|Review: Praetorius - Taste Death|
Label: Heaven and Hell Records
Year released: 2008
Genre: Heavy Metal
Review online: March 7, 2009
Reviewed by: Larry Griffin
Rated 3/5 (60%) (2 Votes)
Debut album from this very promising North Carolina band, and while it didn't initially look promising, I think this is the best promo I've gotten yet! Praetorius play a style of Metal that I enjoy very much, as it reminds me greatly of Slough Feg, Judas Priest and even a bit of Manilla Road or Ironsword. The United States is seemingly infallible with this kind of stuff. They rarely ever fail to comply with it; when you see a Traditional Metal band from the USA, you can usually be assured that it is at least of decent quality. Praetorius are no exception to that rule.
This is just killer guitar-oriented stuff, with no frills or bells or whistles at all. The riffs are just classic metal bliss, galloping along gleefully and leading the rest of the music by the nose, always headbangable and always enjoyable as fuck. The leads are blazing and the band always sound confident of themselves - this is no meager, unsure freshmen effort! This kind of music really shouldn't be that hard to get right: just chug out some cool riffs, a solo or two, and write lyrics about the weird, the wondrous and the wild, and Praetorius get it right in spades. There is one sticking point here in the vocalist, who sounds a bit strained and limited, and reminds me sometimes of that dude from The Sword in the way that he doesn't really sound like a metal singer, but thankfully better in the tolerability aspect. He does put energy into his performance, but I think this band would do better with a more charismatic and powerful sounding singer à la David DeFeis or J.D. Kimball.
But that doesn't detract much from the overall experience, as when an album contains as much killer shit as this one does, anything is excusable. "Pirates of the West" opens with a thriving gallop, and it's followed up by the electrified "Taste Death, Live Life," the awesome riff-monger "March of Praetorius," the melodic "10 'til 2," and even the surprisingly complex and calculated "Life, Love, Lost." If you're tired of boring Iced Earth albums and shitty Children of Bodom albums, crank this motherfucker up and headbang the night away.
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