|Review: Slauter Xstroyes - Winter Kill|
Year released: 1985
Genre: Heavy Metal
Review online: February 17, 2010
Reviewed by: Bruce Dragonchaser
Released in honor of the band's current revival, the 1985 debut from cult Chicago metallers Slauter Xstroyes (whatever the hell that's supposed to mean) is an interesting slab of 80s metal that is both awful and somehow brilliant. Production-wise, things are heavy on the bass, but the guitars have a nice Powerslave feel, and at the time, Winter Kill would have been a pretty bitching metal album. Nowadays it sounds rather tame, but the unusual flavor of originality it boasted back in the 80s still remains.
The band doesn't really know what they want to be, and manage to get through various genres throughout the songs, namely progressive NWOBHM, US Power/Thrash, and melodic Doom. The concoction fits somewhere between Omen, Fate's Warning, and Candlemass, with vocalist John Stewart trying various styles (all of them in the higher registers) that work but also clash. Really, this stuff is all over the place (just listen to the first two minutes of "The Stage" for an example of how not to open a metal track) and the aimless and unfocused material drives home the point that Slauter Xstroyes had no idea what they were doing. Musicianship is tight nonetheless, but it never grabs the listener because of the multitude of changes.
A must for die hard old-schoolers, perhaps a joke to the modern crowd. Make your choice.
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