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Various Artists

Winds of Time_ The New Wave of British Heavy Metal 1979-1985

Review by Gary Hill

This three-CD set really serves as a great introduction to the New Wave of British Heavy Metal. You get songs from bands ranging from Diamond Head to Venom to Girlschool, and everything in between. Not everything here is great, but there is not a single song that I'd consider a "skip." You can sample a lot of bands and might find a long lost new favorite. There is a nice booklet that comes with the set describing a lot about the whole genre. It all comes in a cool cardboard case. It should be noted that I previously reviewed a few of these songs on other albums. For the sake of consistency I've used or modified those track reviews for this review.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2018  Volume 4 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Disc One
               
Diamond Head - The Prince

I love this fast paced metal grind. It's definitely been a big influence on Metallica. That said, there even seems to be some funk and Southern rock in this at times. The introduction includes keyboards and a lot of almost proggy elements.

Fist - Brain Damage
A screaming hot and tastefully raw stomper, this thing is a powerhouse. I'm definitely reminded of early Iron Maiden to some large degree here. The bridge has some nice weirdness to it, and even seems to show off a bit of a psychedelic element.
Angel Witch - Loser
There is almost an accessible hard rock vibe to this stomper. It's still packed with plenty of metal edge, but has a more mainstream, hook laden feeling to it. I dig all the little guitar fills throughout the piece, and this thing really rocks.
Samson - Vice Versa
The opening movement has a mellower kind of vibe to it, but it gets fierce and seriously powered up from there. After that powered up chorus section, it drops back to the verse movement, but the familiar back and forth of mellower and more rocking stuff makes up the song as it works forward.
Raven - Tyrant of the Airways
This is fierce and fast paced. It's a stomping killer metal tune that's among the strongest here. It definitely makes me think of Iron Maiden to a large degree.  The dropped back jam mid-track is just so cool. It brings an exploratory, almost trippy edge to the piece. Then it fires out into a screaming hot jam that seems all the fiercer after that little respite. This is one of my favorite tracks of the whole set.
Elixir - Winds of Time
While there is a raw metal edge to this number, in a lot of ways it's a more melodic hard rocker. It's a tasty piece of music that works well.
Satan - Pull the Trigger
There is a bit of a raw punk vibe to this. It's a cool cut that really stomps. It has a bit of an echoey kind of vibe to the actual recording. Somehow that adds to the charm of the piece. I really like this one a lot.
Demon Pact - Escape
Picked guitar brings this into being, and it works through in that format for a time. A bit past the half minute mark we get the first metal, a rather slow moving, but downright fierce jam. Then it shifts to faster paced, almost thrashy stuff to continue. This is a killer metal stomper that makes me think of Megadeth just a bit.
Dark Star - Kaptain America
Fast paced and rather fierce, there is definitely a punky edge to this thing. The recording is echoey, adding a cool character to it.
Persian Risk - Too Different
There is a mainstream rock vibe to this in a lot of ways. It has some seriously catchy hooks. This is a melodic rocker with just a metal edge to it. It's not that far removed from the kind of metal that was so popular in the 80s.
Savage - We Got the Edge
We're back into screaming hot scorching metal here. The guitar solo on this is purely incendiary and the song in general is mean.
Heritage - Strange Place to Be
Here we get another that's more on the melodic hard rock side of the equation. That said, there is still plenty of metal here, and I dig the guitar fills a lot.
Girlschool - Take It All Away (Original 7")
This has a real rock and roll vibe to it. The punk edge is cool, too. This is almost like a cross between Motorhead and The Runaways in a lot of ways. I love the killer rock and roll turned metal guitar solo on this thing.
Chevy - Turn on the Light
There is a real 1970s hard rock vibe to this thing. It has hints of things like Bad Company and Grand Funk Railroad built into it. The recording leans toward the raw end of things. I don't think I'd call this metal, but it is a great rocker.
Colossus - Holding Back Your Love
I'm not sure that I'd call this one metal, either. It has some cool hooks. There are some bits of keyboards that lend some different musical flavors. The guitar solo is quite meaty. Metal or not, this is a great tune.
Saxon - Stallions of the Highway (Live)
Starting with the crowd shouting "Saxon," the introduction gets a bit of a parental advisory which the lyrics of the song also reinforce. This fires out into a fast paced, raw stomper. It's part metal, part punk and all powerful.
Disc Two
           
Lautrec - Mean Gasoline

The guitar riff that starts this is mean. There are some engine sounds that emerge on the tune. It comes pounding in from there with a raw metal texture that really works well.

