ReviewsAngel Sword – World Fighter (Dying Victims Productions)

Angel Sword – World Fighter (Dying Victims Productions)

Intentional in their old-school heavy metal ways, Angel Sword lives for those twin-guitar lines, call to arms choruses, and pure to the bone rhythm section foundational work that has been a part of the scene since the late 70s/early 80s. This Finnish quartet started in 2010, independently building their following through a series of demos, EPs, and two previous full-lengths (Rebels Beyond the Pale from 2016, and Neon City in 2019). A union with German label Dying Victims Productions took place over the pandemic, the fruits of that labor finally issued on this latest record World Fighter. For the uninitiated, these eight tracks sit in that sweet spot between NWOBHM, early US power metal, as well as the occasional 80s melodic hard rock nuances that kept toes tapping and hands clapping – yet in service of a production/tone value that is less modern and rougher around the edges.

The mid-range, podium-like delivery of rhythm guitarist Jerry Razors sits in that modest, serviceable way that he’ll grab your attention, but not standout as much as the Halford, Dickinson, or Dio brigade. He can keep up with the speedier proceedings for the Diamond Head-esque “Powerglove” or hit his comfort zone in a more Manowar / Eternal Champion-oriented slower arrangement such as “Church of Rock”. The twin axe play between Razors and Lightning Mike along with bassist Eviltaker and drummer Alexander Depraved creates some exciting, progressive interplay moments – the type that put Iron Maiden on the map during “Against All Odds” in particular, the instrumental section containing a lot of heroic musical moments to treasure. Saving the most dynamic outing for last in the 5:43 title track, the occasional Ozzy-like driving riffs next to some subdued gang-like background vocals gives way to some calmer picking as well as a full concert-oriented conclusion. These gentlemen waste no time in this 32-minute album, willing to push out lead breaks or gang-vocal support next to the main hooks at any time – while the sound of the record aligns with the style, minimizing any extra triggers or digital enhancement.

Between prime opening slots for veterans like Manilla Road, Satan, and Blitzkrieg as well impressive performances on killer festivals like Metal Assault, Metalheadz Open Air, and the Up the Hammers warm-up gig, it’s easy to hear the solid state of sound turning heads as Angel Sword convinces all who wish to step into the lair through World Fighter. A potential diamond surfaces from the rough, should be fun to keep an eye on this four-piece.

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8.5 / 10