Traditional Heavy Metal is en vogue right now, with bands seemingly popping up daily. France’s GANG has been going at it for 20-plus years now, so they can’t be called bandwagon jumpers, but they may be lucky enough to find some new fans with their chosen style.
The cover is reminiscent of MERCYFUL FATE, and the music is mostly a mix of early OVERKILL and ATTACKER, so any old-school Metalhead should find something to enjoy on “V”, the band’s fifth offering. Some words of warning though: “Kill Me” sounds like a BUCKCHERRY b-side, and is terribly sappy. The vocals sound like Bob Mitchell (ATTACKER, SLEEPY HOLLOW, etc.) with a bad head cold. They are whiney, nasally and all over the place. Mitchell’s vocals have an endearing quality that works in his various bands, but this guy (Bill is his name) is mostly annoying.
If old-school Heavy Metal – with a notch of Trash in its (bullet) belt – is your thing, “V” isn’t the worst choice you could make. Some of the songs really tear it up, while others miss the mark, leaving the album inconsistent. The production is appropriately dated, fitting the style perfectly, and the performances are all energized, so even the lesser tracks are still headbang-able. However, in a genre so over-populated, there are much better choices to be found.
(Online May 8, 2011)