DEXTER WARD III
Band: DEXTER WARD
Label: No Remorse
Country: Greece (Athens)/Italy (Venice)
Release date: March 13, 2020
Format reviewed: (high-rate) mp3 promo
When the stars align … your band gets to debut its’ new album at one of the most respected European metal festivals! The band: DEXTER WARD, the album: “III“, and the festival: the XV edition of Up The Hammers taking place in Athens, Greece, between March 12-14, 2020. (A/N: without any doubt a headbanger’s “wet-dream” lineup: Toxik, Fifth Angel, Slough Feg, Riot City, Spitfire, Cryptic Sermon, Traveler, Vultures Vengeance, Smoulder, Atlantean Kodex, Sabire, Throne Of Iron, Achelous, amongst many others.)
DEXTER WARD formed in 2009 by guitarist Manolis "Barraza" Karazeris and Italian vocalist Marco Concoreggi (credited as Mark Dexter on DEXTER WARD releases), after exiting the Greek epic metallers BattleroaR. Their chemistry was immediately evident, perhaps in part due to Manolis and Marco spending nine years together in BattleroaR, being credited on the band’s demos and the initial three (critically acclaimed) full-length efforts. Bassist John Luna Tsimas, guitarist Akis Pastras and drummer Angelos Tsoukalas completing the initial lineup. In 2010 Angelos Tsoukalas was replaced by Stelios Darakis and in this formation DEXTER WARD went on to record a variety of material, including two full-length albums, securing a record deal with No Remorse Records. Since 2006 Manolis also organizes Up The Hammers annual fest in Athens.
Last year Mark Dexter, Barraza and the rest of the band recorded their third full-length effort simply titled “III”. … a kick-ass heavy metal album! What did you expect?!
Part NWOBHM, part (US) power metal: “III” has all the great attributes of what puts an album in the “epic heavy metal” category. While the band’s previous offerings all made for very good listening, the upcoming release is definitely their best output (to date). The collective musical experience of the band is undeniable: musically, the eight tracks on the album transition flawlessly from one another, keeping the listener absorbed within the fine compositional intricacies. Starting with the rhythmically charged “Return Of The Blades” and ending with the doom of “The Demonslayer” … culminating on a Latin chant coda. Properly melodic. All of it beautifully executed - this is an adventurous journey back to the glory days of Epic Metal! Glorious Epic Heavy Metal! All heroes! No fillers! … Hell: the third track on the album is appropriately titled “In The Days Of Epic Metal” … DEXTER WARD remaining unapologetically loyal to the epic realm!
Lyrically, the album remains deeply rooted into fantasy, where tracks evoke motifs centered on established mythical dramatis personae (Merlin, Conan The Barbarian, dragons, The White Knight). Combined with relevant melodies and arrangements, and supported by Mark Dexter’s apt vocal delivery, the eight assorted compositions are sure to captivate the genre’s enthusiasts’ attention.
The third chapter in the story of DEXTER WARD brings back the past of glorious sounds, that will speak straight to the heart of metal fans all over the world. The attitude, the spirit and the strength to realize and chase your dreams is part of heavy metal and DEXTER WARD will guide us to the road of enlightenment.
Highly recommended! 9/10
Connect with DEXTER WARD on Facebook.
Album's Bandcamp page.
No Remorse Records links:
© 2020 by Emil Chiru