When I first head DEXTER WARD’s first album I would never have guessed that the band would eventually release an album like “III”. Not because “Neon Lights” was a bad album, but because their direct metal approach seemed to lead them into paths away from the BATTLEROAR days (founding members of DEXTER WARD were longtime members of BATTLEROAR). However it seems that the relentless waves of creativity lead the band back to familiar shores. And there “III” was forged.
Without forgetting their classic metal themes, DEXTER WARD seem to dwell even deeper into the epic sound. This means that songs are more complex, longer with distinctive anthemic choruses and an ominous atmosphere. Songs like “The Demonslayer” or “The Eyes of Merlin” are typical examples of the mentioned dark and epic approaching, while stuff like “Soldiers of the Light” or “Return of the blades” have a straighter metal vibe. However, every song maintains the epic / medieval / fantasy aesthetic of the album, something which I found very intriguing.
As for the music, the band develops on the formula which was introduced in their early days: Keen songwriting with sharp riffs and memorable choruses. The work of the two guitarists, is substantial, especially when the drive their songs towards an anthemic climax. The band’s style is imbued with the very essence of 90’s heavy / epic underground metal: DOOMSWORD, TWISTED TOWER DIRE, HOLY MARTYR, BATTLEROAR, SOLEMNITY etc. Of course they do not forget their classic metal roots: BLITZKRIEG, JAG PANZER, MANILLA ROAD and OMEN.
The sound is crystal clear, and the cover work reminded me of cult nasties that are long lost in oblivion.
Above all, “III” is a well-played, hard, heavy and loud record that will satisfy the demanding listener. Should you buy the album you will not regret it.
Second opinion: To my ears this is an excellent album, and I got to point that the strongest feature of this band remain their ability to combine their creative dedication to US Metal with their European Metal influences. There are not many bands around able to do this, believe me. Also I can assure you that this is the best album that Mark “Dexter” have recorded vocal-wise. He sings like there is no tomorrow: with heart, soul and steel. Go out and buy this record now. (Chris Papadakis)
Join the album discussion on the forum: here.
Listen “Reign of the White Knight”, one more track from the album on our radio show: