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Label: Fighter Records / Release date: 8th February 2024
In Vain’s Back to Nowhere is their sixth release, a first of their song sets for this metal fan. A fine rock n roll cocktail of power metal, speed, and thrash, a sonic assault. The power element is most prominent, weaving 80s style thrash in their song-writing. As a music fan who was a young lad in the 1980s, the group are serious students of the golden age of metal music.
The first two tracks were a false omen the song set was going to be a letdown. Thanks to the metal gods, the complete album is worth more spins. The third song on the set, “Force of Thunder” is a picture-perfect smash up of the furious pace of speed metal and power metal monster riffs. After the first listen, the best of the set. The moment when the album captured my attention was the opening riff of this beast of a song. Fans of classic video games, think super Nintendo, check out the band’s video.
“Metal Enlightenment” is pure power metal. The influences on this track, Blind Guardian, Manowar, and Helloween, jump out on the album’s first single. I envision the band’s videos in the mix on the greatest metal video showcase, the legendary “Headbanger’s Ball”. If only MTV had the guts to bring the show back. “Never Live Again” is up next, opens with a blistering speed intro, seamlessly transitions into a power metal maelstrom. Nice metal riffing on the track. Vocal harmonies, add depth. Hearing a hint of Judas Priest, Painkiller era. “Back to Nowhere” adds a heavy groove change up compared to the rest of the song set. The intro got my attention. Slick guitar work slips into a driving power metal sound. Scorching metal, this song deserves a few more listens, it’s sneaky good at first listen. “Dreaming Awake” opens with an amplified acoustic guitar solo piece, a nod to the classical Spanish guitar masters of the distant past, then erupts into a late 80s era Iron Maiden lost studio track. I envision the song-writing process influenced by a deep appreciation for the Powerslave album.
To all the metal maniacs around the world, if you haven’t heard Isaac Albeniz’ “Asturias” for solo guitar, it is a clear influence on all the heavy metal music that followed decades later. On musicianship the Spanish quartet earn high marks. Their technical proficiency is impressive. The drummer is a relentless skin pounding machine. Double bass drum fury throughout the song set.
If the first two tracks determined the grade, it would fall off a cliff. Song sequencing might help improve the overall score. After a couple listens to the entire album, Back to Nowhere is a solid album set to add to your metal library. https://invainmetal.com/