Stälker - Shadow Of The Sword album review

Kiwi metal stalwarts rewind the tape to the proto-thrash era

Cover art for Stälker - Shadow Of The Sword album

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From the other side of the world comes the blistering Stälker. Harking back to a time when metal meant black leather and studs, these Kiwis are steeped in the metallic genre-defining thrash of early Slayer and Possessed, as well as the razor-sharp speed metal of Exciter. Shadow Of The Sword is as fast as a shark and as vicious as a piranha. With songs like Satanic Panic and The Mutilator, you know exactly what you are going to get, and it’s done well. The 1980s loom large throughout. Steel God and Master Of Mayhem are 1980s VHS b-movies set to riffs. There are plenty of bands doing what this lot do, but with all-out savagery and steel-belted screams tempered with a knack for a great hook, Stälker deliver the goods.