Album Review: Acid Blade – Power Dive
Reviewed by Paul Hutchings
Steeped in the 1980s, it’s surprising to read that ‘Power Dive’ is Acid Blades’s debut album. The German outfit from Dresden bring 40 minutes of hard rocking metal that has every root stuck in the NWOBHM era.
Formed from their previous project Angel Blade, it’s the piercing vocals of singer Klay Mensana that hit immediately. His range is spectacular, favouring the operatic high pitch to the guttural growl that features only occasionally throughout the album. It’s dramatic, solid heavy metal, well played and delivered with an assured style that demonstrates the band are happy with what they play.
It's also about as cliched as it could get in many respects with the band adopting ridiculous pseudonyms such as Luke Lethal and Eric Nukem which doesn’t make them any more interesting. It’s the music that needs to do the talking and it’s a variable package despite their endeavours and passion.
If you like your metal drenched with Judas Priest and Iron Maiden tropes, then this will be your bag. It’s powerful, anthemic, and enjoyable enough, with a decent production and competently delivered music. But for all that it ticks boxes, it doesn’t offer anything new or fresh, and it’s a little tired by the end.
The title track owes more to the power metal which emanatedfrom Germany in the 1980s, whilst ‘Into the Light’ has a more Maiden feel. The high-pitched vocals begin to grate a little towards the latter part of the album, especially on ‘Moonless Night’ where Mensana is hitting the King Diamond range a little too often. It’s a shame because alongside the final track, ‘Harpy on the Wing’, it’s probably the best song here, with some lovely melodic guitar work.
The mark of any album is whether you want to play it again as soon as it finishes. Despite some very good songs, I’m afraid that’ Power Drive’ isn’t one of those records. That’s not to say it’s a bad album, for there are decent moments here. But in a world where recycling the same old riffs and songs is rife, and whereas reviewers we cry out for something fresh and exciting, Acid Blade come up just a little short.