Twisted Tower Dire - Make It Dark (Cruz Del Sur Music)

Make it Dark finds the veteran US metalheads in career-best form
Release Date: 
2 May 2011 - 11:30pm

Do you ever watch shows like Time Team? Somehow they've made archeology primetime viewing for people who don't wear straggly beards and shorts in all weathers; if you've never seen the show, basically what happens is the team go to somewhere of ancient historical interest, have a root around in the gravel for three days and, just before the final ad break, their discoveries enable them to completely reconstruct a Roman farmstead from around 270 AD. I'm telling you this because Make it Dark - the sixth release by American metal outfit Twisted Tower Dire- would appear to be the result of one of the Time Team's investigations.

Put simply, Make it Dark is an utterly compelling throwback to the days when the US used to throw up top-notch power metal outfits as second nature. Close your eyes whilst listening to the utterly ludicrous yet totally inspiring Snow Leopard (a song which comes equipped with the side splitting chorus "Run! snow leopard run!") and it could be 1988. TTD have managed to fuse the guitar dynamism of Thundersteel-era Riot to a tuneful pop metal sensibility not too far removed from Crimson Glory's best work to create a deliciously compelling heavy metal record. Like all great metal outfits, these deleriously effective results are achieved by the union of top notch guitar playing - courtesy of Scott Waldrop and Dave 'Jelly Bean' Boyd- and helium-fulled warbling (new singer Jonny Aune has just what it takes to make these glorious metal anthems fly), the three coming together in a triumvirate of steel that really does take some beating.

Even in 2011, when this stuff is done well it can be genuinely, hair raisingly exciting, and when the band puts the pedal to the proverbial on the likes of The Stone that's just how you'll feel if this kinda schtick is your bag. With Make it Dark Twisted Tower Dire has delivered just about the perfect classic American metal album, absolutely bereft of originality but - and here's the rub - chock full of magnificent songs (if you don't get swept away in the magnificence that is this album's title track I suspect there may be something wrong with you), great playing, great singing and magnificent craftsmanship. Leave your irony meter at the door, come in, crack a beer and enjoy yourselves - this is the good stuff.