Benjamin ‘Benji’ Jaino must have felt the full weight of expectation as he entered the studio to record his first album at Alpha Tiger’s frontman. Predecessor Stephan Dietrich had made the role his own on 2015’s iDentity with a vocal tour de force that promised to catapult the Germans into power metal’s big leagues.
That Dietrich chose to quit the band just weeks after iDentity‘s release is well documented. And although Jaino eased himself into a surprise vacancy with a series of convincing live performances it’s taken until now before his long-awaited studio debut.
If Alpha Tiger’s ‘new boy’ was feeling the pressure during the recording of the band’s self-titled long player then it’s not obvious. In fact Dietrich’s legacy will fade fast given the confidence and class writ large across his successor’s note perfect performance here.
On Comatose and Welcome To The Devil’s Town a pumped-up Jaino leaves no stone unturned in his quest for the ultimate metal vocal. Alpha Tiger might be billed as progressive power metal but this is an album that frequently showcases the band’s NWOBHM-styled roots and the result is a dynamic return to form.
iDentity was a giant leap forward for a band looking to break new markets and new ground. Alpha Tiger may appear to be a less ambitious body of work but in this case less is more. Much, much more.