Released by: Century Media
Release Date: Out Now!!!
Genre: Power Metal
Mike Vescera as METAL RIDER / Vocals
Chris Impellitteri as SPEED KING /Guitar
Rudy Sarzo as STORMBRINGER / Bass
Jone Dette as TANK / Drums
2.Mazinger Medley (Mazinger Z ~ Ore Wa Great Mazinger)
4.The Spaceship Yamato
5.Jam Project Medley (Vanguard ~ Maxon ~ Skill)
7.Thesis of Cruel Angel ~ 2112
8.Ganbare Dokaben ~ Into The Void
9.Yuke Tiger Mask
10.Yuke Yuke Hyuuma ~ Fast As A Shark
11.Ai Wo Torimodose
12.Give Lee Give Lee Rock Lee (English version)
13.Give Lee Give Lee Rock Lee (Japanese single version)
For those not familiar with the original Animetal or where this Americanized version of the Animetal spin off came from, it all got started back in the mid 90’s and became relatively known in Japan. They specailized in covering theme songs from famous anime and TV series in Japan and most notably we’re led by front man Eizo Sakamoto who some may remember from the metal band Anthem from the 80’s. Since 2006 that project has been put to bed and last year the USA Animetal version has given birth to the following well known musicians: Mike Vescera (OBSESSION/ex-LOUDNESS) starring as METAL-RIDER, bassist Rudy Sarzo (BLUE OYSTER CULT, ex-OZZY OSBOURNE, QUIET RIOT, WHITESNAKE, DIO) as STORMBRINGER, guitarist Chris Impellitteri (IMPELLITTERI) as SPEED KING, and drummer JON DETTE (ex-SLAYER, TESTAMENT) [who replaced Scott Travis (JUDAS PRIEST).
With names such as the one’s in this project, you can expect premier musicianship and ultimate craftsmanship, and while I’m the not the biggest fan of Power Metal’s in it’s current incarnation. this pure blistering effort from this quartet is pretty darn monumental, and you add to the fold the fact that former Megadeth shredmaster himself Marty Friedman and Impellitteri both arrange the tunes and you have a polished and thundering output.
I had always been a fan of Vescera from his time in Loudness and he’s known as one of the premier vocalists in the metal genre today and on this effort his vocal pipes are put to good use. The bass and rhythm here on this effort are powerful and eminent, Sarzo and Dette do a wonderful job of creating this over the top wonder wall of eruption. And as for Chris Impellitteri is concern, the guy is a shredder of the highest order and he blisters out some enormous solos and riffs that push this album over the marginal edge.
It is not necessary to have heard the original Animetal release in Japanese or to have understood the music behind the anime and shows as this version of Animetal add their own incision on the original making it stand out on it’s own. Some of the highlights here include the “Mazinger Medley” which has some incredible lead guitar action and Dette does a bang up job on the battery. “The Spaceship Yamato” is another trailblazing tune with plenty of kick and explosion, a recurrent trait for most of the record. The guys do sing some of the version of the songs in both Japanese and English which give the songs a nice balance formula for faithful fans of the original. The stagnant and leading intro of “Yuke Tiger Mask” sucks you in thinking that is a nice ballad more of a slower number, but at the last minute mark it explodes like hell on wheels.
The list of great tunes on Animetal USA hits mostly on the notable level, even when it looses a bit of steam around the “Fast As A Shark” number, the maniacal cuts of sick rhythms and flashy guitar riffs keep dominating this giant and LOUD record. This is quite an enjoyable ride even if you’re the biggest hardcore power metal fan out there. Forget the gimmick and the silly pictures on the press fotos, these guys rip this record from the inside out and I don’t see here why any metal out there wouldn’t want to check this release out. As some call it a novelty release or not enough newer anime cover theme songs, I don’t care about that as is refreshing to see an American version of this type of music concept take on the Japanese genre, and doing it well. Perhaps is somewhat of a project that we will see more of in the future and with new cover themes? Recommended.
Written by Denys