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The Lemmy alternative - 80%

autothrall, November 9th, 2009

Tank were another of the promising NWOBHM bands to dwell at the filthier end of the spectrum; comparisons to Motörhead are obvious as far as the band's blues driven, barhouse (or pubhouse) swagger, with a slight difference in Algy Ward's vocals which are slightly higher pitched. Filth Hounds of Hades was their debut and best effort, they grew a little more commercial with later releases which didn't end up working in their favor.

The album begins with a chest beating chant, almost throwing you off before the chords of "Shellshock" kick into overdrive. Honestly, you would have half expected Lemmy to begin his tobacco eroded vocals at this point (Algy Ward was also a multi-tasking bassist/vocalist), the musical similarities are so strong. Still, they eke out a pretty catchy set of riffs with some burning leads. "Struck by Lightning" is gritty British metal with rapid fire blues riffing, and "Run Like Hell" is a total rocka rolla with thick and grooving bass. "Blood, Guts and Beer" opens with some catchy licks, again in speedy blues mode which really signifies the birth of this whole style. The remainder of the tracks are consistently good, but the standouts are the catchy "Heavy Artillery" and the true classic of the album "Turn Your Head Around" with a memorable chorus and some great leads. The song has been covered by Sodom and other bands yet the original still burns brightly.

The album has always sounded good and remains so, a well balanced mix capturing all the drive of the chords, steady beats and wailing solos. This is the blue blood steelworking style of heavy metal, for a night out at the pub or a soccer brawl. No frills and no gimmicks. If you fancy Motörhead, Saxon, or other such acts of its day, and you're not already familiar with it, Filth Hounds of Hades is a worthwhile 'classic' which you should enjoy for a few spins. It remains the crown jewel in the band's chronologically deteriorating discography.