About two years ago RAWHEAD REXX caused quite a stir with their self-titled debut and set a first exclamation point in terms of Power Metal. Luckily the guys around singer Jürgen Volk (Ex-GLENMORE) more reminded me of acts like VICIOUS RUMORS or METAL CHURCH than typically German bands like RUNNING WILD/HELLOWEEN/GAMMARAY. Live they then could prove their live qualities as support for ANNIHILATOR, NEVERMORE or SAXON and at the Wacken Open Air and Bang Your Head.
On "Diary In Black" we luckily do not get any experiments, but again heavily smithed steel with a lot of power as in Germany normally only BRAINSTORM or SYMPHORCE deliver. More precisely this means a lot of straight banger stuff, like Rudy Fleck's double bass powered riff attacks "Return Of The Dragon", "Brothers In Arms" or "Metal War" show. The whole thing is enriched by a few mid tempo stompers like "Diary In Black" or "Evil In Man" and bombastic epics like "Six Feet From The Edge" and a greatly put, never kitschy ballad like "What If". The classical stuff for a classical Power Metal album of the American school. This is also shown by the Geoff Thorpe (VICIOUS RUMORS) played solos in "Barons Overthrow" and "The Machine".
Even though the cover again is rather weak, nobody should shy away because of this. The music is what counts and that one is convincing and a must have for all US-Metalheads. As the production of Charlie Bauerfeind doesn't take any prisoners either, there is no reason not to risk at least one ear! (Online May 22, 2003)