Founded in 2005 by Marco Kern (Vocals/Rhythm Guitar) and Dominik Eder (Bass/Backing vocals), Austrian thrash Metallers Garagedays are back and set to enthral all with the dark and deep grinding sounds of their second release, 'Passion Of Dirt', follow up to 2011s debut 'Dark And Cold' which was also positively reviewed here on MetalTalk.
As with their first release, 'Passion Of Dirt' continues with their initial aim to produce old school thrash Metal with modern edge, influenced by their love of 80s style Metal, expanding and developing on influences from inspirational bands like Metallica, Kreator, Accept and Testament.
'Passion Of Dirt' is ten more tracks that are catchy and rocking, with chugging guitars steeped in 80's nostalgia yet with a modern feel and most importantly a great listen.
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Giving this release a bit more of an edge is the involvement of vocalist Ralf Scheepers (Primal Fear) as producer who also contributes to the vocals on 'The Unknown Feeling', a ballad, but with brutally powerful vocals and 'Scars Of Life', with its slow sultry paced opener and one of many tracks with lavish guitar work towards the latter part.
These abundant solos are one of the two things that I really love about this release, all awash with old school flair and flamboyance. The other is Marco's vocals, yes they are clean, but powerful and with a rugged edge, which makes them highly palatable to my tastes. Marco has also greatly improved and expanded on them since the release of 'Dark And Cold' and I thought they were good then.
The continuity from the last release continues with the decision to return to Sonic Train Studios, in Sweden, to record the guitars with Andy LaRocque (King Diamond) who also the mixed and mastered the album as well as continuing with the same band line-up as before.
There is a broad range of mood and tempo across the tracks but mostly leaning towards an up tempo sound; 'It Rules', a powerful chugging track, concluded with one of those many great solos, 'Never Give Up' with its faster tempo from the offset, 'Road To Madness' has the most stunning opener ever, with a subtle Sabbath influence within the riffs and another great solo, once again while 'Razorblade' is intense and thrashy with ripping guitar work from start to finish.
The title track 'Passion Of Dirt' opens on a moody build, progressing up to a mid pace and fist pounding rhythms with Marco really belting the lyrics out midway, breaking into a more harsh style briefly, which was a nice surprise for me. The almost instrumental 'Streets' also took me quite by surprise, a long reflective intro expanding out into beautiful guitar work and just a small spoken element before the close; stunning.
'Bleeding Days' is racy, up tempo, exciting and richly garnished with a solo that practically encompasses the whole of the second half of the track. Finally 'Inject', which opens with some beautiful reflective guitar work that expands out with chugging riffs overlaid with an abundance of more superb guitar work and rugged vocals, a great ending to a great album.
It really fills my blackened heart with joy when I hear a band come back with a second even stronger release. The album is available for pre order/purchase via http://www.mwaweb.com/rocksector.htm.