The name’s a bit of a giveaway, isn’t it? SnakeyeS return with another helping of middle-of-the-road, no-frills heavy metal. However, this doesn’t mean it’s lacking a wide range of influences or sounds, not at all. SnakeyeS recognise that the world of metal is a big one and pull in plenty of tones, riffs and rhythms to create an impressive second album.
“(Point Of) No Return”, for instance, nails the jagged edge rhythm guitar sound of Sodom but uses it in a track much slower than most played by the Germanic thrash titans. Instead, you have a rousing stadium chorus that Priest would be proud of. “Cyberkiller” throws the obligatory techno sounds into a fast-paced number, with some (very) vague industrial trappings. Definitely more a choppy Maiden than Fear Factory, it’s more the subject matter that ties it to Burton and friends (or Megadeth’s “Psychotron”) but, hey, every metal band should do at least one song about a Terminator. In fact, it’s possible that they all have.
Influences and subject matter aside, what we have here is another solid release. The production and overall tone is definitely different from previous outing Ultimate Sin which we reviewed a couple of years back, something you’d expect from a band still in the early stages of its recording history. Overall I’d say that Metal Monster is slightly less melodic and a tad heavier. The sound can be a little overwhelming at times where Ultimate Sin was a lot cleaner and – in places – a little “empty”. I’d also say that on the whole the new album is a step up in pace and “in your face”-ness.
And that’s as it should be. There’s no point in releasing the same kind of material album after album and not experimenting. SnakeyeS have nailed it with Metal Monster, and I definitely prefer it to Ultimate Sin… which I thoroughly enjoyed at the time.
If you like classic heavy metal (NWOBHM and the ilk) then this should definitely be on your shortlist.