Speedtrap - Raw Deal

6 songs
22:05 minutes
***** **
High Roller


I would never have guessed that Speedtrap are from Finland. We are accustomed to think of all kinds of gothic, doom and death metal to come from the land of the thousand lakes, and Speedtrap do their best not to fit that template. Formed only in 2007, they released a four song demo one year later. Their debut EP Raw Deal collects these tracks plus two additional ones, and offers some of the most authentic retro metal I have heard in a long time.

Inspired by bands like Exciter, Diamond Head and the obscure Blood Money, the young quartet reveal themselves as true archaeologists of early British heavy metal, although they also have a huge fondness for proto speed and thrash metal from the early to mid-Eighties that they allowed to flow into their songwriting. The six songs on Raw Deal are without an exception fast metal pieces that, although never leaving the territory of classic NWOBHM nostalgia, still come with an appealing grittiness, especially in terms of production which despite its primitive sound conveys all the charm you would expect from such a band.

The songs are all good, even if no single track manages to stand out. The guitar sounds wildly wicked in a Motörhead way, the rhythm section is pummelling its way though the music while the vocalist – who also plays drums in at least half a dozen Finnish metal bands – has a somewhat breathless quality to his voice that under the circumstances add to the old school atmosphere.

Raw Deal is a rather short affair, but sometimes it’s just as good when newcomers start out with an EP to prevent the risk of including fillers. The regular CD release happened already in summer on Thunderknights Records, but High Roller Records decided to follow with a limited vinyl edition that possibly fits the sound of Speedtrap’s music better. While the Finns still have to work on some details, they can definitely be proud of their debut which should get metal fans headbanging all over the world.

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