Twisted Tower Dire - Crest Of The Martyrs
Remedy Records
True Heavy Metal
11 songs (48'16)
Release year: 2003
Twisted Tower Dire, Remedy
Reviewed by Marty
Surprise of the month
Twisted Tower Dire comes to us from the U.S. and was formed in 1995 with the intent of playing true heavy metal. After several demos and E.P.'s, the band released their first album The Curse Of The Twisted Tower. In 2001, the band released The Isle Of Hydra which lead to lots of live appearances throughout the U.S. playing alongside such bands as Slough Feg and Solstice. This new album, Crest Of The Martyrs is the first one for the band's new label, Remedy Records and sees the band improving in the aspects of production and songwriting. Handling the production duties is none other than Piet Sielck (Iron Savior) who is also known for his production work in the past with Blind Guardian. The cover artwork was done by Derek Riggs of Iron Maiden fame. Versions of this album are available in standard CD format, Digipak format (with a bonus track) and LP version with a gatefold sleeve. These guys have made a habit of releasing their albums in vinyl LP format as well with lots of great graphics. The band is about to embark on a European tour with appearances at Metal Bash Open Air and Wacken Open Air this summer. The writing for their next album, their fourth, is well under way as well.

This band delivers a great mix of 80's style metal with the standard true metal lyrics and subject matter. Their lead singer's voice at times is a dead ringer for Biff Byford of Saxon. The songs are all riff-based and with the speed and recklessness of some of them, Saxon once again shows it's influence on this band. Most tracks have great charging riffs with some great dramatic harmony leads and fills showing some Iron Maiden influences as well. A few tracks really get quite speedy and fast and I even hear a bit of a Motorhead influence. The guitar sound to me sounds very much like the Dogs Of War album by Saxon released in 1995. Fans of Running Wild will also probably be grinning ear too ear when their hear this album as well as it falls very much into the same category with the sound and style of metal that they play. Comparisons could also be made to Hammerfall with some of the speedier riffs and the big epic choruses but I find Twisted Tower Dire to be a lot less cheesy with the vocals and lyrics. The songwriting and song arrangements are top notch and this band is instantly appealing due to the quality of their metal music and the killer energy it has.

Instead of sounding like a new album by a relatively new band, this album sounds like a long lost album by some forgotten band from the 80's. It has that 80's sound and manages to maintain the raw and grittier edge that this music needs to remain true to it's origins and intentions, not the ultra slick production that we've seen by a few other bands. (Lost Horizon's A Flame To The Ground Beneath for instance). It's great to see some newer bands playing this style of 80's influenced metal (Stormwarrior and Wolf to name a couple). Sure this style of metal can sound dated but when new bands take that sound one step further, all of a sudden it becomes a fresh new sound for the metal scene. True metal fans and also fans of such classic bands as Saxon, Motorhead and Running Wild will find lots to like about this album and even if you haven't heard this band at all, it's worth the investment. One of the best true metal albums to come out so far this year and if these guys continue to improve like they are album after album, they may be the next biggest thing in the genre.

Killing Songs :
all are good but especially At Night, Axes And Honour, To Be A Champion, Infinitum, Fight To be Free, By My Hand and The Reflecting Pool
Marty quoted 85 / 100
Other albums by Twisted Tower Dire that we have reviewed:
Twisted Tower Dire - Make It Dark reviewed by Alex and quoted 79 / 100
Twisted Tower Dire - Netherworlds reviewed by Marty and quoted 72 / 100
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