Sixguns Over Tombstone
Puttin Revenge On The Map
posted on 9/2009 By:
In the spirit of our new scoring system here at Metal Review, this reviewer shall be awarding a solid 10 out of 10 to Alberta's Sixguns Over Tombstone for pure fucking effort, spirit and style for their independently released debut album. The album itself though, will be scored lower.
Riding the prairies between universal Maiden styled melodies and European speed metal acts, Putting Revenge on the Map also rolls with the dizzying background shredding of Arsis, the riff power of Megadeth and Metallica (check the intro riff to “Anti-Photon”) whilst drawing fire with a good few rounds of fresh ideas from their own holsters.
The country western theme fortunately/unfortunately lasts uninterrupted as far as the name, artwork and opening track, before “Dragonbuster” trips over the fake scenery with an otherwise decent thrash-catcher, bracketed with the neoclassical mode of Yngwie Malmsteen. A gem of a title track then re-saddles, continuing to confidently cover a vast range of fast and furious guitar styles with the greatest of ease.
Vocally, most of the harmonised arrangements actually sound pretty nice, particularly in the infectious anthem “Rumours of My Death”, but vocals are generally a blatant and frustrating weakness in Sixguns' sound. Helped not by the production, they orbit the required comfort zone, developing an unpleasant punky Tom Araya quality that snobs much of the melodic opportunity that was taken earlier on.
With an often disjointed, on the move style of listening to music, I frequently convince myself with uneven listens, that many albums start much stronger than they finish. Putting Revenge on the Map came under this category until I was sure the charm of the first half didn't flow through the second. This could and should have been a truly spinnable, buzz-creating E.P. that might have opened some doors to producing a sound that justified the songwriting.
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