Attacker - Soul Taker
Iron Glory Records
Classic Power Metal 80's style
10 songs (46:33)
Release year: 0
Attacker, Iron Glory Records
Reviewed by Jeff

"Soul Taker" is only the third official, full length release by Attacker since they formed in 1983. Bad business decisions, personal and musical differences within the band, lack of label support with proper distribution and a changing music scene are just some of the reasons why the band called it quits in 1989.

Then the deaths of two former Attacker members, (vocalist John Leone in 1999 and guitarist Jim Mooney in 2000), inspired remaining members to write and rehearse material for another record, which would be dedicated to them.

Attacker's progress was limited because they did not have a vocalist and some of the band members had commitments to other projects. Original vocalist Bob Mitchell has been constantly working in the metal scene since his departure from Attacker with bands like Sleepy Hollow and more recently Alchemy X and Vyndikator. It would seem his time is very full. Somehow Bob, along with original members Mike Sabatini (drums) and Pat Martinelli (guitar), managed to work out whatever differences there were and reunite. In the process, they recruited Mike Benetatos (guitar) and Felix Torres (bass) to round out the lineup.

"Soul Taker" is a mix of Attacker's two previous releases, "Battle At Helm's Deep" and "The Second Coming". They try to capture the sound and style they used back in the 80's. Attacker blends classic Metal Church, Accept and Judas Priest influences with Udo Dirkschneider air raid vocals, lots of power chords and killer riffs, a tight rhythm section of bass and drums, and a punchy production that has a certain rawness to it yet mixed well.

One of the biggest differences with "Soul Taker" that the previous two releases didn't have is a metal ballad. "Until We Meet Again" is a somber song, (inspired by the loss of former band members Leone and Mooney), that gets heavier as it goes on. It's about coping with death that lyrically reflects lament; wishing one could have done or said things before another's untimely demise, hoping those things can be finished until they meet again.

"Return to Mordor" is an instrumental track inspired by the novels of J.R.R. Tolkien. The mood of this piece would make a great background track for Frodo, Sam and Gollum's journey to Mordor during the Lord of the Rings movie "Return of the King". The intro to the song uses clean electric guitar pick playing with chorus and delay effects accompanied by what sounds like a nylon acoustic guitar. It then changes gears, kicking into an upbeat tempo with distorted power chord guitar riffing and drums. I close my eyes and envision Orcs, Goblins, Rohan and Gondorian soldiers, etc.

The vocals on "Jack" sound so evil that they are reminiscent of King Diamond at times! Songs like "Sleepy Hollow" and "The Conquerors" take me back to the days of Anthrax's "Fistful of Metal" album; plenty of fast double bass drums with guitar riff shredding and screaming vocals!

The 2004 release of "Soul Taker" is somewhat of a surprise to me being that it has finally seen the light of day. Even Mitchell's return to the position of lead vocalist was a bit of a shock, being he had two other projects he was currently working with as well as the reasons for his split from the band in the first place. But the reunion between three of the original members is a welcomed one. Once all the pieces were in place, everything seemed to happen quickly!

Overall I like the album. It's not as good as "Battle At Helm's Deep" but is almost as good as "The Second Coming" because of the production, use of numerous time changes and of course, Bob Mitchell.

A live CD and DVD are to follow. I can't wait to see how Bob Mitchell sounds live while singing the material that John Leone sang on for Attacker's "The Second Coming".

Attacker will begin the writing stages for the fourth album before hitting the Festival circuit this Spring and Summer! Upon the bands return from the road, they will commence working on their next album.

Looks like the seminal US Pioneers of True Metal are here to stay!


Killing Songs :
Return to Mordor, Tortured Existence, The Conquerors, Raging Fist, Sleepy Hollow, Jack
Jeff quoted 76 / 100
Other albums by Attacker that we have reviewed:
Attacker - Battle At Helm's Deep reviewed by Jeff and quoted 94 / 100
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