Every year there's at least one hot and hungry rock band that swaggers onto the scene with their guitars slung low and their attitude held high, just begging to be knighted as the saviors of rock'n'roll. Current contenders The Treatment fit snugly into this category; the British five-piece spills buckets full of loud power chords, ladles on hooky melodies that recall the harder side of Def Leppard and have in singer Matt Jones a pliant, made-for-rockin' voice that alternately brings singers like Joe Elliot, Steven Tyler and on "Just Tell Me Why" Black Crowes vocalist Chris Robinson to mind. These rock gods in waiting are currently on tour with birds of a feather Motley Crue and KISS.
Saint Diablo is a Virginia-based band that pounds all sorts of heaviness into their hardcore and thrash-influenced take on metal. Every song bangs hard in places if not all the way through but singer Tito Quinones also is capable with his vocal work of smoothing things out to make cuts a little more palatable for mass radio airplay, as he demonstrates on "Artistic Prostitutes," a candid commentary on the anything-for-cash side of the music business. Late GWAR guitarist Cory Smoot ("Flattus Maximus") guests on "The Monster's Real;" also notable is an included second version of single "Watch Me Kill" with Quinones singing in Spanish.
Heart Tamer begins with an eerie instrumental piece called "MMXII," a brief indicator that what is to follow is beyond formulaic. Indeed this Hungarian band plays an interesting amalgam of prog metal with songs like "My Spring, My Storm" including violin parts and souped-up Classical melodies to end up sounding like what latter-day Metallica might have sounded like if they had grown up in Budapest. Six Feet Under guitarist Attila Voros adds hot solos throughout and Chris Broderick of Megadeth guests on "Two Worlds and I."
Kadaver opens the record with "All Our Thoughts," a tune that demonstrates a mindset in lockstep with early Black Sabbath as it pays homage to "Paranoid." There's nothing coincidental about kicking off the set with a little Sabbath-love; Kadaver is proud to honor the NWOBHM kings throughout, although not always so flagrantly, while also spiking their stoner rock with liberal doses of psych. A very impressive debut from this Berlin-based outfit.