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SNAKEYES Metal Monster

By Alex Yarborough, Orlando Contributor
Saturday, December 23, 2017 @ 12:55 AM

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Metal Monster

2017 Independent Release

“Revolution in disguise, watch it with your own two eyes…” Metal Monster was one of the more pleasant surprises for me this year, an album by a phenomenal European power metal band making a go of it independently, called SNAKEYES. The band consists of guitarist Justi Bala (ex-SPINX), bassist José Pineda (CHEROKEE), drummer Carlos Delgado (ex-SPINX) and Romanian vocalist Cosmin Aionita (9.7 RICHTER). Metal Monster is the follow up release to their 2015 debut album, Ultimate Sin.

“Into The Unknown” is an appropriate opening track. The song conveys everything this band is about from the outset: high-tempo, melodic, catchy, crunchy power metal. “Evolution” begins with a tight riff from Bala and Pineda, and pummeling drums from Delgado. Bala enters the fray at the 30-second mark, describing the evolution of the earth. From here the album gets even better. “(Point Of) No Return” swells with a swagger, and builds toward the chorus with conviction. “Cyberkiller” is an amazing track, which chugs along and demonstrates SNAKEYES’ skill at the genre. The title track, “Metal Monster”, truly is a monster track, ranking up there with the best songs of the year. Watch the official video for the song on KNAC.COM right HERE. “Edge Of The World” is probably my favorite track on the album; this song is about war and incorporates several twists and turns, as well as blistering drum and guitar moments. “Sign Of Death” is an instant classic power metal anthem about the end of the human race played with the perfect amount of foreboding and tenacity. It has one of the best choruses on the album, and a lengthy solo from Bala. Pineda’s bass work here is excellent as well. There is a lyric video for this song on Youtube that is worth watching.

“Facing The Darkness” and “Your Own Shadow” are next, and both are perfectly fine tracks. “Circus Of Fools” is a standout track, but on an album of standout tracks, it may get lost in the shuffle. It is followed by the longest track, , at over eight minutes in length. After a short intro, the song gets rolling along with more marvelous riffs and a captivating chorus. The album ends with a sterling bonus track called “The Hunt”, originally from the band’s "Mask Of Reality" single.

Metal Monster is one of those consistently great albums, from beginning to end, that you stumble upon only once in a while. Keeping the tempo up and the pedal down, galvanizes SNAKEYES’ manifold success. Cosmin Aionita’s vocals are strong and distinctive, with enough mettle to make you take notice. Fans of PRIMAL FEAR, JUDAS PRIEST, IRON MAIDEN and HELLOWEEN are going to exalt this album, which contains 12 songs, at over an hour in length.

Metal Monster was recorded and produced by Pineda in his own studio. Honestly, this album sounds great – I cranked it up as loud as I could numerous times. The album cover, by Spanish artist Francisco Garcéz, is one of my favorites of the year. Thumbs up all the way for SNAKEYES –– get on the internet and check this band out!

5.0 Out Of 5.0

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