SORROGATE - Spinalonga

Sorrogate - Spinalonga

10 songs
45:30 minutes
***** ***


Do you even feel like living in a novel? Or do you remember Stephen King's classical short story Sometimes They Come Back? That's exactly how I was feeling when I received this first full length album from Sorrogate from Schweinfurt, Germany. How can one have a deja-vu when we are talking about a debut? Well, Sorrogate are not the busiest heavy metal musicians in Germany, or probably Schweinfurt too, so it happens that exactly ten years ago I was treated with their debut EP which didn't get such a rave review in DisAgreement, which was still on analogue paper back then. And a good thing that Sorrogate quote that review on their website, because I wouldn't know where to look for these old fanzines.

After another EP in 1999, they are finally back with a first full length album, and I have to admit that I was really looking forward to it. I mean, a band that keeps its address book for ten years has to be something special. If ten years ago, I dared to call them old-fashioned, this very same expression means something much more positive today. Named after a leper colony on the Greek island Crete, Spinalonga comes with nine charming old school melodic thrash metal songs that would have made a good figure on any late Eighties German thrash metal album. With Frank Schölch, they even have an occasional Vendetta guitarist in their ranks, which makes for even more credibility.

What works best on this album is the sheer honesty with which Sorrogate play their songs. And even if at first not too much sticks, Spinalonga is an album that takes some time to get acquainted too. The opener Traitor is a straight thrash'n'roll song. My personal favourite Rape Me starts like Judas Priest's Breaking The Law before delivering an epic chorus, and late in that very same song you get an astounding Bach piece played on electric guitars, making you wonder why most of the other songs sound so basic compared to that virtuosic moment.

Sorrogate probably don't want to make a living with their music anymore, and it's that attitude which allows them this easygoing approach to their music. It's simple thrash metal that conveys the fun these people must have had recording the album. It's hardly original, the vocals are even slightly grating, and covering AC/DC Whola Lotta Rosie isn't the most innovative move, but hey, the album is just very good fun, and if you are tired of all the self-important metal bands that are sprouting like mushrooms after a rain, then Spinalonga would be a nice change.

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