GUTTER CREEK - “Gutter Creek”

By Dark Starr

While this gets a little technical at times, I think it lands more along the lines of bands like ACCEPT, AC/DC and SAXON a lot of the time. Throw in some SCORPIONS and JUDAS PRIEST, and you have a more complete picture. The bonus track is an unusual choice that works pretty well and brings something different to the table.

A meaty metal grind brings the album into being on "At Peace With Misery." It is a fierce stomper that has both JUDAS PRIEST and ACCEPT leanings in place. Those are the two that jump right out at me, but this has plenty of other things going on. "Never Back Down" is a mean metal monster. It's gritty, but also screaming hot. That ACCEPT thing seems more on track here. This thing gets pretty intense at times.

Some of the stuff in the background on the introduction to "No Slave Religion" almost feels fusion-like. The guitar soloing on the introduction is intense and technical. The song works out from there to something that feels more mainstream metal oriented. There is some real ferocity built into this thing. There is an acapella chorus at the end of the track.

More rock and roll based, "Hellryder" is still crunched up and definitely metallic. It makes me think of the old-time rock and roll medley on SCORPIONS' “Tokyo Tapes” album. Comparisons to AC/DC are valid, too. There are some definite hints of Southern rock at times, too. The instrumental section later really focuses on the rock and roll angle.

No molds are broken on "Slipping Through The Scars," but it is an effective metal screamer. It has some particularly strong guitar soloing. It's one of the most easily accessible things here. The riff that opens "Nomad" makes me think of QUEENSRŸCHE for some reason. This isn't a huge change from anything else here, but it just works so well. I think this is one of the highlights for me. It's just so meaty.

Hard rocking sounds like AC/DC merge with more pure metal elements on the screamer that bears the title "Serpent King." Its another that at times makes me think of ACCEPT. That said, there are some definite SCORPIONS vibes in some ways, too. Not a big change, the stomper that goes by the name "Mesmerized" works well. It's another that's perhaps a little catchier than some of the others here. The riff that leads "Silent Killers" out of the gate has some real rock and roll built into it. It is a screaming hot, fierce metal stomper. The guitar solo is one of the best of the set.

I mentioned a bonus track before. Well, it's a metal cover of the classic NEIL YOUNG song "Heart of Gold." Certainly, it doesn't come anything near to the original. That song is untouchable, but they really do make it their own, and it is cool.