Hard Reviews 5
by Martin Popoff

Boetz Call To Arms
(Balls Out)

Ernest Robert Boetz (www.boetz.com) is an Atlanta guitarist stuck in the past, thank God. But that gets him in trouble as well. Some of this is just too raw, too dated, and all of it is flawed somehow by a bad rhythm section, or bad mix thereof. But songs like 'Shinin'' are a gorgeous cross between southern rock and AC/DC, and the guy's voice sounds like he means it as well. But to his credit, Boetz dips well into the blues, coming up Bad Company at times, which is always going to sound old and worn-out no matter what you do. Man, it's like so turned on and then turned off and then on again and I think the bottom line is if this guy came up with thirty songs, let ME pick the twelve to make the album, and then get it produced properly (this is noisy, too stiff then too loose, and frustratingly separated) he'd have a beer-drinkin' blues metal album worth his weight in bullets. Oh yeah, Lemmy guest vocals on opener 'Call To Arms'.
Rating 6

Warrior The Code Of Life
(Nuclear Blast)

This second comeback album for Joe Floyd's mid-metal mid-80s band should sidestep the lambasting '98's Ancient Future received. The album is thicker, more aggressive, and the vocalist is none other than Rob Rock (Impelliterri, M.A.R.S.), who takes the band to a new minor supergroup level. Floyd of course, turned into a respected producer with his Silver Cloud studio (Dickinson, Halford) and the sound here is crisp, a bit electronic but whomping loud at the bottom end as well, Warrior matching his twiddling with some doomy Pantera-esque riffs. And this, set against Rob Rock, makes Warrior a tough as nails power metal band, not so much reinventing the wheel, but nevertheless sounding er, efficient. Chances are taken, some working, some not (Open Your Eyes is brown like Priest bonus tracks), but all in all it's a viable cross between trad, power and a curious nod toward party metal.
Rating 6.5

Hard Reviews Page 6