Pokerface – Game On (Review)

PokerfaceThis is the second album by Russian thrashers Pokerface.

This is the follow up to 2015’s Divide and Rule, which I liked quite a bit. They’re now back, only with a new lineup which includes a new singer.

This new singer has a much more daemonic growl than their previous one. Her voice sounds mostly inhuman, with cavernous roars that have just the slightest feminine twinge to them. What I wasn’t expecting though were the clean vocals and fiery shouts – these are very nicely done, flipping between rocking power metal and old-school thrash. This adds a new spin on things for Pokerface, and I have to say I heartily approve.

It’s not just the vocals that have changed either. Although the core of the band is still a thrash metal one, there’s more of a melodic death metal influence in their sound these days too. This lends their already-aggressive music and even sharper edge, which works really well.

The songs are mainly aggressive thrash metal though, that mix elements of older Kreator, Slayer, Dew Scented, Testament and Arch Enemy together into 40 minutes of bristling thrash. The added death metal aspect of the music and the extra vocal variety do wonders for the album’s content too, and Game On is sure to win any game it enters.

Well-written songs, quality riffs, catchy hooks, and songs that have a good identity; Pokerface have done themselves proud here.

Divide and Rule was very good, but I have to say that Game On is the superior album. With greater confidence and range of delivery, this is an album that really hits the spot.

Highly recommended.

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