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Review: Wallop - Alps on Fire
Alps on Fire

Label: Pure Steel Records
Year released: 2020
Duration: 50:16
Tracks: 13
Genre: Heavy Metal


Review online: July 5, 2020
Reviewed by: MetalMike
Readers' Rating
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Rated 3/5 (60%) (6 Votes)

This is a German band that kicked around for a few years in the mid-80s, released one album via a small regional label and broke up for 30+ years. All the members that played on the 1985 album (Metallic Alps) have joined forces once again and Pure Steel Records is releasing a "new" album consisting of the nine tracks from Metallic Alps (the promo material doesn't specify if they are re-recorded or not) and a collection of extras that are either leftovers or new songs (the promo material is once again vague on this point). The sound of Alps on Fire is dry and colorless with no echo or anything else to give the songs warmth or character. It sounds like it is straight from the amps to the recording desk. The songwriting is rudimentary, not uncommon for the time, but the performances are fairly energetic and that makes up for some of Wallop's shortcomings. But not all. Tracks like "Missing in Action" or "Monsters" are typical, if generic, '80s fare but songs like "Lack of Power" are so basic in both the lyrics and song structure that they have not weathered the 35 years since they were written very well. Then there's "69", which is about exactly what you think it is. This song is so male and 13 years old it is painful. It has all the sophistication of Steel Panther with the subtlety of a bulldozer. Not all of Alps on Fire's 50+ minutes is wasted, though. The cover of Raven's "Crash, Bang, Wallop" is raucous and fun, much like the original (and even features Raven's John Gallagher in a guest appearance) and "Wall of Sound" is easily the most well-written and enjoyable song on the album.

If you like your metal simple, stripped down and played balls-out, Wallop might be worth a listen but keep your expectations in check.

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