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Fast, loud, and with unexpected sludge. - 81%

Warthur, August 30th, 2011

Budgie's debut album, with its high-pitched singing, fast playing, and one obligatory acoustic love song (You and I) might be confused for a standard early 70s hard rock release... except for the guitars. The sludgy, fuzz-drenched guitar line on opening song Guts makes it clear that here is a band that has been paying attention to Black Sabbath, whilst lead singer and bassist Burke Shelley had not quite yet developed the high-pitched wail he'd deploy on later albums but still deserves props for pioneering a high-pitched style of singing which, at the time, stood in stark contrast to Ozzy Osbourne's doomy moans and Robert Plant's hard rock roar. The combination of this vocal style and the heavy musical backing was new at the time, but surely deserves to be recognised as an influence on the likes of Rob Halford and, in particular, Rush's Geddy Lee.

Whilst they're not as heavy as Sabbath was, it ought to be remembered that in 1971 *nobody* was as heavy as Sabbath was - and these boys come very, very close indeed. Generally playing at a fast tempo which would influence both the early New Wave of British Heavy Metal bands and Metallica, the group is also capable of slowing it down a bit to an almost doomy pace at points, as well as producing long, complex pieces such as Nude Disintegrating Parachute Woman and Homicidal Suicidal. Fans of early metal, stoner metal, and progressive metal will all find plenty to enjoy in this one.