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Requiem (Slovenia) - 2003 Zadnja Molitev

ARTIST: Requiem (Slovenia)
ALBUM: Zadnja Molitev
LABEL: Play Records
YEAR: 2003
SPONSOR: Marko Slokar


LINEUP: Sergej Skofljanec - vocals, keyboards * Marc Kavas - lead guitar * Marko Slokar - guitars * Giovanni Kavas - bass * Damjan Brezovec - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 Intro - Lacrimosa * 02 Krizarji * 03 12 Let * 04 Mr Twister * 05 Transilvania * 06 Ker Te Ni * 07 Armageddon * 08 Jealousy * 09 Revolution * 10 Udar Nazaj * 11 Magic * 12 Outro - Zadnja Molitev

Well here's a first: heavy metal from the European hotbed of Slovenia - a country near the warzone region of Bosnia and Kosovo. While all the fighting was going on over the border, Requiem were about ready to take on a challenge all of their own, and that was to start up as an HM band in the most unlikeliest of places. Starting life as far back as 1993, the band have been through many musicians, and in the process released three prior albums to this one - their latest 'Zadnja Molitev', which in English means 'Last Prayer' is their fourth. This album features a change of personnel since 1999's 'III', with two new members, including the impressive singer Sergej Skofljanec, who sounds as if he could outscream Marc Storace or Fernando Garcia - now that would be some achievement! Joining the band was bassist Giovanni Kavas, brother of guitarist Marc. The music is solid eighties hard rock/metal, with a foot in the camp of bands like Krokus, Rainbow and Uriah Heep. It isn't a 'speed metal' affair, so you are reassured that it doesn't degrade to all those cheesy Euro outfits from the eighties. Surprisingly, there is a good dose of keyboards, which gives 'Zadnja Molitev' that added sheen and professionalism.

The Songs
Of the twelve tunes, fiver are sung in English, and good they are too. The closest they get to AOR would be the lovely 'Magic' - with this signature track you know these guys are good. Things slow up a bit on the regimented 'Revolution' - the chorus taking a leaf out of the book written by Fifth Angel. Check out the awesome vocals of Sergej on 'Mr Twister' - true eighties riffarama with a comical twist. His shrieks of manic laughter toward the end deserve a listen. The native vocal tracks do not detract in any way. '12 Let' for instance crosses the swords of Krokus and Rainbow. The vocals and guitar solo really stand out. A highlight for me is the smokin' riff-fest 'Transilvania'. Have no idea what they're singing about but it is excellent - perhaps the wolf howls at the end of the song gives the game away! Elsewhere, 'Ker Te Ni' is a graceful ballad, the rich acoustic guitars providing a melodic swell in lieu of keyboards, but the stand-out point is the killer guitar solo - woah!. 'Udar Nazaj' is a faster rockin' effort - using Victory as a reference point, Sergej's vocal giving Mr Garcia a run for his money.

In Summary
Like many European bands who sing in their native tongue, it does take a bit of getting used to. With Requiem though, you get the impression that it won't take long to master that side of things, and I enjoyed it immensely. Musically, they've got lots to offer, and I can guarantee they are without doubt Slovenia's best rock export. They also advise that their next album will be an all English vocal affair. Good on them! I wonder what these guys would sounds like with Fredrik Nordstrom or Sascha Paeth at the helm? Hmmmm..

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