Alpha Tiger - iDentity (SPV/Steamhammer)

Derivative yet engaging metal from these German hopefuls...
Release Date: 
19 Jan 2015 (All day)

Young German outfit Alpha Tiger have definitely got a few – wait for it – identity problems. Basically, they seem to want to be Queensrÿche so badly that the taint of the Seattle metal veterans hangs heavy over every track on this, their third full length outing.

That’s not necessarily a bad thing of course; The lads take early Queensrÿche as their blueprint rather than the rather tedious later Tate-led incarnations of the band, which leads to iDentity being choc-full of racy, exciting melodic metal tunes that are sure to appeal to any fans of more traditional strains of heavy metal. - it's actually largely a rollicking good listen. And the band don’t actively rip off individual 'rÿche tunes either – they are far too accomplished an outfit for that. But there is still a very definite, if airily intangble, feel to everything they do (vocalist Stephan Dietrich lets out a spine tingling shriek at the end of Long Way of Redemption that could only otherwise have issued from the lungs of Geoff Tate circa 1983, for instance) that means that your enjoyment of this album will be entirely linked to how much you like Queensrÿche, which can’t really be said to be a satisfactory state of affairs if the band wants to move forward, which I’m sure they do.

But hell, I love the first couple of Queensrÿche albums, and so I seem to have developed a rather strong relationship with this album over the last couple of weeks. The title track, the afore mentioned Long Way of Redemption and the anthemic We Won’t Take it Anymore are all fine, upstanding slabs of stridently catchy melodic metal, and if the other tracks on offer here don’t quite match up to those three they do at least play good supporting roles, meaning that, almost in spite of themselves, Alpha Tiger have turned in a rather pleasant little offering. Inessential for sure, but certasinly worth some of your time.