A late arrival for 2020 is L.A based Gale Force featuring Tracy G (ex Dio) and Barren Cross singer Michael Drive, it has futuristic themes but with an at times old school metal delivery.
Written by: gdmonline
ARTIST: Gale Force
LABEL: Self Released
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:
LINEUP: Tracy G – guitars * Michael Drive – vocals * Paul Alfery – guitars, keyboards, mixing * Randy Oviedo – bass * various uncredited – drums
TRACK LISTING: 01 Crash And Burn * 02 Subhuman * 03 Master Machine * 04 Red Line * 05 Dystopia * 06 Never Say Goodnight * 07 Rat Race * 08 Where Am I Going * 09 Fire In The Hole * 10 Alter Ego * 11 Riot Act
WEBLINKS: Site Link
Gales Force are an interesting Los Angeles band with links to a number of previous bands listed below. This one was late getting to us because of the delay of getting the CD into the market; the album expected for release just prior to Christmas 2020, but eventually landing in January 2021.
Tracy G was formerly with World War III and Dio during the early-mid 90’s, Drive (real name Mike Lee) is/was the voice behind Christian metallers Barren Cross, Oviedo spent time with 80’s AORsters Streek as well as Dio while Alfery has played in many 80’s projects and currently is a member of the duo Walk The Walk, recently reviewed here.
All varied backgrounds for sure, but the overriding theme with Gale Force is huge sounding metal with an apocalyptic and futuristic theme throughout. Tracy G is sledge like while Drive’s lead vocal is overpowering and is an ideal foil to the massive wall of sound created here.
‘Crash And Burn’ the first cab off the rank plus video on YouTube is Gale Force in full bluster, it’s all thunderously heavy with Drive’s mind-bending vocals taking the lead. You hear these same dynamics filter through onto the title track ‘Subhuman’, the vocal with some mean streak twists and snarls complimented by manic guitar solos.
‘Master Machine’ turns up the heaviness, a clear look into the future world of technocracy. Very disturbing. Things calm down noticeably for the mellow piano ballad ‘Red Line’, a nice respite in between all the OTT metal heard thus far.
‘Dystopia’ would be a good one-word synopsis of this album, frankly I’m not a believer in the message, I have more optimism than that, I’d also consider ‘Never Say Goodnight’ to be more on the pessimistic side of the ledger, but I’d really need to read the lyrics to determine whether the song is aimed at the victims or the antagonists.
‘Rat Race’ is another powerful track, the intensity level off the charts, the lyrics a clear message about becoming a slave in the (you guessed it) rat race. ‘Where Am I Going’ is Gale Force sailing into a becalmed space, there’s no metallic breeze to be found on this one
‘Fire In The Hole’ is medium-level heavy compared to what’s gone before, however with ‘Alter Ego’ the tempo is definitely accelerated, but something was missing in the translation. ‘Riot Act’ tried hard to tough it out to the finish, but by then I was all out of puff. My ears needed a break.
There wasn’t much subtlety in the Gales Force delivery and message of this album. It was mostly heavy with only two songs that provided any form of respite. All the lyrics were written by Drive, and considering his Christian background I found this to be a conflict and a contrast. Personally, I don’t think the world is ready for transhumanism just yet. AOK with the music, a naysay with the message.
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