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Acid > Acid > Reviews
Acid - Acid

Acid Is The Name, Heavy Metal Is Our Game - 85%

Wykydtron84, October 23rd, 2015

Acid’s eponymous debut can be summed up as raw heavy metal. The first Venom record is pretty raw sounding, but this release is a much more fitting example of what the definition of what a raw recording is. There are two major influences that can be heard on this release. One is the undeniable Motorhead influence. ‘Demon’ literally starts with the beginning drum beat from ‘Overkill’, with the rest of the song taking a similar route. The rest of the album doesn’t deviate to far from speed driven Motorhead/Venom-esque heavy metal.

Though the Motorhead influence is prominent, there is also a huge punk influence. It may just be because of the recording quality, so it may have been by mistake. Both the bass and the vocals fit the punk mold. In the song ‘Ghostriders’, the bass is very similar to that of some Misfits songs. The whole album is actually a cross between Motorhead structurally and The Misfits tonally. At some points the bass gets some alone time, and it’s not the most flattering in terms of tone. The same goes for the vocals. Especially during slower portions of songs, the vocals seem to be unprotected by the rest of the instruments compared to when they are charging full speed ahead. But the vocals make the album interesting and you can feel the punk/rock n roll element of not giving a fuck and just going for it. That element can be felt throughout the release and gives the album a certain energy, which for the most part you don’t hear in today’s music.

If you are looking for a single, look no further, as ‘Hooked on Metal’ fits the roles perfectly. The riff is just a mean distorted rocker. The highlights of the album follows in ‘Woman At Last’ and 'Five Days of Hell' (in my opinion). With the former at the 0:32 second mark of the song we are treated to a riff similar to ‘Victim of Changes’. Okay, it’s a complete copy of victim. The songs settles back into Motorhead territory, but has a little more melody and emotion put into it compared to the other songs on the album. Same goes with 'Five Days of Hell'. Just an absolute thrill ride of a banger and probably has the best solo on the record.

You can really hear the band giving it there all. Even though there is a bit of flubbing or sloppy playing, the band soldiers on throughout and you can’t help but appreciate it. If you like your metal raw and fast, there is no reason why you wouldn’t like this. The real shame is that an album like this would be absolutely amazing to hear live. You can tell from listening, just how ferocious this would have sounded live back in the day. A great debut, from a great band.

Solid Speed Metal - 77%

StainedClass95, June 8th, 2015

Normally when I think of Belgium for metal, my thoughts turn to Aborted. Now, there's another band that will spring to mind. This 80's speed metaller released three albums of varying quality that began with this relatively raw release. The music has a certain charm to it between the production and vocals, but there are also some faults.

As mentioned earlier, the production is fairly raw. The sound seems like it was all recorded on cheap equipment in a room with the wrong type of acoustics. Morbid Tales or Forward To Termination are probably the works I would point to for this sort of sound. There are some benefits from the rawness in terms of giving some of the more, “evil,” or, “satanic,” lyrics a bit more believability. There's a slight vibe of darkness that emanates from dimmer production, and it allows things like the opening of the first song to work perfectly. A few notes on the guitar are hit repeatedly before the bass and drums join in followed by a voice that sounds like something from a classic horror film. There is a certain level of the macabre and completely harmless eeriness that is hard to describe and even harder to nail down this well. Rocky Horror Picture minus the sheer bizarreness of Tim Curry prancing around in a dress is probably the best comparison.

The vocals are probably the most distinctive aspect of the band's sound. For starters, the vocalist is a she. This gives her a very different sound from most other (male) metal singers. Kate's from the northern part of Belgium, so her native language is Dutch. This is worth keeping in mind for the way she pronounces English; it's noticeably guttural, and she sounds very low-pitched for a female. Even when she is technically raising her pitch, the gutturalness keeps it from sounding higher. Between that and some of her outfits, a female Tom Warrior is brought to mind. Another trait of note is the occasional screech. She doesn't really scream in the way that Halford or most others do, it really is frequently some sort of screech. The one on the chorus in the last song after she says, “Satan is,” is a prime example. The vocalist that this reminds me of would be Rob from Sacrifice though a witch or zombie screaming in pain would work just as well. The lyrics are pretty standard for the time with songs about how great metal is or talking about Satan or somehow bringing the fan-base into it. The lyrics are pretty plain, probably relating to the writer's limited English, which seems to be based on one of the British variants with her use of, “bloody,” as a pseudo-curse. This contributes to that older horror feel in terms of being obviously insensible yet attractive nonetheless.

The band and songwriting behind her is largely typical. The drums and bass do nothing out of the ordinary, and the soloing is similarly plain. The bass does get an occasional gain in volume, but that seems to be more a production quirk than anything else, and the soloing is just as likely to knock everything else into static as it is to grab anyone's attention. The riffing is nice at times; the gallop on Hell on Wheels springs to mind immediately. It's pretty dependent on power chords, but that's less of a problem in of itself so much as it's never venturing too far out of the box. The tempos do change from time to time. The earlier songs seem to emphasize the mid-paced more while the second half seems more willing to push the accelerator or even slow down. For all its simplicity, there's a couple of nice surprises. The aforementioned intro to the whole thing and the slow starts to Woman at Last and Heaven's Devils all work pretty well and unexpectedly. AC/DC, Motorhead, and Judas Priest are the older bands that I envision these guys listening to, especially the last two. There are some riffs that sound like either of those would have written them, and the relatively short, fast songs with simple lyrics are in line with what all of these guys were doing in the three to four years leading up to this release. As can be imagined, there is a certain older, hard-rock energy at times, but I'd never classify this album or any individual song as such. For one, most of these songs involve too much speed, and the atmosphere is just not what hard-rock commonly was doing or had been doing.

This album is an enjoyable ride though not without its faults. None of this is groundbreaking by any means, but it's much better than mindless worship. The production is a double-edged sword, but I don't think I'd want it to be much better. There is a certain pleasant smile that often forms on my face when listening to this though I wouldn't seriously consider this as a top 100 album. This can't stand up to Screaming for Vengeance or Restless and Wild, but it's relative consistency could stack up to Number of the Beast, and I think that's about where I'd rate it. It doesn't peak at the level that the title track or Hallowed Be Thy Name does, but there's nothing near as bad as Gangland or a couple of other songs on it. All in all, I'd recommend this to anyone who enjoys their older metal fast.