Texas Metal Outlaws – “Texas Metal Outlaws” (Heaven and Hell Records / Texas Metal Underground Records)
Everything’s Bigger In Texas! Well yeah, who am I to argue with this searing 9 track compilation that even includes a flame grilled cover of Dionne Warwick’s ‘That’s What Friends Are For’, uniting the cream of the Texas underground both old and new on this hell fer leather git-out that’s bigger’n Dallas!! With names like James Rivera (Helstar, Distant Thunder, Destiny’s End, Seven Witches, Malice, Flotsam and Jetsam, Agent Steel, Shadowkeep), Jason McMaster (Watchtower, Dangerous Toys, Broken Teeth, IGNITOR, Evil United), Donnie Van Stavern (S.A. Slayer, RIOT, Pitbull Daycare) and Felix Griffin (D.R.I. , Bat) among its bigger names along with guests like Ross The Boss Friedman (Manowar, Death Dealer, Ross The Boss band, The Dictators), “Texas Metal Outlaws” has been 4 years in the making by TMU Records, whose ‘… primary mission is to preserve and resurrect lost and unheard classic metal gems from the 1980’s underground Texas metal revolution..’. Well, if that’s what these cowboys were fixin’ to do, then they’ve pretty much succeeded on this hugely respectable album that includes members from newer underground bands like Ignitor and Witches Mark although judging by the highly talented musicianship and even more impressive composing, let’s just say this ain’t their first rodeo! From the epic speed metal titled opener ‘Texas Metal Outlaws’ this could be a super group with Jason McMaster’s still amazing screaming blended with some passionate melodies punched out by Riot’s Donnie Van Stavern and hammered in by Felix Griffin’s frantic drumming – and that’s before the twin bronco solos of Robert Williams (Ignitor) and Stuart Laurence (Agony Column) come stampeding in – yeehaw!!!! With Ross The Boss Friedman nailing a guest lead on the dexterous warrior metal of ‘Rebel Years’, Carlos Zema (Immortal Guardian, Vougan, Heaven’s Guardian, Outworld, David Shankle Group) add’s in his own fantastic vocals resplendent with tons of passion and an incredible range to boot on this stirring piece. If it’s operatic doom you love, then check out the dark n slow ‘Sound Of Scorn’ led by Mark Zammaron’s (Odometer, Las Cruces, Wicked Angel, Passage Temple) outstanding vocals and a totally addictive evil, twisting riff from Williams and Laurence once again. With Cody Gilliland’s (Immortal Guardian) double bass drums hammering in on ‘Echoes Of Memory’, the song then evolves into a slower more atmospheric piece, the splendour of which is made by James Rivera’s classic vocals and a triple guitar attack with heaps of power melodies and classically inspired solos including a guest slot from Helstar’s own Larry Barragan, along with some massively plucked bass lines from Stony Grantham (Shadowkeep, Byfist). “Texas Metal Outlaws” is an outstanding release from the Lone Star state’s deep well of talent, so y’all better check this out, because it’s like a whole other country…..!