Band: Blade Killer
Title: High Risk
Label: M-Theory Audio
Release Date: 23 November 2018
Format Reviewed: Digital
In the late 70’s and early 80’s the United Kingdom birthed the NWOBHM a burgeoning scene at the time loaded with countless and at times talentless underground bands. Not all were remotely good, but it launched some of the biggest bands in the world who are more than relevant to this day. Its appeal was combining heavy rock from the late 70’s with the punk infused energy of the time in England. Its subject matter also moved away from the militant and rebellious agendas against the establishment towards that of escapism, fantasy, partying and of course the headbangers! The best word to describe this period in our genre is authenticity, and its significant influence on Heavy Metal, Thrash and Black Metal have been massive to say the least. The majority of these bands beyond the giants from the time either disbanded or scurried back to the underground for two decades. Until the 2000’s re-launched the careers of several key NWOBHM bands, starting with smaller gigs and on to the festival circuits; the response quickly moved from nostalgic to the excitement. Many of the 2nd tiered bands have had a complete renaissance since transforming into modern versions of themselves, against all odds, their ages, and critical reception. The bands re-invented themselves with updated line-ups due to ages and abilities to forge forward in the new age of metal. Denim and Leather will live forever indeed…
In recent years not only have some of the classic bands from the era thrived with new releases, tours and reception, but a new wave of bands carrying the torch has risen! One such band is Blade Killer! The Los Angeles based band was formed in 2012 and has since released their 2015 EP “Blade Killer” which quickly established their brand of Old School meets New School Heavy Metal. Its reception with fans and bands was immediate, and they’ve been out with some the biggest bands on tour and festivals ever since.
In Blade Killer you’ll have an instant connection and reaction to their modern sound so heavily influenced in NWOBHM principle’s. Just looking at their leather and spiked lay-den imagery, fantastic band name and the killer album cover artwork alone initiates instant feelings from the NWOBHM; especially for those of us that have been in the game since the beginning! And once the intense galloping of the opening track kicks in and Carlos Gutierrez begins belting out his brand of Paul Di’Anno vocals, the instant comparisons begin to the golden era of Iron Maiden and the stage is set for an extraordinary ride! Not just a look back in time, but a leap into the future of traditional Heavy Metal! There’s no question that Di’Anno era Iron Maiden, Angel Witch the Tygers of Pan Tang and Raven will all cross your mind while listening to “High Risk,” but it will be with good intention and coming from a place of authenticity that will deserve your time and attention. So prepare for a perfect blend of energy, intensity, catchy choruses, galloping rhythms, thunderous guitars and an infectious album that delivers not just an early eighties NWOBHM classic, but a grandiose modern day Heavy Metal album! Prepare for Blade Killer…
“High Risk” kicks into overdrive right from the start with Lost Angels, with its ferocious pace and delivery! Let Go immediately harkens back to its period of influence with it’s pacing, dueling guitars and classic vocal delivery. The title track takes you back to the anthemic and contagious songs from the period with its axe crazy rhythms and solo’s. This is a track that could have easily landed on either of the first two Iron Maiden albums and been right at home. The band does a fantastic version of Twilight Zone in the live setting as well as tracks from Judas Priest and Armored Saint. This is highlighted on In The Arms Of The Devil, which seems to be another fan favorite in concert with its old school metal emphasis and catchy lyrics. Midnight Sinner really delivers as a fast paced banger where Johnathan Rubio and Jay Vazquez dish out the main course in style. In fact their performances on “High Risk” are deserving of due praise on this electrifying album. Rush of Thunder is another scorcher in quick time and Endangered Dreams showcasing Kelsey Wilson on bass with her best Steve Harris impression and intro to the track. The album closer Tomb of Thoughts highlighting the progression or even transformation of traditional British Heavy Metal at its finest with its dynamic and perfectly delivered array of artistry. This honestly can be said of the entire album and is the best old school metal album to hit my turntable in quite sometime. Out November 23rd on M-Theory Audio.
Understanding and appreciating where one comes from and that it clearly has a major influence on ones tastes is essential. Make no mistake this is an old school metal record drenched in NWOBHM influences in particularly early Iron Maiden. Delivered with all the qualities of the that era, but created in 2018. Blade Killer is not a band stuck in reverse, they’re a band re-defining the past in a modern, transformational present! “High Risk” is an essential recording coming out at an important time in our genres rich history. If you don’t find yourself caught up in this release, than please head straight to the Emergency Room, because you have no pulse…In fact you may already be dead! Highly recommended for fans of Heavy Metal…9.5/10 Mö
In The Area Of The Devil
Rush Of Thunder
Tomb Of Thoughts
9.5/10 Epic Storm
**Please support the underground! It’s vital to the future of our genre.