Double Dealer is, basically, a cross-pollination of Concerto Moon (guitarist, bassist, keyboards) and Saber Tiger (vocalist and drummer).

This band's eponymous first album is very Rainbow-like, a melodic power metal kind of music. Unfortunately, they have a with a vocalist who, sounding like a rabid throat infection commercial, drags down the level of the entire album. He sounds like a packet of cigarettes per hour and his vibrato (especially in the higher regions, such as in "Deep Blue Sky") is beyond merely atrocious.

Despite vocalist Takenori Shimoyama's atrocities, "Double Dealer" is a fine album. Guitarist Norifumi Shima's playing is similar to a more laid-back Yngwie Malmsteen, and in the hidden bonus tracks ("Fire Drake") he is capably assisted by Saber Tiger guitarist Akihito Kinoshita. However, the album doesn't merely offer good guitar work with bad vocals such as is so often found on albums by far too many guitarists, it also features up-tempo rockers such as "Primitive Live" and longer-spun heavy tracks the likes of "Inner Voice". "Look at Your Face" sounds partly like something Dio has done, and "Raise Your Fist" has guitar work that sounds like Kurt "Dr. Mastermind" James on a very good day.

If you remove the lesser elements from this band, what you have is, basically, Concerto Moon. Which leads me to think that probably I'll have to check that band out some day soon!



Written December 2000


Go to what I think might just be the Official Double Dealer web site (in Japanese :-)

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