Poltergeist - Feather Of Truth
Massacre Records
Speed / Power Metal
12 songs (57:26)
Release year: 2020
Massacre Records
Reviewed by Ben

Poltergeist are a semi underground Swiss band who play traditionally rooted speed metal that's fairly reminiscent of Scanner from back in the day. Like Scanner, Poltergeist also released a few albums in the late eighties and early nineties before disappearing. Well, I suppose that with the advent of technology these guys decided to return to the fold of metal and Feather Of Truth is their newest release following 2016's Back To Haunt.

Feather Of Truth opens with obviously the best track on the album. Time At Hand hits all the right spots with tough sounding riffs that are speedy but also laced with a noticeable degree of technical ability, decent sounding production values (especially the drums), and just exuding a general speed metal veteran vibe. Again, think of some of the best moments from Hypertrace. However, things begin to start falling apart rather quickly with the awful Saturday Night's Alright For Rockin'. At first glance I thought this might be some beefed up version of the classic Elton John song, but nope. This ranks up there with some of the worst of Krokus and is filled with awful cliches and a forced "party rock dude" vibe. Other than Elton and maybe Def Leppard, referencing "Saturday Night" has entered buttrock cliche land. This should never have been on the record and completely kills the momentum from the banging intro. Unfortunately for us, the song sucks so bad that it also highlights something that once heard, it can't be unheard. While the vocalist works with what he has and does a fairly serviceable job for Poltergeist, his range is extremely limited. Like a half octave Kai Hansen. A vast amount of the lyrics are spoken / sung. On top of this, many of the vocal lines have a similar cadence that once again, can't be unheard. If you remove the awful second song, then the flow of the album winds up being much more palatable to the listener. The rest of Feather Of Truth never quite manages to live up to the lofty heights of the ideas and execution of Time At Hand even if a few tracks are definitely listenable. There's a pretty blatant, "homage," to Slayer with The Culling and its main riff that's directly lifted from Black Magic. There's also some middle of the road tracks but just like the decent ones don't rise to the authoritative standard placed outright by Time At Hand, they never sink to the turdish depths of Saturday Night's Alright For Rockin'.

Feather Of Truth has some solid ideas and one really great song. I think that this album suffered from having too much of an eighties mentality to albums. This would have been much better if it was served up as an EP with about five songs. At the very least, the two "bonus" tracks and the dreadful Saturday Night should have not been included and this album would have been better because of their absence. At least Poltergeist got a decent drum sound.

Killing Songs :
Time At Hand
Ben quoted 60 / 100
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