War Of The Ring

John Whitbread (voc), Mike Whitbread (git), Phil Lynch (git), Steve Potter (bs), Geoff Whitbread (dr)

format: 7" Side A:
  1. War Of The Ring

Side B:

  1. Ice Cream Theme
year: 1981
country: UK
label: Slipped Disc
#: 50001
insert: no
edition: ?
rarity: 8/10


I would officially declare this single The Greatest NWOBHM 7” Ever and promtly give sceptics, besserwissers and naysayers the boot, if it weren’t for the fact that ARC, at least on this EP, is very far from traditional NWOBHM (so I guess REINCARNATE still reigns). If you thought you’d already heard the best of early 80’s Epic Metal, think again! “War of the ring” is one of those rare Perfect Metal Anthems, a 10-out-of-10 masterpiece with both a brillant, heavy, crunchy lead riff and a mindblowing, spinechilling, epic chorus that gives BLIND GUARDIAN a run for their Deutschmarks – sorry, €uros. Despite it’s date and origin they have little to do with bands like Sweet Savage, Diamond Head etc. They sound far more American and musically ARC lies closer to early MANILLA ROAD, MANOWAR or WARLORD, but with this sound they actually pre-date the classic bands with a year or two. One wonders why noone has taken the time to dig out more material/info by the band and re-release it? It would sell like MANOWAR bootlegs in Greece! The flipside, oddly entitled “Ice Cream Theme” deserves a mention, but is nowhere near the A-side hit in excellence. It also draws towards the epic, but in a more 70’s inspired manner. While the lyrix to “War..” is the most classic imaginable (the JRR Tolkien mythology), the lyrix to the flip is original to say the least. A depressing story about a strange man (no, he’s not carrying a crystal sword) living in an ice cream van (no, it’s not equipped with dragon’s wings). Trés original. I've been told their 1st 7" "Tribute/For My Next Kick" (1980) is slightly easier to find. It is however not as metallic as this 2nd mastepiece. Do not confuse this band with The A.R.C. Rock Band. who released a single in 1979 called "The Chase/Homemade Wine". It's a completely different band, although still NWOBHM and almost as rare. As for this 7", anyone who calls him or herself an Epic Metal Fan should own a copy, including me. I go fish now. Bye.
(Thanx to Mattias Rubarth for lending me this single and to Thilo Kelling for additional info)

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