Stockholm-based glam-metallers Crashdiet have gone through the kind of turbulence all too familiar for fans of their genre, with original frontman Dave Lepard tragically taking his life in 2006, and line-up changes since then handicapping their ongoing assault on good taste.
But on Automaton, their second album with new frontman Gabriel Keyes, they sound in rude creative health, not least thanks to their avowed allegiance to sleaze metal being beefed up with skilfully integrated touches of thrash and power metal.
The opening title track is an instant winner thanks not only to the obligatory chant-along chorus, but also a production that seems to picture a cavernous arena full of lights roaring our heroes to victory. Dress for the job you want, right?
Meanwhile, the Wagnerian gallop of No Man’s Land and Powerline stir the senses just as effectively, and Dead Crusade is punctuated by machine-gun riff-and-rhythm volleys that punch that bit harder than most chorus-fixated glam tarts.