The latest offering from perennial American metal purveyors, Attika, drops via Pure Steel Records on February 26th — nearly 30 years after the release of the band’s last studio set, When Heroes Fall, back in 1992. And although it’s not even hit the streets officially, the ten-track collection already is being hailed by industry insiders as an unapologetic tour de force. Simply put, believe the hype.
Recorded at The Zone studio in Melbourne, Florida, Metal Lands was engineered by Mark Brasel and Jason Anz and mixed and mastered by Robert Romagna at Audiostahl in Austria. The result is a backside-blistering, world-class sonic slab.
Produced by celebrated European metal veteran, Paul Van Rijswijk, the record smacks hard, straight out the gate — with all the intensity of a pissed off 300-pound bruiser, administering a life-altering punch to the nut sack with a set of titanium knucks. In fact, if you’re not sold on the record and assured of the band’s street cred in the first 52 seconds of the opening title track, you might as well get your timid, skinny ass back to the Taylor Swift after-show soiree before your mom reports you missing.
In the grand tradition of such metallic kingpins as Accept, Metal Church and Armored Saint, Metal Lands packs maximum thriller and minimum filler. It bites ya, posthaste, and refuses to show the slightest mercy for the next 47 minutes. In addition to the rib-cracking opening track, “8 Track Days” also is a brutal assault, accented by Bill Krajewski’s massive guitar riffage and driven by Glenn Anthony’s throaty, signature-style bass chug.
Arguably the record’s strongest selection, “Like a Bullet” hits exactly like that. Founding frontman Rob Van War offers one of his mightiest performances in the finest Halford-meets-Dickinson fashion, while founding drummer Jeff Patelski delivers his all-time hardest-hitting effort.
Bone-crushing music aside, classic metal always has been the source of amazing lyrical imagery. In that regard, Van War proves a master storyteller, painting vivid portraits of apocalyptic doom and current world commentary. And he accomplishes that perfectly in the galloping crunchfest, “Run with the Horseman” — The age has come and it’s time for us to rise. It’s time for this world to meet its demise.
The record takes very few risks. However, Attika does step slightly from their stylistic comfort zone on occasion. And when they do, the payoff is enormous — a point proven by the superb metal makeover of the 1979 John Stewart pop super-hit, “Gold.” Whoever had that idea, deserves a “gold” star, for sure.
For fans still craving the crunch — the honest purity and authentic integrity of traditional, old school metal, the latest from Attika certainly will brighten the darkness of the day.
Metal Lands Track Listing:
1. Metal Lands (5:20)
2. 8 Track Days (4:50)
3. Like a Bullet (4:56)
4. Darkness of the Day (4:48)
5. The Price (4:24)
6. Thorn in My Side (5:22)
7. Run with the Horseman (4:54)
8. Sincerely Violent (3:59)
9. Gold (3:48)
10. One Wish (5:34)
Run Time: 47:48
Release Date: February 26, 2021
Record Label: Pure Steel Records