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Blacksmith - Time Out Of Mind

Time Out Of Mind
by Lior "Steinmetal" Stein at 03 September 2012, 6:02 PM

I don’t know about you but when I came across the supposable new album of the US Heavy Metal band, BLACKSMITH, it didn’t cross my mind that it would be a drop from the past. “Time Out Of Mind”, finally released via Heaven & Hell Records and Remastered by Jamie King, presents material that should have been out and about back in 1990, a year before the band’s break up, talk about long overdue. The past endeavour mainly happened because the band’s past label, Tropical Records, closed down; this album never saw the light of day or the ears of the fans. Since then the band also changed, yet only new material would be able to assist on understanding if these changes were in vain or not. When it comes to the likes of “Time Out Of Mind”, it is more or less from where the band left off after their debut “Fire From Within” of 1989 yet with a little more intensity. On the other hand, I wouldn’t crown “Time Out Of Mind” as the band’s most successful venture. Though I appreciate the band’s efforts on showing this material the light of day, which every release deserves, I can’t really agree that it is a gem from the past nor a treasure.

The first thing that came to my mind while listening to this piece is how intense and somewhat speedy BLACKSMITH became. While the Metal world began moving astray from its old school path into different areas in Rock music, BLACKSMITH kept it old school, 80s oriented and true to the book of Metal. Their music crossed between traditional Metal and the later period of NWOBHM to the realms of Speed Metal. The larger part of David Smith’s guitars riffing is pretty common, yet attractive, heavy and with cutting edge depth thanks to the bass of Chris Madsenthat follows. The drumming of Chris Caglionewas a tad more assorted than the early release while adding that slight structured nature to the traditional ways. Malcolm “Mania” Lovegrove’s vocal line didn’t show any signs of a significant change in comparison to the past material, yet I could distinguish that he slowly began shifting his gaze into the modern Metal dominion of the 90s and it shows on several of the tracks like “Burnout” and “Wreckage”. Maybe that was the main reason for me not liking them too much. It is hard to meld a traditional approach of Heavy Metal with that kind of vocal implementations.

However, my issues with this album didn’t end with Lovegrove’s vocals. Listen after listen I found out that there is almost nothing special about the songs, everything just passed me by without leaving something for my mind to relish. Of course that there were a few great tracks as “Powerhead”, which thundered with Speed Metal menace and furious riffing and chorus and “The Lesser Evil”, which assumed the same form of the former but with a little more spice. There other promises like “Lost City”and “Live / Die”, but I believe that BLACKSMITH forced the issue with their length that only contributed for further unneeded reprises. After twenty years without a word or anything new, “Time Out Of Mind” wasn’t expected, yet it will be sufficient for every traditional Metal fan out there. Go fetch this release now.

3 Star Rating

1. Time Out Of Mind
2. Achilles Heel
3. Burn Down The World
4. Lost City
5. Powerhead
6. Pieces Of Chuck
7. Wreckage
8. The Lesser Evil
9. Burnout
10. Live / Die
11. Blitzkrieg Bop (Ramones Cover) 

David Smith – Guitar
Chris Madsen – Bass
Malcolm “Mania” Lovegrove – Vocals
Chris Caglione – Drums

Record Label: Heaven & Hell Records


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