By Bob Nalbandian

Goddog Of Prey
Rising Sun

Germany's Scapegoat provides intense pile-driving metal on their Rising Sun debut. [The band released one previous CD entitled "Purify" on the small German label Secoyah]. Tons of old-school metal influence displayed throughout this 10-song disc. Guitarist/vocalist Tosse Basler rips into some killer riffs and solos, coupled by a voice that is pure metal to the max! (I'm talking traditional power-metal vox, not cookie-monster shit). The opening guitar riff in the title track proves Basler is the master riff-meister! Heavy as all hell, this is one of the best metal riffs I've heard in years! The production is exceptionally raw (self-produced with Gerhard Magin), but in this case, it definitely works to the band's advantage. It brings back memories of classic metal, long before all this sampled bullshit came into play. Very reminiscent to the raw power of AC/DC's Let There Be Rock album, nothing candy-coated, nothing polished...this is straight-ahead metal in it's rawest, purest form.

With the exception of the relentless title track, the songs displayed on this disc are mediocre at best, withstanding a few stellar riffs here and there, like in the tracks "Until You Turn to Dust" and the closer, "Harvester of Death." It's apparent that Scapegoat seems a bit green in many aspects, sounding like a glorified garage band at times, but the their intense energy and in-your-face approach almost makes up for their lack of songwriting skills and sloppiness.

Scapegoat harkens the metallic integrity of the NWOBHM era, when it was all about devotion, attitude, raw energy and intense music, and had little to do with image, fashion and high-budget recordings. Give 'em a few more years, this power-trio may certainly reign supreme amongst the metal community. It's apparent on "Goddog of Prey" that Scapegoat has the hunger and drive to deliver the goods, and with more songwriting experience, there is no question that this band will make their mark.

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