Tailgunner isn’t about to give up the ghost.
Formed in England in 2018, the band didn’t unveil singles until 2022, when their first EP was released. In 2023, Thomas Hewson (bass), Sammy Starwood (drums, ex-Midnight Prophecy), Zach Salvini (guitar) and Craig Cairns (vocals, Induction, Titan Blood, ex-Midnight Prophecy) signed with Fireflash Records for the release of Guns For Hire, their debut album.
The album was also recorded with Patrick van der Völlering (guitar), who recently left the band, and is replaced live by Rhea Thompson (Rïot-Eye).
As soon as Shadows Of War kicks off, the band unveils a Heavy Metal-rootedspund, which keeps both the hooking rhythm and catchy melodies, but also that powerful, unifying voice. Epic leads seamlessly take us into Guns For Hire, the eponymous track, which recalls the same elements with an energetic Old School approach, forcing the vocalist to reveal all his abilities, whether in the high notes or even a saturated passage. White Death stays in the same lively vein, with scathing leads and a solid, effective rhythm section, leading up to Revolution Scream and its choirs, which skilfully completes perfectly managed vocals from start to finish. Once again, the musicians deliver a motivating sound which borrows from the style’s roots, before letting the guitarists run wild on Futures Lost, while the rhythm section remains solid, providing a perfect basis for the vocalist to lay down his parts on slightly more disturbing or intense sounds, such as this final, which lets New Horizons offer sharp Thrash influences which are perfectly integrate with the jerky riffs. In contrast to Warhead, which remains just as energetic when lead parts take control of the rhythm section, along with the heady vocals, the track also features a few softer parts. An alarm sounds to signal the start of the martial Crashdrive, which is sure to draw us into its chorus-driven chorus, just before the leads take us into their long dance, leading after a piercing final to Blood For Blood, a softer composition which returns to the origins of Heavy Metal to link catchy choruses and a few more melodious parts. The band closes its album with Rebirth, a near from nine minutes composition, alternating energetic parts, epic leads and above all a mastery of Old School arcana to compete with the genre’s pioneers.
If you like Heavy Metal, Tailgunner is the band to listen to this year. A worthy successor to their English heritage, the band’s Guns For Hire delivers a typical 80s sound, with a mix which keeps all its flavor.