8/4/2003 - Review by: Eric Compton
Johnny Lokke - Wrecking Ball 2003 Big Riff Records reviewed by: EC
Wrecking Ball is Lokke's second album, and finds him doing vocals as well as all guitars on this release. What an amazing talent from this Kansas metal madman!
This album really comes at you in different angles and directions. These days metal fans seem to think its okay to rip-off "Painkiller" riffs and wail like the Metal God (Primal Fear, Seven Witches, etc), and I'm perfectly fine with that. That is if they can mix the album up with some mid-tempo stuff and melodic hooks and passages. Johnny Lokke does this, and indeed does it well.
Sure there is Priest barn-burners on here, like "Lightning And Fire", "War", and the impressive title track "Wrecking Ball". However this record has other great elements to go along with it, such as the Warrior like "Eyes Of The Gods", the bluesy number "Down To London", and the Winter's Bane bite of "In The End".
"Human Race" has a Metal Gods feel, with an epic solo courtesy of guest guitarist Stefan Leibing, who helps out on "Down To London" as well. Check out the thrashy "Burn" and the memorable songwriting of "See You Around" to see the diversity and overall "stand alone" quality this album possesses. Really great stuff on here folks!
I haven't heard the prior Lokke release, but from what "Wrecking Ball" has to offer I can imagine its nothing short of brilliant. Great American releases like this make me proud of the US metal scene. It seems like America's heartland still has the metal passion (Iced Earth, Catch 22, Conquest, Skullview, Twelfth Gate, etc.). Now if we can just get the label execs to recognize it.
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