Ostrogoth – “Last Tribe Standing” (Empire Records)
Inspired by the metal explosion of the early 80s, Ostrogoth went on to become one of the pioneers of Belgian metal along with other bands like Killer and Crossfire, all of which were signed to the cult label of Mausoleum. The band went on to release 4 albums and make quite an impression in Central Europe although never breaking beyond that probably due to constant line up and image changes, resulting in the inevitable split in 1988. Despite several short lived reunions it would be 24 years before Ostrogoth would go fully operational again, still with founder drummer Mario ‘Grizzly’ Pauwels and long time guitarist Rudy ‘Whiteshark’ Vercruysse, who would tragically pass away only this year from cancer, but not without one of the bravest fights ever from playing final shows till unable physically to continue to playing this album out in fine style, nominating his successor and even being buried with an Ostrogoth t shirt on – what a dude!!! “Last Tribe Standing” is Ostrogoth’s first release since 1987 and comprises 4 brand new songs and 4 live classics like the anthemic ‘Rock Fever’ and the contagious ‘Full Moon’s Eyes’ recorded at summer festivals including Graspop and Keep It True in 2014. With a sound bedded firmly in 80s Euro metal the band drew heavily from Maiden with their dual guitar attack and warbling melodies no better exemplified than on ‘Heroes Museum’, especially with Josey Hindrix’s Dickinson highs. Still, Ostrogoth were a band in their own right especially on those aforementioned classics where their brand of powerful epic melodies – many of which were down to ‘Whiteshark’ – allowed these songs to remain timeless over 35 years. Best of all the new material sounds just like the old stuff, but with a modern sheen, thanks once again to the spiritual keepers of the band such that Ostrogoth breathes alive and true once more. Dedicated to Rudy ‘Whiteshark’ Vercruysse 13th Feb 1955 – 3rd Jan 2015.