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 Avenger - The Slaughter Never Stops (2014) Album Review

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Avenger - The Slaughter Never Stops (2014) Album Review The_sl10

Avenger - The Slaughter Never Stops (2014)
Rocksector Records
Running Time - 45:02


When it was announced in May 2014 that Rocksector Records had signed UK Classic Metal/NWOBHM band Avenger and that the band would be releasing their first album thirty years after the debut I was a very happy man. Hailing from Newcastle Upon Tyne and formed in 1982, after the breakup of Blitzkrieg, Avenger were another of the many bands from that time who had pedigree but simply didn't get all the breaks they deserved. I still have their debut album 'Blood Sports' (1984) on vinyl and a great release it is. After having their back catalogue re-released in 2003 Avenger returned in 2005 and have been treading the boards at gigs and festivals all over Europe. I didn't bother waiting for a promo copy, I immediately pre-ordered the limited edition Fan Pack of the album and that is what I am reviewing here!

'The Slaughter Never Stops' is a rip roaring ride of a metal beast and quite possibly the best Avenger have ever sounded. If you ever wondered what a hybrid of the Paul Di'Anno and Bruce Dickinson versions of Iron Maiden would sound like then Avenger are your band. This album is very reminiscent of the first two Maiden albums but excellent vocalist Ian Swift not only possesses the punky, snarling attitude of Di'Anno but also the high end of Dickinson and he blends the two styles brilliantly. You'll hear other influences as well of course. Raven, Blitzkrieg, Priest, Saxon, Satan, Tank and a little bit of early Samson are all present and correct but overall this is without doubt an Avenger album!

After the atmospheric, short intro 'Mace Imperial' fades the battering anvil of 'Race Against Time' thumps you hard and the first thing I noticed was the very tight drumming of Gary Young. He is absolutely the foundation upon which the rest of the band look to and along with bassist Ian 'Fuzz' Fulton presents a thunderous rhythm partnership. Along with the superb guitar work of both Liam Thompson and Sean Jeffries, which includes plenty of harmony soloing that Dave Murray and Adrian Smith or K.K. Downing and Glenn Tipton would be proud of 'The Slaughter Never Stops' is full to brimming with excellent songs that are just pure Heavy Metal. Listen to the mid album trio of 'Into The Nexus', 'Decimated' or the brilliant 'In Arcadia Go' for proof of that! Anyone looking for an even closer Maiden comparison will be happy because Avenger even treat us to the best cover version of 'Killers' that I've heard. It's pin-point accurate and Swift's vocals are perfect! Praise must also be given to the beautifully clean and heavy, but not overly modern production. Dean Thompson has mixed and engineered the album wonderfully and lets the musicianship and tightness of the band shine through. Avenger don't need to use any studio tricks because they are more than capable of letting their hands, feet and songs do the talking!

'The Slaughter Never Stops' is a wonderful comeback album from a band that thoroughly deserve another stab at this music lark. This isn't just a trip down memory lane, it's also very much relevant in 2015 and with appearances at NWOBHM Festival 'Brofest (UK)' at the end of February and SOS Festival in July (which I will be attending) they are aiming to make this year a big one! Welcome back Avenger!

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Review written exclusively for Brutiful Entertainment by Rick Tilley:

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