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There aren't many NWoBHM bands still producing cd's frequently. Iron Maiden, Saxon and Def Leppard are probably the biggest names, but none of them really play NWoBHM anymore, rather as they play heavy metal or hardrock. Ofcourse there are the comebacks of some of the old bands like Witchfynde, Jaguar, Fist, Tygers of Pan Tang, Gaskin, Cloven Hoof, Elixir and Tank, but those aren't a real reference (since a comeback isn't "frequently" ofcourse). Some others only make live comebacks... Finally you've got those who didn't get that famous in the mainstream environment, but weren't really "dead" either. These are bands like Girlschool, Demon, Raven, Tokyo Blade, Diamond Head and the band I'm going to review now: Blitzkrieg.
I didn't expected it to be a NWoBHM album and that indeed isn't what this album is. You can hear the typical influences, but it rather sounds like a firm and heavy piece of traditional metal. The opening song introduces the lyrical theme of the album by a short intro before "Theatre of the Damned" starts off. Since I'm a big fan of Brian Ross (even more with his other band Satan though) and his voice still sounds amazingly sharp, the album was highly rated by me even before it came out. The opening song proved my statement, 'cause it's a reference for the entire album. A song like "Devil's Spawn" proves this band still is able to come up with a very traditional approach and doesn't sound like thirteen in one dozen. An instant classic. The tendence endures the whole album: mid-tempo numbers and a great voice. Unlike many other NWoBHM who really have had there best time, Blitzkrieg doesn't get boring and amazes with every album they release - in my opinion all due Ross' excellent vocal skills and, ofcourse, their authenticity. The only song that has a somewhat mechanical feeling, is "Tortured Souls". Not that this is a bad thing, the song really sounds kick-ass and is probably one of those that will blow your mind live. The melancholy of Ross' voice is at its peak in "Together We Are Strong" (lyric-wise not in harmony with the other songs on the album though), vocal-wise it even reminds me a bit of Iced Earth's "Melancholy" being a bit faster. The two bonus songs (re-recorded versions of older songs) are a nice addition to the digipack, 'cause they sound pretty good in this new version. BLITZKRIEG!!
I'd surely recommend this album to fans of the genre, but at the same time it must be said that this isn't some mindbending, brilliant masterpiece. It just rocks as it would do in the days of old, so if that pleases you enough, you'll certainly enjoy Blitzkrieg's latest.