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Review: Stud - War of Power
War of Power

Label: Inverse Records
Year released: 2020
Duration: 43:38
Tracks: 10
Genre: Heavy Metal

Rating: 4/5

Review online: January 9, 2021
Reviewed by: Luxi Lahtinen
Readers Rating
War of Power

Rated 4.17/5 (83.33%) (6 Votes)

Stud are a band that can be called dinosaurs in the most literal sense: they were around in the past (1986) and stirred some minor waves before vanishing from the face of the earth (1989), and it's only recently (since 2013) that they've been discovered and respected by the underground at large. Since their reformation, they've released a string of full-length albums that all sound like they could have come from the mid-80s, with War of Power being the latest release in that trend. As always, Stud have no interest in evolving or updating their sound, sticking to a classic '80s sound and everything that entails. You get hooky songwriting, beautiful melodies, catchy harmonies, and memorable choruses, all wrapped up in an easily digestible approach that could have easily been played on the radio back in the day. This kind of thing can be tired and dated if handled by rookies, but the band is clearly made of seasoned veterans, particularly the clean, classic-sounding vocals of Ari Toivanen, who fits their warm and nostalgic style perfectly. That said, there's more to this album than the expected rocking numbers like "Demon's Gate" and the Van Halen/Ozzy-esque "Tired". They also sometimes get more epic and even kind of ominous with songs like "Addiction", "Soul Mate", and "Wings on Fire", and I hope they lean more on that approach in the future as they're really very good at it. Of course, every song on here is a solid slice of nostalgia, and even the ballad "Darkness to Fall" is pretty good, even if it sounds a little like "Wind of Change". Shameless, safe, and retro as hell, War of Power shows you can play it safe and still make a solid album. Recommended.

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Review: Rust on the Rose (reviewed by Luxi Lahtinen)
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