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An epic debut and a Heavy Metal Anthem!!! - 90%

Tzitzis, December 25th, 2014
Written based on this version: 1980, 12" vinyl, Phoenix Record & Filmworks

The year's 1980, a really great year for NWOBHM as bands like Iron Maiden, Diamond Head and Angelwitch release their debut albums and Saxon deliver two great albums (Wheels Of Steel and Strong Arm of the Law). Among these fine and cult releases, stands "Heavy Metal Mania" the debut single of the Edinburgh based band Holocaust. It's a three song single on a 12" vinyl. Let's give it a listen then, shall we?

Although there are strong AC/DC influences, this release is a fine example of more powerful, straightforward and in your face NWOBHM. The first track, "Heavy Metal Mania" starts with sirens and a killer riff. The riffing here is exceptional and the solo is pretty good too. Really heavy song (keeping in mind that the year is 1980) and what makes the song better is that the guys kept it simple in both riffing and soloing. The next two tracks are "Love's Power" and "Only As Young As You Feel". These songs remind of early AC/DC especially in their intro. But all in all they are in the same style as the first song: straightforward NWOBHM, simple riffs, melodic choruses, and decent solos. In general, the composition and instrumentation are fairly good. The lads were no Mozart, but proved here they could write some nice tunes. The singer reminds me a bit of Diamond Head's, Sean Harris, his voice and way of singing fits perfectly with the music. The lyrics are in the same spirit with the writing style of early AC/DC. Simple writing, fitting nicely with the music. The production is what everyone would expect from a 1980 single. Not too foggy or raw. It adds to the atmosphere. Old school NWOBHM, praising heavy metal. It works beneficially.

Like I said that's it! The start of powerful, straightforward, in your face style of NWOBHM, with a bad-ass touch to its sound, like Saxon. This is the kind of music that influenced thrash metal bands. Although the AC/DC element is there in the two last tracks, they did a good job, trying to gain their own sound. The best part of it is that while trying to do that, they wrote a heavy metal anthem, "Heavy Metal Mania" which should be played in every metal club and party around the world. A heavy song back from the 1980. What was the heaviest song there was back then..? Well never mind. In overall this is a really good effort and a great debut for the Edinburgh band (it is the most known band from there I think). It's a shame that this band is fairly unknown and underrated and that they only recorded one full length studio album with this lineup. I recommend this release to everyone but especially to those who want to listen to a more straightforward, bad-ass NWOBHM and those who want to listen to something not as popular as Maiden, Saxon and Angelwitch. Give it a try, really.

Rock On!