Fuck the worthless intros: Penetrator kick major Metal ass! At a critical point, when everyone's […]
By Grigoris Chronis
June 12, 2005
Penetrator - Penetrator album cover

Fuck the worthless intros: Penetrator kick major Metal ass! At a critical point, when everyone's playing virtually anything he wants and labels it as Metal music, bands like this wild quartet and releases like their grind crushing Penetrator debut (or not? - check the band's bio) album remind us of what you should say to your teenager nephew/niece when seriously asked Hey, uncle/aunt X, what does Heavy Metal music sound like?. (Useless info: When I asked this - back in the mid 80's - a cousin twice my age, just put the Restless And Wild album on the turntable and stared at me in silence...)
The band's mainman (I assume), six-string inquisitor Bull Dog Bess Ross grabbed me by the balls with two rock-solid titles in his CV: a) Iommi's personal guitar technician during the Never Say Die tour (hate me, but I love this album), b) guest musician in Canadian legends Anvil's (at least) first two monumental albums, 1981's Hard 'n' Heavy and next year's Metal On Metal (love 'em or hate 'em, surely respect 'em). Hence, the man's music philosophy is approved in applause. Let aside the fact (how many times have I written the same sentence in previous reviews?) that - virtually - no Rock / Metal band from Canada can be labeled as bad, from Rush and Triumph to Razor and Infernal Majesty. Shit, what can I expect to hear bearing in mind the pre-mentioned data?
Unleash The Fury: Unleash the fuckin' beast! What a neck-breaking riff! Is Judas Priest from Canada? All the elements a real Metal opening track should have. Great vocal parts by Maxel Black (no overloads) and a great harmony solo give this running wild, 80's based but 90's noised song the first clapping.
Spread The Mind: Again a huge Power/Techno-Metal riff cyclone by Ross, enriched by the high-pitched but accurate vocals of Maxel Black. A powerful tune that brought Anvil in my mind, with lots of art-drum work by Simon Vanderzand. Also credited, the bright 70's influenced intermezzo guitar solo.
Guns And Whisky: Hey, what's Halford doin' here with Iommi? Holy shit, a tremendous Judas-Sabbath song with lots of great rhythm section work. Mid-tempo, with a nice solo hook.
Musco In A Bottle: I can't understand the verse part of the song... Some of you may like it, some may not. But, the remaining tune is simply efficient! N.W.o.B.H.M. elements flow here and there (e.g. Quartz, whose 1977 debut was produced by Iommi - fuckin' small world). Hard Rock vocals by Black credit him as a multi-dimensional singer.
Adulteress: AAAHHH!!! A drivin' crazy riff that breaks loose! Supplemented by colorful rhythm guitar themes, here Black's voice stands operatic/dramatic, like a mix of Messiah Marcolin and Midnight. A pure American Metal anthem, no keyboards/ethereal voices/overdubs for Metal God's shake!
Wheels Of Justice: Another great U.S. Metal song, in the vein of bands like early Jag Panzer, Sanctuary or Anvil. Simple and ample... Ample? Hmmm...
Shock Therapy: Tearing' down the walls with a killer speed riff, this Anvil-meets-Annihilator-meets-120mph typhoon marks the so far fastest part of the album. Exploding in your face, it's Power/Thrash at its best with minimal aggressive vocal parts.
Templars Of Hate: Back to the early 80's (be it on the British or American side), this song holds the torch of dispersion from the classic Metal sound to the Power Metal basics. A rather strange middle part in a 2'56 song is - of course - of short notice (great bass/drum parts, though).
Penetrator: This is the power! Kill 'Em All in conspiracy with Alice In Hell and I wanna kill somebody with this speed demon! The epilogue is written in grandeur, with a killer riff (once again) by a Bull Dog on the loose!
After 32 minutes of straight-forward tension, I think that there's not much left to be mentioned. As an addition: a) the album's production is dual; I liked its old-fashioned components, someone else will fancy the more up-to-the-minute constituents. None will be disappointed, that's for sure, b) the cover artwork is simple and punctual, still I think it's a little bit pale since it can't sufficiently tease your mind for the beast lurking inside...
Penetrator pierced my guts! Appropriate for both the loyal classic Metal middle-aged fans and the demanding polished Power Metal youth, just get this album. C'mon, c'mon...

9 / 10

Almost Perfect

"Penetrator" Track-listing:

Unleash The Fury
Spread The Mind
Guns And Whiskey
Musco In A Bottle
Wheels Of Justice
Shock Therapy
Templars Of Hate

Penetrator Lineup:

David T. Green - Bass
Simon Vanderzand - Drums
Maxel Black - Vocals
Bull Dog Bess Ross - Guitar

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