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Mournblade - 'Anthology Volume One' http://www.rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/16/e4/ff/1263_mournbladeanthologyvolumeone_1305745509.jpg Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     May 18, 2011    
 
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An album and band best avoided.

Mournblade are "The Future Of Heavy Metal", well so said respected Kerrang! scribe Derek Oliver back in the mid eighties, however on the strength of this collection of odds and sods and live recordings from Angel Air, he was never so wrong! Formed in '83 by vocalist Dunken Mullet and guitarist Rich Jones, the basic premise of Mournblade's music is punked up NWOBHM, which is somewhat bizarrely boosted by huge keyboards that add an air of Hawkwind majesty. 

The opening two tracks are from the band's early demos and in neither terms of the sound or song writing quality do either raise any interest, and in actual fact as an introduction to a band they do more harm than good. Following that are the four songs that made up the band's 'Ein Heldentraum' EP and even though the recording standards are much improved, Mullet's terrible shouty, whiny vocals still grate on the nerves and in general these songs are just a cacophony of noise with only one redeeming feature. That spot of melody in the (seemingly) never ending din, is the fantastic keyboard work of Derek Jasnoch, which is the only undoubted high point of both this release and Mournblade's sound. Somehow he manages to make the spacey themes he favours not sound all that out of place backing this uncultured metal-punk hybrid, which is no mean feat.

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The next six songs are from a 1985 Christmas show in London, and while yet again there is little to get excited about in terms of the music, the poor sound quality really does little to help matters, with Mullet's vocals actually being painful to listen to. The closing song of the album is a 2009 remix of the song 'Titanium Hero' and in keeping with the rest of the disc, if this is the remix, then I hate to think what the original sounded like.

Angel Air don't often get it wrong, with the vast majority of their vault plundering being of the highest standard, but on this occasion, this is an album and band best avoided.

Steven Reid

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