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Review: Rawhead Rexx - Diary in Black
Rawhead Rexx
Diary in Black

Label: AFM Records
Year released: 2003
Duration: 52:21
Tracks: 13
Genre: Power Metal

Rating: 4.5/5

Review online: September 5, 2003
Reviewed by: Sargon the Terrible
Readers Rating
Diary in Black

Rated 4/5 (80%) (7 Votes)

Another direct hit for my metal detector! Ever since I heard of these guys, this CD has plucked at me, and I am glad I finally got off my ass and bought it. This is the second CD from Rawhead Rexx, and as their first album got good press, I can say there is no sign of a sophomore slump here, as this is one bad-ass mother of an album.

RR play an identifiably German flavor of power metal with that teutonic crunch sensibility, but they also flavor their metal with a bit of an 80's hard rock kick. The combination brings out a sound something like Dream Evil or old Dio, or even a heavier Vicious Rumors (VR axeman Geoff Thorpe even guests on a few leads here, clearly showing where they are coming from) The whole is heavy, catchy, and just all-around cool. There are a lot of kick-ass tracks here, from the opener "Return of the Dragon" to the punchy title cut and the volleying "Brothers in Arms". Rawhead Rexx even pull out a couple of ballads along the way. "What If" falls a little flat, but "Six Feet From the Edge" is pretty damned cool. I have to single out "Dragonheart" as probably the best song on here; it's got an awesome main riff and a terrific fist-pumping chorus that's so cool I can't resist it, no matter how over-the-top it is. Not every track is a killer, but they are never dull. The production is huge, crunchy and clear as a bell, letting you hear every inch of your ass being kicked. The band is very tight and the leadwork is in places really impressive. Frontman/guitarist Juergen Volk can really fucking sing, and his raw, powerful voice is a definite highlight on the album. He can sure hit the highs, but he doesn't overdo it, and his delivery has a swaggering confidence that adds a lot of conviction to the already impressive music.

The CD package is a jewel case (thank the Pestilent Gods) and has an incredibly cheesy "3D" cover that's supposed to look like a hologram but isn't one. The booklet has band pics and includes the lyrics, which are not fantastic but they fit the music perfectly well: straight ahead and no bullshit.

It's so cool to take a shot in the dark and come up with a CD this good. Rawhead Rexx kick some serious ass on this album, and I wish there were more bands with their hellbent determination to play Power Metal without the gay-happy-flower trimmings that sometimes seem so prevalent these days. "Diary in Black" rocks, and I foresee great things in the future from this band.

Track Listing:
  1. Dark Ages
  2. Return of the Dragon
  3. Diary in Black
  4. Brothers In Arms
  5. Barons Overthrow
  6. The Machine
  7. What If
  8. Evil in Man
  9. Dragonheart
  10. Metal War
  11. Saint and Sinner(bonus)
  12. Resistance(bonus)
  13. Six Feet From the Edge
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