11/17/2014 - Review by: Eric Compton
Divebomb Records originates from Greensboro, NC, and specializes in obscure 80s and 90s releases. The label has an intriguing line of business called "Bootcamp Series" that releases limited edition pressings of rare albums and demos with enhanced artwork, bonus tracks, videos and biographies. This marketing strategy is comparable to what Sentinel Steel and Axe Killer were doing for a short while. The newest reissue treatment for the label is Germany's Superior.
Superior are best known for serving up progressive power metal entrees in the mid to late 90s. The group released "Behind" (1996), "Younique" (1998) and "Ultima Ratio" (2002) before disbanding in 2007. I remember them fondly in the 90s amongst a backdrop of progressive bands like Psychotic Waltz, Tad Morose and Conception. Thanks to Divebomb's "Bootcamp Series" we have one more Superior release to hear.
"Moral Alliance" was originally released as a demo cassette in 1989. The five song EP embodies what was happening in Germany at that time. Blind Guardian and Scanner were both two albums deep in '89 while veterans like Helloween were the established torch bearers for this brand of speedy precision. "Deadly Alliance" is a far cry from the progressive tendencies of the mid-90s Superior. This early edition of the band focuses on polished power metal played uber-fast like their fellow countrymen. Perhaps "Walls of Jericho" was the blueprint for "Far Way" and "Overlord", both tracks encompassing fast chord progression, speed picking and neo-classical styled solos. Mainstay front man Michael Tangermann utilizes his higher vocal range throughout the recording, similar to the "Kiske" ilk that was populating world-wide at the time.
The release includes the original five song EP plus eight live tracks of material that was never released. This "Deadly Alliance" package is enhanced with new artwork over a sixteen page booklet. Band provided photos, a short bio and an interview with Peter Sus are also additional assets built into the release. It all adds up to an incredible piece of history, a time capsule that showcases a band that were on the cusp of greatness. File "Deadly Alliance" with other "underground" German staples like Surgeon, Reactor and Embargo. That's good company to keep.
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