One of things that really bugs me about reviewing is the way other reviewers pigeon-hole albums and bands and one thing that can not be done with the new album by Mexican band, Voltax, is pigeonholing.
Formed in Mexico City in 2006, Voltax have evolved into one of Mexico’s most impressive underground metal bands. They released their demo, “Discharge” in 2006 and their self-titled debut full length album was released the following year.
Despite not registering on MY heavy metal radar, Voltax do have a history and a metal pedigree behind them and never once have they abandoned their classic metal sound. I have seen them be described as “NWOBHM with a hint of Mercyful Fate and a sprinkling of Deep Purple”, “Traditional heavy metal mixed with classic speed metal” and also “With the hint of a progressive feel”.
I would like to describe them just as they describe themselves, “There is no “old school” and “new school” WE are heavy metal, as pure and as heavy as it can be played, no more, no less.”
Their second full length album “Fugitive State of Mind” was released in 2010 and featured artwork by Dimitar Nikolov (Ruthless, Fatal Violence and Air Raid) and in 2011 they won the WOA Metal Battle Mexica, playing the international final at the Wacken Open Air Metal Battle, finishing in third place.
Their third album “Hiding into Flames” was released in 2013 and consolidated the band as a vital force of the Mexican scene.
Now they are back with their new album, the fantastically titled “No Retreat…You Surrender”, again featuring the talents of artist Dimitar Nikolov.
Citing influences such as Judas Priest, Accept, Mercyful Fate, Rainbow, Iron Maiden, Uriah Heep, UFO and Black Sabbath, it’s easy to see these shine through in this album. The band has a typical early 80s metal sound of galloping bass lines and thundering drums, mixed with twin guitar harmonies, searing guitar solos and shrieking vocals.
For me, the vocals took a little bit of getting used to, but then, as I have said before in previous reviews, if the vocalist is not singing in his native language, they will tend to sound a bit “off” to native English speakers. Having said this, the guy can sing. He has a hoarse, shrieking voice but he doesn’t bark or grind the vocals, which are, overall, very clear.
This may seem to some people as yet another throwback album, latching on to a sound of a bygone era and wringing it for everything it has while not bringing anything new to the table.
BUT, for me that is its appeal. I love newer bands reproducing the sounds of older ones because there is always that little bit of individuality that not everyone can hear.
These guys are full on leather and bullet belt heavy fucking metal and I for one hope they stick around for a very long time.
Definitely one for all the heavy metal maniacs out there \m/
01. El Fin (Intro)
02. Broken World
03. This Void We Ride
04. Deadly Games
05. Go With Me
06. Starless Night
07. Night Lasts Forever
09. The Hero
10. 25, 6 to 4 (Bonus track)
This review is purely the property of Dawn Smith and The Metal Asylum