Maximum Metal Rating Legend
5 Excellent - Masterpiece. A classic.
4.5-4 Great - Almost perfect records but there's probably a lacking.
3.5 Good - Most of the record is good, but there may be some filler.
3 Average - Some good songs, some bad ones at about a half/half ratio.
2.5-2 Fair - Worth a listen, but best obtained by collectors.
1.5-1 Bad - Major problems with music, lyrics, production, etc.
0 Terrible - Waste of your life and time.

Note: Reviews are graded from 0-5, anything higher or not showing is from our old style. Scores, however, do not reveal the important features. The written review that accompanies the ratings is the best source of information regarding the music on our site. Reviewing is opinionated, not a qualitative science, so scores are personal to the reviewer and could reflect anything from being technically brilliant to gloriously cheesy fun.

Demos and independent releases get some slack since the bands are often spent broke supporting themselves and trying to improve. Major releases usually have big financial backing, so they may be judged by a heavier hand. All scores can be eventually adjusted up or down by comparison of subsequent releases by the same band. We attempt to keep biases out of reviews and be advocates of the consumer without the undo influence of any band, label, management, promoter, etc.

The best way to determine how much you may like certain music is to listen to it yourself.
Escape From Reality
12/30/2003 - Review by: Eric Compton
Duke - Escape From Reality 2003 Massacre Records

Track Listing

1. The Duke
2. Rolling Heads
3. Arrant Rascal
4. Illusions
5. Rising Child
6. Wild Horse
7. Friends
8. Black And White
9. Center Of Destruction Unknown
10. Remember My Name
Finally Scanner has returned!! Yes, I do realize Scanner put out a record recently, but that really isn't the same Scanner band. That one is just merely a shell of this band, which in my opinion is the REAL Scanner band. Are you confused? Let me help.

Scanner was originally formed in 1980 under the name Lion's Breed. Then the band became Scanner and released "Hypertrace", "Terminal Earth", "Mental Reservation", and the glorious "Ball Of The Damned". Scanner had their roots firmly planted in the "old" German sound of acts like Angel Dust, Helloween, and Reactor (the band even had SL Coe as their vocalist at one time). The band split in two after the release of "Ball Of The Damned", with half the band keeping the name Scanner and carrying on in a more modern-mainstream fashion, while vocalist Leszek "Haridon Lee" Szpigiel carried on with the other half of the band with new project Duke. Now, after securing a record deal with Massacre Records, Duke have finally released their debut album, "Escape From Reality".

This record is exactly what Scanner should sound like. This is the perfect follow-up to "Ball Of The Damned" and is even in line with the band's most populer work, "Mental Reservation". This new offering is very well brewed German ale, with strong melody, tons of double bass, fast riffing, and the extraordinary vocals of Mr. Szpigiel. This band doesn't quite get caught up in all of the Masters Of The Universe hoopla, sticking to a more unique metal sound but keeping the heavy elements that bands like Angel Dust, Tad Morose, and even Nevermore live by.

Opening song "The Duke" cracks like a whip, running from the gate in true traditional gallop. Other tracks like "Friends" and "Black And White" keep the same whiplash pace, while more groove-oriented cuts like "Arrant Rascal" and "Illusions" slow the race down a notch. Fans of Reactor will eat up "Center Of Destuction Unkown", while Crystal Eyes and Stratovarius fans will indulge in "Rising Child".

This album is as diverse as a Golden Corral buffet, with plenty of everything to offer those with different appetites. Modern and traditionalists should find plenty to like here. The production from Roland Grapow (Helloween, Masterplan) is excellent and Massacre has done a great job with the packaging and promotion for the band.

Of Note: Scanner was originally Lion's Breed. Former Angel Dust vocalist SL Coe sang on Scanner's "Terminal Earth" album. Scanner's vocalist Leszek Szpigiel once sang in a band called Crows with ex-Angel Dust drummer Dirk Assmuth. Dirk Assmuth's younger sister, Anja Assmuth is the current Duke drummer. Also former Scanner bass player John Smith went on to form Gallow's Pole, which featured ex-Scanner vocalist SL Coe doing backup vocals and helping with production. So there you have it, the Lion's Breed-Scanner-Duke-Crows-Angel Dust-Reactor-Gallow's Pole connection. Plenty of useless info for those drunken heavy metal trivia sessions.

--EC 12.24.03

Escape From Reality
Eric Compton12/30/2003


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