Albums [Heavy / Power] » Airwolf (Ger) - Victory Bells (1988)
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    Artist: Airwolf - Glory Bells
    Release: 1988
    Genre: Power/Speed Metal
    Country: Germany
    Bitrate: 192
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    Info

    The Review is from Metal Archive Site

    Airwolf are not your average German metal band found in the mid to late 80's, playing not the most common style of harsher thrash metal like Kreator, Sodom, Destruction, Assassin etc; instead playing a brand of speed and early power metal with a heavy traditional influence. Releasing their only album, debuting in 1988, Victory Bells seems to have been pushed into the background of the German scene. Probably a proponent of two major factors, German thrash kiddies running around buying seven copies of Pleasure to Kill and yelling "Curse the Gods!" shunning the lighter less aesthetically pleasing bands like Airwolf. But then again, on the opposite side of the spectrum, Blind Guardian released their debut the same very year Victory Bells, probably gaining way more popularity and well, we all know how big Blind Guardian is now.

    Whatever reason, I don't see Airwolf talked about much in metal circles which is a damn shame as Victory Bells is a pretty killer and fun speed metal album. There are influences all over the early metal board here, "Through the Fire" features a prominent Judas Priest like worship on the guitars while "Swordbreaker" showcases a strong case of early power metal much akin to Battalions of Fear-era Blind Guardian. The title track is one of the longer tracks on the album, proving Airwolf plays a predominant speed-y style of metal. Fast guitars race through dueling melodic guitar solos and insane double bass pummels your chest cavity. Helloween plays another big influence here, as most power metal bands owe tribute to, with the catchy as hell chorus and over the top singing. As most noticed on the speediest tracks like Starfire, Airwolf's number one influence sticks out; Accept. Maybe it's more noticeable as vocalist Frank Zellman sounds a lot like Udo, but Accept's brand of heavy power metal is apparent throughout the course of Victory Bells. "(Take Off) Atlantis" and "Death Metal Rain" continue in the style of balls to the wall heavy rocking and powerful over the top soaring vocals.

    It's not like all German bands had to be playing raw dirty thrash metal to get attention, obviously you can go take a look at Helloween, Gamma Ray, Accept and Grave Digger to find some of the longest running and successful careers in metal, but Airwolf followed this style of metal and somehow stuck out of the mainstream. Bands like this deserve more fame, though there are plenty of bands out there that never got what they deserved, for unexplained reasons; I can't explain why Airwolf have never gotten as big as they could have, but Victory Bells boasts 8 songs of traditional speed/power metal. There isn't much to complain about here, with fewer songs they all manage to stick out and not lose my interest, though the longer song times might be turn off. I still highly recommend this to anyone interested in a fun and catchy old school sounding hard rocking album chock full of powerful vocals and solid fucking riffs, just what you need in metal.
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    Track List

    1. Legion of Doom 06:11
    2. Through the Fire 05:45
    3. Swordbreaker 04:14
    4. Death Metal Rain 04:45
    5. Victory Bells 06:38
    6. Starfire 04:09
    7. (Take Off) Atlantis 05:21
    8. Schizomania
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