Banshee - Race Against Time
Banshee had their fingers in many pieces of heavy metal pie. There are eleven songs on this cd, and strangely enough, the sound is like a thick mixture of Y&T, Motley Crue and Europe's "Wings of Tomorrow" with VERY strong doses of "Somewhere in Time" era Iron Maiden. Tommy Lee Flood handles the vocal duties and is a truly powerhouse behind the mic. Straightforward and powerful vocals in the same upper echelon that Bruce Dickinson resides in, hitting unwavering screeches with fantastical flair. His style tries to copy Dickinson at times and does so by managing to present his own special finesse. On other songs he puts this Vince Neil twist on it that is raunchy and raw simultaneously while retaining that slick melody.
The songs on "Race Against Time" are completely ensorcelled fare from its decade, with a few tracks that would have been comfortable on the already mentioned Maiden album "Somewhere in Time", while the rest could have been peppered through other melodic 80s albums. It successfully buffs down the harder edges that made up their debut into something more comfortably hair metal pop while still proving there is a wealth of fire sparking under the hood.

The first half of the album is especially of note, with the haunting "All Alone" that has soaring guitarwork, an almost military drum type rhythm at parts, and acoustic and softer sections that build up to the rest of the explosive track. "Race Against Time" is the most Maiden sounding song on the album, with axework that mirrors that of Iron Maiden's as well as the overall rhythm that sounds amazingly similar to Maiden's "Sea of Madness". Backing 'gang' vocals help expand the overall feel of the song. The attempt to sound like Bruce is not too overdone, he fits comfortably in his own style while obviously retaining that prominent Dickinson sound. Not one to overlook is the radio rocker, "Shoot Down the Night", that had the cutesy "this ain't Kansas anymore Dorothy of the red shoes" video (which was oh-so super cutesy clever when one knows the band hails from Kansas City).

"Circular Flight of the One Winged Sparrow" is a bit of a medieval acoustic instrumental track, pretty but short, and a nice break from the ragin' rock tracks that have assaulted their way through the disc so far. "Call of the Wild" is a rather typical blistering song that has a forwardly rocking overall sound and a rawness to it that is reminiscent of Europe's "Wings of Tomorrow" material (like the song "Stormwind"). More gang vocals and guitar shredding all over the place. There's more on it on this one track than you can shake a stick at. Plenty of screaming too provided by Flood.

The next song, "Precious Metal" is just dripping with charm, catchiness and the opening catch of a snarled "DRAW!!!". It is pure power rock set in a spaghetti western flavor and backed up to the wall by a sexy hip swaying rhythm. Tommy puts that Vince Neil swaggering vocal swing on his voice (ie: Crue hit, "Looks that Kill"). "Desire" carries on the sound of the previous song, almost reminds me of Firehouse type stuff, just with a harder backbone to it. The vocal harmonies and chorus take us back to early Def Leppard material from "Pyromania".

Banshee never rocked up the charts, but they did deliver one hell of a classic album by the name of "Race Against Time". Their followup would be more in the pop, big hair direction, but this particular outing just simply had balls. Not to mention, a slick sense of style and a touch of not only the past but a focus on the future. The album is definitely 80s, and rides on the talents of Flood and the virtuosic performance of guitarist Terry Dunn. Banshee's story is not over, they are currently hard at work on a fourth album to be released in 2010 and is rumored to be more along the progressive tides as metal subgenres flow. Till then, this is a really nice one to spice up your collection.

Written by Alanna
Tuesday, October 6, 2009
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Alanna: 8/10

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Comment by ahoff41 (Member) - Monday, July 12, 2010
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yes its a great review and i love the album i own it. the only problem is that on race against time you say they sound like they'd fit on the somewhere in time maiden album or other 80's albums and your dead wrong banshee has their own unique style if you have a true ear for music so does all bands. a similarity of sound here and there but banshee and their frontman tommy lee flood definately do not try to immitate other bands and especially not maiden maiden is completely different in style and sound.

Posted by ahoff41
Monday, July 12, 2010

Review by Alanna

Released by
Atlantic - 1989

01. Shoot Down The Night
02. All Alone
03. Race Against Time
04. Circular Flight Of The One Winged Sparrow
05. Call Of The Wild
06. Precious Metal
07. Desire
08. Get It On The Run
09. Missing You
10. Drive Like Hell
11. Desert Moon

Hard rock

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