Germany's Alpha Tiger enters the heavy metal ring for a third round with Identity. What began as a more than subtle throwback to the early days of classic heavy and power metal, maybe with a touch of Queensryche, has been personalized and solidified by the band.
Overall, Identity is a blistering album, boasting some of Alpha Tiger's heaviest and sharpest riffs backed by an even more bracing rhythm section. These remain wrapped up in noticeable melody and adequate vocal harmonies. The dilemma with the latter is that Stephan Dietrich's voice is often overwhelmed in every song, especially the more heavy and intense ones like Lady Liberty or the title track. Even within the heavy ballad Closer To Yesterday you can barely understand him. Perhaps it's not even the mix, but Dietrich's enunciation, his ability to sing clearly, which is the problem. Alternatively, within the quite catchy, groove-laden, and strongest song of the bunch, Long Way of Redemption, his voice is somewhat stronger.
The aforementioned Closer To Yesterday is also an example of Alpha Tiger stretching their boundaries by adding some more reserved moments along with a piano line. There's a similar breakdown in the later third of This World Will Burn with light acoustic guitar and drums. Mostly, though, the album is heavy and hardcharging with the riffage ruling the day and the leads flying like so many sparks, with rhythm section keeping the intensity at a fervent level. If not for Alpha Tiger's inherent sense of melody and harmony, this album could come off as something close to modern metal harshness. But, thankfully, not. In the end, excepting maybe the title track which struggles to develop, there is something for the 'true' heavy metal fan to discover and enjoy in each song, which makes Identity definitely worth exploring.
For third effort, Identity, Alpha Tiger keeps their heavy/power metal on course with sharp and heavy riffage, bolstered by a tough rhythm section, and then tempered by their sense of melody and harmony.
Mat Sinner is both an icon and legend in the German, and the larger European, hard rock and heavy metal scene. Cranking out music since 1982, Sinner is an industrious and prolific musician and producer whether through his namesake band, the heavy metal heroes Primal ... [ Read More ]