1. Last Breath
2. Lord of Darkness
4. Blow Away
6. I’m Your Hate
7. Piece of Shit
9. Black Bridges
10. Dark and Cold
Release Date: 24 June 2011 – Massacre Records
Austria rocks !! You keep a smile on your face if you think about that ? Well…it is a fact that the austrian metal scene grew up in the last deacade and brought a lot of talented bands to the metal world over the alps into our speakers.
Garagedays is going to play a leading role in that austrian metal scene. The band could sign a deal with Massacre Records for their first full length album and no other than Andy LaRocque known from King Diamond was mixing and mastering this debut.
The album title „Dark and Cold“ seems unspectacular, but if you take a look at the album cover which shows dead man’s feet ready for an autopsy this title becomes a scary one.
As their websites tell no influences we start now directly into the Dark before it is getting Cold.
And how does a dead man’s story start ? Right…with his „Last Breath“. Opened by a pure heavy metal riff. Straight theme played in middle heights. Fast track speeding up every minute and is ending in a brilliant guitar solo. Half aggressive shouts makes it near to several thrash bands. The vocals of Marco Kern and some other elements remember me a little to straighter Laaz Rockit, a kind of european one. So there is no sweeping…it starts direct in your face.
Heavy rhythms advertise the „Lord of Darkness“. Dark vocals, deeper tuned guitars, slower in tempo. The guitarists show their flexibility. From deep rhythms over to shredding and capable solos..we all find it in the sound of Garagedays. In Marco’s higher scream sometimes I think his voice could break away, but he can keep it. Pure heavy metal, not less.
With „Father“ appears a first longer track. And so it has to start with a slower, elegian guitar theme. Ballad ? Whispered vocals…whispered screams ? A little Metallica touch as the bridge follows. Sanitarium is greeting. Yes…this song brings back the good old times…where not only samples ruled the productions. Marco Kern seems going insane…we are in a madhouse. Suddenly the song speeds up and the guitar sirens are calling the alarm. Father…what have you done ? The end of days is announced in a crazy but brilliant way. Terrific song…for metal gourmets, not whimps.
Worth mentioning here is also the powerful drumming of Matthias Mai. Excellent job behind his shooting gallery.
„Blow away“…what do you think awaits us here ? Yes…a 3 minute speed inferno with light punk trademarks. And in the solo the guitar wizard is back. Uncompromising speed/thrash grenade doggy style.
It is time now to count til „Four“. Again a longer track. Rainy wheather now…together with some slow semi-acoustic guitars. The song starts from behind. Testament’s „Return to Serenity“ comes in mind. Marco Kern is acting first in a storyteller’s role and we can find now even some clean vocals.
I am waiting for the explosion….but there is none. A crying guitar part remembers us that we are still human. In the last 2 minutes the song is heading for more aggression. A semi-ballad in tragic and mystical style. An invitation for the Four Horsemen ?
You really got me…“I m your hate“. Alice Cooper rememberance vocals, killer riffing. Gallopping bass of Master Eder. Strange, but beautiful. Laughing at the horror show. Marco enjoys to be our hate, screaming his lung out of our brains. A mix between funny arrangements…Symphony of Destruction riffing…and the beast. Great !!
What a great song title to follow. Awesome screams categorize this track. A speedster full of hate. „ Piece of Shit“ !! Guys…who is your enemy, that you have to describe like this. Shredding guitars like we know it from traditional thrash bands. Overkill I would welcome here, Exodus invited. Excellent drum work again. Fistful of hard stuff. This song owns a right essence of street credibility..like a war between fighting street gangs. Nothing more to say. Action !!
„Conscience“ slows it down now…Elegian solo guitar part together with dirty whispered vocals lead to a monster riff. Marco shows his different facettes….screaming, clean parts, whispers. I think about Metal Church’s „Gods of Wrath“ in some parts of this song. Huge riffs duels with deeper timed elements. Not the fastest song of this album but another one that transports different moods and fears.
The next 2 minutes are a complete hommage to bands like Celtic Frost. This song is deep black….so the song title „Black Bridges“ is well chosen. A short introduction that Garagedays is also able to act in that way. Dark, deep wounded soundscape.
At last the title track. „Dark and Cold“. The start and guitar work strong remembers to the old german band Stormwitch’s song „Russia’s on Fire“. Against that stands the vocals and refrain. More pure Heavy Metal in that song. A real smasher, full of power, partly dark…but cold ? More a song to increase the temperature. Strong guitars, but a little thin screams. Good song to kick us out !!
It seems that it was not a bad choice for Massacre to sign this band. Garagedays is highly talented and even long experienced heavy/thrash bands have to take care that this guys get ahead of them on the austrian and international highways.
Their music is not pure thrash or speed metal, nor pure heavy or power metal. It is the mixture of all that kinds that let the music become much interesting.
For a debut „Dark and Cold“ is nothing more than fantastic. Aggressive but moody, sometimes easy, sometimes strange. Both thumbs up for Garagedays !! Hopefully in the same quality next…
Points: 8,5 / 10
Review by Kerbinator