Band: Booze Control
Album: The Lizard Rider
Genre: Heavy Metal
Label: Infernö Records
There are all kinds of oddities to be found in the world of heavy metal. Some of them surround the lugubrious themes explored by the songwriters, others pertain to fantastically over-the-top album covers, and others simply boil down to band names with indecipherable meanings. And with this third release from German heavy metal band Booze Control, we find all of those nicely wrapped up into a single package. If it wasn’t enough to have a band name that could double as slang for an alcoholic rehabilitation programme, we also have an album cover depicting a woman shooting zombies with an automatic weapon whilst riding a mammoth iguana. And with song titles like “The Wizard”, “Rats in the Walls”, and “Vile Temptress”, well, I think you can check off all three categories quite easily.
But enough with the superficialities. Booze Control are a band who borrow heavily from the classics but with a bit more polished and melodic sound. The first and most obvious comparison would be to Iron Maiden with their fast and high lead fills and also their vocalist’s penchant for singing lines that sound like a lot of the Dickinson-era hits. But given that at least half of all heavy metal bands could be compared to Maiden, I should try to find something a bit more recent and perhaps a bit more on target. Booze Control have a knack for writing really killer, really catchy opening riffs and in this regard, they remind me a lot of Wolf. And even though the album as a whole isn’t as quite as consistent as Evil Star, that vibe is strong enough in here in enough of the tracks that I think it’s a solid comparison.
To get an idea of what I mean by killer, catchy riffs, you need only listen to “Vera” which is perhaps the album’s strongest highlight track. The riff is crafted perfectly with equal parts variety and drive, but with enough predictability that you can hardly help but move with each strike of the snare. And though “Vera” may be the best example of this, most of the songs on the second half have this same trait. The thing which separates “Vera” from most of the others is that the entire song is spliced together with this infectious theme yet somehow without being repetitive or boring. A lot of the other songs start off well enough, but don’t manage to keep your interest all the way through.
The album closes with a fantastic track, the aptly named “Exciter”, which plays like a tribute to the Metal Gods themselves, specifically Mr Halford in particular, whose voice was certainly a great inspiration to this composition (if not the sole one). Of all the old school heavy metal albums I’ve heard this year, this one has perhaps some of the greatest moments of them all. It is only a lack of consistency that keeps this release from being near the top. But even then, it is a very worthwhile release, and if you love heavy metal for any of the aforementioned reasons, you’re going to find something to love about this album. Guaranteed.
Check ’em out here: https://boozecontrol.bandcamp.com/releases