OUT OF THE LAIR - Psychotears

Out Of The Lair - Psychotears

9 songs
38:01 minutes
***** ****


When bands describe themselves as heavy metal, these days they mean too often this gooey kind of melodic progressive power metal, with exaggerated production values, cotton candy keyboards and a vocalist who sounds like a chick and is even proud of it. That's why I had my doubts after reading the infosheet of Greek heavy metal band Out Of The Lair, because everything about them (band name, cover artwork, song titles) hinted in that direction. But imagine my surprise when the half-minute feedback intro Intronoise-X cleaned my ears with hypersonic soundwaves that were anything but an opening for a majestic metal album.

Then the regular opener Flying Surf shows that Out Of The Lair do play heavy metal, but the kind we liked to listen to in the late Eighties, combining the raw ingredients of American speed metal (Helstar), power metal (early Manowar), NWOBHM (Iron Maiden) and even some thrash metal parts. All of this works as a homogenous entity, and it's especially the three first songs (meaning also G.O.D. and Nosferatu) that made me feel fifteen years young again.

The band adheres strictly to their upbeat speed metal with high yet powerful vocals, and even if in the middle of the album they lose a bit steam, the album ends with two more devastating tracks, Psychotears and Out Of The Lair, funnily enough the one titled after the album and the other after the band.

Out Of The Lair from Thessaloniki were founded in 1995, and apart from having a couple of songs on a video game soundtrack, Psychotears is their first regular album, self-released last year and now licensed by a French independent label. If you like dual guitar harmonics, fast and tight rhythm sections and a vocalist who can scream in the highest ranges (a bit like a young Kai Hansen sometimes), then Psychotears is a mandatory trip into heavy metal's glorious past... even though the journey could have been a bit longer. In the end, quality is more important than quantity, and that's what we're getting here!

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