Reverend Hound – Deal in Steel Review

Sometimes a promo cover or title compels me to take a chance and grab it though I know nothing about the band. Such was the case when I spotted Reverend Hound bobbing about in the sump. With a name like that, art like that, and a title like Deal in Steel, how could I move on without fully investigating the pedigree of this altered beasty? These little-known German mongrels play a style of metal that owes a great debt to Accept, Grave Digger, and Primal Fear, and on their third album, they aim for a slick, ear-cropping blend of classic Germanic metal, NWoBHM, and aggressive speed. This means fist-pumping riffs, wailing vocals, and arena-ready choruses. That should sound like a good time and if it doesn’t, you’re too grim and serious for fun so get the fuck off the pooch porch. Now, let’s examine how much dog poundage we’re dealing with.

These puppers come out swinging the krautpower on opener “The Night” with oodles of chunky, punchy riffage and many an Accept-ism powering the war charge along with tasty bits of old school power metal. As the guitars sizzle and derange your blood pressure, the feisty vocals of Wolfgang1 Gräbner bring the black leather and glittering steel as he wails and kills, swinging from Udo to Halford with several stops in between. It’s a muscular, take-no-prisoners song loaded with commanding leads, classic harmonies, “Painkiller”-esque dueling solos, and a chorus that’s big and beefy. “Hounds of the Sea” is more of the same and highly entertaining, dotting classic Iron Maiden harmonies around its 7-minute saga. It’s a bit too long, but the writing is consistently sharp and hooks are everywhere. The high point arrives with “Days of Wrath” where the dogs are really let out. It’s the kind of tune you just can’t get enough of and I’ve had this thing on replay for days. The guitar work is so tight and intense, the vocals are so right, and that chorus is a brain-eating ear destroyer. Bad. Ass.

Elsewhere, “Glory” drops the titular commodity in truckloads with a shield splintering style more in line with 80 trve/epic metal than typical Teutonic fare and it works bigly and muchly. The touches of Maiden are the iron croutons on the Manowar t-bone, and the whole song reeks of Conan’s unwashed loinclothery. “Seeds of Faith” demands that you endure an 8-plus minute classic metal epic full of big riffs and powerhouse vocals, and endure it you will because its thrashy, Artillery-esque energy and magnetism are so electric and addicting. If this came out in the 80s, I would have blasted it non-stop until my cassette tape died an unnatural death. Things close with another 8-minute monster called “A Cry for Light” and it delivers a satisfyingly ginormous parting shot, loaded with heroic fret-board work and do-or-die vocals with scads of Brainstorm influence. There are no bad songs here, but a few like “Rain” and “Fallen Angels” hit just a bit less heavily, though the speed metal onslaught of the former is certainly enjoyable. The occasional bloat that worms into certain tracks is not dire and the writing is hook-centric enough to endure it, but you could definitely hack a minute off “Hounds of the Sea” and “Seeds of Faith.” At just under 52 minutes, Deal in Steel doesn’t feel overly long since the songs exude enough wattage and intensity to keep the listener locked in throughout.

I’m quite impressed with Wolfgang Gräbner’s vocals. He’s heavily accented but his delivery is righteous in a rough, slightly unpolished way. The man can roar and enjoys doing so, but never gets to the point where you want to wap him in the nose with a rolled-up newspaper. When he croons on slower moments he sounds a lot like Accept’s Mark Tornillo, but once he goes off the rails he lands somewhere between Paul Di’Anno and Diviner’s Yiannis Papanikolaou, which is a good place to crash. Thomas Meyns and Sebastian Weinstock really go all in with tons of adrenalizing riffage and slick harmonizing. When they aren’t peeling your eyelids off with big riffs they bring you all the Maiden-esque moments you could want. It’s the guitar work that really sells the material and keeps you glued to your speakers from one song to the next. They know how to tear it up in the classic metal way and they have me eating out of their hands on every spin.

It’s always a blast to try an unknown band and get your melon splintered by badass tuneage, and my melon needs stitching because these dogs can hunt! If you want your traditional metal served with a big shot of roids and an overbite, this is the kennel for you. When you Deal in Steel, you best bring your iron game. These rabid woofers sure as Hell did. Good boys!

Rating: 3.5/5.0
DR: 7 | Format Reviewed: 320 kbps mp3
Label: Metalizer
Websites: |
Releases Worldwide: May 24th, 2024

The post Reverend Hound – Deal in Steel Review appeared first on Angry Metal Guy.

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