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First Born
(Mausoleum Records)

Never heard of these guys before, but the fact that former CROSSFIRE guitarist Rudi Van De Spye founded NATIVE INSTINCT back in 1999 together with Ivan VH (courtesy of BLUE QUEST, another completely unknown act to me) should easily gain them some beforehand attention already. NATIVE INSTINCT already released a six track mini album in September 2000 and (probably because of the good reviews it got in several major magazines) got picked up by Mausoleum Records shortly after, who have put out this debut full length now. The 13 tracker "Native Instinct" features a slightly changed line-up, with Rudi and Ivan remaining the only original members, which furthermore was very well produced by Rudi's old bandmate in his CROSSFIRE days, Peter De Wint. The band already got compared to acts such as MACHINE HEAD, PANTERA and ARMORED SAINT, which I personally don't really understand, cause they are neither as modern / aggro sounding as the first two mentioned acts nor as old school Metal like as the SAINT's. So, what you actually get here is a rather energetic form of traditional, yet very thrashing form of Power Metal which lives off a lot of crushing midtempo SLAYER-esque riffs and a raw vocal delivery. In a way this even has a certain Bay Area feel to it, so kinda like a mixture between SLAYER and METALLICA maybe, but still unique enough to stand out. I'm nevertheless not completely convinced by the record in its entirety yet as some of the songs simply tend to bore me and there's also a few elements here and there that I don't like too much (especially in the vocal department). But hey, at least the band is obviously trying to come up with something on their own, which is cool. All further info, you may find here:

Frank Stöver

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