GOTHAM CITY
Black Writs

line-up:
Ola Ohlsson (voc), Mårten Edlund (git), Björn-Erik Melander (bs, auc. git), Jonas Östman (dr)

format: MLP Side A:
  1. Monsters Of Rock
  2. 1995
  3. The Coven

Side B:

  1. Black Writs
  2. Born To Rock Hard
  3. In Vino Veritas

year: 1983
country: Sweden
label: Brute Force
#: BRF 009
insert: no
edition: ?
rarity: 6/10
 





((CLICK PICS FOR HI-RES SCANS))

"No use in running
we'll get you in the end
Don't try to escape
it'll be your living end
Join the legion
and welcome to our team
Feel the smell of death
AND HEAR OUR VICTIMS SCREAM!"
The chorus to GOTHAM CITY's galloping anthem of war against all things false, lame and limpwristed - "The Coven" - is a strong candidate for the official anthem of True, in-our-face, blue-collar, 80's underground METAL. And it's not even the best song on the album. Despite being one of the most legendary early Swedish Metal bands, I still feel they were the most underrated one and it's especially apparent on this their 12"-debut. I'd even go so far as declaring "Black Writs" The Best Swedish Classic Metal album ever. At least if you leave BATHORY and CANDLEMASS alone in their own sub-genres. Other familiars like HEAVY LOAD, DESTINY, TORCH, AXE WITCH etc. simply didn't play in the same kick-ass "all killers no fillers"-division as these Metal Gods Of The North. Musically "Black Writs" is a 10/10 record, no bs. This makes it no less shameful for me to confess that I discovered the band "for real" only a few years ago. The thing that made me turn my back on them all those years before was the infamous vocals of Ola Ohlsson. Now there's an issue that could be debated for pages and pages. Agreed, Mr. Ohlsson does NOT have the most melodic and sensitive voice this side of Hades, but rumors about him being out-of-tune and unlistenable are way exaggerated. Frankly, his monotonous, chanting voice couldn't be more perfect. It totally fits the mood and spirit of the era and gives them something extra in the sense of sincerity and raw melody. Anyone who've heard the awful re-recording of their old 7" theme-song on the '83 demo, with the supposed "much better vocalist" Anders Zackariasson should know what I'm talking about. Not that I would ever put down their superb follow-up and full-length debut of '84, "The Unknown", on which Anders does an excellent job.

Still, in this la-di-da & namby-pamby world of utter wimpness, albums like "Black Writs" gets sent to hell and merciless obscurity for the "crime" of Complete Lack Of Gayness. From the storming POWER Metal rushes of "Monsters Of Rock" and "Black Writs" to the HEAVY Metal riffing of lead and gold in "1995" and "Born To Rock Hard", this band was all about shitkicking, very hard & heavy, riff-oriented Euro-metal a la CROSSFIRE, ACID, SAD IRON, STEELER etc, with a teeny-weeny MANOWARish edge of fist-held-high True Metal pomp and circumstance, especially in the lyrics department. As a final blow to your Metal hearts several of the songs comes with harmony-solos so fucking beautiful they'll have the most hardened Metalhead weeping like a polish milkmaid in seconds. While simultaneously playing his trusty air-guitar, banging his head and invoke bel-Z-buuhb to rain fire and brimstone on all wimps and posers of course.

This MLP isn't quite as rare as it looks and nowhere near their legendary debut 7" in scarcity. (It actually tends to be more expensive here in Sweden than elsewhere). Prices usually vary between 25-40 euros depending on condition and seller coolness. I don't think I need to finish yet another review with the old "a must-buy at any price!"-slogan for the message should surely have gotten through by now.

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


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