Check & Mate (Reissue)


SULTAN was a Metal band back in the "glory days" that only released one album […]
By Dan Mailer
March 6, 2014
Sultan - Check & Mate (Reissue) album cover

SULTAN was a Metal band back in the "glory days" that only released one album before sadly splitting up. The album comes highly recommended as a great piece of Metal history, and is now being reissued thanks to Divebomb Records. This deluxe edition features a remastered sound and some nice new bonus tracks to make it a worthwhile effort.

The album opens up with "Falcon", and a truly old school riff opens affairs, with a kind of supercharged IRON MAIDEN sound, with a more power metal edge to it. A great lead vocal with lots of range to it, and a cool chorus sets things into motion for this album. "Pictures of Heidi" follows this up with an ethereal vocal that gives way to some more awesome riffage harmonised with a twin guitar attack, and some more great vocal work.

This album is full of songs that should have made SULTAN one of the classic bands had things worked out differently. From the instrumental madness of "Whizzing", with plenty of different moments to keep the listener paying attention, to the more sombre tone of "Darkness", a really heavy song with lots of movement to it; this one's a highlight of the album, with a really powerful sound and message, and some stellar songwriting.

Another great track on the album is the song "Night Knights", which starts off with a spoken word introduction before launching into a really great song full of meaty riffs and a powerful rhythm section. The lead vocal is once again awesome here, full of attitude with lots of nice harmonies too. The album itself closes with "Shout In The Fight", which is another great track with some great melodies and a really solid bass line that the song finds its feet upon. There are plenty of cool moments in this song, with another great chorus that's really reminiscent of its era.

The two bonus tracks on the album are really cool as well. Originally featured on the "Rebel Fire" single, "Rebel Clever" and "Power Of Fire" are really nice additions to the reissued album, the first with a very cool rocking feel to it and the second with a grooving main riff and some insanely high vocals.

The production is really cool on this album; the remastering has kept the old sound alive whilst giving it just a bit of a more modern edge. It keeps true to the original but has a nice bite to it. The bass and vocals in particularly sounded really good to my ears, and it was nice to hear that old school sound overall.

I hadn't actually heard SULTAN before being sent this album for review. I am so glad the band has released this along with Divebomb Records as it will give people an opportunity to hear something that thoroughly deserves the attention that may not have been able to hear it before. Good stuff!

9 / 10

Almost Perfect

"Check & Mate (Reissue)" Track-listing:

1. Falcon
2. Pictures Of Heidi
3. For The Light
4. Whizzing
5. Mary
6. Darkness
7. Night Knights
8. Hard Nights, Heavy Pleasure
9. Jingle
10. Shout In The Fight
11. Rebel Clever
12. Power Of Fire

Sultan Lineup:

Andy Pasker - Bass
Fabian Ranzoni - Drums, Keyboards
David Pariat - Guitars
Marc Bugnard - Guitars
Dragi Majstorovic - Vocals

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