|Review: Penetrator - Penetrator|
Label: Sonic Age Records
Year released: 2005
Genre: Heavy/Power Metal
Review online: July 8, 2005
Reviewed by: Michel Renaud
This is the debut album for Toronto's Penetrator and I have mixed feelings about it. This is average straightforward heavy metal in the vein of early 80s Priest, so by definition you've got some good stuff in here. On the one hand, you get some average-to-good heavy/power metal with some catchy moments and some straightforward but nonetheless very good solos that seem to have been parachuted from the 80s. On the other hand, about half the songs are not that good and are either forgettable, annoying, or both. A mixture of so-so production, uneven vocals that vary from very good to totally out of place (as in "what the hell was that about?"), and some disputable choice of breaks ruin some otherwise potentially good songs.
Not that it is that bad, mind you. I've listened to this album quite a bit and don't mind having it on repeat for several hours, because the good songs are good, and the guys know how to play and the guitar sound is clear enough that it helps focus on the main advantage of this whole release: The guitar work. Lots of crushing riffs and invigorating solos make up for the shortcomings of the albums. The vocalist, when he's not inducing murderous tendencies in me, flirts into Rob Halford territory and I think he'll eventually get his act together - he's just trying too much here. I can't help but feel that this one was a bit rushed out. You can easily pass on this, but it's nonetheless worth a listen should the occasion arise.
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