Reviewed by Chris Hammond
Atkins/May Project- The Final Cut
Label: Dog Ruff Records
Genre: Heavy Metal
Release Date: April 28, 2020
- Intro 00:36 instrumental
- The Final Cut 04:41
- When the Bell Tolls 04:58
- The War In-Between 04:21
- Treading Water 06:18
- Buried Alive 04:32
- Fighting Man 04:52
- Dead Mens Bones 03:53
- Stranger in a Strange Land 05:26
- The Cold Wind Blows 04:12
- Masquerade 05:34
- The Final Cut (Full Version) 09:03
Album Runtime: 58:26
Vocalist Al Atkins (who lists himself as the founder of Judas Priest on his Facebook page) is a heavy metal journeyman. Recently he released his fourth studio album with Atkins May Project (AMP) along with permanent guitarist Paul May. The album entitled “The final cut” follows in the same musical styles of early British Heavy Metal (Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Saxon).
Atkin’s gritty vocals stay more to the mid-range (as they have for most of his career). What he lacks in range, he makes up for in musical arrangements, intensity, and engaging lyrics as displayed in the song Stranger in a strange land – “I have journeyed on this tapestry of life, sometimes walking on the edge of a knife”. No this is not an Iron Maiden cover song, but none the less an instant heavy metal classic.
Paul May, who is not widely known here in North America, brings his producing, songwriting talents along with his ultra-guitar grooving gifts to each song.
The song Dead Man’s Bones is an instant foot-stomping full-on heavy musical assault in the same vein as classic Motorhead songs. Guitar Riffs and Gritty fast-paced vocals echo through the speakers and make this the stand out song on an album full of instant classics.
The Final Cut is no-frills 80’s Heavy Metal (even the albums cover screams 80’s) mixed with 2000’s modern musicianship tips of the hat, and it works beautifully. With Atkins now in his early 70’s, One can only hope there are more albums like this in the tank and that this is truly not the “Final Cut”.
5 Devil horns up out of 5 devil horns!
Available on CD and Itunes now