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  ALPHA TIGER
'iDentity'
(Steamhammer/SPV)
Release Date: 19th January 2015


Ian Sutherland

ian sutherland



alpha tiger

German five piece Alpha Tiger are one of a slew of younger bands who have taken traditional old school Metal as their inspiration.

Not worrying about the post thrash splintering of the Metal scene into a jumble of sub-genres they have looked to the early 80s and the sound of bands like Riot and Queensryche and made that their starting point. With this, their third full length album release they are trying to give old school Metal a new lease of life for a new generation.

'iDentity' is a very mature sounding album. It is well produced with the band's strong melodic vibe dominating the sound; it's hard hitting Metal but with huge amounts of melody in the vocals and twin lead guitar work. You don't need to read the band's bio to understand that early Queensryche is a big influence on them. Songs like 'Lady Liberty' and 'Scripted Reality' are reminiscent of that band's 'Queen Of The Reich' days, not least because of vocalist Stephan Dietrich's Tate-like wail.

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The technical Metal theme continues on the album's title track with some superb complex guitarwork from Peter Langforth and Alexander Backasch dominating the song. 'We Won't Take it Any More' tries to add a chantalong chorus to the synchronised riffing and complex, building rhythm with mixed results as the song feels uneven despite having some really interesting ideas.

'Closer Than Yesterday' is a more straightforward take on melodic metal. It's almost a ballad mixing quiet keyboard led sections with more powerful chorus sections but ultimately feels like a strange mix of styles. It's more successful however than the rockier 'Shut Up & Think' which has loads of ideas too but still sounds like a bit of a throwaway album filler where a really terrific guitar solo is wasted.

alpha tiger

An album by a band with these kind of influences has of course to end with something epic and Alpha Tiger don't disappoint. 'This World Will Burn' is full of different vibes, changes of tempo and soaring melodic vocals juxtaposed against twin lead guitar or quieter acoustic sections. Importantly the song writing allows it all to hang together comfortably so it works pretty well and this time the great guitar soloing isn't wasted but framed beautifully. It's a shame that it limps to an end rather than come to some kind of climax though.

I think Alpha Tiger might be on to something here, if this kind of old school technical melodic Metal is out there being played by guys well short of their 50s it may well find a whole new audience. By choosing 'iDentity' as a title they leave themselves open to criticism as they wear some of their influences so openly in their music but I think there is enough individuality here to show a lot of promise.

They know where they want to go, the playing is first rate(especially the guitarwork) and the song writing in places is pretty damn good. Whether you are from the old school like me or younger and looking for a different melodic Metal vibe 'iDentity' is an album worth checking out.

Line up:
Peter Langforth – guitars
Stephan Dietrich – vocals
Alexander Backasch – guitars
Dirk Frei – bass
David Schleif - drums

Online:
http://www.alphatiger.de/
https://www.facebook.com/AlphaTigerBand




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