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Bloody Climax - Back To The Wall (Reissue)

Bloody Climax
Back To The Wall (Reissue)
by Joe Reed at 03 October 2013, 4:39 PM

Karthago Records’ re-release of BLOODY CLIMAX’S cult favorite “Back To The Wall” is a well deserved tribute to a Heavy Metal classic that was on the brink of extinction but now may enjoy a second chance at life. Formed in Germany in 1983, BLOODY CLIMAX was at the center of the European Heavy Metal explosion that included bands like ACCEPT, VENOM, ANGEL WITCH, and others.

After listening to just a few tracks on “Back To The Wall”, it’s no difficult to imagine why so many would have enjoyed this in 1985. The dual guitar work of Frank Heller and Daniel Loesch, especially on “Bloody Climax”, gives any mid-80s IRON MAIDEN song a run for its money and the underlying melodies and precision playing certainly influenced a generation of European bands who in later years would incorporate such elements into more extreme forms of Metal. Heavy guitar riffs are tastefully displayed and, while aggressive, most likely wouldn’t alienate the casual music listener in the same way that, say, VENOM would have. Although tracks like “Cinderella” contain enough 80’s cheese to make anyone cringe, as a whole this is a pretty solid Hard Rock release.

While it may seem at times like the band is under doing it a bit and holding back the talent they obviously have to write more listenable tunes, one should listen closer and hear how “Jailbreaker” and “Ride With The Wind” contain the same attitude and punch as JUDAS PRIEST, MOTORHEAD, and even early METALLICA. Matthias Muller, who can best be described as Paul Stanley arm wrestling Bruce Dickinson, gives a solid vocal performance and he compliments the music rather well with his powerful and clear delivery. Thomas Kramer suffers the same fate that most drummers of this heavily guitar oriented era did and his rather forgetful performance says more about this era of Metal in general than it does about BLOODY CLIMAX in particular.

While fans of NWOBHM may find this album to be a gem (and it certainly is a well put together album worthy of a place in most metal collections), I wouldn’t venture to say that many of the younger generations, whose musical tastes are cultivated by so many extremities, will find this very appealing at all. While BLOODY CLIMAX was a band who crafted songs rather well, their re-release may suffer the same fate as the original, it will get overshadowed by many bands who take their positive characteristics to more innovative, creative, sonic, and aesthetic extremes. 

3 Star Rating

1. Edge of the Daring
2. Turn to Ice
3. Back to the Wall
4. Bloody Climax
5. Cinderella
6. Jailbreaker
7. Living in the Night
8. Turning in Circles
9. No Paragon
10. Ride With the Wind
11. Run for Cover
12. Fight for my Life
13. Flames of Hell
14. Out of Control
15. Straight from the Heart
16. Taken by Force
Holger Volk - Bass
Thomas Kramer - Drums
Frank Heller - Guitars
Daniel Loesch - Guitars
Matthias Muller - Vocals
Record Label: Karthago Records


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