FRENZY "Blind Justice"
Updated: Feb 11, 2019
Title: Blind Justice
Label: Underground Power Records
Release date: February 4, 2019
Format reviewed: high-rate mp3 promo
The comics of my childhood and early teen years were a bit different vis-à-vis nowadays virtual domination of visual arts, films in particular, with superheroes and villains lifted from the ever expending American comics industry or its Japanese manga counterpart. The heroes of my early comics didn’t have superpowers, but they were heroes nevertheless: the saber-toothed tiger and dinosaur fighter, prehistoric hero Rahan, the village of Gauls resisting the Roman Empire’s occupation, circa 50 BC, lead by Asterix et Obelix, or the Seven Years War's popular French hero Fanfan La Tulipe. Times have changed. Moving on …
The Madrileño heavy metallers FRENZY formed in 2015, and released their debut EP, “Lethal Protector”, the following year, in January 2016, receiving great feedback and praise from rock press and fans. Fronted by U.S. (Philly) born singer Anthony Stephen, FRENZY incorporates lyrics based on contemporary comics with their highly dynamic mix of traditional (NWOBHM) heavy metal and absolute shredding madness! Besides frontman Anthony Stephen, we find: Angel Muñoz “Choco” on bass, Victor Diaz and Luis Pinedo on guitars, and drummer David Ontanaya. In this formation FRENZY released its full-length debut, titled “Blind Justice”, on February 4th 2019, via German label Underground Power Records. And what an album this is! The self-confessed heavy metallers and comics enthusiasts, seamlessly bond lyrics based on comic books and graphic novels, such as: Daredevil, From Hell, The Killing Joke, Silver Surfer, X-Men, amongst others, with their infectiously authentic style of heavy metal, resulting in a perfect symbiosis between the elements, sure enough to please even the diehards of the urban culture typical of both worlds, metal and comics. The cover art and graphic work by Mike Mora (Heavy Metal Magazine) and Javier Pastor (Evil Rite) accompanying "Blind Justice", is clearly a reaffirmation to the songs' lyrics and overall attitude.
The eleven tracks on “Blind Justice” maintain a high level of dynamism from start to finish, with the instrumental, “Twilight of the Sapiens” guitar & bass interlude on the 5th position, giving the album two distinctive, yet equally fantastic sides. One of the accolades goes to the splendid guitar work: riffs, gallops, licks, and the stunning, truly inspired solos, Floyd Rose dives, and duels throughout the entire album. Playing incredibly well off of each other, Victor and Luis leave no dead space, making great use of effects and creating a spectacular array of tones and sounds, giving the album a distinctive quality. Due to the insanely clean engineering, mix, production and mastering, everything, and I stress, everything has its own sweet spot! Play this loud on a capable audio Hi-Fi system and you will be able to hear the depth, resonance and oomph of the guitars speakers’ cabinets! Choco, not only a virtuous bassist, with dexterity and aplomb, but also one of the main songwriters of the band, in addition to David’s precise and powerful drumming, making for one hell of a rhythm section, a perfect match for the layers of guitar. Anthony Stephens’ vocal delivery with a slightly throaty (when pushed), drier, yet very melodic falsetto quality, is in perfect consonance to the album’s instrumental side. Anthony’s ability to sing Don Dokken’s style vibrato at the end of verses, while reaching into a higher octave, or his Rob Rock like belting ability, when necessary, sum things up rather flawlessly. Important is to also mention the variety in compositions and song structures: from the 1980s Europe like vibe of “Save Me” to the Impellitteri like traits of “Velocity”, the Racer X shred affinities of “Waiting On Your Call” and “Shred Or Die”, or the Alcatrazz like pizzazz of the title song, “Blind Justice”, all of it justly packaged and delivered with utmost authenticity. (Music trivia: the instrumental intro on Racer X’s 1986 effort “Street Lethal” is titled “Frenzy”.)
FRENZY’s “Blind Justice”, an album in the vein of one of my favorite forms of metal, traditional heavy metal naturalness combined with power metal stamina and speed metal wizardry, with neoclassical metal and hard rock affiliations, is a powerful example of heavy metal’s evolution. One of the top tier albums of 2019.
A clever, superbly composed, recorded and produced album, FRENZY’s “Blind Justice” gives the listener an incredible surge, which I dare to compare to driving a car at 100 miles per hour into a brick wall, to walk away unhurt, pumped with adrenaline! Buy this now! 10/10
Underground Power Records
© 2019 by Emil Chiru