REDSTACKS "Revival of the Fittest"
By Dr. Abner Mality
Before I became a blood-drinking extreme metal maniac in the 80's, I was a child of the 70's. raised on AM pop music, classic hard rock and FM radio AOR and prog. All of which fall under the heading of "classic rock". Punk, thrash and extreme metal was the necessary reaction to this more commercial form of music, but I think anybody who grew up in that era still loves classic rock to some degree.
Dutch band REDSTACKS tries to revive that time with "Revival of the Fittest". It's a charming attempt to create a "new" classic rock band that's faithful to the spirit of the greats. Five seconds after hearing first cut "Overture 1848", the word KANSAS popped into my head. This track has many of the trademarks of that legendary band, minus the violin. With that, we are on a sonic journey through the 70's FM radio lineup. "Jealousy" brings to mind RAINBOW after DIO's departure with its mix of crunchy riffing and keyboard melody. The fast and edgy sounding "Dreamworld Junkie" is like something URIAH HEEP might have done, while the heavy blues of "Mercy" has a GREAT WHITE feel.
You get the picture. Every track brings a 70's or early 80's great to mind. There are several vocalists at work here, including Laura from BURNING WITCHES and Jan Willem from AYREON, which keeps things constantly shifting. But the classic rock and AOR influences are constant. As the album rolled on, the pleasant nostalgia I first experienced begins to lift somewhat, as everything starts to sound like it's coming from a better than average cover band that is dabbling with originals for the first time. And that's pretty much what I think REDSTACKS really is.
I still have a warm glow for those long ago days, but the masters do it best. If you're a Frontiers Records fan or have overwhelming love for classic rock, REDSTACKS will be the answer to a prayer. But it will be back to pure, pulsating metal for me...