Sometimes, all you need to know are the basic facts and then you can tell whether you are going to like something or not. Many moons ago it was the artwork that caught the eye and this is where vinyl scored highly as it gave the platform for an artist to truly go wild and in most cases the cover art and music wrapped within were symbiotic. Albums that had pictures of bands were lazy but if they were fantasy themed like Roger Dean or Patrick Woodroffe or intellectual like Hipgnosis then you would strut around with album under your arm announcing the fact that you knew things that other mere mortals did not and fellow members of the ‘club’ would acknowledge a kindred spirit whenever you met or even simply passed each other in the street. Sadly, those days are gone as CDs just do not have the same impact and a download is invisible so, yes, I acknowledge that I am a dinosaur but damned proud of it too.
Other pointers to look for were length of songs and true prog fans are dismissive of anything below 20-minutes which are, as a dear friend of mine always exclaimed, “mere ditties.” Is there a point to all this you may ask and there probably isn’t as it is probably just the ramblings of an old git. However, all I now need to see are the words German, power metal and twin guitars and I immediately know that this is something that I am going to like. Add those magic words ‘for fans of Judas Priest’ and I am already getting my money out which leads me on to this debut album by the German band Reinforcer.
The band formed in 2015 with the five-track EP, The Wanderer, released in 2018 announcing them as a band to keep an eye on and we now have the full length album to enjoy. The cover shown a fantasy themed battle with the hero on horseback vanquishing his foes and I start to get a warm glow and then those earlier mentioned words reinforce (no pun intended) that this is going to be a full blown heavy metal extravaganza and I’m not disappointed when the play button is pressed. Firstly, the band comprises Logan Leximso on clean, clear and impressive vocals; Lasse Schmiedel on drums being the engine room with prodigious energy and then the crowning glory of lead guitars in perfect union with the joyous sounds of Tobias Schwarzermso and Niclas Stappert. I’m not sure where these guys have honed their skills but they are all masters of their instruments and have combined perfectly to make one hell of an album. This is pure heavy metal as delivered by Judas Priest with the power metal of Brainstorm and the piratical swagger of Running Wild and they play with a real joy that infuses their music and you cannot but help throwing yourself body and soul into their world of fantasy battle themed mayhem and destruction.
A quick check of the song titles will show that this album features tracks telling tales of battles won and lost, bravery and derring-do. The album artwork by Hendrick Noack depicts the Battle Of The Teutoburg Forest which took place in AD 9 between the invading Roman hordes and the defending Germanic tribes and this really sets the scene for what follows which is a huge and epic score with drums and bass providing the thunder and lightning with Logan Lexi being the narrator and commander of the world that the band lives in with the twin guitarists riffing, soloing and playing in unison exactly like some famous bands already mentioned. There is melodic harmony throughout but this is a real heavy/power metal workout that leaves you breathless and screaming for more.
Prince Of The Tribes is a stunning debut from a band destined for heavy metal greatness on the world stage and you need to get in on their journey now as it is going to be great fun.
Prince Of Tribes track list
- Prince Of Tribes (4:44)
- Allegiance And Steel (5:03)
- Black Sails (4:19)
- Shieldmaiden (3:41)
- Coup De Grace (4:27)
- Thou Shall Burn (5:03)
- Hand On Heart (4:15)
- Another Night (4:24)
- Z32 (2:32)