• 7/10
    STUKA SQUADRON - Tales Of The Ost - 7/10


Metalbox Recordings
Release date: February 23, 2012

User Review
0/10 (0 votes)

Beware! Vampire Stuka pilots from the 1930s have invaded the world of Metal! Yes it’s true, the London-based band Stuka Squadron believes they are inhuman beings traveling through time as immortal vampires, drinking the blood of their loyal followers; or at least that is the persona that they have created to market their music. It’s a bold venture to create a visual identity with music. Although some bands have succeeded in doing this, it can limit the bands creativity and artistic value. As a result, Stuka Squadron may end up being shot down in flames … or flying off into victory.

Stuka Squadron released an EP in 2008 titled We Drink Blood which gave them some local popularity among the UK Metal underground. They became known for their impressive live shows that featured the band wearing full aviator uniforms, vampire makeup, sword and dagger props, and the sacrifice of at least one band member at every show. All of this only helped to propel the release of their debut album Tales Of The Ost.

Many of the musical themes from the album come across as traditional NWOBHM. There is a classic dual lead guitar format very similar to the early recordings of Iron Maiden and Def Leppard. Most of the compositions are based around World War II battles and there is an overload of themes based around war, death, valor, genocide, zombies, and, of course, vampires. It’s not exactly your happy-go-lucky feel-good album. There is also a considerable amount of narration … it seems Stuka Squadron feels the listener needs a detailed introduction regarding the carnage centered in the band’s performance.

Stuka Squadron is lead by vocalist Duke Fang Begley. According to Stuka Squadron folklore, the former Duke of Kriegenhapskargen was unfairly rejected from his post due to vampirism. Regardless, Begley has a deep and bellowing vocal style. He may not be the most technically gifted singer in the world, but he does an excellent job of driving the theatrical passion that is prevalent throughout each track.

The best part of the Stuka Squadron formula is the guitar talents of Gravedigger Cox and Sir Gravehoul Terrorsound. Beyond their silly monikers, these guys are extremely talented guitarists. They are able to build riffs off each other in classic Metal style. There is a keen sense of old Maiden when listening to them play. The way they trade off solos and build the riffs together is truly a lost art by many of today’s musicians.

It’s really a shame the Stuka Squadron has put so much effort into their imagery and on stage shenanigans and less into their music. There is so much potential with this band to become something great, but they are only holding themselves back with all of the off-color humor and theatrical nonsense. It’s very difficult to take the band seriously, even though they should be because Tales Of The Ost is an incredibly noble effort and a powerful album. The real question is; where do they go from here?


  • Sean Meloy

    Sean Meloy was a reviewer, interviewer and DJ here at Metal Express Radio, based out of Iowa , USA. By day he is a straight laced, buttoned up, number crunching accountant; armed with his portable calculator. All other times he is a hard rocking Metal head! He spent many hours listening to records and 8-tracks with his father. Classic bands such as Deep Purple, Pink Floyd, Kansas, Led Zeppelin, and Eric Clapton just to name a few. His father bought him his first record, Kiss Alive II, at age 6. By the time he reached his teens he was discovering all the Classic Metal of the 1980’s; Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Twisted Sister, etc. He became a huge fan of the Thrash Metal of the time as well; Metallica, Megadeth, Anthrax, Exodus, and Overkill. During the 1990’s he experimented with the Grunge and Hard Rock. However, by the time the millennium came he found himself going back to his roots and rebuilt the music collection he started in his teens.

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