Review: Under Attack “Virus Alert” [Sliptrick records]

Review: Under Attack “Virus Alert” [Sliptrick records]

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Recently the Italian heavy metal band Under Attack has released their debut album “Virus Alert” through the Sliptrick Records, defining their first musical journey in a pure classical form, from hard rock/AOR to intense and catchy heavy metal.

There is little information about these Italians, but the music speaks for itself far more eloquently, focusing on important and current topics. Even the title of this album alludes on the times, in which all the world is engulfed at this moment. Under Attack has taken serious notice, composing this record, it is conceptual futuristic album in a dystopian world, revealing the wickedness in the struggle for power and money, which leads to an apocalyptic world war. But considering the brilliant cover art of Gianni Nakos there are some hints that all is not lost.

Despite the futuristic lyrics and destructive concept, the band plays traditional HMR, after all heavy metal bands prefer much direct social issues in their tackling lyrics. Music is based on solid heavy metal foundation, powerful and optimistic, rocking in a whirlwind of loudness. Some songs are more rock’n’rollish, so lively and vivid, giving the image of dancy spirit (“Soldier” or “Ready for Escape”). “Secret Plan” is the slowest and the most serious track, giving the traditional doom/heavy metal vibes. Not all the songs are equally metallic, the variability is obtained by some interesting moves, e.g., the smart use of prog/AOR-inspired keyboards. These provide with some kind of sophisticated lightness in a way, but also, they are responsible for a retro sound. “Virus Alert” isn’t overflowed with it, but these retro notes (even with reference to Italian pop music of the last century) relax the listener from the thundering wall of straightforward heavy metal. The last song “End of the Road” even has some synth pop influence.

The guitar work is technically impressive, the catchiness of the riffs and the furiously fast solos hold the attention all the time. And the voice of their singer Daniele Sciacca is coherently entwined in this masterful and blasting work of the guest guitarist Fabio Rossi (as well as their instrumentalist Nando Bonini, he’s their jack-of-all-trades). His voice is pretty high, but with a gentle huskiness, the ballad “The Sign and the Cross” is especially fitted for this kind of voice. He doesn’t spill the emotions too animatedly, but sometimes his voice fills up the spirit of the song (like the track “Under Attack”).

Under Attack made quite a remarkable debut, carefully choosing the stylistic elements, adorning with them their classical heavy metal. They do it with a passionate drive, and even retro elements are the pure joy for the listener, ’cause the scene is far too fed up with stereotypical hard rock and heavy metal bands.

Release date: January 12th, 2021

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