A consistent line-up isn’t exactly what Alcatrazz stands for and considering a four years lasting first era of the band doesn’t speak for a stability either. This is a pity since the music that has been released by the band was always good stuff and a treat for metal fans.
This was one of the reasons why fans have been excited when a reunion of the classic line-up was announced some years ago and the moment a new album was mentioned, excitement got to a next level. ‘Born Innocent’ is the title of the latest release that hit the shelves 34 years after ‘Dangerous Games’ has been published. The album is an excellent one and picked it up where the guys left of more than three decades ago.
Unfortunately, also this time consistency is the biggest challenge since singer and frontman Graham Bonnet parted ways with Alcatrazz and started his own version of the legendary band as Graham Bonnet’s Alcatrazz. While Bonnet teamed up with Arch Enemy guitarist Jeff Loomis, Alcatrazz themselves worked on a new album that faces a release date mid-October.
Simply named ‘V’, the bands fifth longplayer features next to the new songs with Doogie White also a new and well-known singer. Having such a veteran on board helps the band to continue their second era with power and strength. White’s voice fits perfectly to the Alcatrazz’ sound and after a few minutes of getting used to the new singer, the album blooms and unfolds the typical Alcatrazz sound that includes an extra dose of a NWoBHM spirit. Los Angels meets the UK.
Alcatrazz don’t waste any time and start furiously into ‘V’. ‘Guardian Angel’ is a fast entrypoint into the record that comes with a good sense for melodies. ‘Nightwatch’ is following a similar pattern. The band keeps the pace high, something that slightly changes with ‘Sword of Deliverance’. The latter shows some NWoBHM references and is kept in a more moderate pace. A pounding rhythm is the driving force for a song that rounds off a well-chosen starting triple.
‘Grace of God’ is a song, worth to be mentioned too. Melody and power are combined with a darker expression without drowning in gloom. It’s more of an anthemic track that belongs to the best tracks on the album. A bit unexpected is the pace-change that comes with ‘Return to Nevermore’. Alcatrazz reduce tempo dramatically and knocks at the door of doom metal. Sabbath and Candlemass come to mind, if you want or not.
‘Maybe Tomorrow’ can’t compete with the other tracks on the album. It’s an average metal tune that resists to reveal the metallic magic. The same goes the scattered ‘Alice’s Eye’, a song that can’t compete. Fortunately the pure metal force returns with ‘House of Lies’, a metal smasher with a cool rock’n’roll fueled mindset.
‘V’ is Alcatrazz fifth album, and one can interpret the title also as V-ictory. The band for sure adds another ‘W’ to the win-column. The flame of metal is still burning which is good to see and even greater to listen to.
- Guardian Angel
- Sword Of Deliverance
- Turn Of The Wheel
- Grace Of God
- Return To Nevermore
- Maybe Tomorrow
- House Of Lies
- Alice’s Eyes
- Dark Day For My Soul
Label: Silver Lining Music
Genre: Heavy Metal
Release Date EU: October 15th, 2021