Blitzkrieg - Back from Hell

Blitzkrieg Back from Hell cover
Back from Hell
Metal Nation Records
Well I have given up trying to guess which album this might be, from NWOBHM, stalwarts Blitzkrieg, yeah those guys that Metallica covered (*), those guys that legendary Satan singer Brian Ross sings for... THOSE guys (well not exactly the original trio anyway, not even a line-up from 10 years ago maybe, as the bands membership seems to be ever evolving. When I saw for the first time the cover for the new album, I thought, it was a) old school, b) a little amateur c) quite bad, to be honest, c’mon they could have hired someone to do a better job but also d) somewhat reminiscent of an older cover or two... and when I read the titles I was beginning to suspect things that upon my first listen of the album were to be confirmed...
“Jack’s Back” is a short opener with some spoken exchanges between “William/Jack” and a prostitute... so as “Back from Hell” rolls in you might have guessed full well that the band has chosen to revisit the “Jack the Ripper” storyline from “Unholy Trinity” one of Blitz’s best albums... and this one is one hell of a way to do this. Brian Ross’ involvement with Satan, seems to have “revived” him quite a lot and even this newer “line-up” of Blitzkrieg, that he has amassed, which even features one of his sons (!) doesn’t seem to sound any worse than some of the older versions, one could actually say, that actually, in comparison this album, sounds a little more inspired than the last couple ones... which ain’t too bad!
“Buried Alive” this “Ancient” nugget makes a welcome return, to be once again “re-incarnated”. Well at least they didn’t chose to re-record, “Blitzkrieg” for the 10.000th time, but they can always do that on the next album I guess! Hahaha! **(with alternative lyrics too, about the continent/planet being fucked)…
“Complicated Issue” is a bit of a poppy ballad, actually a duet between Ross & Martin McManus (Chaos Asylum) and while in itself the song the song ain’t too bad, the duet doesn’t work too well and not because of Brian... I suppose it’s not ether’s fault actually, it seems to be that there’s a bit of a natural tonal difference and texture quality that makes the two voices not work too well together.
“V” is basing itself on “V for Vendetta” complete with “remember remember...” etc… and while it’s a mid-tempo song, Ross takes it upon himself to “sell” the song and does a quite commendable job. Well, it’s theatrical, as they come and the band manages to pull it off without sounding ridiculous, which is quite an accomplishment, but beware it’s a little long winded and slightly bleak and a little monotonous in places.
“Return to the Village” I am trying very hard to think, if Blitz, had done another “Return to the Village” tune....? (you see dear reader, I am writing all this w/o internet access! Stone-age I know!)… and while I could go to the next room and check my discography, I‘m pretty bored too – ahahahah!). Well this is another – cinema/TV series inspired tune, obviously from Patrick Mc Goohan’s The Prisoner and all, that inspired Iron Maiden’s “The Prisoner” and “...Village” tunes… as well... and it ain’t too bad, not bad at all. (a.n.: Nope they have “Escape from the Village” on “Sins and Greed”)
“Sahara” begins with a huge, meaty riff, that grinds away and goes on and on with its eastern style and heavy rhythm slowly crushing away without any surprises whatsoever...
With a title like “4U” I was half expecting a light-hearted ballad, but all this song turned up to be was a mild instrumental, with guitars, noodling away. It’s nice and tender and soothing and obviously dedicated to “someone special”...?!
“One Last Time” starts up quite slowly with acoustics and ponderously and then it has sharper guitars taking over, it’s not exactly a ballad, but it’s a powerful, sentimentally charged song that is really great!
Damn me to hell, if I cannot also recall another “Call for the Priest” or case where Blitzkrieg did a song where took a shitload of Priest titles and did a song out of them… and they must have also done a cover as well! (Hell I’m gonna rise from the chair and I HATE doing that!) I however think that this is different, and while it’s different it’s not really the greatest idea... but I guess, everyone would love to pay a tribute to their favorite metal gods – right, so why not Blitz?! Well… OK...
“Sleepy Hollow” draws inspiration from the book/movie and begins with great instrumental prowess, a barrage of percussion and then some sharp short riffs, that repeat throughout. Even Ross, assumes a colder more distant “narrator’s” voice, making it all a rather cool, if not spookingly cold-number!
(*and here’s some closure) I must be quite honest to say that I was quite curious about what this “S&D” stood for and well, well, guess what, it’s a Metallica cover, “Seek & Destroy”, to be exact, that the band has pretty much done in their own “style”. Pretty Good, I’d say.
To round it all up the band offers “We Have Assumed Control” an initially rather not so spectacular, if not for its riffs and playful percussion track that gets better and better to finish up with a wait for it, GONG crush! Hahahahaha! Fantastic! Attention to the detail! (I am so tempted to give them an extra point for the gong alone!) BANG A GONG! EY?!
Fans of the band won’t be disappointed, in fact they might actually find this a bit of a return to form album after a couple of less than great albums. This one has a more raw, back to the roots approach that sits well with the classic metal, instincts in me. The band relies on some “easy” solutions like re-recording stuff and revisiting some old themes, but so be it! I doubt any other people will be interested, but at least the fans of the band will be pleased. The flames are still burning at the mines! It’s good to know!