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Access Denied - 'Touch Of Evil' http://www.rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/4d/cc/21/3499_accessdeniedtouchofevil_1365645696.jpg Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     April 11, 2013    
 
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A solid traditional heavy metal release showing plenty of promise.

Polish female-fronted metal act Access Denied was formed in 2003. They released a demo early on that was stylistically more hard rock but changed musical direction to heavy metal before their 2009 debut ‘The Memorial’. Their second album came out on a very limited basis in Poland but at the end of 2012 ‘Touch Of Evil’ received a wider release.

With a playing time of only 35 minutes my first thought was that this was a little short but what you do get is nine tracks of ferocious classic heavy metal and there is also a bonus video at the end featuring an “explicit version” of ‘One Night’. Despite the lack of ballads and everything being up tempo, there are still speed variations. At the top end are ‘My Mind’, ‘Secret Place’ and ‘Suicide Mind’. They bound along at a furious Maiden-esque gallop where the pounding rhythm section feels like thundering horses although ‘Suicide’ does lean a little towards thrash. Most of the others are a step down in pace but even then there are occasional eruptions of double drumming. For me the three that stood out most were ‘Don’t Tell Me’, ‘Violence Of Mind’ and ‘Touch Of Evil’. The first two are the most hostile in terms of vocal delivery although ‘Don’t Tell’ opens with soft acoustic notes and big drums that give way to a truly bombastic riff and chorus. ‘Violence’ sees a low chug rise to a driven progression with shrieked vocals. The chorus sees a whirlwind of deep synth, guitars and wails. It’s the six minute title track that closes out and is my favourite given the symphonic edge. There are soft vocals before an explosion of arrangements, guitars and screams for the chorus.

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‘Touch…’ is a solid traditional heavy metal release showing plenty of promise. The first listen left me a little under-whelmed but after repeat plays I started to enjoy the tracks with the guitar work really hitting the spot. Agnieszka Sulich is a pretty good vocalist although she isn’t Doro or Lita Ford in terms of power or range. What she does have is bucket loads of aggression and attitude. For me the two guitarists were the real high point with plenty of twin lead mini breaks that were highly entertaining. The technical values are acceptable with plenty of rawness that is very much in line with those old school albums. Instrumentally the levels are fine but Sulich gets a little buried occasionally where it’s not easy to make out her words. Thankfully on the majority of tracks you can hear her clearly where she appears further to the front. This doesn’t really spoil the album overall and the fans of Maiden, Priest and similar acts should find something to entertain themselves especially in the guitars. But with such superb recent releases from the likes of Doro and Kobra And The Lotus, there’s high class competition around.

‘Touch…’ shows potential and it’s more a case of Access Provisional than Access Denied.

Dave Scott

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