Black Hawk, not to be confused with American country band, comes from Germany offering their fifth album in the last eight years, A Mighty Metal Axe. While founded in 1981 but split in 1997, Black Hawk has had the breadth of their success since their resurrection in 2005.
But they still play heavy metal like it's 1981. Black Hawk and A Mighty Metal Axe basically offer the German side of the NWOBHM akin to Saxon and others of the same era. True metal one might say. It's classic melodic heavy metal, with a dash of speed here and there to make it also traditional power metal.
Mostly, its a lot of guitars and big riffage, supported by a tough rhythm section, and followed by leaping and large guitar solos. And if recollection serves me correctly, not a lick of keyboards to be found. Udo Bethke's vocals have slight rasp, bit raw, feel but he's always clear and mostly stays within his register. It's everything the true metal fan would want.
Some of the best songs for that classic metal sound: The Fighter, A Mighty Metal Axe, Burning Angels, and the Saxon-like Killer. Then there's some odd numbers like the rather peaceful Venom of the Snake which, given the title, you would think should be a crushing metal song. Then there's Fashion Victim. Is it a metal anthem? Or is it simply more edgier melodic hard rock? Finally, Black Hawk offers an instrumental in Skills of Arabia with some striking guitar leads. The only thing that troubled me here was the recording of the drums. Sometimes one of the toms or the snare sounds like it was made of the same material as ping-pong ball when hit. Weird. Otherwise, the drumming is fine throughout. In the end, and fundamentally, with A Mighty Metal Axe, Black Hawk delivers some well-crafted classic melodic heavy metal straight out of the Eighties, and it's also modest advance over their previous record. Recommended.
Fundamentally, with A Mighty Metal Axe, Black Hawk delivers some well-crafted classic melodic heavy metal straight out of the Eighties. Recommended.
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