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STÄLKER - Shadow of the Sword
(Napalm Records, 17 Nov 2017)
By Wojtek Gabriel, posted 14 Jun 2018
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Stalker Shadow of the Sword cover
How would you define classic speed metal for someone who doesn’t know anything about this style of music? Well, you can tell them it’s about neck-breaking tempos, double-bass rhythms, fast riffs, high-pitched screams, bullet-belts and spikes, or you can play them some Exciter or Agent Steel... or Stälker. Never heard of Stälker? See above... All the aforementioned elements are present on the debut album of this crazy trio. Coming from the beautiful islands of New Zealand those guys don’t know what compromise means or they just don’t care. The opening tune “Total Annihilation” kills with no mercy, and it’s just the beginning of the mayhem they’re causing. There’s no time for the listener to catch their breath throughout the entire album, the band are just speeding forward with true unstoppable force (see what I did here?) like a crushing bulldozer, grinding everything in their way. The cover art may be a bit misleading, sword and sorcery style, but the music itself is everything fans of traditional speed metal can dream of. Add to that the underground production, old-school-style videoclip (for “Shocked to Death”) and a nicely done cover of Death’s “Evil Dead” and you’ve got a winner of an album. Does “Shadow of the Sword” have a chance to become as cult as “Heavy Metal Maniac” or “Skeptics Apocalypse”? Time will tell, but if these guys put out two or three more albums in the vein of their excellent debut release, they will quickly gain the reputation of one of the top bands within the speed metal genre.
Rating: 9

Written by Wojtek Gabriel

Stälker on facebook: facebook.com/stalkerheavymetal
Tags: Stalker, speed metal, Shadow of the Sword, Napalm Records
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© 2007-2018 Wojtek Gabriel. All rights reserved.
Unauthorised use of any works published on this website is prohibited.
Materials may not be reproduced in whole or in part by persons, organisations
or corporations without the prior written permission.