|Review: Speed Limit - Unchained/Prophecy|
Label: Karthago Records
Year released: 2011
Genre: Heavy Metal
Review online: November 3, 2011
Reviewed by: MetalMike
Rated 3.5/5 (70%) (2 Votes)
Austria's Speed Limit are among the hundreds of bands that formed in the early days of Heavy Metal, in this case 1979, and then broke up after a couple of releases. The upswing in Metal's popularity shows no signs of abating so again, like hundreds of other bands, Speed Limit are back together. This release by Karthago Records combines the band's first full-length album, Unchained, with the follow-up EP, Prophecy, both long out of print.
Musically, Unchained and Prophecy (originally released in 1986 and 88, respectively) are exactly what you'd expect from a late 80s European band; post-NWOBHM, traditional Metal characterized by crunchy guitars in a thin sound that is light on the bottom end. The riffs and solos are standard for the time, neither great nor horrible. Unchained's sound reminds me of Tokyo Blade's early material while Prophecy's echo-drenched sound is reminiscent of Witchcross. Vocals, Hansi Huthmann on Unchained and Steven Hoggar on Prophecy, are passable, barely, with a few sour notes here and there. I don't usually concern myself with lyrics a whole lot, but the stuff on these two albums bears mention. For the most part Speed Limit sings about typical 80s Heavy Metal topics and the words are pretty bland. However, the lyrics to "Lady" and "1000 Girls" from Prophecy are truly awful, being both puerile and moronic.
Despite the questionable singing and lyrics, I found Unchained/Prophecy to be entertaining, if unoriginal, 80s traditional Heavy Metal with a strong resemblance to the loose, energetic style of the NWOBHM. If that sounds good to you, Speed Limit is worth a listen.
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