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Blitzkrieg - Theatre of the Damned (Reissue)

Theatre of the Damned (Reissue)
by Kevin Lewis at 13 July 2021, 7:49 PM

BLITZKRIEG is one of the progenitors of the New Wave of British Heavy Metal (NWOBHM). Formed in 1980, they joined the movement and soon found their sound. Theater Of The Damned is a re-issue of their 2007 album, adding vinyl to the catalog as well. The re-release was through Mighty Music Records on June 11, 2021. With the resurgence of vinyl sales (surpassing CD in 2020), this is will be a welcome addition to their fan’s collections.

The track listing is similar to the 2007 release, though the vinyl has two fewer songs than the CD. Both “Armageddon” and “Blitzkrieg” are CD bonus tracks. And yes, it is the same “Blitzkrieg” you’ve known and loved for forty years. I mean, can we ever get enough of that song? I think not.

The title track leads off the record. In typical NWOBHM fashion, it has a blazing riff with both guitars forging the way ahead. The rhythm is heavy and filled with little drum rolls and a chugging bass line. The vocals are just what you expect from BLITZKRIEG, a little rough and full of raw power. Individual and dual solos drive fill the song with NWOBHM goodness.

The next couple of songs are both powerful and driving. “The Phantom” and “Devil’s Spawn” are classic NWOBHM. Galloping rhythms and plenty of double bass drumming are reminiscent of both the era and the formula that drew in listeners. This is the kind of music that you just cannot not headbang. Bodily movements are involuntary.

Jumping down to “Spirit of The Legend,” the song starts with a gigantic guitar piece. The song appears to be about a music legend, which is 100% appropriate for what the guitarists play throughout the song. The spirit of the guitar lives on in whoever plays it forever after. This is how most fans feel when they see their favorite guitarist play. Many would make a deal with the devil to be able to play the same.

Into The Light” starts a little more melodic. The guitars are slower, the rhythm more subdued. This is about a person who dies and moves from seeing their body laying there to heading to their afterlife. The song is melancholier, the vocals almost questioning whether it was a life well lived or not. This is a song that highlights a different style and depth to the songwriting of the band.

Wrapping up the vinyl release is “Night Stalker,” another powerhouse of a song with a killer riff and pounding rhythm. This song is solid, a great finishing tune. The tempo changes are technical and precise. Again, BLITZKRIEG shows an ability to write a complicated song that encourages interaction with the tune. This is the sing along song. The crowd will always yell at the top of their lungs when this plays live.

Even though this is a re-release of a 14-year-old record, it still feels fresh. Wrapping the CD version with “Blitzkrieg” (yeah, the song, not the band) is never going to be a bad idea. That song is so iconic, it could be on every release BLITZKRIEG puts out and the fans are still going to listen every time it plays.

BLITZKRIEG is forty-plus years into their career and still going strong. Some bands just never seem to lose a step, and this is one of them. The driving bass, the pounding drums and the intricate guitar work are just as relevant and innovative now as they were in 1980. Vinyl collectors are now very happy. The return of authentic sounding classic music (for purists) is a welcome event.

Songwriting:  8
Musicianship:  9
Memorability:  8
Production:  8

4 Star Rating

1. Theatre of The Damned
2. The Phantom
3. Devil’s Spawn
4. My Life Is My Own
5. Spirit of The Legend
6. The Passing
7. Into the Light
8. Tortured Souls
9. Together We Are Strong
10. Night Stalker
11. Armageddon
12. Blitzkrieg
Brian Ross – Vocals
Paul Brewis – Bass
Phil Brewis – Drums
Ken Johnson – Guitar
Guy Laverick – Guitar
Record Label: Mighty Music Records


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Edited 03 June 2023

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