Theatre of the Damned

Written by: ASH on 26/07/2007 14:26:50

Welcome to the Theatre, my dear readers. The "Theatre of the Damned"! Quite horrifying isn't it? Then again, maybe five British men in their late thirties and forties wearing all black to impress won't scare you off immediately. As a favor, I'll give you a little insight before we begin; they're not that scary anymore. With 27 years of playing heavy metal chords on hundreds of stages worldwide, the horns of these devils have become curiously blunt. But with a reputation of being the inspiration of Metallica, "Blitzkrieg" now has quite something to stand up for with their newest and tenth[!] release "Theatre Of The Damned". Let's sit down and enjoy the show, shall we?

For starters, the album seems to be focusing on telling a story to its listeners, a story about a young, lost man who has just entered an old theatre in attempt to get some guidance. There he meets a person with a strange, demonic voice telling him that this is the "Theatre Of The Damned", followed by the band commencing their playing. As a welcome track, it's pretty dull and doesn't seem to impress anything. You get a little story for a few seconds, but it really doesn't set a scene within your head, especially when these old, no, really old chords are getting hammered one more time. It's like tuning in on one of the hundreds of online radio streams and listening to their old-school heavy metal playlists. Nothing new, the same drawn back drums, the same way too serious vocalist and of course some guitars with riffs that seem to have been traded equally between the bands of the genre. As well as the solos. To pick something out, take the third track on the album, "Devil's Spawn". It's pretty easy to decipher, with its extremely straight forward lyrics and almost boring chord smashings. Hearing the lyrics and the voice of frontman Brian Ross, it reminds me of the heavy metal parodies seen on Family Guy or Simpsons. Seriously, does the text:

"Look at you now, you're taking control. You think you're so high, but I see you falling. Look at the world, son of Saaaaaaaatan. It's not yours to take, 'cause I am in your waaaaaaaaaay."

make you want to sing along in a powerful chorus? Even better; "You're a silver tongue serpent with eyes of fire. The strength of a demon and a handful of lies." Could we get a medic in here? I think the lyrics just had a stroke again. Imagine this style of lyrics and any old heavy metal rocker's voice singing them and you have the majority of this album. Not very amusing nor anything breathtaking. On the other hand, they still have some ways of impressing you with their more powerful and fast paced tracks, such as the fifth track "Spirit Of The Legend" and the ending track "Nightstalker". As some of you might have discovered, there are two more tracks on the album; "Armageddon" and "Blitzkrieg", but these are past released tracks from their very first demo cassette back in 1980, of which "Blitzkrieg" was later covered by Metallica. They're both alright tracks, with a good feel of how metal of the eighties sounded when metal was pure and MTV still played real music.

All in all, "Theatre Of The Damned" will not tailspin your world unless you're a hardcore fan of the genre and the respective band. There's simply too much dust in their playing and the story told seems to take over the quality of some lyrics that could've become a better and more suiting replacement than this "blast from the past". On the contrary, "Blitzkrieg" has been around for so many years and even though their musical experience is a bit faded on this album, they've clearly made a clever move with adding two of their first tracks to show that they really can kick around even though they're not that young and uncut anymore. So, I'll let these guys play "Nightstalker" again and forget all about them. Simple as that. I easily found my way out of this theatre.


Download: Devil's Spawn, Nightstalker, Spirit Of The Legend
For the fans of: Saxon, Satan, Angel Witch
Listen: Myspace

Release date 27.07.2007
Armageddon Music
Provided by Target ApS

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