Torpedo - Mechanic Tyrants
Gates of Hell Records
Speed Metal
6 songs (27' 48")
Release year: 2019
Reviewed by Andy

Forget about updated sounds: Germany's Torpedo unapologetically channels speed metal of the early 80s, the sound of a leather-and-spike-clad generation of high-school NWOBHM fanatics that kicked off the careers of German heavy metal figures like Peavy Wagner or Rolf Kasparek. Without an original bone in their collective body, Torpedo nails the 80s sound on a few of their songs.

The lo-fi, reverb-filled production makes Mechanic Tyrants sound like I found it in a pile of used LPs in the basement from 40 years -- is that intentional, or just because this is a re-release of their demo? And the band is tight: Maniac's simple but driving riff, filled with wild soloing, kicks the album off to a good start. The faster songs didn't grow on me as much until I gave them a few listens, but they're still good. My favorite track, Sons of Evil, is arguably the most 80s of the lot. It's chugging twin guitar overdrive is a dead ringer for the kind of song written by a guy who heard Priest's Screaming For Vengeance in 1982 and immediately started a band. That these particular guys did it in 2019 instead doesn't diminish their enthusiasm.

There's a hint of early Metallica on here too, foreshadowing what ended up happening to speed metal as a genre, though that may be more an artifact of that band's own influences in its youth. Those who want a new sound can pass this one by, but for those who would like to relive the exuberance of the post-NWOBHM 80s will find that Mechanic Tyrants takes them back.

Killing Songs :
Maniac, Sons of Evil
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