Nima : With ’Back With A Vengeance’ and ’The Savage And The Grace’ Germany’s Masters Of Disguise have already released two incredibly strong albums full of beautiful 80s heavy/speeds metal in the vein of Savage Grace, Liege Lord, Griffin, Omen and similar acts. The band consisting of seasoned musicians (from a.o. Roxxcalibur, Viron, Trance etc.) made a highly strong impression with their powerful, catchy songs and excellent performance, and managed to fully recapture the atmosphere of the 80s, but without sounding dated or obsolete for even a second.
In the meantime vocalist Alexx Stahl has also conquered the microphone position in Bonfire, but despite the band busy live schedule of that band he has still managed to contribute to a new Masters Of Disguise album, which was released at the end of last month. I’m happy to say that ‘Alpha / Omega’ has not turned out to be a surprising album, and continues in the exact same style as its predecessors. As soon as after the intro the fantastic ‘Sacrifice’ blasts out of the speakers and Stahl opens his powerful throat, the band is immediately recognizable and the headbanging-frenzy can begin. This is a top-shelf speed metal smasher as we are used to from the gentlemen. On the following ‘Demons From The Past’ the headbanging can go into an even higher gear. With the title track, ‘Killer’s Redemption’, ‘Witchhammer’ and ‘The Leech’ the album has more of such high-speed killers. The riffs and solos are fired in your face mercilessly, and Stahl again proves to be one of the best vocalists today. What power this man’s voice has! Truly amazing. Don’t get me wrong though, because the songs do contain enough variety, and there is so much going on that you stay focused.
Besides the dominating speed metal smashers ‘Sign Of The Cross’ is a sturdy mid-tempo pounder that reminds me Vicious Rumors. The slower ‘Shadows Of Death’ that starts off ballad-like to gallop forwards afterwards is a good track as well, but does a lot less for me. Traditionally the album of course contains a tribute to Savage Grace and the infamous officer Knutson as well; ‘Knutson III: Nemesis (I Am The Law)’. This one is a very diverse track that has everything Masters Of Disguise characterizes and has a grim atmosphere. But despite that it doesn’t get through to me. The horror-like, almost-spoken pieces don’t come across to me, and I simply don’t like the female vocals at the end of the song (even though they are very limited). But anyway, that is nothing to be mournful about, because all in all ‘Alpha / Omega’ is a strong album and again a high-quality speed metal diamond. Along with the ten original compositions (pay attention) the cd-version also contains a great cover version of Exciter’s ‘Black Witch’, that fits incredibly well with the rest of the songs. In conclusion: a must for the fans of traditional heavy/speed metal.