“Under the waning moon, beneath the darkest star filled skies
Forever damned to ride, forever ride the night“…
..Sang Tony Taylor (R.I.P. – forever you’ll be missed), back in 2001 and the memory of purchasing this album is still vivid in my mind. It was a weird time back then, full of frustratrion and turmoil in the deep underground. Mainstreem metal sucked and those of us who craved for classic heavy/power metal had found a crest of treasures in the back catalogue of companies like R.I.P. Records or Miscatonic Foundation. Early OCTOBER 31, SLOUGH FEG, COLD MOURNING where hot shots back then and among them a band from Virginia that played “Triumphing true metal”, and that band would be TWISTED TOWER DIRE.
Second album this one and it marks a shift in the music from the doom notoriety of their debut (“The epic war never ends”!!!) into a brighter, more melodic sound focused in guitar harmonies and a more IRON MAIDEN/JUDAS PRIEST approach. Songs become shorter with razor sharp riffs and a solid rhythum section. No place for jamming here, and everything seems to be in order: verse-bridge-chorus. The epic/triumphing atmosphere is still there, yet it seems that the darkness that steamed from their first album has expired.
“Isle of the Hydra” is a solid U.S. heavy/power metal album and a indisputable mark of TTD superiority. And this new version with an alternate mix and re-mastered makes it more powerfull than ever. Bass is prominent, guitars are edgier and the vocals of the late Tony Taylor are bell sounding clear.
It would take so many pages if I start raving about the songwriting quality, however I feel that it would be pointless. This album stood the test of time and today stands as a milestone of True Heavy Metal, flawless, impeccable in its prime, performed as it should be, showing no remorse. Each and every song is a highlight on its own, yet should I had to pick a couple, I would say the title track, “Dagger’s blade“, “Ride the night” and of course the hymn “Final stand” (one of the best songs of the decade).
For each and every one of you who didn’t have the chance of catching up this one, this is the time to make amends: Don’t miss it, for maybe you won’t have another chance.
This small text of gratitude is dedicated to the late Tony Taylor (1967 – 2010)
“Die! Or surrender, there’s
a line drawn in the sand
When it’s time to run or die,
make your Final Stand”
Check the discussion about the album in our forum pages.