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Blitzkrieg - 'Back From Hell' http://www.rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/d3/5c/0f/blitzkrieg-back-from-hell-20-1391645758.jpg Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     February 06, 2014    
 
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The band's first album for six years.

Blitzkrieg are best known to general rock fans as the band whose song 'Blitzkrieg' was covered by Metallica, not once but three times. And why not? It's a wonderful illustration of the power and the glory of the New Wave of British Heavy Metal (NWOBHM).

'Back From Hell' is the band's first album for six years in a career that has been, well, a bit stop-start. Vocalist and founding member Brian Ross and long-term guitarist Ken Johnson are joined here by three new members – Alan Ross (guitar), Micky Kerrigan (drums) and Bill Baxter (bass). Its release on Metal Nation Records (formerly Neat Records) under the watchful eye of Jess Cox will cause ripples of excitement among those who remember the NWOBHM with affection.

There are two ways of listening to 'Back From Hell'. You can hear it as the last effort of an ageing rock band to make its mark on the modern music scene. Or you can hear it as a nostalgia-evoking reminder of how great the NWOBHM was and how much it contributed to the evolution of heavy rock. You will get more from it if you listen in the second way, not least because it plays to an old-school gallery. There's a re-recording, for example, of 'Buried Alive', the A-side of the 1981 single that so inspired Metallica. The influence of Metallica reflects back, not just in the cover of 'Seek And Destroy' but occasionally in the band's original compositions. There's also a track, 'Call The Priest', which consists almost entirely of Judas Priest song titles!

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Much of the songwriting is influenced by TV and film, though some of the album's lyrical themes ('Jack the Ripper' and 'The Prisoner', for example) are just a touch hackneyed.

While most tracks have their moments, two tracks here – 'Complicated Issues' and 'V' – stand head and shoulders above the rest. The former features impressive dual male/female vocals. The latter has just the right blend of drama, power and melody.

Perhaps you can't always teach old dogs new tricks. But if there's nothing wrong with the old tricks, that doesn't really matter.

Michael Anthony

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