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Saturday, July 2, 2022

Review: Attika – Metal Lands

Label: Pure Steel Records

Date: February 26th, 2021

When I received this album, by mistake I read metal legends instead of metal lands. Easily the album could be titled Metal Legends too because here we, the “old” metal generation, deal with true legends.

In the sea of new astonishing metal bands, I don’t know if I’m more excited when I discover a new band or when my childhood heroes come back.

For all those who are discovering Attika right now, reading this review, here is what you missed. The band was formed back in 1983 in Florida. In 1988 they released their debut self-titled album (Prison). In 1991 “When Heroes Fall” followed (Prison). And then… Silence… It will be broken on February 26th, when the official comeback album will be released.

Founding members, Jeff Patelski and Robert Van Wart supported by Glenn Anthony and Bill Krajewski delivered ten old school metal songs packed in 48 minutes. The album is dominated by a medium tempo, and there is no song that would stand out. Each of the ten songs is equally good and keeps you banging all the time.

Pounding drums in “Metal Lands”, sharp guitar and screams hint at what awaits us on the album. This is the song I heard maybe two years ago on YT when Attika performed in Athens at Up the Hammers XIII Festival. And two long years later, here it is, a great album opener! The song is followed by a lyrics video released on February 2nd, 2021. 

The next one “8 Track Days” slows down a bit, but the lyrics depict a situation we have all been through at least once in our lives. Great bass line dominates in this song, and what I like on this album the most is that you can hear each instrument equally well. “Like a Bullet” continues at the same pace with a very effective chorus like a shot to the heart. After the fast intro, the song slows down a bit, but the chorus and the way it was sung, marks this song. The next one, “Darkness Of The Day”, slows down the tempo at the beginning with the domination of the guitar and drums. The whole atmosphere is a bit darker, pessimistic.

Right from the start guitars in “The Price” are going in the direction of Iron Maiden, Paul DiAnno’s era. “Thorn In My Side” accelerates and delivers great guitar solos. When you hear guitars and galloping drums in “RunWith The Horsemen”, it is  clear that this one is influenced by Accept. 

“Sincerely Violent” and “Gold” are the fastest songs on the album, with killing guitar solos, great melody, infectious marching rhythm that moves the laziest asses. Listening to the song “Gold”, I immediately thought it would be a great idea if Robert Van War and David Lee Roth as a special guest star would make a hilarious video on California beaches.

The vocals in most of the songs remind me of Warrel Dane style. Actually Warrel Dane meets Rob Halford would be the best definition of singing style. The lyrics are unambiguous, Attika have no problem expressing their opinion.

Of course, what would metal be without ballads? “One Wish” closes the new Attika’s chapter. Don’t blame me for saying that this is perhaps the weakest song Attika delivered on this album. Overall, for the first album in 26 years, this is not bad at all. As they say in the song “8 Track Days”, you can’t turn back the clock, but at least Attika can control the present moment. Welcome back!

At the end, I would like to mention cover artwork designed by tattoo artist Daniel Charles who had died on January 1st, 2021. I don’t believe in heaven and hell, so I hope he is listening to Attika somewhere in metal lands…