Wednesday, 14 November 2012

ARBITRATER Balance of Power 1991

(one of the best things to come out of Brew's ripping)

This album came from the same UK Thrash Assault haul, the one time I managed to get physical releases from some of those A Taste Of Armageddon bands. This is easily my favourite album I've uploaded so far; it's up with Metal Messiah's album as the fave music to come out of AToA bandhunting, and both are also general awesome-obscure-British-band favourites too. But I still only have that Metal Messiah album as mp3s, and you just don't get the same hormonal maternal attachment to those (like a mother and her redhead child).

Oh what a cheap jibe. But c'mon, it's only unfair to pick of people less fortunate than yourself, and red hair is awesome and Viking. Enough of this now.

Early Metallica's riffing with Iron Maiden's sense of melodicism works as a straightforward description; Lifeline's solo reminds me of Accept, and the album's badass enough to allow an Accept comparison. The vocals are very Bruce Dickinson, with a youthfulness that Bruce had haggard out of his voice by the time this album came out. Awesome stuff, you need to hear it. Once the album's 'Metallica intro' is over you'll notice the low-budget production. Not the worst ever heard, and obviously I'm biased in favour of it. It's got that bass-as-a-third-guitar thing going on, and does sound very much like a product of the 80s, but these things work for some people. I find it lends aggression to a bunch of well-written and memorable songs. Give this a few listens and I guarantee songs will start getting lodged in yer brain - melodies first, probably, followed by some awesome riffs. 

Frontman Tony Martin has now been in Discharge for nearly ten years. If you like this, check out Arbitrater's second album Darkened Reality where the vocals have gone more punk than NWOBHM, and the songs are still pretty damn good.

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