|Germany's Alpha Tiger are living proof for the fact that traditional heavy metal does not necessarily need to be created by elderly people and the band's hard-hitting second album and Century Media debut Beneath The Surface kicks rusty rockers out of their wheelchairs with its remarkably fresh take on early Helloween and Queensryche - perfect metal pleasure guaranteed!
Thoroughly hailed in the national and international metal scene for its 2011 debut Man Or Machine (Sonic Attack Records) and much celebrated shows at German cult festivals Keep It True, Headbangers Open Air and Rock Hard festival as well as France's finest Hellfest, Alpha Tiger quickly became one of Germany's hottest heavy metal newcomers (e.g. #7 in the newcomer category of Rock Hard's reader's poll 2011).
Due to epic compositions, catchy hooks and Stephan Dietrich's powerful vocals that remind of Geoff Tate and Michael Kiske in their heydays, the band succeeded in living up to the positive feedback and took pains to up the ante as guitarist Peter Langforth confirms: "Usually, I don't compose to meet other people's expectations but I definitely take any kind of critic seriously. Some complained about us sticking too close to our inspirations on the previous record - there was the Iron Maiden song, the Queensryche-like tune etc., on "Beneath The Surface" we successfully emancipated ourselves and got rid of a lot of dead weight. Combined with the technical abilities of our new drummer David Schleif, who replaced Alex Pätzold earlier this year, we developed our own style and I'm very happy with it."
Songs like the opener "The Alliance", the complex title track or catchy "Crescent Moon" are only some reasons to believe Peter whereas the lyrical content surely has more to offer than clichéd texts about fast cars, hot women and randomly generated fairytales about steel, dragons, knights, and well…steel. "Just like on the previous album three songs are thematically linked and deal with the current political situation as well as various conspiracy theories for which I have a certain soft spot", Peter explains. "With "From Outer Space" (which will also be the first video track and digital single) I also picked up the alien theme from our first album again, I guess it's a classic case of force of habit, haha."
All lyrical topics are represented in the stunning cover artwork which despite bearing reminiscences to the work of cult artist Ed Repka was created by Hungarian designer Peter Tikos who also worked with the band on the "Man Or Machine" cover. "We wanted a really vivid cover that refers to the lyrics and it features several allusions on the financial world and conspiracies. In my opinion it looks almost like a movie poster", states Peter. Concerning their own visual appearance, Alpha Tiger tigerhowever remained true to themselves: Flashy bandanas, leather, spikes and pants Steve Harris probably wore the last time back in 1987.
Beneath The Surface was recorded in summer 2012 at Berlin's Musicflash studio, mixed by Mirco Godi Hildmann (Guano Apes, Pathfinder) and mastered by Andreas Hilbert (Golem, Harmony Dies). "We wanted to sound less old-fashioned compared to our debut while avoiding sterility or risk losing our trademark sound." Mission accomplished. Next step in Alpha Tiger's conquest is a much anticipated European tour as direct support for W.A.S.P. which should allow them to gather even more supporters.
Ultimately, classic idols and fresh blood unite in Alpha Tiger resulting in a first class heavy metal inferno entitled "Beneath The Surface". Now for god's sake - bang your head!