Being of a certain age, there was a time when all of the great heavy metal bands were British. For sure, America came up with the odd creditable hard rock band (this was in the days when you were heavy metal, rock or rock ‘n’ roll, and no other genres really existed) and Germany had the Scorpions which, to me, promoted Germany into the Heavy Metal premier division. Sadly, our reign as undisputed world champions of metal has slipped away and we now seem to be a nation in thrall to the bizarre world of the boy bands and girl bands. However, Germany has picked up the crown and there seems to be a never ending conveyor of brilliant rock bands in Primal Fear, Edguy, Helloween, Bonfire, Brainstorm, Accept, Blind Guardian, Mob Rules and literally hundreds more – apologies to those I have not mentioned, and when you can leave bands like Rammstein, Eisbrecher, Stahlmann, Vanden Plas and Unisonic off the list then you know you have talent aplenty.
To this ever increasing list we must now add Re-Machined, a new band from Mainz, as this, their debut release, is quite simply one huge slab of heavy metal perfection. You put it on and the opening track Heart On Fire grabs you by the throat and does not let go; this is one hell of a killer album! This is old school metal where the ballad is despised and the only way to play is loud, heavy, loud and then even louder! They are not a young band so they have obviously learned their trade well on the German circuit and, for a debut, this is just so mature, rounded and, well, perfect. Vocalist Thomas Ritter has a touch of Brian Johnson about his delivery and what an incredible voice he has. They feature twin guitarists, which makes for heavy metal heaven, in Horst Pflaumer and Andreas Glanz and they work together as perfectly as K. K. Downing and Glen Tipton did – and I cannot give higher praise than that.
Bruno Strasser and Volker Brecher are the keys to the power on bass and drums respectively allowing the guitarists to apply as much thunder and lightning as you can wish for. Imagine Thin Lizzy, AC/DC and Iron Maiden joining forces and given a PA system that breaks nuclear arms treaties and then you will have some idea of the power that this band has at their disposal. Wheels Of Time is a brilliant rock album full of power and might yet it has a melodic core that gives a level of immediacy about their music, and this will help this quickly become a heavy metal classic and raise the status of the band stratospherically. If you buy only one album this year then this is it, I guarantee you will not hear a better hard rock album in 2020.