on, and continue to develop in a positive direction, we are in for a nice treat in form of the upcoming fullength album.
The band has something to offer.

They are currently writing songs for that one, and are entering the studio around April/May this year, so I could recommend you to keep an eye out for them in the future.






7 chalices of 10 - Tommy

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