Victim Mentality‘s ‘Magic Finger‘ was a good introduction to the band’s glam heavy metal, but it unfortunately ended kind of quick. After seeing the band at SXSW 2015, it’s apparent that even this recording didn’t capture the entire power of the band compared to their lives. But at least now the band was able to record a more complete effort on ‘Heavy Metal Is Back‘, and you can hear almost everything they have to offer.
There’s still a difference between the live and recorded sound of the band, but ‘Heavy Metal Is Back’ does give a lot more music to hear. The glam metal sound is obvious from the start of the album, and “속도위반” is the first real strong song. Krocodile‘s vocals come out stronger than before, and the background vocals add a little life as well. However, the unfortunate thing is that the power that I heard from the live show still hasn’t been effectively captured on these recordings.
It’s like ‘Heavy Metal Is Back’ is a teaser for live performances. While there’s power on certain parts of songs, there’s something missing. The track “Heavy Metal Is Back” is a good example of this. The drums sound deep and give the song its structure, but the guitars don’t have the right underlying strength and it’s very difficult to hear any bass guitar. All the songs are strong, but the overall recording sounds weak.
I had a lot of hopes for ‘Heavy Metal Is Back’, and while the songs are great, have the attitude that I expected, and there’s a great variety between the faster, aggressive songs and the power ballads, the mixing of the album stripped a lot of Victim Mentality out. It would be great to get the album remastered and give each instrument the proper levels so that their energy can truly shine through.