Angel Sword - Kallio Rock City - (8/10)
Published on June 20, 2017
Kallio Rock City is Angel Sword’s first release since replacing former lead guitarist Sylvester Shredder with Lightning Mike. Their debut album, Rebels Beyond the Pale, which was released in 2016, received favorable reviews across the board. With that release, Angel Sword cemented themselves in the burgeoning new wave of Finnish traditional metal.
Released as a limited seven inch released through Underground Power Records, Kallio Rock City brings two new tracks to show off Lightning Mike’s chops. Both songs sound mighty similar to the material on the full length; laid back heavy metal with catchy as hell riffing. The vocals will continue to be a detractor to some, as Jerry Razors has a gruff, amateur approach, though the lines are extremely singable and catchy as sin. The riffing is solid, continuously driving and punchy, with a heavier tone than the debut album. Lightning Mike proves to be a welcome addition, as his fret work fits nicely with the rollicking yet laid back sound.
Though both songs are quite good, “Satan Wears Leather” stands far ahead, with its slow build that culminates in the fierce chorus with slick leads and a punchy rhythm. It’s almost impossible to not sing along to the ridiculously evil lyrics:
Spikes and chains and studded belts
That’s how it’s going down in hell
Marching forward bound by spells
Satan wears leather
We all rule the underworld together
Satan wears leather
In defiance we stand and fight forever
Perhaps it’s the confidence that Jerry Razors exudes that makes his delivery so endearing, or the fact that it makes people who can’t sing (like me) feel like they have an even chance. Regardless, both tracks here continue in the same fine fashion that was delivered on Rebels Beyond the Pale. If nothing else, Kallio Rock City provides a nice stopgap between releases and proves that Lightning Mike was an excellent choice.