Words: Craig Hartranft
You've probably never heard of Creature. Unless, of course, you're from Germany, Hamburg specifically, and you were around the underground heavy metal scene in the Eighties. In 1989 they released one album, a self-titled debut. After this, the band seems lost in history. Then, rising from obscurity, Karthago Records re-releases the debut album as Way To Paradise in 2003.
Fast forward another 12 years and Creature returns with their second album, Ride The Bullet. Not having heard the debut, I'm guessing not much has changed. What you have here is basically the Eighties hybrid of melodic hard rock and heavy metal, likely informed by early NWoBHM. Groove, melody, with some heavy metal riffs and speed and toss in some generally unnoticeable keyboards . But Creature puts their own small twist on this: in addition to a male lead vocalist, they have two female vocalists, mostly for background and harmony vocals. But I'm not sure of this. One maybe sharing lead vocals on both Heroes and Spit. Actually, in the context of the entire production, the vocal arrangements are the weak spot. Not because they aren't clean or melodic, just run over by the music in the mix. As for the songs, I'm not willing to go into much detail, simply because I was largely ambivalent about the whole album. There's plenty of generally fast and heavy stuff like Nervous Breakdown, Bitch Part II, No Voice Rumors, or Ride The Bullet. That last song is one where the rock groove comes forward and the refrain is quite catchy. Perhaps the best thing about the album is the guitar lines: mostly brisk and crisp, with lots of rabid solos throughout. Yet, how can you have true melodic heavy metal without bristling guitar? You can't. I suspect, in the end, Creature will remain in heavy metal cult status, remembered mostly by their fans. And if you're one of those fans you should get this album immediately.
Rising from obscurity, the long lost German metal band Creature returns with Ride The Bullet, a platter of classic heavy metal with rock groove and melody.
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