Various Artists - Heavy Metal Killers (Earache/Riot)

This release is unrelentingly old-school, and is pure gold from start to finish.


Sometimes you get so enraptured with extreme music - of which there is so much good stuff out there at the moment - that you just kind of bypass anything that is rooted in the classic NWOBHM sound. That's why it's so refreshing to come across an album like this one.


As far as compilation albums go, this one really hits the mark. Every band on this release makes you realise that there is a huge groundswell of heavy metal bands out there that is defying many metallers' penchants for growls of all kinds.


From the glorious Sudden Impact by RAM, which will appeal to anybody out there who has ever sung along badly with either Bruce Dickinson or Rob Halford; to the eminently catchy, if cheesy as hell, Chained Up In Chains by Cauldron; to the magnificently thrashy Enforcer track Mistress of Hell; and so on through this album, there is something to appeal to nearly everybody. Well, anyone who can appreciate  big riffs, great hooks, solos that throw you straight back to the mid-80s, singable choruses, and a generally old-school, bang-your-head-in-your-lounge-room good time.


It is unrelentingly old-school, and perhaps the best thing about this is the fact that the bands on this release each have their own spin on the genre. Better yet, each track selected for inclusion is unique enough that you don't have to worry about getting bored with the release.


And while there are some tracks that appealed to me slightly less than others, they were generally all winners. Actually, this seems to be a trend with Earache compilations; their last one, Thrashing Like A Maniac was killer too.


Go and get this release if there's even a bit of the classic banger in you. You won't regret it.


This Heavy Metal Killers compilation is out now on Earache/Riot.