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Masters Of Disguise - 'Back With A Vengeance' http://rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/24/42/5d/masters-of-disguise-back-with-a-vengeance-56-1397931442.jpg Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     April 19, 2014    
 
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The ace in the pack is undoubtedly singer Alexx Stahl who gives Bruce Dickinson a run for his money.

If you thought this band had any connection with the seminal 1980s US Speed Metal band Savage Grace then you'd be correct. SG leader Chris Logue had tried to resurrect the original band back in 2009 without success so he fell back on to plan B and was put in touch with the NWOBHM German tribute band (there's an irony!) Roxxcalibur and promptly persuaded them to become his new line-up. But after a European tour supporting Omen (led by ex SG guitarist Kenny Powell – hence the tie-up) and a couple of festival dates (notably 'Bang Your Head'), Logue abandoned plans for a new album and went back home to the States. The remaining members, having played a one-off gig with Rodrick McKay's Cult American band Griffin at the 'Keep It True' festival in 2011, thought that it was too good an opportunity to pass up on as an original band and decided to record an album of original material alongside a couple of covers of SG. Thus 'Back With A Vengeance' became a very apt title. Depending on whom you believe most of the album was already written by Logue before he mysteriously disappeared.

The ace in the pack is undoubtedly singer Alexx Stahl who gives Bruce Dickinson a run for his money! The closest comparison for me is Riot with more than a nod towards Heir Apparent, Liege Lord, Meliah Rage, Helstar and the afore-mentioned Omen plus Canada's Annihilator and Exciter. I'm guessing a little Fates Warning influence creeps in here and there as well with the subtle tempo changes such as on 'Liar' and 'Into The Unknown'.

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The SG cover 'Scepters Of Deceit' is an improved version of the rather rough demo sounding 'Metal Massacre II' original including a better solo, and they have also covered the newer Logue penned 'The Templars' Gold' (I believe from 'The Lost Grace' EP).

Although in general it's all rather generic Speed Metal it's certainly well played and Stahl has a fine set of Lungs on him, apeing Bruce Dickinson with his elongated vocal lines on 'Sons Of The Doomed' for example, with 'Alliance' referencing Iron Maiden by borrowing heavily from 'Aces High' at the same time. 'For Now And All Time (Knutson's Return)' is their homage to SG with the video and artwork referencing the cover of the SG LP 'Master Of Disguise' (hence their name). Guitarist Kalli Coldsmith has done a fine job on the production with no overdubs – just a live take polished up in the studio, and with fellow guitarist Roger Dequis, bassist Mario Lang and drummer Neudi they will be a welcome addition onto the Metal stages.

Carl Buxton

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