A joint effort from a whole host of talented Texan metal musicians, Texas Metal Outlaws’ self-titled album is an awesome no-nonsense assortment of metal tunes. Wailing guitar solos, both soaring and deep growly vocals, and hammering drums make this a fantastic energetic album. Some riffs are reminiscent of classic power metal, and this combined with the raw rock style
An explosion of sound greets the ears as Texas Metal Outlaws opens; something like a combination of power metal and old-school rock/metal. Guitars and vocals wailing, crazy drums smashing, it makes for a really energetic and exciting start to the album. Blistering guitar solos and harmonies also add to this energy – not once do they slow down. Malt Liquor Maniac opens with a very interesting burp sound effect; the song as a whole is a little tamer than Texas Metal Outlaws. Chugging old-school riffs accompany the alcohol-riddled lyrics sung deep and growly. The main rhythm is very catchy, and has a malevolent tone about it that conjures images of heavy drinking in grungy bars.
An uplifting and fist-raising third track, Rebel Years has a solid rhythm, soaring vocals reminiscent of early ‘80s Iron Maiden, along with frantic guitar riffs that get your blood pumping and head banging. Black and Green begins with an intense chugging guitar rhythm, followed by some really ominous vocals. The verses are very intense, both lyrically (about death) and rhythmically but then it erupts into a chorus full of emotion and guitar harmonies, and then an incredible final exit guitar solo that gives the song the right balance of everything to make it an all-over fantastic song.
At the halfway point in the album, Running From The Law is a cover of the Riot song. It is very similar to the original however they have added their own style; it has more grit, and the vocals sound more powerful. Like the rest of the album so far, the guitar work is out of this world. As someone who has never been into covers, I can say that I really enjoy this one.
Sound of Scorn has a slow rhythm but it is very catchy. The verses chug at a steady pace, which screams early Black Sabbath vibes, along with some of the lead riffs. The guitar solos however are unique in style so give the song it’s own special flavour. A little faster paced than the previous song, Within The Spell features a cool technical opening riff that breaks into a raw rocking verse. The song evolves into plenty of fiddly guitar parts, again with an Iron Maiden vibe.
Blasting open with in-your-face blast beats and crazy guitar rhythms, Echoes of Memory has an explosive intro that segues into a slower more Black Sabbath-y rhythm. Very Ozzy-style vocals complement the guitar parts. The solo and harmonies also fall in line with the whole old-school vibe that the album has.
A glorious ending to the album, That’s What Friends Are For begins with a left-of-field sad harmonica part that sounds a little out of character from the rest of the album. Just when you think this is how it ends, it abruptly and violently becomes a more filled-out and emotional tune. This song is definitely full of feeling; the melody tugs at the heartstrings, and gets you thinking of fond memories. The guitar lead parts hit the right notes and harmonies to give the song that mood. It reminds me of a recent Alice Cooper song, Something To Remember Me By, which invoked a similar emotional impact.
Overall, ‘Texas Metal Outlaws’ is a fantastic album that screams old-school, and features a great song dynamic. From explosive melt-your-face-off intros, to emotional, nostalgia-inducing choruses, and everything in between, this album is well worth the listen.