Roadhog Strike: Give Me My Dreams Back!
I can only be proud of Polish nowaday scene. I mean, the newborn crews that execute classic metal form: Thermit, Repulsor or Młot na Czarownice to name just a few, my beloved ones. And as of now, another group called Roadhog joins the team with a great impact. The first mention about the band has been noticed by me in the newest invaluable Pure Metal magazine. Thus I decided to check the thing out in short order. My copy has been released by Thrashing Madness, without a cover Salem’s Wych from the first version done by Stormspell Records, however three bonus tracks took their snuggery on the back of the machine luckily.
Before writing some wise words about musical offer, there’s a need to point out fantastic front-cover painted by J. Kurczak. This legendary person made a nice invitation to the kingdom of Roadhog. And the first song “Liar” doesn’t disillusion me, as it bursts me asunder without any mercy, bringing first-class heavy metal to the stage. Decorated by razor sharp riffs with super melodic lines in the chorus, it makes a demolishing opening! But “Dreamstealer” doesn’t contain of fast killers only. No, there are mid-paced compositions and two of them are the highlights here, and if you’re gonna wake me up at midnight, I will shout brazenly: “Poison Man” and “Dead of the Night”! Both are absolutely one of the best songs I have listened to in this year. And one digression, that’s true that the album has really powerful sound with such a desirable ancient touch produced by patronal hand of Olof Wikstrand from Swedish Enforcer. This band, widely known as one of the most promising crews in the genre, wouldn’t wait any longer to take these songs to their set-list. And with no fear I can put this splendid duo next to such Enforcer hits like “Katana” or “Undying Evil”. Pemo, who is responsible for music and lyrics, has a really astounding talent for creating such catchy parts, he smartly avoids creating banal sounds or making my pancreas to produce insulin. “Dreamstealer” has no fillers, no weak songs or redundant keyboards passages. The music is straight-forward and to the bone, to my heart, with a creed smelted in “Roadhog” song: “Hear the pounding metal sound / coming from the underground / feel the heavy guitar scream / it’s a nightmare it’s a dream!".
Names, names… Yes, label sheet gives one direction to the Veto, Tyrant or Stormwitch areas, but I don’t entirely agree with that. For me it’s a far-fetched simplification. And to put it briefly Judas Priest (acceleration and sound motility), Heavy Load (melody lines) or archaic Running Wild come to my mind, bringing really gorgeous yet explosive mixture still kept in old heavy metal dimension. Because of they come from Poland and sing in English, there is an exigency to cock the ears towards Krzysiek ‘Lawless’ effort. When the band tortures in a fast way, Krzysiek spits the words absolutely implicitly and outright, the problem is when Roadhog started to reduce a gear, just take a listen to “On the Witches Path” and this too audible Polish accent. It sounds quadrate-like a bit, yet during many meetings with relentless bonnet I just got used to it. For sure his voice and the timbre are good and well-done for such sonic collision.
Thrashing Madness did a good job once again. The booklet looks really impressive with many pictures, one interview and a short bio of the band. But, as compared to such re-edition of Repulsor, some spelling errors and typos didn’t disappear unfortunately. But this edition contains of one real treasure and even if two tracks are known from the main schedule, “Cry Baby” kicks my heavy metal ass. It sounds like Pemo did an archeological work at Rolf Kasparek’s home and found a forgotten exchequer. This song sticks to my brain and cannot leave. And this paralyzing guitar lead… I’ve just been catapulted into the “Gates to Purgatory” magical times.
Summing all the things up, the case of band’s name should be explained. The musicians do not attach importance or any ideology to it. Road hog is a reckless driver who obstructs or intimidates others. So, can you feel it? With speed, take no prisoners and no mercy attitude they assassinate on your glandula suprarenalis. Follow them or be crashed. There’s no other way. But now I can’t imagine Zakopianka route. Is it possible to put there another machine, this machine? This may get messy. All drivers, you have to be warned…
And the last thing on the end: if I’m not wrong and my auditory meatus is free from cerumen, I can hear some similarities to some part of Rotting Christ song “King of a Stellar War” during 2:20-2:32 in “On the Witches Path”…
(written in July, 2015)