Vanize - Twins? (Cheerlo/Long Island) 1995
1. "Holy War"
Nothing groundbreaking here, just 100% German heavy metal. I'll bet, had this album come out in the late eighties, that Vanize would have been a leader in the metal genre along with his brother's band Accept. Unfortunately, a decade later, this type of steroid ingested heavy metal is not in vogue. But then, what metalhead cared about being 'in vogue'? Not I! So, if you are anything like me, pop this disc into your car stereo, crank it up and headbang on down the road. See if songs like "Holy War", "Heading for Tomorrow" and the infections "Evil Eyes" don't get your head to bangin'. Unfortunately 'Twins?' is the hardest Vanize disc to find as it is out or print and pretty much out of circulation. The few copies I have seen on eBay sell for arounde $30.
Vanize-Bootlicker (Breaker) 1999
Not unlike the Van Zant brothers, the Dirkschneider brothers not only sound amazingly similar vocally, but brother Peter's band even takes on a similar sound musically to his brother's bands, U.D.O. and Accept. It only took me hearing one song to convince me to begin searching for this band. Unfortunately none of their albums are available in the U.S. Vanize are 100% neck-snapping, head-banging, heavy metal. The entire album will slice you apart and spit you out with it's killer riffs, shredding solos and over-the-top shreiks. I may be commiting heavy metal blasphemy here, but I would even dare to say this album is as good as some of Accept's best discs.
I actually met Peter when U.D.O. and Saxon played in Santa Fe, as he was running his brothers merchandise table. I think he almost fell over when I recognized him and questioned him about Vanize. I asked him if there was any chance of his band signing a record deal in the States, to which his reply was a full on laugh. I took that as a NO. Anyhow, nice guy, great band! Have to find more of his discs now.
Vanize-High Proof (Breaker) 2000
1. "The Final Breath"
Excellent true heavy metal in the tradition of German power metal. Everything about this disc is quality, from the obviously Udo inspired vocals, to the guitar riffs, to the songwriting to the tight, punchy production courtesy of Accept/U.D.O. mainman Stefan Kaufmann. I can't see any fan of Accept, or just old school metal for that matter, not liking this disc. Problem is finding a copy. It took me several years to finally get a copy and even then it took over four months to come in from the place I ordered it from. Apparently it was released on brother Udo's "Breaker" label and given to Nuclear Blast for distribution. However, the Nuclear Blast logo is hidden under a "Distributed by SPV" sticker, so I guess that didn't work out to well.
Vanize - Raw (Mystic Empire) 2006
1. "Gods of Revenge"
Vanize are one of the unsung heros of German heavy metal. I'd be willing to be that vocalist Peter Dirkschneider gets tired of being compared to his brother Udo, and his projects. The fact is, Vanize are a top quality heavy metal band. Unlike many band in the post heyday of classic heavy metal, Vanize don't worry themselves with mixing in different genres of music, nor are they overly technical or showy. Rather, they play good 'ol German heavy metal. "Raw" is the band's fourth release, and continues in much the same direction as one would expect from the band. This album is chock full of solid riffing, guitar solos, heavy-but-melodic song writing and the gruff-but-tuneful vocals. The opening track is perhaps one of the band's best yet. Frankly, I can imagine U.D.O. also recording this track, as it's just that good. "Devil" is an equally good song with a simple, catchy chorus. "I Will Survive" is also a strong cut from the album. However, this is not to say that the rest of the songs are filler either. Rather, "Raw" is a pummeling heavy metal platter that should please past Vanize fans, as well as any fan of tried and true heavy metal. I really is a shame that this band isn't more well known worldwide. As it stands, those of us who actively search out real metal have yet another album to bang our collective heads to.