Holland's prime anti-christian posse is back with a vengeance. With only two of the original members left in its ranks, Altar has released their third album, "Provoke".

Once more, it's a sonic brick hurled with indisputable power, even though it has to be said that Marcel Verdurmen's hand in the compositions has succeeded in introducing a certain melodic element and, yes, pretty good guitar work in places. Vocalist Edwin Kelder has put in his familiar "pissed off at the world" lyrics; although they may not exactly be gramatically impeccable, they sure seem to come right from a heart. The earth is polluted, politicians are hypocrites. Is Altar perhaps a poor man's Skyclad?

Be that as it may, Accept fans may be pleased to know that "Provoke" features an extremely powerful version of "Fast as a Shark". On top of that, computer owners will be pleased to discover that "Provoke" is actually a CD-X, featuring a bonus track with Displeased band bios, sound snippets and pictures.



Written July 1998


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