Simplistic riff based anthemic Heavy Metal akin to IRON MAIDEN, JUDAS PRIEST, SAXON and MANOWAR. That’s what Aussie Power Metallers play and although they will never rival the success of those bands they so hope to emulate one can’t but raise a smile, a studded leather wrist band and even a chance to dig out that old battered denim cut-off to a band so resolutely old school NWOBHM that all the maleness in a Turkish baths couldn’t compete.
On a technical level PEGAZUS plant themselves very much at the tail end of the 1970’s and early 80’s. Dexterity, scope and development have been replaced by penchant for driving, focused Heavy Metal. In vocalist Danny Cecati they have a vocalist that sings with the hordes of Hades at his beckoning call. Crossed somewhere between Joey Belladonna, CRIMSON GLORY’S Midnight and Halford his voice is a classic demonstration of how Metal vocals should be displayed. It’s easy to dismiss the guitar riffs of Johnny Stoj as those of a rip off pretender but that would be a disservice. Sure there can be only one Iommi but his punchy tight rhythm aided by some decent solos is exactly what you are looking for in a Metal record. And when was the last time you heard a bass guitarist trying to steal the limelight? Dave King recreates foot-on-the—monitor bass thundering very reminiscent of a Mr. Harris adding a dimension to the sound that is often lost.
Each title is derived from a vested interest in entering Valhalla so there’s plenty of devil-horned choruses, neck snapping riffs, Battle Metal posturing and as much pure unadulterated Heavy Metal than you could serve up at Odin’s banqueting table.
The MAIDEN comparisons on the instrumental ‘’Life On Mars’’ are all to easy to hear and could easily fit onto ‘’Powerslave’’ or ‘’Piece Of Mind’’; the glorious opening track ‘’Wings Of Steel’’ plays out the ‘’Battle Hymns"/"Hail To England’’ era of MANOWAR to immediate effect as does ‘’Cry Out’’ whilst ‘’Braveheart’’ invigorates with its PRIEST-esque sledgehammer riff and effective chorus. The rather lengthy ‘’Enchanted World’’ adds a more Progressive element to proceedings perhaps showing that should PEGAZUS attempt it that the confines of True Metal can be overcome. Although ‘’The Werewolf’’ starts of poorly it germinates into a passable up-tempo Rocker with a strong chorus. Yet another lengthy epic ‘’The Witches Hex’’ is easily the best song on the album with all band members turning in their best MAIDEN/PREIST performances with aplomb. The album closes on the piano strings ballad of ‘’Destiny’’ which would have best been left out and brings a tumultuous Heavy Metal record to a strange conclusion.
Overall fans of early Trad Metal will welcome PEGAZUS like a Metal call to arms. Their simplistic Metal approach belies a band that deserve that bit more appreciation, after all their dedication cannot be doubted.
(Online May 18, 2007)