Review by Sloof: When I reviewed their previous album, I wrote that the band is a pure Heavy Metal band with a nostalgic feeling to the 80ies. Two years later, I receive their second album ‘Strike Back’ and as always, I want to hear some fresh and new ideas, some evolvement of the band and arrangements that improve. On this new output, the family business remained the same, so the brothers Ancillotti are still present with their nephew/son Brian still on board. Is it correct that traditional Italian Steel is reborn and are the new songs equal in quality as the debut album?
Well, concerning the material, most of them have a good pace, some have double bass drums and there is variety present, albeit it limited. Ancillotti isn’t exactly a band that tries to add new elements to their music, as they prefer straight forward Heavy Metal without gimmicks or neoteric parts. The overall impression that I had after listening to ‘Strike Back’ is the constant average quality in songwriting AND the dull sound of the record. Some might say that they like this old school reference, but I’m sure that you can get a perfect sound that resembles to the 80ies including a nostalgic feeling, but without the mat and lusterless approach. Best parts are the solos (e.g. ‘To Hell With You’), the slightly Motörhead approach (‘Fight’) and the focus on melody (‘Firestarter’).
Some tracks made me think on The Scorpions (‘Never Too Late’) and there is also great riffing available (‘The Hunter’). The quality is constantly present, but if they focus on the vocals and a better production, they will be ready for the next step in their career. Ancillotti Official Homepage / Order at: http://www.puresteel-shop.com/ANCILLOTTI-Strike-Back_1
My rating: 79/100 (Decent but best previewing)