Considering the predominance of zombies, vampires and all things undead making a resurrection in popular culture, why not a traditional heavy metal band conceived around vampires flying WWII German Stuka dive bombers? Welcome England's Stuka Squadron. Clever? Perhaps. Evidently the band has developed a whole history, or better, mythology around their concept. Tales of the Ost was released independently last year, but now signed to Anna Di Laurenzio's Metalbox Recordings, the band hopes for wider distribution.
Easily within the cadre of the New Wave of Traditional Heavy Metal (NWoTHM), Stuka Squadron could easily have transported from here from 1985. One music punter suggested equivalence to Iron Maiden's revered Powerslave album, saying many of the songs here fit the style. High praise indeed, and he may be right. Likely, Tiger 1, Aabulon's Inferno, and On the Volga Bridge could fit the Maiden motif.
Ultimately, this is classic heavy metal, sometimes speedy and bombastic, and then also steady and epic. SS (get the allusion offers great melodies, often with timely hooks, while bringing craftiness to the arrangement. The aforementioned On the Volga Bridge does the trick. Things vampiric and undead please the sensibilities of the goth-minded metal drone with We Drink Blood, a hit in many UK clubs.
Stuka Squadron's conceptual motif may be too much metal extravagance for some. Cliche or not, the band has the chops and a solid grasp of traditional metal. Frankly, it's damn entertaining and a whole lot of fun. All metal should be this gloriously escapist. Quite recommended.
Stuka Squadron's concept is uniquely 'undead,' but their metal is thoroughly infectious and entertaining traditional heavy metal. Imagine mid-Eighties Maiden or Priest visited by vampiric bomber pilots.
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