flyctory.com

Alcatrazz – V

Alcatrazz - V

4.3

Rating

4.3/5

Flyctory.com Pros

  • Great metal songs with good lyrics
  • Nice variety of songs

Flyctory.com Cons

  • First half is significantly better than the second

Alcatrazz had a couple of break-ups and hiatuses during their song history. Since their founding in 1983, they were active for less than fifteen years. The more, fans of the band looked forward to 15th October 2021, when the band released a new album. The name V already suggests that it is their fifth album overall.

 

Alcatrazz – About The Artists

Alcatrazz is a US heavy metal band formed in Los Angeles in 1983. The band was an initiative by Graham Bonnet (vocals), who gathered Yngwie Malmsteen (guitars), Jimmy Waldo (keys), Gary Shea (bass) and Clive Burr (drums) as an initial lineup. For the latest reunion and their most recent album, Born Innocent (2020), Bonnet; Shea and Waldo were still in the band. For V, Bonnet has been replaced by Doogie White. Joe Stump is the current guitarist and Mark Benquechea is on the drums. The most successful Alcatrazz albums, however, were the first two ones, No Parole from Rock’n’Roll (1983) and Disturbing the Peace (1985).

 

Alcatrazz – V – Track by Track

The twelve song album lasts 62 minutes.

1. Guardian Angel

Full thrust, heavy metal afterburners fired: Guardian Angel starts with full force, smashing riffs and hammerings drums from the very beginning of the track. The chorus is melodic and even has a good sing-a-long potential. Just what it needs to make the headbanger in you feel some warmth in her/his heart.

2. Nightwatch

After the opener started powerful with full force, Nightwatch rather does the atmospheric way with darkish sounds and church bells. Okay, Alcatrazz cannot hold that mood for too long – the guitars feel like race horses in the start box of a race: they just want to go out and make things happen. No reason to run for your life – great lyrics, though.

The full moon is calling them back from the past
Watch as the shadows come alive
Their howling is heard through the mist of the dark
Beware or run for your life

3. Sword of Deliverance

In relation to the first two songs, Sword of Deliverance is rather in the mid-tempo range. However, Mark Benquechea does not have a boring day in this song as well. Great metal track, which is nicely focusing on the vocals by Graham Bonnet.

 

4. Turn of the Wheel

Time to check out the robustness of the drum heads and guitar strings again. The rhythmic and riff thrust is moved forward again, even though Turn of the Wheel has a nice contrast between rather speedy rhythms and slower parts. Good job!

5. Blackheart

Blackheart starts with a longer instrumental parts – and in order to ensure that the fans won’t be too bored in a show, they will have to shout some Heys towards the band. 5:18 minutes epic work. One of the songs I simply enjoy most to listen to. I like that marching sound of the track.

Here lies the Blackheart
One more lesson to learn
Insurrection, God’s protection
Now and evermore
Lead us from the gates of hell
Now’s the sacred hour
Revolution, man’s solution
Name the day and hour
We will tear the buildings down
Speak the truth to power

6. Grace of God

Either you listen to the lyrics of these songs – or you just enjoy the melody and hook of the tracks. In both cases, I feel there is a good chance you are in a comfort zone position. In Grace of God, Alcatrazz also gives Jimmy Waldo some more chances to present his skills. Very nice plot, great listen.

 

7. Return to Nevermore

After there have been four single releases in the first half of the album, there is not any in the second half. The first track of this section feels slower, a bit of majestic, dramatic. The instruments feel rather in the background, the focus is on the lyrics. Good one.

8. Target

After this slow-down, Alcatrazz does a quick and energetic one. Nice work on the keyboard. Just one more shot in the heart, but your target is missed – the song is definitely not a miss.

9. Maybe Tomorrow

Maybe Tomorrow welcomes you with a background choir, which you will meet again in the chorus. Sometimes an ooooh and an aaah are suffient… The song is a nice listen, even though it does not catch me as much as other tracks on the album.

10. House of Lies

You hear me scream from the top of the hill
Here comes a dead man walking
Ah, you hear me scream from the top of the hill
Here in the House of Lies
You hear me scream from the top of the hill
Here comes a dead man walking
Ah, you hear me scream from the top of the hill
Here in the House of Lies

House of Lies is one of the few songs in which the guitars feel to want to overpower Graham Bonnet on the microphone. They are not too wrong – the song is one of the weaker listens to me.

11. Alice’s Eyes

We are heading towards the end – Alice’s Eyes just feels to be the perfect opportunity for the instrumentalists to underline their talent. That’s what they do – and they do it well. Catching riff smasher.

12. Dark Day for My Soul

The closing track is a rock ballad, to which the guitars finally add quite some power. Nice way to close the album V

 

Alcatrazz – V – Spotify.

Here is V on Spotify:

 

Alcatrazz – V – My View

Unfortunately, it is hard to argue against that the second part of the album is weaker and thinner than the smashing first one. That does not turn V into an average or even bad listen – but it also shows that these guys could do even better than they actually did. They still make it to the Top Pick! ratings to me – but on the very lower level. There are just too many good things about this 2021 edition of Alcatrazz songs.

 

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