Shit, how brilliant are these guys? They’ve got a song about a snow leopard, rather imaginatively called "Snow Leopard," and it simply just Rocks. Crikey, where has TWISTED TOWER DIRE been hiding all these years? Man, I could have just found my next favourite band.
Shit, they sound like LOST HORIZON. Who are definitely one of my favourite bands and since that lot disappeared into a worm hole or some such wondrous place, TWISTED TOWER DIRE is a near perfect replacement.
Shit, they also sound like those weirdy Folk Metal types SLOUGH FEG and SKYCLAD; two more bands I am well into.
Shit, you heard of a US band called PHARAOH? Well they sound like them as well. Guess what? I like PHARAOH too.
Frankly, Power Metal or indeed Heavy Metal doesn’t get much better than this. An amalgamation of stirring choruses, duelling guitars and foot-on-the-monitor bass runs will endear TWISTED TOWER DIRE to me and many like-minded Metal heads with relative ease. Why these guys are not bigger and better known is one of Metal’s great mysteries.
Sadly original lead singer Tony Taylor passed away due to a motorcycle accident in 2010. His replacement Johnny Aune is nothing short of sensational; a real find in the swamped market of Heavy Metal singers. He really lets rip on the quite excellent "Snow Leopard" and likewise on the up-tempo race of "The Stone." The title track is a chest-beating war anthem. "The Only Way" and "Torture Torture" a doffed cap homage to IRON MAIDEN, JUDAS PRIEST, SAXON and all the stalwarts of the NWOBHM scene. Closing with the epic "Beyond the Gate," TWISTED TOUR DIRE leave no Metal cliché stone unturned as they pound, pump, thump and thunder from riff to riff, saluting all that is righteous and worthy in our beloved genre.
Some surprise packages come your way from time to time and I am delighted in saying that TWISTED TOWER DIRE’S fifth long player, "Make It Dark," is as good a Metal album that you will hear all year. Put it to the test and I very much doubt you will be disappointed.
(Online November 20, 2011)