Even though Hammerfall is considered as the spearhead of Scandinavian heavy metal, it is often forgotten that Oz started far earlier, back in 1977 in Finland. Until their disbanding in 1991, Oz released five albums, but then went into a kind of hibernation. Hammerfall took over the baton and now, since ten years, both bands provide the metal world with Swedish steel in co-existence.
In May this year Oz will release with ‘Forced Commendments’ their eighth studio album. Eleven songs, three of them being bonus tracks, show the Swedish five-piece band in good shape. Two and a half years after ‘Transition State’, OZ present themselves playful and powerful. Even though the band has undergone a complete line-up change during the last years, with drummer Mark Ruffneck being the only remaining founding member, Oz shows a unity on the new album that is reflected in songs like the anthemic opener ‘Goin’ Down’ and the haunting ‘Revival’. On the other hand, the five Swedes also have a powerful metal ballad called ‘Long and Lonely Road’, a song that reveals the boys’ emotional side.
OZ show with ‘Forced Commandments’ that they aren’t on the shelf yet and that Swedish steel doesn’t rust that easily. The spirit of denim and leather, that what this album is about. Not more, but certainly also not less.
- Goin’ Down
- Prison Of Time
- Switchblade Alley
- The Ritual
- Long And Lonely Road
- Diving Into The Darkness (Bonus)
- Break Out (Bonus)
- Kingdom Of War (Bonus)
Label: Massacre Records
Genre: Heavy Metal
Release Date EU: May 22nd, 2020