Russian quintet Pokerface plays vibrant melodic thrash metal on its latest extended play The Greatest Storm. The production is clean and crisp and doesn’t lose any energy despite its contemporary style. The songwriting is focused with four tracks between four and five minutes that never overstay their welcome. Some thrash metal veterans that tend to stretch their tracks and repeat themselves endlessly should take notes.
The musicianship is also excellent. Powerful opener and title track ”The Greatest Storm” actually starts with a bass solo and the instrument is quite domineering in that regard throughout the record. The drums sound tight without being too flashy which suits this genre very well. The mixture of energetic riffs versus great melodic leads and solos is perfectly balanced.
The definite highlight are though the stunning lead vocals by Alexandra Orlova. One might underestimate her due to her participation in the silly Korrozia Metalla but she is one of the greatest female vocalist in the metal scene. She nails the melodic passages with emotive intensity but also handles the rawer parts with grit and offers some haunting screams at the right moment. Lady Owl is only twenty-five years old and one should keep an eye on her as there might be more great performances to come in the future. She easily beats overrated singers like Alissa White-Gluz and the likes.
In the end, if you like contemporary thrash metal with outstanding vocals, you should check Pokerface out for sure and this compact, entertaining and passionate extended play is a great place to start with.