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Review: Chariot - Behind the Wire
Behind the Wire

Label: High Roller Records
Year released: 2010
Originally released in: 2006
Duration: 58:35
Tracks: 12
Genre: Heavy Metal


Review online: December 6, 2009
Reviewed by: MetalMike
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Rated 3.5/5 (70%) (6 Votes)

Venerable NWOBHM band Chariot are back with a vinyl re-release of their 2006 album, Behind the Wire, courtesy of High Roller Records. I wasn't really aware of Chariot back in the 80s, but I was expecting the typical raw, under-produced, echo-enhanced Heavy Metal typical of the NWOBHM. This can usually be heard on the newer releases as well as the older stuff. Instead, Chariot have accomplished what few of their peers who've re-formed and released new material have; they've updated their sound with modern production values and modern songwriting, while staying true to their roots.

Behind the Wire is strictly mid-paced, chugging Heavy Metal. The riffs have a good deal of crunch, while lead singer Pete Franklin keeps his delivery right down the middle. No ear-piercing screams of pseudo-death grunts here. While the sound may be modern, one look at the track list will leave no doubt in your mind as to Chariot's NWOBHM pedigree. Titles like "Behind the Wire," "Heart of Stone," and "Shut it Out" have certainly been used countless times. Many of the songs on Behind the Wire have an early Whitesnake (pre-Tawny Kitaen) feel to them but you can also pick up Chariot's other heroes like KISS ("Feel the Rush") and, of course, Iron Maiden. They recycle (or pay homage, your choice) to Maiden's Strange World not once but twice. Both "Hour of Need" and "Slave to the Memory" have that slow, melancholic groove. And I guess that leads me to the biggest drawback of Behind the Wire; a noticeable lack of originality. It is a solid effort, regardless, just don't expect any surprises.

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