(Running time: 42:14 minutes; 9 songs)
("Spirit of the Streets Records"; 2017; CD):
I've said it before and I say it again: 2017 was music-wise a damn fantastic year; and here we have the next proof of/for this thesis: the new(est) CLOSE COMBAT full-length-album "SPIET VAAN NIKS" that was released now already nearly a year ago at the 24th of February of 2017 via the mighty "SPIRIT OF THE STREETS RECORDS" from Germany (if I am now not completly on the wrong tracks then it's the label formerly known as the glorious "BANDWORM RECORDS", correct me if I'm wrong). It's incredible how times flies by... if I am now not completly wrong than "SPIET VAAN NIKS" is CLOSE COMBAT first output since 2006 when they had released their outstanding "GUEST OF THE STATE" album and so it had been eleven years that passed us by since then... unbelievable... "GUEST OF THE STATE" was back then damn important for/to me and for many years to come constantly on heavy rotation and also today I still listen to it again and again and again and now in 2018 I do this since already twelve years in a row... and at first it was definitely no impression that I had or got that it were already eleven to now twelve years since then becauso to/for me it was all still so damn fresh, yes, and so I was pretty much sort of a little bit 'shocked' because of it... damn it, I grow old... slowly but steady, just face it. Anyway'n'anyhow, back to the topic: CLOSE COMBAT and their newest "SPIET VAAN NIKS" titled offering; first thing that you may get already from the title is that after "GUEST OF THE STATE" here on "SPIET VAAN NIKS" the fine guys of/in CLOSE COMBAT finally are back to singing in their local dutch dialect, like on their "VIVA MESTREECH" debut EP, and 'avoiding' english as the language of their choice (so to say). Personally I always like it more or prefer it when I can understand what the bands I listen to sing about and when I, for example, can sing-a-long to the beat (so to say) but that is just a matter of personal preferences and to be honest than I have anyhow clearly and openly to admit that I enthusiatically celebrate and cheer up to what CLOSE COMBAT deliver here 'with'n'in their local dutch dialect' and so there's absolutely no need for any further 'crybaby bitching around dingledangle' here and now. And what else is there to say... about CLOSE COMBAT, one hell of an outstanding and mighty band that definitely is to be praised and hailed ranked up very high with the other greats of Dutch Oi! like DISCIPLINE, DISCHARGER, RAZORBLADE, HARDSELL, BADLANDS, BANNER OF THUGS, and TECH 9, to name a few, yes, and this is something that definitely did not change today and so, yes, they are definitely back. And with all the named bands that all did or still do have their pretty unique character so it was and still is it also with CLOSE COMBAT, too; they always had and still have (and probably today even more then ever before) their own unique character and identity. This is hard as nails and heavy hitting real Oi! with a huge dose of hard rocking notes and clear metallic influences in it that shines bright'n'wide with a strong tension building and 'dramatically' very smart composed and also intense as well as atmospheric songwriting that offers a huge amount of multi-layered diversity and hold an incredible amount of strong and exciting suprises and grapping and rousing elements and moments all along the ride in store and it is in any sense, way, and manner pretty hard to come up with any proper band comparisions because CLOSE COMBAT are simply a mighty force of their very own. Maybe best to be compared to the later and heavier, sort of more metallic works of RAZORBLADE and BADLANDS with some later BANNER OF THUGS, and DISCHARGER and also some SOULTAMER portions in it all, hm, maybe... but please keep in mind (and this very present) that this are only very loose starting points for your discovery of CLOSE COMBAT's "SPIET VAAN NIKS" and are more to be understood in a 'for-fans-of-...-that-will-probably/surely-also-love-this-very-one-here' way, yes, because CLOSE COMBAT totally do their very own thing and their above already mentioned and sort of described amazing songwriting, that's delivered by this damn skilled musicians that are forming CLOSE COMBAT, does a lot to give this album its incredible 'outstandingly' unique identity. What right from the kick off shines as nothing else but a clear statement of the sheer and pure might of CLOSE COMBAT's "SPIET VAAN NIKS" is the fantastic guitar work that delivers hard punching and stomping riffs and rousing powerful rhythm structures without end (here and there earlier BÖHSE ONKELZ influenced arrangements are to be experienced, all done in a very 'own way' and this definitely damn strong) and also especially fantastic melody lines, singing leads with very strong and damn clear Heavy Metal/NWOBHM influences in the tradition of (for example) IRON MAIDEN as well as shining and great done and delivered solos, oh hell yeahr, it's truly fantastic, yes, and it's damn intense and creates a very tight'n'dense and overwhelming strong (pretty sinister) atmosphere all the time that marks the whole album really incredible strong. The rough'n'tough shouted lead vocals with a nice own tone to it and a great gruff'n'grim character add massive stunning heavyness and weight to the whole album and are in the right moments clever and smart backed up by 'widescreen' backing chants that only add up to the strong hymnal character of the songs. The harsh walking'n'talking bass and the pound for pound pure(ly) thunderous/thundering drumming then finally give the songs a through'n'through pure and hard as steel brickwall character and add massive amounts of bulky muscles and beefy meat to the bones of CLOSE COMBAT's "SPIET VAAN NIKS", sort of holding it all together and this really in an impressive way. All songs are killers, there simply are no fillers, and so I will spare me every word more about naming you any possible personal favorites of me, myself, and I. To the lyrics I can't really say anything due to the simple fact that I don't speak the above mentioned 'local dialect' and even we get some very short 'one sentence linernotes' to each song that's not that much and so I won't say anything more about/to the lyrics simply because I don't feel like I could say any proper things about 'them', hm, but let me point out that we get a first class heavy and yet warm production sound as well as a dark and pretty simple but also just cool artwork on top of it all. So, yes, I think right now and right here I've said so much all what I've had to say so far about CLOSE COMBAT's (still) new(est) outstanding masterpiece "SPIET VAAN NIKS" and, yes, this is definitely nothing else than pure platinum and one of the very best of and in Oi! you could only get these days (and definitely not only these days), definitely, and I can only recommend this (al)mighty album to you and you should by any means get this absoluetly fantastic masterpiece in case you really should not already call it your own. My highest recommendations and if it wouldn't be for my above mentioned personal preferences than the final rating would be even better but also so this is, like already said one or two times, absoultely pure platinum and so just go out and get it finally. Hell yeahr!!! And it's damn fucking great that CLOSE COMBAT are finally really back (so it seems) and now just let us hope that their next album won't take again eleven years until it's done and released. Just let us hope...!!! Cheers & Oi! Oi! Oi!
(9,5 of 10 points)
https://www.facebook.com/close.combat.maastricht/ (-the link to the facebook site of the band)
CLOSE COMBAT - "BOE IS DIE STAD" (2017, "SPIET VAAN NIKS")