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Blazing Dog - "Metallic Beast" (CD)

Blazing Dog - "Metallic Beast" CD cover image

"Metallic Beast" track listing:

1. Will Of Steel
2. Battle Splendour
3. Silent Grave
4. Icarus
5. Supreme Wings
6. Assassins
7. Easy Rider
8. A Thousand Deaths
9. Wasted Bullets
10. Blazing Dog
11. Insane Minds
12. Dance Of Skeptics

Reviewed by on August 10, 2009

"By far, the album's most unique track is 'Wasted Bullets,' which straddles the line between metal power ballad and country song."

From the land of Rock In Rio, Blazing Dog unleashes its "Metallic Beast" — and though it's no pit bull, there's enough bite here to keep classic metal fans entertained for a bit.

The band cites Judas Priest and Iron Maiden among its influences, and those influences come through clearly in the album's opener, "Will Of Steel," which features singer Carlos Souza in the Paul Di'Anno-ish tone he'll use through most of the album. Lead guitarist Gustavo Freitas does some good work here, but I have to say that even though the song's new, it feels like I've heard it before.

That feeling increases on "Battle Splendour," which has Renan Guimaraes doing his best Steve Harris gallop on bass. Again, the technique is good, and the song's catchy enough, but there's not that spark of originality that takes it above the good-not-great level.

I do like the layered intro to "Silent Grave," with the drums, bass and guitars each getting a little space to shine, and the song's got the best lyrics on the album - "We are running to escape ourselves."

The track from which the group gets its name, "Blazing Dog," has some nice thrashy moments that differentiate it a bit from most of the other songs, as does "Insane Minds."

By far, the album's most unique track is "Wasted Bullets," which straddles the line between metal power ballad and country song. Much of that feeling owes to the mournful harmonica part that reminds me of something Willie Nelson's harp-slinger Mickey Raphael might play. The song also shows off Souza's ability to sing in a tone other than a metal growl.

Still, there are lots of songs that, though expertly played, are just by-the-numbers classic metal in the Maiden/Priest mold. I don't mind that too much for the first listen or two, but I'm usually going to go to the original if that's what I'm in the mood to hear. Then again, you can't say much bad about a band that takes on the sounds and styles of classic metal and has the chops to back it up.

No, Blazing Dog's "Metallic Beast" isn't the most original record you're likely to hear, but the band has its heart in the right place.

Highs: "Will Of Steel," the thrashy "Blazing Dog," and "Insane Minds," the almost-country "Wasted Bullets."

Lows: "A Thousand Deaths" and "Assassins" are nearly indistinguishable from each other.

Bottom line: A good, but not great album that captures the sounds of classic metal, if sometimes missing the spirit of it.

Rated 3 out of 5 skulls
3 out of 5 skulls

Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)