American three piece Sanhedrin – led by former Hammer of Misfortune and Amber Asylum inmate Erica Stoltz – promise to take heavy metal into the future with new album Lights On; Amusingly, they’ve decided that to do this they need to resolutely mine the seams of gold from hard rock and metal’s past, but, all carping aside, they’ve done so pretty effectively on this new record.

It’s not all metal or hard rock though – in between the flashes of vintage Who, Iron Maiden, Lee Aaron and Huntress you’ll get glimpses of The Cult and U2, especially from the educated guitar of Jeremy Sosville, but the overall sound is one which originates in the band’s home of New York in the early to mid eighties. Screw up your ears tightly enough on standout cut Code Blue and you’ll even hear fellow New Yorkers Black Lace in the mix, which is obviously a plus mark in Sentinel Daily‘s books…

Code Blue is a superb slice of radio-friendly metal, balanced out at the other end of the spectrum by the Barbarian metal of Scythian Women, the other major highlight of the album. In between these two poles the band cook up a very serviceable, not to mention highly accessible brand of heavy metal that is at once both a bit dated yet, as with all classic metal, strangely timeless; The excellent Lost At Sea could have been written at any time in the last thirty five to forty years, yet the band attack the task in hand with such high levels of vigour – not to mention the obvious enjoyment they take from making such a racket – that any criticism of the material’s derivative nature is actually pointless. Heavy metal, at it’s bottom line and in it’s purest state, is music for enjoyment. And Lights On is a very enjoyable album indeed.

Lights On releases on March 4th.