What is this? Is it the newest sensation from Sweden, a newly founded band that combines some classic neoclassical influences like early MALMSTEEN, MICHAEL SCHENKER, and STEELER with some of the elite obscurities of European metal like HEAVY LOAD or GOTHAM CITY? Could be if GREYHAWK would not emerge from the United States!
Yes, it is amazing how GREYHAWK manage to sound so European! The newest addiction to the already impressive roster of Fighter Records is a relatively new US band that aspires to become one of the quintessential acts of the new American epic scene. Yet instead of seeking inspiration from the US stuff, GREYHAWK travel towards the northern European lands seeking balance between Heavy Metal and Hard Rock.
Both the band’s style, music and playability reminded me of early 80s Hard Rock / Heavy Metal acts with a premature epic feeling that creates a nostalgic, dreamy atmosphere. Fast tempos, soaring leads and a touch of neoclassical themes that blend perfectly are some of the features that create a tasteful album. The rockish vibes should be sought into the late 70’s and early 80’s and bands like SCORPIONS or MICHAEL SCHENKER GROUP while the Metal elements are drawn from bands like early PRETTY MAIDS, HEAVY LOAD, MALMSTEEN etc.
Songs like “Frozen Hammer”, “Don’t Wait for the Wizard” or “Black Peak” are typical combinations of the best features from both worlds: Hard Rock and Heavy Metal, USA and Europe! On some other tunes like “Halls of insanity”, “Masters of the Sky” or on the title track, the listener can discover even more catchy melodies and memorable choruses. There are even some Power Metal influences appearing here and there, like on the “Ophidian Throne” track for example, however I must point that such influences do not dominate the album.
As for the performing I should mention that the guitar work is masterful. There is a virtuoso essence in the leads without being tiring and the riffing is straight to the point.
However, I genuinely believe that there should be more work in the vocals. While there is an obvious VISIGOTH influence in here, at some point the vocals are not really fitting perfectly to the music, at least not in every song. For example, the vocals at the “The Rising Sign” track seem to be out of place, and at times I wished for a more high-pitched singer. However those weak vocal moments are just shaping a minor disturbance in an overall great album. Well I will put it simply: GREYHAWAK managed to compose and perform some flawless tunes, especially the title track which is a stunning highlight.
There is a bright future for this band I should say. If they continue the hard work on their inspired material, I am sure that they will provide us with even greater music in the not so distant future.
Check the discussion about the album on our forum pages.