Aska - Nine Tounges
EMA Records
Traditional 80's Heavy Metal
10 songs (52'20)
Release year: 1997
Reviewed by Ben
Archive review

Why this amazing band from TEXAS (in fact they live about 3 hours away from me, finally a homegrown band to be proud of!!!) hasn't gotten their big break yet, surprises and saddens me. Aska plays with heart and conviction, you can tell this band loves every second and every note that they're playing and it really comes through on this release. While Aska doesn't break any new ground musically on this highly varied disc, they do play it WELL and in the end Nine Tounges is very much enjoyable.

The opener, The Stalker kicks off the cd with a punch in the face with its fast, speedy riffing and is actually the only high speed song on here. With lyrics that are similar to Iron Maiden's Killers, and a singer that sounds a little like Bruce Dickinson, this is one of my favorite tracks and rightfully so. The next couple of tracks Leprosy and The Question are solid cuts with the former sounding like a lost AC/DC song and the latter being a more aggressive biting track with a percussive type delivery of the vocals. Upon first listen Little Sister might seem horribly out of place as it is a break from the metal onslaught and is a *gasp* biker/honky tonk song. I absolutely love it. This is the type of song that would be playing in biker bar during a huge bar-room brawl with bodies flying everywhere and chairs being smashed on peoples heads. It is just a fun song to listen to and it captures the bands Texas roots perfectly. Blood of the Wolf is next and man, this track is killer! It's a midtempo CRUNCHY song with the vocalist sounding like a lower register Geoff Tate and everything fits together on this song perfectly. ( Oh btw I dont know which member of the band is the "main" vocalist. When listening to this cd you can tell there's at least two, maybe three different band members doing the lead vocals) If Aska makes a cd that consists entirely of material similar to The Stalker, Blood of the Wolf, or Killashandra then thats gonna be a treat and should be in everyones collection, and from what I've heard their next cd Avenger fits the description soooo, I need to order it. Next track Killashandra is yet another killer and another personal favorite. The way the singer delivers the verses is mesmerizing, the words roll off his tounge and you become captivated by the passion in the singers voice and you feel you really must find this Killashandra that is spoken of. I play this song the second most out of everything on here. Captain Crunch and Liquid Courage are two more fun tracks that take a break from the serious subject matter of the previous songs. Captain Crunch is a straight forward rocker about a friend whos a famous guitar virtuoso and Liquid Courage is about a band members bar exploits and shabby attempt to pick up chicks, "Listen to my oneliner/Listen to me babble on" Before the final track there is a little acoustic interlude called Nightmare. Its nice but after hearing The Dream you don't want to wait through it anymore so I usually skip it. The Dream rounds out the album on a very high note. THIS is the track that gets the most playtime from your reviewer here. A Power Ballad with class it is a perfect example of how to do songs like these. Similarities can be made to The Lady Wore Black by Queensryche but in my opinion The Dream is superior.

For fans of good, classic, 80's style heavy metal you'll be glad to pick this disc up. Even the production screams 80's. Be warned though there aren't too many speedy moments here, no double bass or glass shattering high notes, instead theres good solid midtempo riffs and powerful, distinctly American vocals that come together to make Aska what they are.

Killing Songs :
The Stalker, Little Sister, Blood of the Wolf, Killashandra, The Dream
Ben quoted 84 / 100
Other albums by Aska that we have reviewed:
Aska - Avenger reviewed by Danny and quoted 80 / 100
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