"No use in running
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.
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!"
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
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)