If somebody handed me Rise Of The Snake, told me to listen, and then asked what year it was from, there’s no way in hell I would say 2018. Perhaps somewhere in the ‘80s would be my guess. That said, Snakebite are a traditional heavy metal act based out of Germany that borrow influences from classic rock and glam metal as well. The only un-retro thing about it is the fact that it’s produced very well, so much to the point that they likely wouldn’t have been able to match a sound quality of this sort back in the day. Either way, it works as the perfect finishing touch to tie everything together.
Musically, the riff work is drawn from the more melodic side of heavy metal, and has an overall happy tone to it, which is where a lot of the glam and classic rock influences lie. In reality though, the rhythms are more along the lines of something Judas Priest or Dio would have written in their ‘80s work, when they added softer tones and a poppy vibe to their records. A big standout for this is the speed shredder “Run Fast”, as this one is nothing but pure speed metal to the core. On the other hand, the track to proceed it, “One Touch” has a softer approach with cleaner guitars and a calmer, somewhat sorrow filled vibe. It doesn’t come off as corny at all and shows large influence from Under Lock And Key era Dokken. So, composition wise, there’s a lot to be taken from this beast.
Other things that scream retro are a lot of the lyrical themes that fit right into the cracks of the throwback style being played. Concepts of reality, energy, and love among others take the initiative in poetic layout. The vocal style is all clean, and greatly reflects this too, implementing chants and gang vocal work here and there to top it all off. Key factors that add onto the greatness of Rise Of The Snake are the strong rhythms that almost help harmonize some of the vocal work, as well as ripping solos that contrast softer ones to keep it interesting. Blistering drum beats break through the air to add a sheet of intensity as well. Again, there’s a lot packed into this forty or so minute release.
Obviously, this is a greatly executed treat, and is certainly worthy of top five albums of the year so far. Anybody who is into older rock/metal, classic metal, glam metal, or anything that has a happy vibe will dig this. Those in search of a harsh speedball type record, look elsewhere.