Geordie bruisers Blitzkrieg are back with a new album – Judge Not! is their tenth full-lengther by my reckoning – and it’s very much business as usual.
Led by the immediately-recognisable vocals of Brian Ross, Blitzkrieg have been purveying their dependable brand of Brit metal for over thirty years now, and bring all that experience to bear to create a record of stentorian heaviness and adamantine solidity.
It’s the usual Blitzkrieg mix of the almost-inspired, the functionally enthusiastic and the ploddingly ill-advised. When on fire, as on Forever is a Long Time, the band remain a serious contender for promotion to metal’s second tier. Even on lovable though daft list song Loud and Proud their sincerity and dedication to the cause shine through; But on ill-advised melodic rocker Without You it all starts to unravel as guitarist Alan Ross takes the mic to deliver a (doubtless heartfelt) paean to lost love that sounds like the first efforts of a fifth form music room project.
Wide Legged and Headless, on the other hand, is rather splendid. A chucklesome ode to necrophilia, it features some nice harmony guitar and a fine piece of lead work, and shows that the band really do have it within them to create high grade metal. Andy Fairweather-Low would be proud.
Falling Into Darkness starts well but is overlong at seven and a half minutes in length, becoming dirgelike and outstaying it’s welcome, but the title track which closes proceedings at least does so in rousing fashion, even if it does borrow a vocal melody from Metallica’s Muster of Puppets along the way, not to mention Brian’s nifty use of a little Rob Halford trick as well!
The nostalgia industry has such a grip on metal these days – and we here at Sentinel Daily are as guilty of indulging it as anyone – that it’s tempting to simply hold one’s hands up and worship the old simply because it’s old. And whilst it’s true that there are a couple of really good songs on Judge Not!, to welcome the album as the work of Gods just because they formed in the early eighties and are still going would be foolish. This is rarely less than solid, and long term fans of the band will doubtless lap up what’s on offer. Others may find it harder going.
Judge Not! Will be released through Mighty Music on April 27th.