Hard 20 Reviews

Blitzkrieg: “Absolute Power” (Edgy Records)

There are two ways to perceive a band like Blitzkrieg. The first is that since they were among the NWOBHM pioneers that broke the scene back in 1980 and helped forge the sounds of the true Metal revolution that’s continued to be felt and employed by countless bands worldwide, they’re deserving of attention. The other is of course to dismiss them as another of the immersible also-rans that didn’t have the stamina to break big and let ’em stay “buried.” This question thus, is easily answered in the output that is exactly what the title says it is, “Absolute Power.” More so than many other styles, Metal music is about history and tradition, the world over-the underground, underdog monument that survives one way or the other. And so a band like Blitzkrieg, for all their early shortcomings, had their glorious moment with the “Buried Alive/Blitzkrieg” 7″ single released back in ’81, and without question one of the most important releases. They were every bit the Metallica type they’d come to be infamous for only a couple years later, but as I learned upon meeting the band earlier this spring, they are not about resting on laurels or laying praise to those who’ve followed and furnished their own storied careers. So on their fifth record, the band is out for blood and out to prove they belong again with an album that sounds like they never stopped. As the follow up to ’98s “The Mists Of Avalon” release, a more elemental solo-driven effort of sorts from mainstay vocalist Brian Ross, “Absolute Power” recreates the pounding sincerity and authoritative aggression from the best of their past, from the logo, to the double ended “swords in the air, play it loud” song titles, to the vintage cover art, it’s a storming comeback of a record. Usually when the band builds up their latest work as they did, fans always approach with a degree of uncertainty as if the band no longer possessed the ability or aptitude to pull it off. With the return of longtime guitarist Tony Liddle in the fold, as well as a new core group of young and hungry Metal-wise musicians, “Absolute Power” is advantaged in that it’s rooted in history and delivered with the tenacity of a twenty-something start up. “Legion” is a pit-worthy first shot fired with blistering double guitar parts and double-bass kick that sets a well kept pace; “Soul Stealer” is a mid-range, groove-drawn follow up with a hook, exemplary of second track status; “The Face Of Death” is more speed to go with heavy riffing and mid-song head bang procession; “Enchanted Tower” slows the pace for an atmospheric jaunt typical of the “Mists” character; “Dark City” and “Who Takes The Fall?” are back to back stalwarts of the old guard, while “DV8R” and “Metalizer” find the Liddle/Nesbitt guitar tandem in boundless form, doubling up the riffing, conscientious though not consumed by harmony, their playing is definitely among the strengths here. “Absolute Power’s” been years in the making but proves worth the wait. It is a complete Blitzkrieg record; something that’s been missed since “Unholy Trinity” many a dark cloud ago. There are no fancy effects or blatant misuse of in-studio treachery-in fact, its endearingly old school production could stand a high end boost for clarity, if anything. Every bit the band they once were and set out to be again, “Absolute Power” is Blitzkrieg’s emphatic response to those “Whatever happened to.” questions that’ve plagued many a Metal veteran.

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