Genre: Speed/Heavy Metal
The Greek speed metallers Murder Angels return almost a year after the release of their same-titled debut album which made an impact in the Greek Underground. While their debut was mainly a Speed/Thrash Metal album, their new EP ”The Spell” presents a slightly different approach on their music.
The opening track ”Fiend Without a Face” kicks off with a melodic intro straight out of the times when NWOBHM and European Heavy Metal were skyrocketing, before it turns into a pure Speed Metal song similar to the style of the band’s debut, influenced mainly by bands from the US such as Agent Steel, ”Ride the Lighting”-era Metallica and “”Master Control”-era Liege Lord, while there is a cool part where the tempo slows down and guitars remind me of Iced Earth’s ”Dark Saga”. The Iced Earth influence is more obvious on ”The Unborn Child”, a mid-tempo song with razor-sharp rhythm guitars, dark atmosphere and great vocal performance. On ”Resistance Is Futile”, the band speeds up again. It’s a melodic Speed Metal song where aside from the US-borrowed elements, there is big influence from Teutonic Speed/Power Metal bands of the 80’s (Helloween, Blind Guardian, Running Wild etc.), especially in lead guitars and the song’s chorus. Closing track ”Evil Spell” is the highlight of the EP. Epic, mid-tempo Heavy Metal with riffs that remind me of Judas Priest and Mercyful Fate and an awesome doomy chorus that could come straight out of a Candlemass, or even a Pagan Altar album.
Lyrics are mainly dealing with evil/horror themes with the exception of ”Resistance Is Futile” in which the impact of Science Fiction literature is quite obvious. The sound is clean and powerful and in contrast to the band’s debut, each instrument is audible. The frontman’s performance has greatly improved and his voice reminds me of James Rivera and John Cyriis . ”The Spell” is highly recommended for all traditional Speed/Heavy Metal and USPM fans. While the band doesn’t reinvent the wheel, they’re managing to blend well their influences with their own ideas, in contrast to many bands of the genre which just recycle riffs played countless times before, in order to sound ”true” and Oldschool.