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The thrash metal that Brisbane forgot. - 80%

DeathHawk, February 2nd, 2008

In the mid to late 1980s, Australia began to contribute to the thrash metal movement - the people of Sydney banged heads with Mortal Sin, Addictive, and the cult Slaughter Lord, while Melbourne released Nothing Sacred, Renegade, and Hobbs' Angel of Death.

The city of Brisbane had a small contender to the Australian thrash metal scene in the late 1980s, and that band was Iron Lightning. Formed out of the remnants of a Venom/Alice Cooper-esque group called Black Widow, Iron Lightning played a style of mid-paced melodic thrash metal in a similar vein to bands like Megadeth and Testament. They released two cassette tapes in 1989 and 1990 respectively, and then vanished without a trace.

The band's second cassette "The Winds of Change" is more of a cassette EP than a demo... so I would like to think anyway. The songs sound like they were recorded in an actual studio and not a rehearsal room - and the sound is a lot more tighter and polished than your average demo (while still with a bit of a raw 1980s thrash sound). There seems to be a concept running between the songs, and there's also the usage of ambient intros and outros bookending the EP.

There are five songs on this EP, unless you count the ambient intros and outros, that makes it seven. "Dead on Arrival", "I'd Rather Die" and "The Attic" sound like lost songs from Metallica and Megadeth (probably due to Maxx's vocals occasionally sounding a little similar to Dave Mustaine's), while "Demon of Pain" has a somewhat WASP feel to it. "Regimented Children" is the longest song on the tape, a song about war and the problems of Australian politics. All the songs on this tape are very good listening and don't require their own individual review.

Iron Lightning's "Winds of Change" tape is very hard to find these days, but if you do end up coming across it, don't hesitate to try it out. These guys would have absolutely rocked live during their short tenure in Brisbane... but I was only three years old when this recording came out! I encourage more younger metal fans to dig up the older recordings of Australian metal bands from the 1980s, as there were certainly a heap of good gems back then that are nearly forgotten today.

Iron Lightning ... the thrash metal that Brisbane forgot.