This review is only slightly coloured by the fact that Brian Ross, the long time vocalist of NWOBHM heroes, Blitzkrieg, was a close friend back in the misty past of my teen years and by the fact that I was bassist in his early band. What this does is allow me to share the talent and commitment he always had and bemoan the lack of foresight of the industry that saw some dreadful bands get big label promotion while better ones had to go it alone. Brian’s love of and dedication to heavy metal truly shows and shines with the releases Blitzkrieg have had over the years and, although Neat Records recognised it, the band sadly didn’t get the breaks they deserved. All credit that he has never let it go and continues to write and record quality rock from those halcyon days.
The latest release is an EP that brings three Japanese bonus tracks to us all for less outlay and again prove the talents of this underrated band. Called Loud And Proud, the six tracks take you into the realm of NWOBHM and even provides a stonking cover of ‘Schools Out’. The title track is from the last album and is Priest in their pre-Turbo days with a great riff, solo, vocals and a noteworthy bass line. ‘Without You’ will be familiar but this time Brian is on vocals, not Alan and it’s slower riffing bring depth and colour to the EP. ‘Falling Into Darkness’now has orchestration and the seven minutes fly by as the band serve up their unique Sabbath/Priest heavy rock classic. ‘After Dark’ is Painkiller style rapid-fire heavy metal but still chock full of melody. ‘Together We Are Strong’ is my favourite here… a weighty and melodic slice of heavy rock with all the elements we need but that many of their contemporaries and modern equivalents don’t manage to achieve.
Although not quite up there with some of their earlier stuff (the wonderful ‘Inferno’ springs to mind) this is still NWOBHM bottled, preserved and ready to serve to all right minded metal fans.