Reviews

Virus – Pray For War/Force Recon

Record Label:Marquee Records
Release Date:1987 & 1988/Reissued 2013


Talk about a blast from the United Kingdom’s past. I remember these bastards from back in the day. Well Marquee Records have done an excellent job in reissuing Virus’ first 2 albums, Pray For War and Force Recon onto 1 disc. The debut album, Pray For War, I was never particularly impressed with in ’87. It had some crossover/punk thrash overtones throughout and basically the production on the album is really bad, thin, and just does a disservice to the actual songs, which some of them are pretty killer. Thankfully the remaster boosts the levels and makes the album a lot more enjoyable to listen to, however not all is perfect in that department. “Risen from Death to Die” is a little wonky in the remastering department with the song not sounding as great as the rest of the songs, mainly affecting the guitar tone. I spoke to Marquee Records owner, Armando, who stated the original source material production, for some reason, always had this song messed up. The label did the best they could with an original crappy production, so it was the best they could make this song sound.

It’s the Force Recon album that I enjoyed a lot more years ago and the remastering really makes these songs shine even more so. The album saw the band moving more towards thrash metal; still retaining some earlier crossover/punk influences, but making the songs a little more complex and longer, as well. The album really nailed the Virus sound and is punishing in its own unique sound. The musicianship had increased on this album, however the drumming was still by the numbers and not too solid in certain areas.

The bonus material contains some live songs and the booklet is astonishing, as always, from Marquee Records. Nice layout that includes both album covers, restored beautifully. Lyrics, liners and pictures are also included in the booklet. Excellent reissue from Marquee Records!

FRANK RINI

 


   

HOUSE OF LORDS - Indestructible

Frontiers Music Srl 2015

It's enjoyably surprising to see House Of Lords still out and creating new music, during an era where so many renowned rock artists would rather tour off of their greatest hits or are simply too hesitant to re-enter the studio. With their tenth studio album "Indestructible" on offer and also celebrating the 10th anniversary of their recent line-up feat. James Christian, BJ Zampa, Chris McCarvill and Jimi Bell, this legendary outfit still knows how to deliver first class melodic hard rock tunes. Even slighty heavier as their previous album “Precious Metal” James Christian and his bunch are always a band a music lover can count on and you know exactly what you’re going to get no matter who is playing the music.

AOR H.


   

DEATHROW - Riders Of Doom

NOISE RECORDS 1986

In the Mid-Eighties, exactly at 1986, DEATHROW released their first album under the title "Satan's Gift" on Noise Records. They originally had formed under the name SAMHAIN, but thanks to the ex band Glenn Danzig had to change it.
But with that the problems did not end, no, the front cover was banned because of the brutal picture, so that the LP was re-released under the title "Riders Of Doom" and new artwork. At least live nobody put any obstacles in the band's way, so they could prove their qualities as support for VOIVOD and POSSESSED.

Musically I can only say: fast, faster, DEATHROW!!! All guns blazing. Straight thrashing, which will let your head fly off while trying to bang to it. Like in the vein of KREATOR's "Endless Pain", just with more power in the ass and really melodic guitar attacks like very old IRON MAIDEN.

Songs like the super catchy "Satan's Gift", which almost sounds like old BAD RELIGION in speed mania, the infernal "Spider Attack" or the brilliant "Samhain" will make Old School fanatics go nuts, if they can get the CD anywhere that is.

HMC


   

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