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If you take a look on the promising line-up of this failed supergroup project featuring a multitude of iconic stars of the then decreasing New Wave Of British Heavy Metal, one might think that there's a lot of individual class and potential behind this. But if one takes a closer look at the actual material, one realizes that the three quickly and not very professionally recorded tracks feel quite worn out and uninspired. It gets quite clear that the formation of this hort living project was just arranged and that the musicians didn't give enough input into Gogmagog to kick a possible career off with a big bang. Even at that point in the middle of the eighties, the band already sounded quite old fashioned and tried to catch up the trend train of the New Wave Of british Heavy Metal. If the record was released three years earlier, it would have probably get some more attention but at this point, the release even failed to chart. Metal music had moved on at that point and new genres like Thrash Metal were taking control. The fans were looking for something new they simply couldn't find in Gogmagog.
There are still some positive elements here and there, especially the still energizing and rough vocals of Paul Di'Anno that have nothing lost of their unique charm since he was pulled out of Iron Maiden three years before. The opening title song “I Will Be There“ is in fact a quite promising track. I must admit that the track is quite simplistic but the riff is extremely catchy and builds up a very positive feel good atmosphere. You just feel like singing and whistling along to this track and especially to its gripping chorus that eventually had some commercial potential. I must admit that I still give this song a few spins from time to time.
The other two tracks clearly fall off in comparison to the solid opener. “Living In A Fucking Time Warp“ is only catchy because it sounds like a ripped off diet version of Judas Priest's hit “Living After Midnight“. The copy is just too obvious and not very well done apart of that. Add to this that I didn't also really like the overhyped “British Steel“ record from the band as I prefered their more diversified and progressive material in records such as “Sad Wings Of Destiny“, “Sin After Sin“ and “Stained Class“ and that's why I even less appreciate this track. The closing and stupidly entitled “It's Illegal, It's Immoral, It's Unhealthy, But It's Fun“ is even worse as it doesn't even have the catchy factor of the previous track. It's just a quite redundant song that doesn't grip any particular attention apart of the fact that the songwriting and the lyrics are quite childish.
In the end, the low quality of this release was surely one of the main reasons why this band didn't make it all too far and why the story was ended before it was really written down. The band was only promising on the paper but the execution was too uninspired to do the big names any justice. The story of Gogmagog turned out to be a symbol for almost all of the musicians involved in here as they continued living in the past and never released anything worth to mention after this project with the exception of the here misspelled Janick Gers who would later become the new guitar player for Iron Maiden and maybe Neil Murray who would at least briefly join the legendary Black Sabbath two times. At the same time, Gogmagog were also a synonym for the downfall of the whole New Wave Of British Heavy Metal genre at that time. This release is though only interesting for nostalgic collectors and fanatic fans of the mentioned genre, anybody else should without any doubt stay away from this.
I’m really surprised that nobody have reviewed this band yet because this thing rocks. As you can see on their page, Gogmagog is an all-star project. This is one of the greatest EP ever released but yes, there are only 3 songs. If this was a full length, it would be the perfect party album because it’s really fun to listen. This is NWOBHM with great melodies with a good punk influence.
This thing starts with I will be there, after the intro the first thing you will notice is the epic voice of Paul Di’Anno that is without any doubt his best work after Iron Maiden. His voice is even more clean than most of his works with Maiden. Anyway, this song, just like the others, sounds like Iron Maiden a lot but with a more prominent theme of happiness and fantasy. Lots of guitar harmonies, present bass and Clive Burr drumming, what else can I say? Maybe the guitar solos aren’t the best and I will be there doesn’t have one, but that doesn’t ruin the songs in any way.
I will be there is the best song but the 2 others are very good too because they share the same formula. Too bad this project was cancelled, I’m sure a full length would have rocked.