Ask a metal fan what 'true metal' is and you might get a few, and different, answers. Metal circa the Eighties; it should be heavy, but melodic; a good pace with soaring guitars might come to mind. Or some may say, conversely, anything that doesn't have nu, rap, or hardcore associated with it. Or you could point them to the second album from Germany's Messenger, See You in Hell.
Messenger wears their metal hearts on their sleeves. See You in Hell is likely as old school as it gets. That's not necessarily a bad thing. All those aforementioned characteristics apply here. Think Manowar, Majesty or fellow Germans Running Wild, and you get the picture. Add the typical themes of battle and war, sword and sorcery, and an occasional Alien Autopsy, and the picture becomes lucent. See You in Hell offers a good mix of both melodic heavy and power. Sometimes quick, powered by expert drumming, as on Make It Right. Sometimes creepy and foreboding as on Alien Autopsy. Sometimes steady, moderately heavy, and melodic in guitar and vocal arrangements as on Final Thunder. Of course, Messenger broadens their musical tapestry offering the epics Falconlord and Valkyries, both with some symphonic notes. If anything would make them 'modern' it's that, on a song like Land of the Brave, the sound like early Edguy. But that's only a leap of ten years from the Eighties.
If you love traditional heavy 'true' metal, why reinvent the wheel? Messenger, of course, sees little need to do so and is proud of it. Is it extraordinary or somehow definitive? Likely not. But, 'keeping it true' is the message of Messenger on See You in Hell. Recommended.
If you love traditional heavy 'true' metal, why reinvent the wheel? Messenger, of course, sees little need to do so and is proud of it. Indeed, 'keeping it true' is the message of Messenger on See You in Hell.