Shockmachine (Victor) 1999
Shockmachine is a project of Markus Grosskopf of Helloween, and also features ex-Helloween drummer Uli Kusch. Because of this, comparisons to Helloween are inevidable. The thing is, Shockmachine don't really sound like a Helloween clone rather Shockmachine are much more straight forward heavy metal. I got this CD almost six months before I finally added it to my site. The reason for delaying a review was because I wasn't sure how I felt about it and wanted to live with it for a while. Sometimes when CDs don't sit well with me in the first listen, consequent listens often help the CD to grow on me. I also did some investigating on the web and didn't really find one positive review about this CD. Most were lukewarm at best, which is exactly how I felt listening to this CD. It's not bad, but nothing really jumps out at me other than the powerful opening track "Dreamers" and perhaps the decent cover of Ozzy's "Steal Away", which stick pretty close to the original. I think one of the reason is that the vocals lack much charisma. Olly Lugosi can sing and his gravely voice isn't bad, but I suppose I was just looking for a bit more hook and range in the vocal melodies. At times he reminds me of Chris Boltendahl from Grave Digger. Shockmachine is a disc for Helloween die-hards who have to own everything from the band members, and is a decent listen every now and then, but otherwise this CD doesn't hold a dime to Markus' main band.
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