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Above average Uriah Rainbow Zeppelin - 75%

DetlefVanBerg, October 31st, 2005

If you don't have nostalgia for 80's underground metal, subtract 10% from the rating. If you don't have nostalgia for Mausoleum, Ebony and Neat records and their production values, subtract 20% from the rating. If you demand originality from your metal and have low tolerance for cliches, subtract 40% from the rating and don't bother with FN Guns. On the other hand, if you don't mind reasonably competent, catchy heavy metal of the very old school, you could do worse than pick up Nightmare.

There's nothing unique about FN Guns. They sound a bit like Rainbow (especially the Joe Lynn Turner era), Deep Purple, Uriah Heep after they lost Byron and started to get dodgy, Zeppelin and all the usual inspirations for a classic metal band of the period. However, FN Guns were far better songwriters than your average long-forgotten HM band. Most of the songs on Nightmare are more than decent, filled with catchy riffs and choruses. Marathon Man and No God, No Master are particular standout tracks: fast, memorable and as aggressive as 70's style metal can get. Even the compulsory power ballad, Blow it Away, is a fine effort.

Also in favor of the band, in Steve Shorter FN Guns had a vocalist who was above your regular Mausoleum warbler. Although no Joe Lynn Turner or Robert Plant (although it sounds that he wanted to be), he's a perfectly fine singer for a classic metal band.

On the downside, the Livin' Lovin' Maid cover is dire but what would you expect? Also, Rock'n'Roll is Like the Phoenix is a horribly silly, dire track that attempts to be an anthem and fails miserably. Other than that, Nightmare is a fine album and comes easily recommended to fans of 70's and early 80's heavy metal.