F U L L . R E V I E W S


Attacker - The Unknown - 2006 - Sentinel Steel

Track Listing
1. This Is Power
2. Anger Aggression
3. Blessed With This Curse
4. The Unknown
5. Nail It Down
6. I Am Sinn
7. Your Own World
8. Devil's War
9. Brainshake (Bonus)
10. Tieneblas (Bonus)
11. Fear Of Disgrace (Bonus)
Riding to the gallows with the metal torch burning bright, New Jersey's heavy sensation Attacker release and reload on "The Unknown", a mesmerizing, fist shaking brand of teutonic fury and precision that absolutely smokes! Drenched in neon black and as sterile and polished up as a surgical room, this band is just merciless in their punishing blend of old school tradition and power, a worthy contender for just about any award or heavy metal platform that you and your brother can name. Attacker is the best US metal band out there, possibly at this point putting heavy emphasis on being the best US metal band to date in my eyes and ears.

While so many US acts are caught somewhere between makeshift Old Navy glam costumes and the Swedish metal invasion of cookie monster melody, these bad boys of true metal persuasion crank up and play it loud, jarring bones, ears, teeth, and sidewalks through screamin' guitars and vocalist Bob Mitchell's banshee falsetto. At times I'm reminded of early Overkill sirens, with "The Unknown" showing off that blistering pace and raw intensity, only this time having the production values and thunderous sound to pass "Into The Fire" as if it was standing in a Madonna ticket line. Yeah, that's right. I called it. Prove to me one band on the US metal scene that can be this explosive and this powerful on one record. One album of quality songs and craftsmanship. I can't think of any and I've had weeks to think about it as the sounds of "The Unknown" speed into the night.

Attacker's new album is a focused energy, a break-neck speed of sound and mind that erupts into one detonation. With wall shakers like "This Is Power", anyone within hearing distance can't help but headbang and whiplash to the sounds of speedy US power thrash. Mitchell is right on target here, just exploding out of the gate with THIS IS POWER!!! From there the race picks up into "Anger Aggression", a huge mid-tempo chop fest that delivers a wallop of a groove and a booming chorus part. The full moon shines down on "Blessed With This Curse", a riff-train of groove and speed that mixes in those twin guitar melodies of Lizzy and Maiden. From there nothing is left "unknown" as "The Unknown" absolutely explodes into a charging rhythm fit for a king. On this cut specifically I'm reminded of "Raging Fist" from their last effort, "Soul Taker". Following that is "Nail It Down", complete with "Top Gun" riff dynamics and Mitchell's Udo style bite. "I Am Sinn" and "Your Own World" both show off a slightly different side of the group, both cuts razzle and dazzle theatrics and progression, really a unique angle for the band to demonstrate and exhibit. THE metal moment appears with "Devil's War", one of the best song's I've ever heard in my 10+ years of chronicling this crazy world of hard and heavy music. A stirring bass intro slowly picks and prods its way through the two minute opener before blasting into a war scarred wasteland complete with a mammoth groove and furious rhythm work. It is the tension and build-up that is the key to success and Attacker put both to great use, really exploring the atmosphere before lift-off. A re-working of "Brainshake" (lifted from the second album "The Second Coming") is next followed by two bonus cuts in "Tieneblas" and "Fear Of Disgrace".

The album is released on Sentinel Steel Records, who in the past have re-released the band's first two albums ("Battle At Helm's Deep" and "The Second Coming") as well as their 2004 triumphant comeback album "Soul Taker". Since that release the band has added Lou Ciarlo, the same bassist they used on their first two albums. Ciarlo replaces previous bassist Felix Torres. The album was engineered by drummer Mike Sabatini and mixed by both Sabatini and guitarist Mike Benetados. The album as a whole was produced by Attacker and mastered by Alan Douches (Overlorde, Symphony X) at West West Side Music. You can purchase a copy of "The Unknown" through www.sentinelsteel.com or www.theendrecords.com.


--EC 05.01.06
About this Writer:
Eric Compton // Eric Compton lives in the most haunted city in the world, St. Augustine, Florida with his family and two yorkies. He has contributed to MaximumMetal.com since it's conception in 2003. His reviews, interviews and social commentary has been featured on websites like Brave Words, Blabbermouth, Metal Temple, Metal Rules, Ultimate Metal, Metal Maniacs and Wikipedia. You can also find him on his paperbackwarrior.com blog discussing all things action and adventure.

Maximum Metal Rating Legend - Click for Full Details
5 Excellent - Buy it and say a prayer to the metal gods that you were tuned on to this masterpiece. A classic.
4-4.5 Great - Almost perfect records but there's probably a clunker or a lacking somewhere to keep it from perfection. You won't feel bad about dropping some bones on these.
3.5 Good - Most of the record is good, but there may be some filler. This is the OK range where you'd search for the record on sale or used.
3 Average - Some good songs, some bad ones at about a half/half ratio. Could show skills but be dull overall. Redeeming qualities for indy bands are effort and passion. Majors that don't try or suck outright end up here.
2-2.5 Fair - Worth a listen, but best obtained by collectors. There is much better metal out there.
1-1.5 Bad - Major problems with music, lyrics, production, etc.
0 Terrible or an otherwise 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.



ALL FULL REVIEWS FOR: ATTACKER
CD
TITLE BAND
DOR
REVIEWER DATE
Soul TakerAttacker
2004
Eric Compton2/10/2004
The UnknownAttacker
2006
Eric Compton5/16/2006


ALL SUMMARY REVIEWS FOR: ATTACKER
TITLE BAND
DOR
REVIEWER DATE
Giants Of CanaanAttacker
2013
Eric Compton3/15/2013


ALL INTERVIEWS FOR: ATTACKER
INTERVIEW BAND INTERVIEWER DATE
Bob MitchellAttackerJosh Greer9/16/2005


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