Two coincidental things are happening this week. 1: Banger TV is doing an episode on Speed Metal today. 2: My buddy Ben shared some music with me. Amongst that music was a band called Wardance which Metal Archives has labeled as a Speed/Power Metal band. So in preparation for tonight’s Banger TV Speed Metal debate I threw this Wardance on and let the riffs take me away.
Speed metal is a tricky genre to define. In my eyes (ears) it’s very similar to thrash, albeit with less of the hardcore/punk influence and more focus on musicianship virtuosity, but when you’re getting into technical and demanding instrumentation it starts to feel like power metal. I could see a claim for speed metal before thrash came around but I feel like thrash sort of enveloped speed. Power metal to a certain degree as well. Look at Blind Guardian for example.
However, I think Wardance, even in 1990 maintain their “speed” credentials. For the most part. The songs are fairly epic and sweeping, along with most of the guitar solos. There’s some ballad like songs that push it closer to the power metal mark and Sandra Schumacher’s killer vocals are almost punkish in nature. There’s definitely a snarl, or a bite to them. I’m thinking of the song “Death Caress” which perfectly encapsulates everything Wardance does in one song.
I guess there was a lot of drama with the band and had broken up once before releasing this, their one and only album. As well as being smack in the center of a tremendous German metal scene by 1990, it’s no wonder this album has flown under the radar but with so many bands trying to revisit classic speed metal sounds these days, this album should land in some ears. It’s fucking awesome.
Also, kudos to the band for their glorious cover of “House of the Rising Sun” a song I can’t fucking stand but would gladly listen to their version over and over.