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On disc: Sentinel Beast

Depths Of Death - Claudia Ehrhardt - 8 stars

Depths Of Death

Depths Of Death
(Old Metal Records - 2009)

Some will remember Seninel Beast from the 80's and might be happy about the re-release of Depths Of Death, others might only know them by name and will be happy about the chance to check out this band.
The album was released in the mid-80's and so you get this typical 80's speed metal, but even if they didn't made it big the band was sticking out with singer Debbie Gunn. The open with the title track Depths Of Death, first slowly and then they speed up. Mourir begins with a nice bass riff and the complex structure of the song reminds me a bit of Iron Maiden's Killers era. Cool guitar solo. A fast one with a catchy refrain is Evil Is The Night and Debbie's shouts make me think of Acid from Belgium... But what makes Sentinel Beast special is the guitar play of Barry Fischel and Mark Koyasako. And to check out the band's musical range you should listen to Sentinel Beast. This song has all elements of the band's sound. The last original song on the initial release is The Keeper which again shows some Iron Maiden influences and it would have been interesting to hear that one - and some other songs - recorded with a big production. Anyway, the songs have power and sound fresh - compared to other releases of that time. The closer of the original release was an Iron Maiden cover... And Phantom Of The Opera shows again Debbie's limited vocal range, but it's still interesting to hear her singing this one. The re-release has 2 bonus tracks, both are demo songs and so the sound quality isn't going to be better! Tonight is a catchy rocker with some Iron Maiden-like riffing while The Full Treatment is showing them a bit different at the opening part, but then they offer a straight-forward guitar-driven track. But the sound quality is quite low - or typical 80's demo quality.
Well, still a great album, but one will have problems with the 80's sound quality. But it's authentic and if you pick an old vinyl from that days the sound won't be better or not much better. The recordings obviously haven't been overdone and perhaps that's a good thing. Debbie Gunn isn't the greatest singer, but her vocals fit the music and overdoing the sound would probably show her limited vocal range even more. The guitar play is one of the strong points of Sentinel Beast and with a proper production the guitarist would have sounded even better!
Anyway, fans of 80's speed / thrash metal should grab a copy. The band was just unlucky to have the album released at a time where tons of killer albums been released. It would be interesting to hear something new of Debbie Gunn and her gang... Guitarist Barry Fischel is already back with a new album.

8 stars

Claudia Ehrhardt


           2008-2010 by Claudia Ehrhardt • E-Mail:

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