St. Paul, Minnesot'as True Metal Record Store (RIP as of Dec. 24, 2015)
MERCILESSLY DIRTY OLD GERMAN SPEED METAL
When do we want it?
WELL HOPEFULLY…well, hopefully right now because that’s what you’re getting in IRON ANGEL and their sloppy, spirited, lovable speed/thrash debut album Hellish Crossfire from 1985.
Seriously, just look at the photo of these guys and don’t tell me 9 of 10 times you couldn’t nail down EXACTLY what they sound like. Add the generic yet awesomely and unabashedly METAL band name and chances are good you’re going to at least have fun with this one. How far you take it from there may be up to you.
Nasally mispronunciations; rolling thunder for a rhythm section; half-arsed Satanic references; shrieking solos — it’s all here! Also RAW as all fuck. Welcome to Germany everybody. Back in the day these guys shared a label with two of the big three (SODOM and DESTRUCTION), and perhaps only because of limited output (and eventually, poor catalog management by the Steamhammer) have you never heard of IRON ANGEL while you can’t even shop at Target without being reminded of the others. Hellish Crossfire nearly matches the intensity of those two familiars and their contemporaneous output, and one might argue has a lot of Endless Pain beat straight away.
Not bad for some no-names, eh? My guess is the lack of sufficient thrash in the IRON ANGEL sound (more the second album than here) got them tossed on history’s dustbin before their time. Stuck between two worlds as not melodic enough for the pure HELLOWEEN power/speed freaks and not thrashy enough for the heshers. It was all about keeping up with the Joneses in that formative period and any backward steps would summarily render a band irrelevant to metalheads demanding faster, better, NEWER. That, and knowing your audience to some degree. Such is the way of fickle metal fandom.
None of that sad reality should stop you from coming in to the shop and picking up the reissue of Hellish Crossfire on vinyl, though! And reach back deep to rekindle your love for any or all of the German classics you “missed” while you’re at it. We won’t judge, promise.
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