|Review: Death Dealer - War Master|
Label: Pure Steel Records
Year released: 2014
Originally released in: 2013
Genre: Heavy Metal
Review online: August 24, 2014
Reviewed by: MetalMike
Rated 4/5 (80%) (12 Votes)
I'm not sure how a band featuring Ross the Boss slipped under my radar since forming back in 2012 but now that I've heard Death Dealer's debut, War Master, that won't happen again. Death Dealer, which also features Sean Peck of Cage and Mike Davis, formerly of Lizzy Borden, among other well-known musicians, lays down some classic US Power Metal on War Master. It's an album based on the almighty riff and fleshed out with soaring vocals, a pounding rhythm section, sharp lead work and a dedication to the Heavy Metal lifestyle.
War Master opens with the band-eponymous title track, which launches the album in fine style with its up-tempo pacing and catchy chorus. The riffs follow fast and furious and even though there are some less-than-stellar tracks, like the ballad "Children of Flames," which is dull, and "Liberty or Death," which is generic, the album flows quite well. The trio of songs that make up the middle of the album are where Death Dealer have brought all their songwriting skills to bear. "Curse of the Heretic," which features some great vocal work from Peck, who channels King Diamond's histrionics, from low growls to high falsettos, is followed by "Hammer Down" which couldn't be more aptly named as it brings the proverbial hammer down on your eardrums repeatedly. Finally, we get "The Devil's Mile," a song about a satanic challenge not unlike The Charlie Daniels Band's "The Devil Went Down to Georgia" only in set as a car race. Instead of "sawin' on a fiddle and playing it hot" we get guitarists Ross the Boss and Stu Marshall burning up their fret boards.
War Master isn't perfect and, as you might guess, sticks fairly close to the tried-and-true conventions of US Power Metal, but, man, is it a fun ride. If your tastes run to good, Traditional Metal with speed and attitude, this is an album for you. Turn off your brain and hop in to ride The Devil's Mile with Death Dealer and watch the Devil burn.
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