Thursday, April 25, 2002 @ 10:08 PM
(Metal Blade - Reissue)
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The rebirth began a little more than a year ago, as one of the eighties "Shock Rock" originators burst back to shed a little blood on a dormant rock scene. Deal With The Devil was an inspired release -- a relief actually more than anything else -- to show the bandís fans they were still in touch with tradition. With that, "Lizzy-mania," or its slow-building momentum, was quickly to surface in the form of their first tour in some ten years, highlighted by a number of successful Euro-fests, and perhaps surprising of all, the reissuing of the bands long lost early material and merchandise.
2001 signaled big things for the band, which first left the scene in the early nineties and all but vanished. The catalog reissues cover all their work from their earliest Give 'Em The Axe EP on through Master Of Disguise, 1989's theatrically inspired final bow.
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While the reissues were generally low key, I scored with the arrival of Love You To Pieces, inarguably the bands best effort and forever a classic metal album. This one's been a mainstay within my personal collection right from the first day I originally lifted the tape from
Tower during my somewhat less lucrative adolescent years. That tape is still one of those few I can always count on when the doubts resurface about a long lost hero's ability to deliver today. Right from "Council For The Cauldron's" eerie intro music, this record blasts from first note to last and one of the few records that can maintain listener attention all the way through. Similar to old Kiss, there's not a lot of mystery surrounding song title and order during playback. Once a tune hits you, it stays there, always. They kinda blew the order here oddly enough, placing "Save Me," which is actually third down from "side one" and threw it on seventh, yet it doesn't matter anyway.
1985 was a big year for metal and the year when Lizzy Borden would solidify themselves as one of the scene's best young bands. This one had it all: power and aggression, lightning speed, strong melody and plenty o' twin guitar harmonies that rivaled the best of the overseas market. AndÖ that voice. How he as a singer, and they as a band, never got the respect they deserved is still a mystery to me. True, their image likely overshadowed their above average musical skills but let's face it, we're not exactly talking Twisted Sister here! From the sheer trauma of a track like "Psychopath" with its prey stalking bass line, or The Shining-inspired "Redrum," to the twisted "Love You To Pieces" glass-shattering ballad, there's something for all metallic tastes and not a single weakness, even when you'd grant them their due to wallow around in stupidity for a song or two. Each reissue includes a gory selection of artwork and bonus tracks, these in particular nothing to speak of, though this alternate version of "Warfare" is interestingly far flung from the final version. For any that might've missed the boat the first time around, check them out and start here -- an album every bit the rival of those we commonly point to as major influences: Maiden, Priest, and so on. Sixteen years and several mass tragedies later, the words still ring true: "We All Need, American Metal!"