VENGEANCE – Back In The Ring

VENGEANCE - Back In The Ring


MTM Music
Release date: June 23, 2006

User Review
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The last full-length album the Dutch Hard Rockers of Vengeance put out was Back From The Flight 19, which came out in 1997. Since then, not much has been heard from lead vocalist Leon Goewie and company, save for a couple of “Best Of” compilations and one single.

Vengeance looks to get back into the fight with their latest Hard Rock offering, Back In The Ring. In addition to Goewie, Barend Courbois (bass), Hans in’t Zandt (drums), and Peter Bourbon (guitar), guest musicians like guitarist Arjen Lucassen (one of Vengeance’s founding members), and Primal Fear’s Matt Sinner pop up over the course of Back In The Ring‘s 11 songs (one of which is an unlisted acoustic track called “Evelyn”).

If you’re not familiar with Vengeance and their sound, they play a very heavy style of Hard Rock in the vein of bands like AC/DC, Krokus, and Rhino Bucket, with lots of big razor-edged riffs, powerful vocals (Goewie sounds a lot like AC/DC’s Brian Johnson), forceful drumming, and catchy choruses and melodies.

Longtime fans of Vengeance and Hard Rock aficionados will certainly like Back In The Ring: it’s loud and aggressive as it pummels you with the one-two punch of Goewie’s yowling vocals and Peter Bourbon’s thunderous riffage. Nearly every song has really strong, speaker-rattling riffs and catchy, hooky vocal lines that make you want to sing along (probably with your fists in the air). If fans of the band were worried that Goewie may have lost something off his voice over the years, your worries are unfounded: he sounds as strong as ever on this disc.

Back In The Ring comes out strong with the punishing title track and rarely stops for a breath, although the band eases up a bit for the slower-paced (but very melodic) “Captain Moonlight” in the #4 spot. Other than that song, it’s all punchy, anthemic Boogie Metal that will make the wait for the next AC/DC album more bearable, especially if it sounds as good as Back In The Ring does. Some listeners might think that Vengeance is copying AC/DC a bit too closely here (and it’s a valid gripe), but they do a good job of it, and this album is considerably heavier than the last couple of AC/DC releases.

Back In The Ring is a solidly-produced album, with no weak songs and some real standouts, like the title track, “Captain Moonlight,” “No Mercy,” “Holy Water,” “Bad Attitude,” and “Had Enuff.” “Cowboy Style” is kind of silly, but hear it just once and you’ll have the vocal refrain stuck in your head for the rest of the day. “Evelyn” shows a more sensitive side to the album and is respectably done, but since it comes at the end of the disc, you can skip it if you don’t like that “mushy” stuff.

With Back In The Ring, Vengeance proves that the long layoff hasn’t softened their skills … they’re in fine fighting shape, and their punches are packed with dynamite.


  • Gary McLean

    Gary was a reviewer here at Metal Express Radio, based out of the small Ontario, Canada town of Sault Ste. Marie, right on the border of Michigan, USA. When it comes to Metal and Hard Rock, Gary likes quite a few different bands, from stalwarts like Iron Maiden and Judas Priest, to newer, hard-hitting groups such as Primal Fear, Hammerfall, and Paragon. Other favorites include the likes of Nightwish, Running Wild, Therion, Accept, Stratovarius, Dream Evil, Helloween, Rammstein, Dirty Looks, Crimson Glory, Tristania, and Gamma Ray. He thinks AC/DC deserves a paragraph all their own though.

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