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Heavy Sentence – Bang to Rights Award winner

Heavy Sentence
Bang to Rights
by Leanne Evans at 25 May 2021, 8:41 AM

The ferocious fivesome, HEAVY SENTENCE, have done their bird in the depths of the heavy metal underground and are now unshackled, unbound and free to roam the heavy metal scene as they please! Since their formation a few years or so ago, the rambunctious rebels have produced but a clutch of EP’s and raucous live performances to their name, focusing on quality over quantity, and have carefully planned their prison-break. As one of the hottest propositions in the UK’s resurgent traditional metal scene, these ballsy Brits bound in, armed and dangerous, with all the formulaic wonder of the NWOBHM, braced with their debut album “Bang to Rights”. HEAVY SENTENCE is all about deceptively energetic mid-tempo bangers, roughened up by the spectre of punk and shove a gallop (or two) in your face from time-to-time. These brutish British bandits have swag(ger), balls of steels and hearts full of napalm, serving up nothing short of ten rip-roaring tracks in the most addictively obstreperous of tones in “Bang to Rights”.

HEAVY SENTENCE expose their unfettered artistic genius from the get-go, knocking you on your arse with opening track, “Medusa”. Those blistering dual guitar harmonies break out and carnage is unleashed with muddied sullied sound, satisfying even the most voracious of listeners, battering your ears with a sonic wall for nearly a minute before Gareth’s rugged tones discharge. The MOTORHEAD vibe really pulls through, especially vocally; it’s like Lemmy’s been reincarnated, although Gareth sounds like if Lemmy had been on a three-month long JD esh, and smoked sixty a day since the age of seven; it’s bloody BRILLIANT! All that gritty rasp and vigour to his voice adds an infectious edginess to HEAVY SENTENCE really setting the band apart. Straightaway, these guys have got me hooked and I’m lusting after more.

HEAVY SENTENCE come with bad boy finesse – an oxymoron in itself – that has you panting and gagging for much more. “Cold Reins” fills up your catchy-melodic-hook-o-metre to the brim perfectly, with carefully crafted meticulous guitar harmonies and melting licks, all awash with those cream-worthy rugged vocals. At the flick of a switch(blade), “Age of Fire” takes a galloping twist with raging guitar action, somewhere akin to the speed combination of TOKYO BLADE and TYGERS OF PAN TANG, pulsating drums and the ability to absolutely pulverize you with its piss-boiling rage throughout the track. The guys continue with their pure onslaught of heavy metal into “Edge of the Knife”, which transpires as a MOTORHEAD sounding track with spitting aggression, enhanced by solid bass work and effortless riffing, paving the way for more tub-thumping action in “Capitoline Hill”. The punk-tinged track marches “Bang to Rights” forward with all its dissonant smattered brilliance and plenty of mid-tempo head-nodding moments to enjoy.

At the halfway point, the eponymous track “Heavy Sentence” opens with atmospheric anticipation, offering some spine-tingling melodic licks and plenty to get your teeth into. I can’t emphasize enough just how brilliantly chilling this track is; it’s akin to the thematic of SKID ROW’s “18 and Life”, but with all the rock ‘n’ roll offerings of MOTORHEAD and utterly to die for. The same rock ‘n’ roll vibe pulls through in “On the Run”, with a much more audacious stance and cheekiness about it, with the stifling heaviness and headiness of Gareth’s vocals simply erupting throughout this badass beauty! The feelgood abundant energy keeps on a comin’ in “Wicked Lady”, a solid rocker with plenty of IRON MAIDEN guitar lines woven throughout and then in comes “Possession”, with a deliciously demonic dissonance about it. Wrapping up our porridge with HEAVY SENTENCE, final track “Broken Hearts” brings stupendously fast picking in a dirty bass line, and a heavy punch in the face of the sound of DIAMOND HEAD. Everything about the track is fittingly moody, the double-bass drumming is cock-on and the boys blister in their final track of “Bang to Rights”.

Trust me on this one, HEAVY SENTENCE is a band to keep your eye on! These guys are very promising indeed and “Bang to Rights” is a killer debut LP that has all the nostalgia of the NWOBHM, but with a contemporary execution, overlaid with all the obstinance and bolshiness of punk. Rammed with energy, it’s easy to see why these rollicking reprobates have been a hit at live gigs; they’re filthier than “the filth” and bring a surliness to the table that you effortlessly lap up. The mix and production of “Bang to Rights” is fittingly rough and ready and their consistent no holds barred approach within each track is addictive and makes you want to let loose and tear shit up. Hell, after listening to these wrong ‘uns, I’d do life for HEAVY SENTENCE and you’ll want to, too!

Songwriting: 10
Musicianship: 10
Memorability: 10
Production: 10

5 Star Rating

1. Medusa
2. Cold Reins
3. Age of Fire
4. Edge of the Knife
5. Capitoline Hill
6. Heavy Sentence
7. On the Run
8. Wicked Lady
9. Possession
10. Broken Hearts
Gareth Howells – Vocals
Tim Horrocks – Guitar
Jack MacMichael – Guitar
Ed Troup – Bass
Bryan Suddaby – Drums
Record Label: Dying Victims Productions


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Edited 08 December 2022

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