Album Review: Alcatrazz – Take No Prisoners
Reviewed by Lana Teramae
Alcatrazz is a heavy metal band that was formed in 1983 by vocalist Graham Bonnet, keyboardist Jimmy Waldo, and bassist Gary Shea. Unfortunately, they are one of the many bands that had very unstable lineups. It got so bad to the point where Bonnet formed his own version of Alcatrazz. At least Bonnet, Waldo, and Shea had some fun while it lasted. Together, they released four studio albums: No Parole from Rock ‘n’ Roll (1983), Disturbing the Peace (1985), Dangerous Games (1986), and Born Innocent (2020). Flash forward to 2023, where Waldo and Shea are preparing to release a new studio album as Alcatrazz with Doogie White on vocals.
The Waldo and Shea version of Alcatrazz is quite good, to be honest. The album, Take No Prisoners, starts off with the bone-crushing 'Little Viper'. Listeners get a taste of White’s tough and mean vocals, proving that he’s not one to mess with. The next track is the insanely catchy 'Don’t Get Mad…Get Even', which features vocals from heavy metal band Girlschool, has a killer guitar riff and pounding drums. 'Strangers' is the album’s “ballad” and it’s got a memorable chorus and a great melody.
Take No Prisoners is loaded with memorable choruses and shredding guitar solos. 'Power in Numbers' and 'Salute the Colours' are perfect examples of that, with the latter kicking butt with a screeching guitar intro. The album closes with the headbanging and fast-paced 'Bring on the Rawk'. Alcatrazz spelt “rock” wrong, but they don’t care because they can do whatever they want.
There’s definitely some serious Saxon vibes on Take No Prisoners. With tracks like 'Alcatrazz' and the previously mentioned 'Bring on the Rawk', it’s hard not to see the comparisons between the two groups. Also, Doogie’s vocals sound a lot like Biff Byford’s vocals, which isn’t a bad thing, for the most part. The raw production even resembles the early Saxon albums. But don’t worry, this album is no Saxon copycat. Instead it’s a mix of classic heavy metal with melodic power metal.
Overall, Take No Prisoners is a freaking good listening experience. The riffs are heavy, there’s loads of intense drumming, there’s shredding guitar solos, the songs are memorable, and again, White’s Biff Byford vocals are excellent. Is this album the greatest modern metal album ever made? No, but that doesn’t matter because the music is enjoyable. Take No Prisoners will be released on May 19, 2023 through Silver Lining Music.