0N THE EDGE
From page 10 of Classic Rock Magazine December 2003
The next big things, as predicted by our inside man.
IF YOU CONTINUE TO
hanker for a time when being in a rock or metal act meant having long hair, a well- padded crotch plus the ability to drink copious quantities of Jack (Daniel’s) while simultaneously adding a notch to the bedpost with a broadsword bathed in false metal blood, then get ready to celebrate...
Vancouver-based 3 Inches Of Blood have already been spotlighted in this column (a band who are as smitten with Iron Maiden as Metallica once were
with early Diamond Head), and they are not alone in their belief that 80s-orientated metal – ‘EOM’ to those in the know – had an awful lot going for it in terms of showmanship, sonic ability and, yes, humour. Take a look through the Flying V-shaped window, and you’ll spy a number of new acts for whom artists such as Saxon or (gasp!) Tank are in no way dirty words – and if that sounds just plain dumb, then I urge you to get with the programme via the debut release from Viking Skull, a ruthlessly retro five-piece featuring members of UK heavies Raging Speed Horn.
There’s only an EP out at the moment – ‘Chapter One’, on the Grand Recordings label – but a full album is surely part of the VS masterplan – a masterplan that, as well as being founded on tracks such as ‘Rape, Pillage And Burn’ and ‘The Wizard’s Sleeve’ (the latter drawing equally from Sabbath, stoner rock and Motörhead), also has time aplenty for loose women and lager, both of which will doubtless be high on their rider.
Also travelling the 80s crazy train are Avenged Sevenfold – a troupe who may look a bit on the gothic side (okay, a lot on the gothic side), but who have enough going on in their music to satisfy supporters of both Faith No More and thrash... oh, and prog, punk and metal fans should be left with a smile on their faces too. Yes, there’s that much going on!
The follow-up to ‘Sounding The Seventh Trumpet’, the Orange County quintet’s debut release, ‘Waking The Fallen’ (Hopeless) is now fresh in the racks, and it sees this young band taking their already accomplished musicianship to a whole new level, with lead guitarist and former Musicians Institute Of Technology student Synyster Gates – yes, they all have silly names! – showing a real grasp of dynamics plus a technique belying his age.
However, when it comes to young bands with black hair and an 80s connection, then we do have a prime contender of our own; the group in question is Welsh fivesome Funeral For A Friend, who are managed by the company that looks after the affairs of Iron Maiden (that’s the 80s tie-in) and whose debut, Colin Richardson-produced album ‘Casually Dressed And Deep In Conversation’ (Infectious), has just been released to considerable acclaim. As I’ve mentioned in this column before, the UK rock scene (underground division) is currently as alive as it’s ever been, and F4AF are very much top of this particular pile...
And finally, it would seem quite improper not to make mention of the fact that Morbid Angel, the hugely influential US death metallers, are back with a new album, ‘Heretic’ (Earache). As usual with the Angel, there’s plenty of inventive production ideas going on, not to mention a fine balance between the orchestral and the downright brutal, and there’s some serious thought behind the lyrics too.
All in all, a most welcome return.
BY DANTE BONUTTO