Riding the crest of the new wave of traditional heavy metal (NWOTHM) is Mexico's Split Heaven with their third full-length release Street Law. Split Heaven makes no excuses for the straight from Eighties heavy/speed metal. This band digs metal with brisk pace, large riffs, and stinging guitar solos. Add Eli Valenzuela's ear piercing, "heavy metal Geddy Lee on steroids," vocals and you a formidable heavy metal speed machine. The band has received their share of recognition winning 2009's Mexican Metal Battle, and later appearing at Wacken Open Air, a first for any Mexican metal band. Currently, their on tour in America.
Most songs gallop along, effortlessly blending classic melodic heavy, speed, and power metal with Time Warrior, Street Law, Road to Nowhere, and The Obscure as prime examples. Then Lonewolf lessens the pace with traditional metal. Split Heaven can offer that Priest style of metal warped with hard rock hooks as on Red Light District and Nightfall.
The song composition is steady across this platter; Split Heaven certainly knows their chosen genre. But some songs are weaker than others like the opening Time Warrior and the later Servants of the Night. Some of this comes from Split Heaven attempting to get a bit more complex then necessary. Yet it works on Street Law.
To the musicianship, this band is capable and tight. The foundation of bass and drums is pummeling and sturdy. If you dig pure metal guitar solos, with minor amounts of neo-classical widdling, here's some awesome fret work. Sometimes Valenzuela wails in pure metal scream, and sometimes he sounds like some dude in spandex from an 80's Sunset Strip hair metal band. Honestly, his presence is so 'present' it comes dangerously close to wearing you down.
All in All, for pure classic heavy/speed metal, you will hard-pressed to find any band doing it quite as well as Mexico's Split Heaven. Street Law is the real 'true' metal deal. Recommended.