Hellanbach - All the Way (60 Minute Plus Version)
Now, this is a real scorcher. It's raw and fast paced, yet also catchy. I really love the main riff that drives this thing.
Race Against Time - Bedtime
Raw and fierce, this is fast paced and rather punky. Still, the riffing is all metal. This is just so strong in terms of the driving riff-driven jamming.
Stormqueen - Come Silent the World
This is another rocker that has some great hooks delivered within a rather raw texture. It's one of the stronger tunes here.
Aragorn - Noonday
Screaming hot metal, this is raw and also very cool. It is one that makes me think of early Iron Maiden quite a bit.
Tygers of Pan Tang - Burning Up
There are punk and mainstream rock textures built into this stomper. It's cool tune. The guitar solo is more of a rock and roller.
Axis - Lady
For some reason this seems like what you might get if you merged AC/DC with April Wine. It's a killer rocker that's very tasty. I love the screaming guitar solo, too.
Witchfynde - Tetelestai
There is a really progressive rock like quality to this cool number. Sure, it has a bit of a raw metallic edge, but I could definitely see the first movement of this being labeled as prog rock. I love the melodic guitar solo. I will admit that that section of the piece feels a bit like Thin Lizzy to me.  The tune works out from there into more pure metal music. The changes continue as it makes it way forward. This one is an extensive piece.
Vardis - If I Were King (N.E.W. Version)
The screaming hot instrumental section on this brings it thoroughly under the heavy metal banner. There is a bit of a punk edge to some of the rest of it, though. Either way, this is heavy and raw and quite tasty.
White Spirit = Midnight Chaser
I really dig the instrumental section on this one. The organ brings a bit of a Deep Purple vibe to it. The whole song really has some of that, though. There is a bit of a punky edge to it, too. It's a powerhouse that's meaty and catchy both. The guitar solo section at the end is noteworthy, too.
Jaguar - War Machine
The verses on this are set in sort of a moody and dramatic power ballad approach. The cut shifts out to screaming hot thrashy metal on the choruses.
Brooklyn - Two Wheels
This melodic rocker is quite cool. Yes, there is a metal edge to it, but hooks are so catchy that this is more of a mainstream rocker to me.
Rock Goddess - The Love Lingers Still
This metal stomper is so cool. I'm reminded of a cross between Warlock and Lita Ford, perhaps. It's a killer however you label it, though.
Atomkraft - Pour the Metal in
Raw and pounding, this has as much in common with hardcore punk as it does with metal. It's a screamer.
Black Rose - Nightmare
Hard edged and fast metal, this has a catchy chorus hook. It's a cool tune that works well.
Girl - Heartbreak America
Mainstream hard rock merges with metal and power pop on this cut. It's a bit weird, but also catchy.
Tokyo Blade - If Heaven Is Hell
There are some cool hooks on this thing. Yet it's also meaty metal with some great riffs. This is one of the strongest cuts here, really. I am particularly fond of the guitar soloing on this thing. The mellower, rather mysterious break-down section is a nice touch, too.
Disc Three
          
Venom - Witching Hour (Live)

This is very fast paced and hard-edged. There is definitely a hardcore punk kind of vibe to this screamer.

Warfare - Metal Anarchy
Fierce and furious, this is a real screamer. This is one of the highlights of the set. It manages to be catchy while also so hard-edged and crazed.
Shiva - The Gallery
Noisy and yet almost proggy in some ways, this is another fast paced powerhouse metal tune. I really love some of the guitar work on this thing.
Gaskin - Burning Alive
While not a big departure from a lot of the music here, this is a cool cut that merges mainstream rock, metal and punk in fine fashion. There is a killer guitar solo section built into it.
Mournblade - Anthem of Chaos
A creepy kind of introduction opens this cut. It screams out from there into a raw metal jam that's tasty.
Ace Lane - Emotion
I dig the cool rocking riff that makes up the basis for this grind. The tune is a real stomper.
Warrior - Prisoner
Picked guitar starts this and works its way forward. A mellower bit of guitar soloing comes over the top. Around the half minute mark it shifts to more of a rocking raw metal jam. The cut works through some different sections and there is some screaming guitar soloing on the closing instrumental section.
Turbo - Running
Driving with fast paced smoking hot metal, this is a real screamer. I dig the guitar solo section on this a lot. It's pretty crazed and yet works through some interesting musical explorations.
Blitzkreig - A Time of Changes
The introduction has some spoken things that feel like they are in the background. The cut works through some musical shifts and changes during that motif and beyond. The sung vocals emerge still seeming rather distant. This cut is dynamic and powerful, but under-produced. That lack of production polish seems to be part of its charm, though.
Silverwing - Rock N Roll Are 4 Letter Words
After a cool instrumental introduction, this shifts out to a killer rocking jam that's part mainstream rock and roll, part punk and part raw metal. The main riff driving this thing is pretty classic.
Saracen - Jeckyll & Hyde
The guitar soloing on this is smoking hot in terms of weaving melodies with a meaty sound packed into it. Beyond that this is tastefully raw and dramatic.
Stormtrooper - Bounty Hunter
Drums lead this cut out, but it turns toward a bit of psychedelia meets punk vibe at the end of the introduction. When it launches out from there it's into frantic metal that seems like Iron Maiden in a lot of ways. Keyboards lend an intriguing angle to the piece. The bass work on this is just so amazing. This screamer is one of the highlights of this set.
Badge - Silver Woman
This has some metallic crunch in the early section, but that part is more mainstream rocker than anything else. The fast paced, quirky jam later definitely has more metal built into it, but also some odd almost proggy stuff. There is also a bit of a punky edge to some of this cut.
Tysondog - Shoot to Kill
The riff that starts this brings the fast paced metal. The vocals join and we're into a raw hard rocking jam that's fast paced. This is a killer grind with some tasty riffs. 
Avenger - Enforcer
Another screaming hot stomper, this is classy. One of the riffs driving this reminds me just a bit of Judas Priest's "Rapid Fire."
Bitches Sin - Sign of the Times
Punk and metal merge on this screaming hot tune. It's raw and powerful and just so cool. There is a real thrashy energy to this thing.
Soldier - Insanity
The opening riff on this makes me think of AC/DC. That section gives way to another killer jam from there, though. I'm reminded quite a bit of Iron Maiden in a lot of ways. After the minute and a half mark, this stops and the bass guitar takes over heralding an almost psychedelic rock groove. As the guitar returns it takes on a killer metal intensity and meatiness.
Satan's Empire - Soldiers of War
There is an echoey kind of vibe on the opening riff to this cut. The track grows outward from there in that fashion for a bit. Then a transition takes it to a different jam for the entrance of the vocals. I dig the bass work on that section. There is a classic metal grind to this, but also some hints of psychedelia in some ways. I'm reminded of early Maiden on this one, too. In fact, parts of this make me think of "Wrathchild" for some reason. A cool instrumental section later brings some different twists and turns to the piece. It works back out to the song proper from there, though.
 
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