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Album Review: Blackslash – Lightning Strikes Again

Not to be confused with the underrated as hell Dokken album of the same name, Lightning Strikes Again is a big step up for Blackslash. The German group’s first two albums are pretty good slabs of traditional metal, but there’s a sense of both releases hinting at greater things to come. Blackslash’s third outing isn’t too dramatically different from what came before or even from what their peers in this oversaturated scene are doing, but this presentation is tight as hell.

The musicianship on this album has seriously tightened up when compared to the occasional stumbles on albums like Separate but Equal. The relentlessly charging rhythms are strengthened by the more explosive production job as well as by the more confident riffs and drumming. This confidence extends to the vocals as they make up for a somewhat limited range by delivering hooks in a palatable mid-range with occasional layering.

Going along with that, the songwriting is incredibly catchy. The first half alone sends it straight into the stratosphere with songs like “Skyline Rider” and “Eyes of a Stranger” are high speed anthems, while “Night City Street Lights” marries an infectious mid-tempo shuffle with a more melodic breakdown. The second half doesn’t have the same high-octane momentum, but still offers its own staples like the more epically minded “Steel Held High.”

Blackslash’s third album is a demonstration of how important good writing can be in a homogenous genre. There are plenty of albums that sound just like Lightning Strikes Again and its style is right in line with what the band had done before, but the emphasis on catchy melodies and confident musicianship puts it above most of the competition. Classic metal fans shouldn’t hesitate in putting on the same league as the best of White Wizzard or Night Demon.

Highlights:
“Night City Street Lights”
“Skyline Rider”
“Eyes of a Stranger”
“Illuminate the Night”
“Steel Held High”

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