Formed back in the 1980s when metal was at its coolest, the band released a demo entitled “If It’s Too Loud, You’re Too Old”. It’s great to see that thirty four years later they still don’t judge themselves too old. You Are Next is definitely an album to be played loud. Drawing from many metal sub-genres, I’d say the overriding one is power metal, but there’s a ton of variety across the ten songs crammed on here.
Take “Souls Breathe”, for example. The lead vocals are very much traditional/power, but there are some evil harsh backing vocals and towards the end there’s a short section which blasts out into death metal territory (guest vocals courtesy of Marloes “Izegrim” Voskuil). It’s not all speed and aggression, either. “Unborn Evil” has a rhythm designed to pound and encourage heads to slam back and forth. This is a pure heavy metal song, probably closer in style to something like Judas Priest. It has the same kind of attitude as “Monsters of Rock” or Megadeth’s “Dawn Patrol”. Though there may be some little widdles with the guitar from time to time, it’s a slow, ponderous crusher of a track.
Vocalist Rop van Haren channels Peter Steele at the start of another heavy number, “Crawl”. While his style settles down a little once the song proper begins, it shows that the band have a multitude of influences and they’re happy to dig into any and all of them. “Inch By Inch”, for instance, has a title that could be on any Whitesnake or KISS album of the day although the tone is a little heavier than either of those bands are famous for. It has an interesting solo and use of the guitar in it – something fairly original.
Something more up-tempo is “In The End”. Still a crusher, but with a faster beat and twin vocals which mirror each other – clean and harsh/thrashy. It’s quite the varied track and my pick from the album with the closer “Don’t Need Your Money” with its really fast beat just behind.
You Are Next is well worth a listen if you’re into the classic metal side of things. With handfuls plucked from so many of the genres that have expanded from this core, there really is something for everyone.