Words: Craig Hartranft
From Austria, Loud At Least was born out of studio recordings by bassist Gernot Reisner, singer and guitarist Gernot Schilcher and studio owner Ossi Theisl. Things gelled and they recorded and released a first studio album, Painful Exploration Now they return, after some slight personnel changes, to deliver their second album, Dirty.
Let's be clear at the start. Technically, this is not a "new" album; it was released by the band in 2013. They band has recently garnered interest from Germany's Massacre Records, and signed the band for international distribution.
The larger context of Loud At Least's music is basically traditional melodic hard rock and heavy metal, definitely weighting to the latter. Yet, there's nothing here without the groove and melody that informs music, rock music, in it's best sense. Anything, the speedy Kill The Dragon or Hell To, Fire And Ice, and Ride On Me blur that line between rock and metal. Call them heavy metal rockers, if you will. Alternatively, they do dial things back a bit and, to somewhat of a surprise, seem to venture into more AOR melodic hard rock. This definitely comes with Heaven Is Calling and Warm Rain. An edge remains, but it's tempered by AOR's pop accessibility. There's a ballad at the end, Up On Stage, which has a larger acoustic guitar foundation before getting louder later in the second half. Additionally, guitar geeks will enjoy the abundance of stinging solos throughout.
My final thoughts of Dirty teeter towards ambivalence. I could go either way. Listen again or not. Buy or not. Essentially, Loud At Least's music and album Dirty is fundamental, well-crafted, metal-edged melodic hard rock, nothing more or nothing less, but also not all that novel. But does it have to be? Probably not, especially for rock n roll.
Essentially, Loud At Least's music and album Dirty is fundamental, well-crafted, metal-edged melodic hard rock, nothing more or nothing less, but also not all that novel. But does it have to be? Probably not, especially for rock n roll.
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