Archive for Grim Reaper

Great Metal Albums of 1984: Tank- Honour and Blood

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 19, 2018 by 80smetalman

A term that has been batted around quite a lot here on 80smetalman is ‘hidden gem.’ In most cases, I use it to describe a song I really like on an album that has a well known single or two on it. On occasion, I have also used the term to describe albums from bands who have more well known albums than the one I am posting about at the time. Now, I’m going to use it to describe a band or two. Whenever the new wave of British heavy metal, (NWOBHM), is mentioned, the first bands that come to mind, even mine, are Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Def Leppard and maybe Saxon. All of them great bands who have given us more than three and a half decades of great music. However as I tour through the years, I have discovered two hidden gems from the NWOBHM age. One I posted about a couple of months ago, Grimm Reaper. The other is brought to you now, Tank. I knew of both bands back in the day and loved them and often wonder why neither of them were as big as the others.

Back in those days, I had become quite diligent in scouring the heavy metal import section at my local record store and that’s where I came across what I think is their best album, “Honour & Blood.” The problem is that I didn’t appreciate it enough back then, so I’m making up for it now. What you get with this album is seven songs of pure metal magic. The shortest song is a mere four minutes and thirty-seven seconds long and there is only one other song less than five. Tank go off on crazy long metal jams which are just superb. There is not one song, even the two that are eight minutes long, where I am thinking that the song has gone on for too long. BTW, those eight minuters are the opening and closing tracks on the album and a good way to do it. Especially so on the closer because it features the very amusing lyrics, “Kill, the poor bastard’s dying.” What a fun way to the close the album, of course the cool guitar solo kind of punctuates it too.

As for the songs in between, they are all great! “When All Hell Freezes Over” is a typical but well done pure metal jam and I’m hooked by the way they sing the chorus. Blistering guitars adorn the title track. “W.M.L.A. (Wasting My Life Away)” and “Too Tired to Wait For Love” are also great metal anthems and more than just amusing titles. However, my favourite track is the cover of the Aretha Franklin hit, “Chain of Fools.” I admit, the rhythm reminds me a little of the Rolling Stones classic, “Satisfaction,” but the song just kicks it.

Track Listing:

  1. The War Drags Ever On
  2. When All Hell Freezes Over
  3. Honour and Blood
  4. Chain of Fools
  5. W.M.L.A. (Wasting My Life Away)
  6. Too Tired To Wait For Love
  7. Kill

Tank

Algy Ward- bass, vocals

Cliff Evans- guitar

Mick Tucker- guitar

Graeme Crallan- drums

The more I reflect back to those years, the more convinced I am that Tank were a hidden gem in the new wave of British heavy metal. They may not have hit it as big as the others, constant personnel changes didn’t help them there, but they left behind several albums, including “Honour and Blood” for us to enjoy.

Next Post: TNT- Knights of New Thunder

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Great Metal Albums of 1984: Grim Reaper- See You In Hell

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 16, 2017 by 80smetalman

Whenever the new wave of British heavy metal or NWOBHM is mentioned, it is usually Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, Def Leppard and Saxon who spring to mind first. These great bands blazed a trail for metal bands from both sides of the Atlantic to follow. Leading the chase out of Great Britain was the heavy metal outfit, Grim Reaper. For me, the name alone made them worth giving them a listen and that turned out to be a very wise choice.

Coming from Droitwich which is in Worcestershire, England and only about 20 miles from Birmingham, there is no surprise in the Judas Priest influence with the band. However, lead singer Steve Grimmett has a vocal style that is somewhat like Iron Maiden although I can at times hear a little of Halford as well. Okay, I’m a wishy-washy bastard. Anyway, with this mighty infusion, it is little wonder that Grim Reaper sounds as good as they do and why I think their debut album, “See You in Hell” is cool.

The title track, which is the band’s best known song leads the charge. Listening to it, it is no wonder why it’s number 38 on VHS Most Awesome Bad Metal Songs Ever. It’s definitely my all time favourite Grim Reaper song. However, the seven other songs on the album aren’t far behind and make sure that it’s not a one song album. All throughout the album are the bashing power chords and way out soloing of guitarist Nick Bowcott and the fore-mentioned vocals of Grimmett. All of which are supported by a more than capable rhythm section of Dave Wanklin and Lee Harris. This makes it difficult for me to pick out a standout song beyond the title track. They are all stomp on your face metal tunes that rock. The only possible exception is the slower, at times ballad like “The Show Must Go On.” While quality wise, its as good but no better  than the other tracks, it does depart from the hammering chords of those songs and shows that Grim Reaper are versatile. Bowcott’s guitar work is quite eerily outstanding on it. However, that only changes things up slightly before the closer blasts your ears to pieces.

Track Listing:

  1. See You in Hell
  2. Dead On Arrival
  3. Liar
  4. Wrath of the Ripper
  5. Now or Never
  6. Run For Your Life
  7. The Show Must Go On
  8. All Hell Let Loose

Grim Reaper

Steve Grimmett- vocals

Nick Bowcott- guitars

Dave Wanklin- bass

Lee Harris- drums

Grim Reaper’s debut “See You in Hell” album led the charge for what many thought would be a second new wave of British heavy metal. Especially with Maiden and Priest coming out with albums the same year. In 1984, that was true and though things would go sour for this band a few years later, this is still an album to be proud of.

Next post: Gary Moore- Victims of the Future

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