|Review: Headstone Epitaph - Power Games|
Label: Noise Records
Year released: 1999
Genre: Heavy/Power Metal
Review online: November 13, 2010
Reviewed by: MetalMike
Rated 3.67/5 (73.33%) (6 Votes)
Headstone Epitaph has been around since 1987, although they only began recording their original material in 1996. Power Games, from 1999, is their 3rd and, thus far, last release. I've not heard their first two albums, but, after spinning Power Games many times since I bought it blindly a few years ago, I'm at a loss to explain why they haven't recorded anything since then. Produced by Dennis Ward, with all that implies, it a great slice of Heavy/Power Metal that mixes 80s-era Iron Maiden and Judas Priest (there's even a cover of "Breaking the Law") and more current Hammerfall and Burning Point. Stylistically, it is most similar to Hammerfall's Glory to the Brave.
The riffs are crisp and clear, if not too inventive, while the tempo is mostly mid-paced with occasional double kicks. Singer Tim Benz has a great Power Metal voice that is slightly gruff, but he can also hit the high notes. Bassist Jurgen Steinmetz ranges from Priest's Ian Hill ("King of Kill") to Maiden's Steve Harris ("Children of the Sun.") The choruses are very sing-able, and the only weak tracks are the ballads, "Time" and "Just for a Moment," which, while they would have made Europe a ton of money back in the 80s, sound a bit lame compared with the rest of the album.
As safe a purchase for Heavy/Power fans as you're likely to find, Power Games is a fun listen. And while it isn't quite as catchy as the leaders of the genre, I find myself coming back to it again and again.
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