Pick Your Rock and Metal

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

ALBUM REVIEW: Blitzkrieg batter down all in their path on Judge Not

SETTLE down children and let us recount to you noble days, days when, to quote Douglas Adams "men were men, women were women and small green creatures from Alpha Centauri were small green creatures from Alpha Centauri".

These were the heady days of the NWOBHM. Tapes were sent across the vast expanse of the Atlantic to the Americas and it awakened the spirits of kindred souls.

When the band Blitzkrieg's tunes reached the ears of the formative Metallica it was inevitable that the Bay Area titans would not only absorb the sound, but cover their titular track.

But if you thought that the NWOBHM had gone away...

Blitzkrieg are back in 2018 and some bands need to pay attention. We're not claiming that they have smashed new boundaries. And, some cynical fucks will even say they are re-treading the same sounds from the early 80s. Well those cynical fucks can piss away off and listen to 30 Shits to Mars.

Sure, there's nothing ground-breaking on their release, but it is simply a metal album that delivers what it claims; classic metal tunes, guitar melodies - songs to raise your fist up high and release your inner air guitar hero.

Compared to their early releases the production has better separation, clearer tones...but the spirit is still there.

Exhibits to be submitted are: (a) 'All Hell Is Breaking Loose; (b) Forever Is  A Long Time; and, (c) Falling Into Darkness.

Satan's tragic tale of an ungrateful father is recounted in exhibit (a), Anne Rice's Vampire Lestat forlorn tale is told on exhibit (b), while Oscar Wilde's obsessive pre-selfie tale of the 'Portrait of Dorian Gray' is recounted on (c).

All the type of fare that leaves non-metal folk tittering...but they can fuck away off to their shoe-gazing indie shit or overweight over-hyped singers because this is heavy metal in all its wonderfulness.

Sure, there are acts making big socio-economic points, but sometimes you need to kick out the jams and enjoy.

But, to write off Blitzkrieg as simplistic is to make a grave mistake. Within all these tales there is an allegorical quality.

Plus, the playing is superb. Brian Ross is passionate, while Ken Johnson and Alan Ross trade tasty licks throughout.

Initially, however, the song 'Without You' seems like something a record company would have forced a band to make. But on 'Judge Not' it sits perfectly, a song about loss that comes across as heartfelt.

There are two songs that elevate this beyond a nostalgia trip. 'Loud and Proud' tips the hat to the bands that influenced Blitzkrieg and the wondrous 'Wide Legged and Headless'.

A sequel to I'm Not Insane' this has lyrics akin to something Wednesday 13 would release but so much better. It really is a laugh out loud song in the best sense.

What strikes most about 'Judge Not' is this is an honest album. An honest heavy metal album. Crank it the fuck up.

Review by Jonathan Traynor

Judge Not is released on Mighty Music at the end of April.

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