Review by Stefan: It is an overwhelming feeling and an honor for me to present to you the new, sixth album from New Jersey Power Metal veterans, Attacker. I’ve been a defender of the US Metal since the very early 80s, and Attacker has never disappointed me. I heard them for the first time when Metal Blade Records’ “Metal Massacre V” came out. Attacker took part in this legendary series with the song “(Call On) The Attacker” in 1984. They signed a deal with Metal Blade Records and launched their debut album “Battle At Helms Deep”, with Bob Mitchell on vocals.
Then Attacker came back with the great follow up, “The Second Coming” (Mercenary Records, 1988) featuring the almighty vocalist John Leone (who unfortunately died in 1994). Definitely one of my all time favourite US Metal outputs. Original singer Bob Mitchell rejoined the fold for the recording of both “Soul Taker” (Iron Glory Records, 2004) and “The Unknown” (Sentinel Steel Records, 2006). Both were really good but to be fair, not as strong as their legendary predecessors. Chavis Records released the Attacker compilation called “Standing The Test Of Time” in late November 2007, and six years later my US Power Metal heroes were back in business after inking a deal with metal specialists Metal On Metal Records.
The founding members, drummer Mike Sabatini and guitarist Pat Marinelli, as well as the second axeman who had joined in 2001, Mike Benetatos, were still on board, singer Bob Mitchell was replaced by the great Bobby ‘Leather Lungs’ Lucas (Morbid Sin, Seven Witches, Overlorde and Exhibition), and Jon Hanemann participated in “Giants Of Canaan” (Metal On Metal Records, 2013) as bassist. We posted exceptionally not one but two reviews of this mighty US Metal gem: http://www.metaltoinfinity.be/CDREVIEWS/Attacker_Giantsofcanaan.html and http://www.metaltoinfinity.be/CDREVIEWS/Attacker_Giantsofcanaan2.html. But enough now with the biography of one of the best acts in the history of US Power Metal – let’s move on to the order of the day, the brand new effort from Attacker entitled “Sins Of The World”, unleashed through Metal On Metal Records in late November 2016.
Michael Sabatini dedicates this album to his beloved mother Grace (1939-2016), the original ‘Attacker Mom’, as she was tattooed on her left upper arm. Up above in the US Metal heaven, Grace can be proud on her son’s newest record “Sins of the World”, a real masterpiece in my opinion!
This is the first Attacker recording on which we can hear the new bassist Brian Smith, who had replaced Jon Hanemann in 2014. We get some sad news too: original guitar player Pat Marinelli called it quits due to personal reasons. You’ll hear his riffs/leads for the last time on a few songs only… he has always been a part of the Attacker family and will be missed for sure! However the band have already recruited a new and very skilled guitarist, Jon Hasselbrink, so they’re ready to hit the stage.
All the music has been composed by Mike Benetatos (guitars) and except for the song ‘Carcosa’, the lyrics has been penned by genius vocalist/writer Bobby Lucas. “Sins Of The World” was recorded and mixed by Tom Beaujour, who has also produced it together with the guys from the band. “Sins Of The World” is my number one favourite album of 2016, as you can see from my TOP 20 album list published HERE.
The cover artwork painted by MOM Records’ CEO Jowita Kaminska-Peruzzi looks extraterrestially beautiful, also the graphic layout she did along with her husband Simone deserves a high rating, too. Regarding the packaging, I have absolutely no reason to complain. And as for the new songs, I’m completely overwhelmed really; read my thoughts below…
“Sins Of The World” has quite a lot in common with the previous album “Giants Of Canaan”, although the structures of the new songs are stronger, and they are more aggressive. The original Attacker guys still deliver the best of the best, also the new guys seem to develop as high rated, suitable individuals for a band like Attacker. What else can you expect from a band of such talented instrumentalists and a fantastic, full of charisma frontman? I’m sure you know the answer! This pure US Power Metal demonstration starts with the intro ‘A Time Before The Darkness’ followed by a first kick in the face called ‘Sins Of Man’. All begins with a superb twin guitar assault where harmony and melody reign supreme. The riffs and solos are breathtaking and the high-pitched and flawless vocals blow me away. No time to rest during this song, and it’s just the beginning!
Watch out for next track ‘Carcosa’ and its furious character, again with outstanding Helstar-like guitar riffs cutting through flesh and bone, stunning drums and thunderous bass lines. Once again I am impressed by the chemistry between both guitar players’ solo works… sharp as a switchblade knife and brought with a lethal dose of glowing intensity in the melodic parts, this is true craftsmanship! Also the vocals show more aggression which is new for Bobby but take it from me, this man is so damn talented you don’t have to be worried about the result. He can do it all, with a lot of ease and conviction. Another highlight to me comes with the track ‘World Destroyer’, a fantastic composition, similar to ‘Carcosa’ actually. Typical US Power Metal riffing (once again reminiscent of good old Helstar). Songs like this really leave me speechless and send shivers down my spine. ”Archangel’ is more uptempo and slightly less aggressive, but that’s not an issue at all, it’s a pure, true US Power Metal song many other bands can look up to.
The short, acoustic ‘By The Will Of Crom’ will give you some moments of rest… Among all the other ‘violence and force’ type of songs, this one feels a little bit odd, but I’m sure that the serenity and the tranquility it breathes are able to touch your heart and soul. And finally we are spoiled with a killer composition that will take you on a trip through the valleys of US Power Metal – the song responsible for this beautiful ride is titled ‘Where The Serpent Lies’ (with playing time of over 7 minutes!). Attacker show their talent once again as the pace is been reduced to mid-tempo. It’s a compelling song and it feels really good hearing my favourite US Metal gods ending their sixth album on such a high note.
By the grace of US Power Metal, “Sins Of The World” is a masterpiece that will not disappoint you! Fans of authentic Power Metal in the vein of Helstar (“Remnants Of War” era), Powerlord (“The Awakening” album), very early Vicious Rumors, Liege Lord (“Freedom’s Rise” period), Antithesis, Ancient Creation, Judas Priest (in the days of the great “Painkiller”), should order the CD right away at: http://metal-on-metal.com/shop/#!/~/search/keywords=%22Sins%20of%20the%20World%22&offset=0&sort=relevance . Attacker Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AttackerBand/. Additional information on Metal On Metal Records’ website: http://metal-on-metal.com/.
My rating: 98/100 (Outstanding, high valued albums & Classic Ones… a direct purchase is advisable)