Squeezing their way into the tail end of the New Wave Of Heavy Metal in 1984, Grim Reaper’s debut album See You In Hell remains a cult classic of the era. In fact, outside of the major successes of the as Iron Maiden and Saxon, Grim Reaper stands as a flagship band of their time, embodying all the classic tropes that made the NWOBHM so great. Guitarist and founding member Nick melodic and straightforward riffing crafted memorable backbones to classic tracks such as “Wrath Of The Ripper,” “Now Or Never,” and, of course, the title track, “See You In Hell.” Steve Grimmet’s vocals played well off of Bowcott’s guitar work, singing out with a reserved power waiting to be unleashed in his soaring high notes. More so than their peers in Raven, Satan, and Venom, Grim Reaper nailed the more commercial, radio-friendly approach to heavy metal that, had it been released a year or two prior, may well have made them more of a household name in heavy metal.
However, by the time the band’s sophomore album, Fear No Evil saw release the following year, heavy metal was beginning to see a divide, especially from those across the pond. Taking the loud, fast, and powerful music to the next logical step, the emerging thrash movement quickly captivated the more underground fan base, while the more commercially acceptable space was quickly becoming occupied by the glam explosion. This left Grim Reaper running up the middle with faster, heavier numbers like “Fear No Evil” and “Final Scream” around radio single material like the anthemic “Rock & Roll Tonight.”
By their third (and final) album, Grim Reaper proved they weren’t changing their sound for. As always with, the title track is a, opening the album with ferocious melody and a bit more game in the solo sections. The gang vocals that became a bit of a trope for the band over the years never shined harder than on “Lust For Freedom,” and the subsequent track, “When Heaven Comes Down” is a strong contender for the best material Grim Reaper has to offer. vocals elevate the song from a place of personal empowerment, striking defiantly against all who stand in the way of the true heavy metal sound. The slight increase in drum presence adds a pulsing drive that gets the heart racing with adrenaline as Bowcott wrestles to contain a guitar possessed by licks that add color across the simple-yet-effective riff structures.
The legacy Grim Reaper leaves behind is one of a band that refused to compromise, having found a love of the classic sound of heavy metal from its infancy and hung onto it despite changing trends in the scene. It takes a certain level of dedication and true belief in the music, and this shows in of classic albums. The band’s cult status as champions of the NWOBHM sound amongst diehard fans of eighties heavy metal still reverberates today as a band criminally overlooked in its time.
It’s a feeling I have for music It makes me wanna listen every , regardless of commercial or underground trends. Staying true to their classic metal roots, 1987’s Rock You To Hell may well be the band’s finest hour. Featuring the cleanest production of the band’s catalog, the album bleeds classic eighties metal power fit for any
I hope that I will never ever lose it
That would be a heavy price to pay
I guess I need it each day
I need to rock and roll, I need to rock
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