HardReviews 3
by Martin Popoff

Mercury Tide - Why?
(Century Media)

It's funny, the whole set-up of this thing spells sell-out or critical drubbing or other disasters on a monor scale, given perspective. But as much as the idea of Angel Dust's Dirk Thurisch doing Sentenced-style churn rock blows (Angel Dust - if you recall broke up, joining Immortal as bands bloody well loved and gone in untimely fashion), I find myself reaching for this punchy, unadorned, self-evident and honest (ironically so?) record fairly often, to the point where I'm actually beginning to learn it (egad!). The reason Why? doesn't have a hope of capturing Sentenced or Rapture or Daylight Dies in this dept., is that the production is quite featureless, not to mention the fact that you've got a power metal guy (albeit one of the best - and a growly one at that) at the helm. Then there's all that rule-breaking going on. Strange, but seductive, even though reports coming in are that most can't get past the ill-fitted genre-splicings of this minor supergroup (Tiamat and Flowing Tears guys are included), finding the whole thing schizophrenic and perhaps opportunistic.
Rating 7.5

Neil Turbin - Threatcon Delta
(Whiskey Sky/Metal Mayhem)

Neil Turbin is known for being the singer on Anthrax's first album, Fistful Of Metal and then threatening to unleash Threatcon Delta forever. There are notable flaws on this thing, from badly recorded and badly executed vocals through awkward syllable-stuffing phrasings, through demo quality recordings. Still, the guy's voice is pretty cool and old school, and less thrashy tracks like The Truth Is The Best Lie, Vigilante Justice and Wrecking Ball are surprisingly catchy, Turbin hair-banding comfortably between Paul Stanley and Dave Meniketti. Part of the problem, no doubt, stems from al the different recording sessions and guest players (21 of them, about a third mildly famous), but man, the openers blow - very bad sequencing, dude (start at track #5 and don't look back). Bloody 'ell though, Keep The Fire is an amazing traditional metal anthem, very NWOBHM with killer vocal melodies, drum track and guitar tones. The AC/DC cover is weak, but the Hendrix (Dolly Dagger) a good fit to the Y&T vibe of the thing. A bit rawer, shaggier and lower budget than I might have thought would occur after such a wait, but Turbin kinda pulls you in with his very hard party metal, a sound that is sort of a cross between GN'R, mid-speed Testament, Anthrax and hard southern rock, if that's even possible. Like I say though, big mistake sticking those crappy thrash tracks at the beginning.
Rating 7

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