|Review: Dexter Ward - Neon Lights|
Label: Iron on Iron Records
Year released: 2011
Genre: Heavy Metal
Review online: April 2, 2012
Reviewed by: Sargon the Terrible
Rated 3.8/5 (76%) (10 Votes)
This is the debut for Dexter Ward, a band made up of ex-members of bands like Battleroar and Airged L'amh - including Battleroar's former singer Marco Concoreggi. If you are expecting anything epic and big like Battleroar you will not be in the right frame of mind to appreciate this, as it is much more straight-ahead Heavy Metal with a very old-school vibe.
This is crunching headbang-fuel straight out of the 80's, with a definite similarity to old Priest in places, in others it recalls classic US-metal like Helstar or Cloven Hoof. It took me a few spins to really get into this, but once I did I was all smiles. Chugging heavy riffs, wailing solos, catchy vocal lines - everything a fan of classic metal wants is all over this. There may be no real standout tunes here, but they are all solid, and the album as a whole is very solid all the way through.
This band got a lot of press based on the Battleroar connections, but I don't think this is the kind of album that grabs a lot of their fans, as this is much more stripped-down and direct, without Battleroar's taste for the epic. So I see this release getting overlooked, and that's not a good thing, as this is a killer disc. Don't skip it.
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