The Pulsars were a shortlived trio from Chicago, two brothers into keyboard synths and programming, plus a mate on guitar ... and this was their only longplayer.
For an album released in 1997, Pulsars
has a distinctly mid-1980s sound, and whilst I couldn't hear any allusions to the Pet Shop Boys or Duran Duran as another reviewer here suggested, and certainly not a trace of Jesus & Mary Chain as mentioned by someone on RYM, and nothing whatsoever of Def Leppard (!!!) or The Pixies either (as the reviewer at allmusic.com proposed), but instead, the powerpop leanings of The Cars was a musical reference that was repeatedly brought to mind. The Pulsars also have a crack at OMD-styled synthpop on "Silicon Teens", but the track entirely lacks the clarity of production (not to mention a memorable tune) needed to successfully emulate OMD.
Whilst much of the material is modestly melodic, there's nothing here that stands out or really grabs your attention. Part of the problem is that the vocals are rather anonymous and lacking in personality, such that the songs could just as easily have been sung by some random bunch of guys pulled off the street, and they'd likely still end up sounding much the same as The Pulsars do here.
As far as it goes, this is an OK album I s'pose - 'average' in that it's just slightly better than mediocre - some of the tracks might even sound quite good on a car radio, but really it comes across as a bunch of 1990s try-hards setting out to recapture the sound of their favourite bands from the 1980s, and whilst they've got the production values about right, the material falls quite a long way short. Still, I can see a career as a 1980s tribute band beckoning.Rated:
by Reviewer: bluemoon
Posted: Wednesday 18th Dec 2013 11:18 PM
Well, this was rather disappointing. Manowar's previous Kings Of Metal,
from four years before, reached a wonderful peak of melody mixed with power, but this one has them stepping back from that quite considerably.
It all looks like fun. It starts with the twenty-eight minute extravaganza "Archilles, Agony And Ecstasy In Eight Parts" which is, well, in eight parts, as it describes the details of the Iliad, in which the battles between Hector and Archilles and suchlike are to the fore, and we then have seven other songs that cover such things as fighting dragons ("Ride The Dragon") and battles between white men and Indians ("Spirit Horse Of The Cherokee") while, of course, there's also the inevitable statement for heavy metal ("Metal Warriors" - if you're not into metal, then you're a wimp and not a friend of Manowar).
It is impressive to a degree, but it just goes on forever (almost seventy minutes) and there's little in the way of attractive melodies. No choirs, no orchestras... Yes, I know, many metal heads would say "So?? Listen to the solos! Listen to Eric Adams' screaming vocals!" And this is where I... er... fall short when it comes to my love for metal. What Kings Of Metal
brought is what I like most in the genre, and it's what The Triumph Of Steel
does not bring.
The concluding ballad, "Master Of The Wind", probably hurts most since, while nice, it reminds me of the glorious "The Crown And The King (Lament Of The Kings)" from Kings
, but falls well short. This is not a record I would keep rushing back to, both because of its overlength and limited musical appeal. For me, anyway. Rated:
by Reviewer: The Doctor
Posted: Friday 20th Dec 2013 12:52 AM