While No Retreat ... You Surrender, their third album, may be my first experience with Mexico's Voltax, they have an interesting and significant heavy metal pedigree. In 2011, they won the Wacken Open Air Metal Battle Mexico contest and then placed third in the international finals in Germany. In the following Summer of 2012 they opened for Metallica at the famous Palacio de los Deportes (Palace of Sports), a venue that can hold up to 26,000 screaming metalheads. That is a big freakin' deal, especially for a traditional heavy metal band. I'll bet their mothers were so proud of them.
Traditional heavy metal, and adding doses of NWoBHM and classic speed metal, summarizes the Voltax sound and No Retreat ... You Surrender. The essential elements are here: twin guitar harmony in the riffage, an abundance wild and soaring guitar solos, and a rhythm section that sways between pummeling and galloping. The vocals are generally melodic and clean, but Gerardo Mauleon can quickly go into piercing screamo mode which, sometimes, makes him difficult to understand.
Within this mixture of things, a few impressive aspects caught my attention. The first is depth and strength of the guitar lines and leads, being crisp and vibrant these boys can shred. Another impressive strength comes from Mario Sandoval's drumming, which is extremely powerful and percussive. He goes beyond simply leading the beat and groove by adding generous flair to his performance. Also, the production is at a premium. It's clear and defined for each instrument, each player, notably the bass, which I always find significant. For example, within the song Go With Me the bass line has a significant role to play and, in the mix, it's lifted up. When you add these elements together, especially in the instrumental breakouts for Broken World or awesome latter third of The Hero, Voltax offers exceptional and impressive heavy metal. And these guys have some major Mexican cojones. Voltax, for a bonus track, covers Chicago's 25 or 6 to 4, a major hit for the band in 1970. I couldn't ponder a heavy metal version of this song, but they pull it off with some skill and interest. My only thought was that it would have been cool if they added their brass section to the song.
With No Retreat ... You Surrender, Mexico's Voltax delivers some fine traditional "keep it true" heavy metal. So break out some Silver Patron and bang your head. Easily recommended.
With No Retreat...You Surrender, Mexico's Voltax delivers some fine traditional "keep it true" heavy metal. So break out some Silver Patron and bang your head. Easily recommended.
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