Hard As Rock

Stefan King (voc, percussion), Tim Casey (git), Cary Ray (bs), Gene Casey (dr)

format: LP Side A:
  1. Blue Steel
  2. Running
  3. Hard As Rock
  4. Touch Me
  5. My Desire

Side B:

  1. Fire Light
  2. Super Starz
  3. Satans World
  4. Black Out
  5. Hellsville
year: 1981 /1983
country: USA
label: Long St. Records / Metalworks Records
#: - / MWR 8001
insert: no
edition: 1000 / ?
rarity: 7/10 / 4/10

Now there. I finally found the 2nd pressing of this album, after coming across several copies of the supposed much rarer 1st, so a review of this gem should now be in order. I would rate this as one of my absolute favourites of early 80's American HR/HM. I could call this the greatest NWOBHM record from the USA, but why use that old monicker when bands all around the world did rather similar things at this period. With so many plain, boring "Heavy Rock" records coming out at this time, you wonder if it was CRYSYS who, in an act of Metallic vampirism, sucked all the energy out of about 50 of them and fuled their own amazing record with their life blood. At first it sounds so simple and you really can't understad why you like it so much. After the 3rd or 4th listening the album starts to unravel its mysteries. It's all about the riffs, you see. They're like distilled Metal - they've passed through the process of refinement so many times only the whitening bones of Hard Rock remains. They're damn near perfect. No godawful "blues rock"-inspired parts, no tacky sleaze, no radio-friendly "hit-song", even the semi-ballad "Touch Me" is a brilliant rock song in its own right. There is a slight 70's feel about certain parts of the axework, but not in the disguise of so called "musical experimentation" - just HARD rock guitars all the way through. I'd call them the RAMONES of Metal if wouldn't scare off so many potential listeners. Opening crusher "Blue Steel" is exceptionally effective despite the rather simple lead riff. The cavalry of the undead has arrived to rape, pillage and burn down your stereo! (imagine that...) The title-song is another really catchy HR-gem, but it's not until you reach the B-side that this album unleashes it's heaviest artillery. Like the super-heavy hard rock monster "Super Starz", the fast, energetic, doin'-the-sign-of-the-devil-invoking "Satans World", and the incredible "Black Out" - a song so beautiful in it's simplicity you don't know weather to shit or go blind. After more than 30 minutes of full frontal Hard Rock assault the opening-riff to "Hellsville" will stomp your lifeless corpse into the ground and you will love every second of it. The vocals of Stefan King are another major reason why "CRYSYS ROCKS!". They are powerful, hard hitting and honest and neither growls nor breaks into annoying falsetto. Them and the very live, in-your-face production is the magic that turnes killer riffing into gold. Anyone with a taste for the so-called "NWOBHM-sound" should own at least one copy.

Listen to this record here. (provided by the Vibrations Of Doom webzine)

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