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Thursday 29 March 2018

ROLLERBALL-Outlast The Game-(Disco Mix-Italy-1984)

First vinyl ep by this band from Florence active in the early 80s and coming from the very first wave of Italian Heavy Metal.
Here a review taken by Encyclopedia Metallum.
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"Besides the fruity name, these Italian lads craft a pretty darn energetic early metal sound with this 1983 offering. The Florentine quartet has a distinctive sound about them; punk influence coming through with simplistic fast paced guitar/bass riffage – and a certain rough nastiness in the delivery of vocalist Maxx Bell. Italy actually produced a lot of good straightforward heavy/power metal bands in the early/mid 80s – bands like Berserks, Dark Lord and the unique Creepin’ Death are all worth checking out – and my most recent is this; the debut EP From Rollerball. The EP contains four tracks; three really because the first is merely a keyboard intro. Throughout these three – Rollerball builds an intertwining of earl power metal attitude (think the Queensryche and Sortilege debut EP’s), nasty early 80’s hardcore punk (US Style), in the vein of Adolescents or the Faction and spaced out reberbed to the hilt solos. An interesting and pretty unique sound indeed, with the high point perhaps being the drawn out epic ‘Escape’ with it’s drawn out operatic nature.
‘Escape’ is a serious, dark and moody track. The band sets about creating emotion and tension with some simplistic, depressive and sad keyboard notes – building impending doom and dark reflection in the drums and caustic guitar riffery. When things kick off in the second section, you’re driven in further by the emotional wails of Maxx Bell – showing his prowess in the high notes, screaming like Augustine from Sortilege, but adding a nasty, guttural shrieking quality to it. The many different sections in this song build emotion, which again erupts – in a speedy guitar solo (too bad you can barely hear it due to horrendous, paper thin production). The chorus chants at the end though – are fucking excellent – totally haunting in quality and teaming excellently with the depressive, epic guitar riffs. By the time this furious, dark power metal attack is over you’ll be making the same Sortilege comparisons I do.
The bands title attack ‘Rollerball’ is a rough and ready punk rock assault – featuring lightning fast guitar/bass structure, drums that would be pounding if you could hear them through the shitty mix, and totally harsh vocal assault of Bell – sounding a bit unrefined in this one. While his verse delivery is rough and nasty, in his high pitched gnarly voice – the cool little punk rock chant section again – is the high point. Both the mentioned songs make use of a great little vocal section right before the end – deciding to add something new rather than simply repeating the chorus. This one and the stupidly titled ‘Do You Know Alan’ are rougher efforts on vocals and guitar – but have some cool nastiness in both. You cant hear the guitar leads for bollocks
though – lame.
The Italian bands of the period actually produced some awesomely unique stuff. They all have weird, experimental qualities about them – which you wouldn’t expect. In Sweden, the Low Countries and Germany – most bands seemed to be pretty much playing in the style dictated by the Brits, but often down here – the bands are going for something pretty different – retaining little of the formulaic qualities of NWOBHM. This one is no exception. Particularly in the spooky, and sad ‘Escape’ these guys have a rough, unpolished caustic feel – totally unique, with it’s crunchy, buzzsaw guitar and high shrieks reminiscent of Sortilege or early Queensryche – without the polished qualities. Totally worth hearing this one on account of the track ‘Escape’ – but only contains three songs, and only one of really high quality. I dunno, if you’re like me and like collecting the older stuff – but want the occasional record that sounds different – give this one a spin, but I warn you – it’s not for those afraid of rawness in sound or production. Dark, moody power metal and mashed together here. "


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