Blitzkrieg – A Time of Changes – 4/5
Five Metal Classics you’ve never heard of: Number Five
Perhaps emerging a little late in the NWOBHM era, this effort coming after the small island in Europe had unleashed the likes of Riot, Maiden and Judas Priest unto the world, it was 1985 that saw Blitzkrieg release their dazzling debut, filled with plenty of anthemic chorus lines, frenzied fretwork, bombastic drums and a boisterous bass that doesn’t just sit in the back. Built almost with a stadium in mind; the overall reverberated sound wonderfully conveying a larger than life feel to the album, the simple yet superbly addictive qualities of the never ending supply of completely original sounding ideas in each track going towards creating one of the under appreciated gems of the era.
With everything coming across anthemic in style, adding just a touch more punk attitude to their sound than the average band of the time; the drumming remains consistent in their aggressive focus, clearly heard powering away at all the drums at his disposal, punching through the guitars to be heard through the frenzy, the vocals swooping and soaring with a mid-range melody that distinguishes himself from the falsetto-laden style of the day (not that he doesn’t provide his screams from time to time), superbly capable at his own style that still manages to fit with the sound created, his presence provides both emotion and attitude to the piece.
Like the vocals, the guitars too don’t feel content merely following suit with those that came before them; the dark and mysterious opening track or the almost ‘oriental folk’ like riffs in the title track showing a willing to explore with new ideas, the bass constantly maintaining the blunt attack in the background, allowing the guitars to perform from their large supply of solos at every opportunity given to them.
It is the raw atmosphere from the rough and ready ‘poor’ production value that lends it much of its character. Far from detracting from the end result, the music is perfectly capable of supporting the format, lending a personal aspect that feels as though they are performing right in front of you, and the volume levels of each instrument painstakingly balanced to perfection the impact is incredible. By modern standards this may not be considered the most innovative albums produced, but breaking from the cookie-cutter mould of NWOBHM just enough to distinguish themselves, this is one release no fan should go without.
Highlights: Blitzkrieg, Pull the Trigger, Armageddon