|Review: Rawhead Rexx - Diary in Black|
|Diary in Black|
Label: AFM Records
Year released: 2003
Genre: Power Metal
Review online: September 5, 2003
Reviewed by: Sargon the Terrible
for:Diary in Black
Another direct hit for my metal detector! Ever since I heard of these guys, this CD has plucked at me, and I am glad I finally got off my ass and bought it. This is the second CD from Rawhead Rexx, and as their first album got good press, I can say there is no sign of a sophomore slump here, as this is one bad-ass mother of an album.
RR play an identifiably German flavor of power metal with that teutonic crunch sensibility, but they also flavor their metal with a bit of an 80's hard rock kick. The combination brings out a sound something like Dream Evil or old Dio, or even a heavier Vicious Rumors (VR axeman Geoff Thorpe even guests on a few leads here, clearly showing where they are coming from) The whole is heavy, catchy, and just all-around cool. There are a lot of kick-ass tracks here, from the opener "Return of the Dragon" to the punchy title cut and the volleying "Brothers in Arms". Rawhead Rexx even pull out a couple of ballads along the way. "What If" falls a little flat, but "Six Feet From the Edge" is pretty damned cool. I have to single out "Dragonheart" as probably the best song on here; it's got an awesome main riff and a terrific fist-pumping chorus that's so cool I can't resist it, no matter how over-the-top it is. Not every track is a killer, but they are never dull. The production is huge, crunchy and clear as a bell, letting you hear every inch of your ass being kicked. The band is very tight and the leadwork is in places really impressive. Frontman/guitarist Juergen Volk can really fucking sing, and his raw, powerful voice is a definite highlight on the album. He can sure hit the highs, but he doesn't overdo it, and his delivery has a swaggering confidence that adds a lot of conviction to the already impressive music.
The CD package is a jewel case (thank the Pestilent Gods) and has an incredibly cheesy "3D" cover that's supposed to look like a hologram but isn't one. The booklet has band pics and includes the lyrics, which are not fantastic but they fit the music perfectly well: straight ahead and no bullshit.
It's so cool to take a shot in the dark and come up with a CD this good. Rawhead Rexx kick some serious ass on this album, and I wish there were more bands with their hellbent determination to play Power Metal without the gay-happy-flower trimmings that sometimes seem so prevalent these days. "Diary in Black" rocks, and I foresee great things in the future from this band.
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