SWITCHBLADE is an Israelian Heavy Metal band, formed in 2005. It took them a few years to find their place, put out some unofficial releases and of course play many gigs before concentrating on making an album, preceded by participating in a.o. the Wacken Metal Battle in Israel, yet not getting through to the fest itself. This of course gave the band more time and space to work on their first full-length.
This debut album, titled “Heavy Weapons”, came out at the end of November 2013 via the German label Killer Metal Records. SWITCHBLADE’s mission is to keep old school Heavy Metal alive. And when you see old school Heavy Metal, one of the main inspirational bands that pop up are… yes, indeed, IRON MAIDEN. Even the vocals are done to sound similar to Bruce Dickinson.
“Heavy Weapons”, a wordplay on Heavy Metal, contains nine tracks, totalling a playtime of under 40 minutes. It begins with the title track, a typical uptempo track in vein of their inspirators, but somehow also SAXON and PRIMAL FEAR, for example. The guitar work is of course catchy, and the vocals are high-pitched, but is it due to the production or Lior’s throat that they sound forced? Halfway the track, things slow down for the obligatory solo moment. Afterwards the music is back on a roll, on to the chorus and heading for the end. All in all, a very tasty starter.
“Euphoria” is next. This one begins with midtempo, rhythmic building. Once unleashed, the band continues in this direction, offering headbang-friendly Heavy Metal. Speed is not an issue here. However, and this remains a constant on the album, the vocals contrast a bit too much with the music, interfering with the listening pleasure, I have to admit. At some point, the guitar input becomes sharper, more vicious, which is good. As are the dual leads. Or is that doubled leads, considering there’s only one guitarist. All in all, a good song, yet not as exciting as the first one.
“Metalista” is a straight-forward Heavy Metal song. By the book. And somehow a little Poppier than the others. But it’s good. One of SWITCHBLADE’s heavy weapons is a ballad, titled “Lost Lovers Unite”. Slow tempo, adapted singing. Truth be told, it’s a cheesy song. Luckily things improve a little in the second half, when it’s IRON MAIDEN-ish time again. “The Lost Kingdom” is an instrumental track, and thankfully it does rock. The riffing reminded me a little of the German Power Metal band BRAINSTORM, which is a good sign.
“Infernal Paradise” is another midtempo, powerful song, here with a hymnic chorus. The solo isn’t that good, though, in comparison to previous efforts. “Curse Of The Father, Sins Of The Son” continues the line of catchy, accessible Heavy Metal tracks, adding some powerful drumming along the way. “Into The Unknown” is another power ballad. A slow rocker with atmospheric backing in the chorus. However, far from being a highlight, in my opinion. Last, but certainly not least, there is “Endless War”, which you could consider an uptempo Power Metal song.
(Die-hard) Fans of old school Heavy Metal, rejoice, for the Israelian band SWITCHBLADE has come to your aid. If IRON MAIDEN, SAXON, PRIMAL FEAR, and similar are among your favourite bands, then SWITCHBLADE can be added to that list. However, the music is very safe, very much by the book. And those high-pitched vocals aren’t always a good match, if I may say so. I also found the production a little bit (!) too compressed. But in general you could say that “Heavy Weapons” will do alright when played in a mixed playlist.
- Heavy Weapons
- Lost Lovers Unite
- The Lost Kingdom
- Infernal Paradise
- Curse Of The Father, Sins Of The Son
- Into The Unknown
- Endless War
Lior “Steinmetal” Stein – vocals
Federico “FedeRock” Taich – guitars
Sascha Latman – bass
Moshe “Moshpit” Sabach – drums