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NIGHTSTALKER (Dead Rock Commandos) LP/CD

There is no doubt about it, NIGHTSTALKER is Greece's flagship of heavy rock. This has been proven once again by their fourth album 'Dead Rock Commandos' that is chock full of melodic hooks and scorching guitar riffs which laid the basis for ten powerful tunes. Not forgetting of course the cool, Wyndorf-esque voice of singer Argy, who also founded the band in 1989 (if you want to know more about these days, you may want to read my interview with Argy from 2005). Basically, NIGHTSTALKER delivers consistently great, entertaining albums. Each full-length reachs for a different sound, but always with that great rock 'n' roll engine buzzing underneath. This holds good for 'Dead Rock Commandos' also, although it doesn't surpass the last two records 'Just A Burn' (review here) and 'Superfreak'.

The reason for this is that almost all ten songs never leave the mid-tempo range which leads to a certain sameness. I miss a high-energy song like 'Enough Is Not Enough', what would have provided a little change. On the other hand, however, the included cuts are well-crafted with great attention to detail, and that alone make it all worthwhile. 'Keystone', for example, is equipped with a nice 1960's sounding organ while 'Soma' is driven by a funky groove. 'Children Of The Sun' is no Hawkwind cover version, but a song that would tie in well with Monster Magnet's 1995 album 'Dopes To Infinity'. By the way, this is not meant as criticism but rather the contrary.

'The Underdog' is another great track that is charged with a lot of groove and refined with a barrage of blistering guitar work. The psychedelic elements have almost entirely vanished on 'Dead Rock Commandos' and exist far below the surface. But, first and foremost, NIGHTSTALKER was always a heavy rock band who has only played with psychedelic influences. To sum it up, 'Dead Rock Commandos' is a fine piece of testosterone-driven heavy rock and I hope that the deal with Small Stone Records will put NIGHTSTALKER in the lead.