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Bad Ass attitude, Classic NWOBHM... - 85%

Tzitzis, June 20th, 2016
Written based on this version: 1984, 7" vinyl, Pharaoh Records

NWOBHM sure was a huge movement that gave metal a great boost in the early 80's. Metal music got many fans and many bands were born and got affected by the music being played back then. The music of NWOBHM shows a big diversity and one can find bands that have the classic metal sound(Saxon, Tygers of Pan Tang), proto speed sound (Jaguar, Savage, Sweet Savage), proto doom (Witchfinder General), proto power (Tokyo Blade). I love what I call the classic NWOBHM sound which have bands like Warrior(Newcastle), Mythra, Parallex, Scarab and many other. It's that heavy metal sound with a nostalgic touch (I prefer to call it that way). I know I make no sense to most people out there but I have a feeling NWOBHM fans will understand fully. The reason for this long (and uninteresting introduction) is to give you a hint of this single's sound. Yeah classic NWOBHM it is.

Released in 1984, it comes rather late to the scene. Scarab had been formed 3 years earlier. This record here contains energetic, rocking songs (with that melancholic touch I wrote above) which is great. It contains 2 songs, Poltergeist and Hell on Wheels. Poltergeist is a mid paced song, with galloping guitars and many riffs in its 5 minute length. It contains an intro with the voice of a scared child seeking its mother. It also has a pretty nice solo. Best riffs here are the verse riffs, and the riff right after the second refrain. The only thing I don't like in this song is the distance between the second refrain (after the great riff) and the solo which is about 40 seconds long. The section is also repeated after the solo which is really annoying. The riffs are disappointing and it feels like the band tried hard to make the song lengthier. This is the biggest minus for me in the whole single.

Second song is Hell on Wheels. It has a nice intro and even better riff in the verse. It kicks ass to be specific. After the first lyrics the drums kick in and you soon start headbanging without even noticing. That's classic NWOBHM. The refrain is very catchy too and the vocalist puts a great effort into it. I also love the lyrical theme here. Production sure could have been better, but I can't complain. Scarab were a minor band and they got what they "deserved" at the time. All instruments are audible, but I don't really like the sound of drums in this one. Anyway it's not a big deal, at the end it's NWOBHM guys..!

Scarab failed to make an impact back then. They released their first record in a year that thrash metal had already started to take hold of the metal throne and the NWOBHM that gave birth to it saw a great decline. I think that they could have been better known if they released this single 2 years earlier. It sure ain't a record to pass by, it has 2 great songs in it which only goes to show that the band could write and play decent music. The same thing that happened to them happened to many many more bands which have released some great stuff but late enough to be left unnoticed and remain unheard for a great deal of time. But nowadays things have changed with the Internet and we can enjoy this great music by many lesser known bands. I would recommend this record to any heavy metal fan -especially NWOBHM fans- and in my opinion it deserves a place in the shelves of any serious collector. Unfortunately I don't know how rare it is to come by. Have fun listening.

Written for the 17h M-A Reviews Challenge

Rock On!
-Tzitzis-