To be honest, the name ROADKILL had led to an expectation of either something MOTÖRHEAD-like or dirty Death’n’Roll, but no, the gentlemen from Dutch Den Haag stand fully in traditional Heavy Metal and according to the album title they also like the magic of Merlin. The quintet already was founded in 1994 and only went through the first line-up change this year, unfortunately a tragic one, because singer Marco died from cancer only one week after his wedding, as the album would show, a big loss for the band.
But on to the debut at hand. The five-headed bunch has chosen a very traditional and down-to-earth, showing influences from IRON MAIDEN as well as STORMWITCH and some Scandinavian Melodic Metal, with at times quite dashing riffing and Marco’s very melodic and well sounding voice, which definitely leave their mark on the sound. The opener “10,000 Volts“ is a very good example for this, very catchy and gripping, setting the standard for the rest of the album. And they also mostly denounce big choruses, therewith also leaving bombast out of the picture.
Still ROADKILL manage to set interesting accents, like the slightly oriental sounding guitars of “No One“ or the intense “Merlin”. And even though they do not sound outdated, they still fully stand in the spirit of the Eighties, with relatively simple, dynamic compositions, which you find access to right away, but that still do not lose your interest too fast.
The production is clear and powerful, but bears this certain dryness of the 80s in it, which makes “Merlin“ a pretty authentic matter and should definitely satisfy fans of the classical Metal. It is not that easy to really point out songs, as everything is on a nicely equal high level, but apart from the already mentioned songs, I would recommend “King Of Swords“, “Pyramid“ (off the 2001 EP of the same title), “Last Vote“ and the quite a bit faster and more aggressive “Turned Page“ at the end, there are no fallouts. (Online November 11, 2005)