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Weapon UK - Set The Stage Alight

Weapon UK
Set The Stage Alight
by Kevin Burke at 19 November 2018, 9:48 PM

WEAPON UK roll out the red carpet of nostalgia with the vinyl release of their essential “Set The Stage Alight”, an album steeped with gritty-passion which had to remain held back until-2003, but it gives an eclectic glimpse of what should have been. A band who are at the very roots of NWOBHM, a cog in the early machine, WEAPON, as they were originally called cut their teeth supporting MOTORHEAD in 1980 on the ‘Ace Up Your Sleeve’ U.K. tour, with one single release “Set The Stage Alight” backed with “Mad Mad World”, both of which are included here.

That title track “Set The Stage Alight” kicks off proceedings with an apocalyptic-opening to signal their arrival, the proto-trash label is not too far off the mark, for 1980 the band was already stretching out the limitations of the genre, the soloing by Jeff Summers is beautifully chaotic and precise against the thumbing double-bass drumming of Bruce Bisland, they have everything in place to grab the listener’s attention from the off.

On “Liar” the band get gritty in the midst of heavyweight guitar tracks, lovers of SAXON, IRON MAIDEN and DIAMONHEAD will have their feet up with comfort here whilst “Take That Bottle Away”, keeps the momentum flowing as the drums swing and Danny Hynes delivers one of the more unique sounding vocals in British Metal of the day, without the oral-screeches instead replaced with a raw-angst in the delivery. A definite standout is “Midnight Satisfaction”, the rousing chorus and lick after lick of glass-shattering guitar solos which is the pulse running through the record. The acoustic opening “Olivia” displays the power of the quartets songwriting and their knack of constructing songs with depth, blending the heartbreaking lyrics with soft acoustics and layers of distorted riffs, this is an absolute treat and a nice lead into the demos.

Of these four demos, all of which sound fully formed as is, the Scorpions sounding “Light Of The World” and “Remote Control” are definitely guitar-drenched rockers which everyone will love, a no-holds barred look into the pumping heart of the band without the frills, “Killer Instinct” and “Things You Do” are slightly less intense with shades of glam-rock but highly enjoyable nonetheless. Listening to the album in its natural state it is clear that it was and still is good enough to stand up against the greats of the early-80s, furthermore in the Metallica track “Hit The Lights”, the powerful first song on their “Kill ‘Em All” album, you will hear the direct influence of the track “Set The Stage Alight”, proving the influence of not only NWOBHM on Hetfield and co. but that of WEAPON UK and their sound which still vibrates across the musical spectrum of Metal today.

Songwriting: 9
Originality: 9
Memorability: 8
Production: 7

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Set The Stage Alight
2. Liar
3. Take That Bottle
4. One Night Stand
5. Mad Mad World
6. Midnight Satisfaction
7. Bad Love
8. Olivia
9. Remote Control (Demo)
10. Light Of The World (Demo)
11. Killer Instinct (Demo)
12. Things You Do (Demo)
Lineup:
Danny Hynes – Lead Vocals
Jeff Summers – Vocals, Guitars
Baz Downes – Bass, Vocals
Bruce Bisland – Drums
Record Label: Pure Steel Records
     


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Edited 25 March 2019
 

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