Having never really been a fan of The New Way of British Heavy Metal era of metal music, what better test of my abilities as a reviewer, than to review a NWOBHM album?
Released on High Roller Records in October 2016, “Fear No Evil” is the latest album from Quartz, their first since 1983’s “Against All Odds.”
Originally classed as one of the forerunners of the NWOBHM movement, the band were actually formed in 1974 under the name of Bandy Legs. They changed their name to Quartz in 1977 for the release of their self-titled debut, an album that was produced by Tony Iommi, featured Queen guitarist Brian May on one of the tracks and had backing vocals supplied by Ozzy Osbourne himself. Criticised in the past as being a Sabbath clone, the band played Reading festival three times, supporting the likes of Black Sabbath and AC/DC, and released three albums before disbanding in 1983.
But, now a great name from the past are back. Featuring four out the five original members, after the recent death of singer Mike Taylor, the band have reformed with new singer David Garner and what a fantastic comeback album!
The band are obviously influenced by bands of the seventies, such as Black Sabbath as previously mentioned, but this does nothing to take away from the bands own talents. Singer, David Garner, has a strong voice, almost Ozzy-esque in places, but this is by no means a bad thing.
The album as a whole is traditional NWOBHM. It has a solid sound and the production is great, unlike a lot of previous NWOBHM albums, which I think is why I never liked the genre. Most of it sounded like it was being played inside a bucket, and although this was probably the charm for a lot of people, it wasn’t for me. This album, however, has an “old-school” vibe and feels like it could have come straight from the early 1980’s but in no way feels out-dated. That, in itself, is a contradictory of terms but this is a sign of how well the authenticity of the album has been produced.
The album is dotted with heavy, infectious riffs, fine melodies and kick-arse solos. The guitars are dirty, the drumming is tight and the keyboards add an atmospheric tone to the whole record. The vocals and song writing is melodic and, together with catchy choruses, will have you humming for the rest of the day.
The band seem to work better on the faster songs but, apart from “Rock Bottom”, a catchy heavy metal song with great bass and drum work, my other favourites on the album are “The Stalker” and “Zombie Resurrection”, two of the slower-paced tracks often criticised by other reviewers.
But I guess that’s the whole point of reviewing. No one person’s opinion of an album is the right one.
What I suggest you do, is go get yourself a copy and judge for yourself. This won’t be breaking any new ground or setting the metal music scene alight BUT it is a great album by a great band and will easily keep you entertained for nearly fifty minutes.
Quartz are BACK!
01. Fear No Evil
02. Rock Bottom
03. The Stalker
05. Zombie Resurrection
06. Barren Land
07. Walking on Holy Water
08. Dangerous Game
09. Born to Rock the Nation
10. Riot in the City
11. Dead Man’s World
12. Scream at the Devil
Derek Arnold – Bass
Malcolm Cope – Drums
Mick Hopkins – Guitars
Geoff Nicholls – Guitars, Keyboards, Vocals
David Garner – Vocals
This review is solely the property of Dawn Smith and The Metal Asylum