Five 13 trades in a very distinctive blend of metal, minted in the latter part of the second Reagan administration. If the names Fates Warning, Scorpions, Dokken or Warrant make you scoff or otherwise turn up your nose, you'll want to steer clear of this album, which sounds like a perfect alloy of those acts. And while these days, a knowing wink seems to be required to appreciate this particular grade of metal, there's absolutely no irony attached to these songs. Five 13, led by Danny Martinez, a seasoned singer/guitarist with years of experience fronting groups like Caught in the Act and Guild of Ages, plays its songs with with reverence and precision. Martinez's vocals give life to strong melodies, themselves bolstered by even crisper harmonies. For admittedly anachronistic rock, you can't do much better than this.
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