(By Pat ‘Riot’ Whitaker, Senior Writer/Journalist, RiffRelevant.com)
From Vancouver, WA. comes something we could use a lot more of here in the United States, a true, dyed-in-the-wool, traditional metal band, RECKER.
This bonafide power trio – Rich Recker (vocals, bass, guitar), Peter Brun (guitars), and Tom “Stixx” Slaughter (drums) – recently delivered their latest album, ‘Manifest Destiny‘. The opus is a grandiose recording of solid, strongly reinforced old-school style metal that is nearly impossible to resist if your own metalhead credentials are legit.
Taking influential cues from bands like Judas Priest, Primal Fear, or Wargasm, this music delivers a burning inferno of fierce guitars, rumbling rhythms, and explosive drums. The incendiary discharge is all graced by one of the best vocal performances, in the metal realm, that I have heard in recent times.
Those vocals became so noteworthy to me – not because of some over-the-top presence in their range, ala Rob Halford, or whatever – no, I mention them just because they work, and work well here, riding upon the smoldering mid-tempo metallic yield of the music that carries them aloft.
One of the finest examples of this is the very first song we are introduced to, the “Manifest Destiny” title track. Clear, well-enunciated, and as matter of fact as it can be, they narrate this tale about Man’s inherent need to explore and the music matches the subject matter.
The trio wade themselves through a faster-paced, uptempo salvo of pinpoint riffs and dizzying grooves, all driven by fortified drumming. Along with all that, the song possesses some exceptional axe-swinging solos along the way, but don’t get too comfortable here as things are about to really heat up.
“Hellbound” immediately begins to incinerate the speakers right from its start, like a lit fuse accelerating its burning and picking up speed. The song’s chunky swagger is emboldened by muscular, at times, dizzying guitars and piston-like drums. RECKER‘s recent video release for the song (below) was my first association with the band and thus the song remains one of my overall favorites.
“King” follows it and has become my absolute fave track from the album at this time, a song that truly highlights all the factors that makes RECKER such a kick ass entity. Talented players executing a well-constructed composition, taking it though its paces, hitting hard in all the right spots and the results speak for themselves.
In fact, all the results presented on this album are stellar, top-notch slabs of alluring audibility for the metal sect. Gritty heavyweights such as “Nation On Fire“, the blues-infused grooves of both “Something Wicked (This Way Comes)“, and “Light It Up“, or the speedier alt. metal feel of “Let Us Prey“, is all quite impressive. “Nation On Fire” is a real stand out for its wall of guitars, ones that emit some stunning solos while occasionally unplugging for some acoustic string passages at some points, too.
So, if you are a fan of modern metal, power metal, old-school metal, or what have you metal in general, I do believe you will find something to suit your needs here. It is always good to learn of underground acts like RECKER that march under the banner of heavy metal, and along the way dispatch an incredible album like ‘Manifest Destiny‘ to the metallic hordes amassed.