Honest magazines of the time agreed that this rocked mightily. But it was 1995 and they were few and far between as it was basically illegal to like Skid Row at the height of grunge and alterna-rock hegemony.
But bugger the mainstream – this rocked! A mature slice of corporate metal still with Bachs trademark pipes soaring and growling their way through tunes that had more in common with Slave to the Grind than the debut. Which is as you’d expect. Heavy rockers abound here as hard riffing is the order of the day, personal faves bein the lead cut My Enemy, the title track and Medicine Jar. That’s not to deny the impassioned Bach efforts on Frozen or Beat Yourself Blind. And the band weren’t above a few gimmicks, such as the single Breakin’ Down being issued in two versions, effectively trying to double sales for the single. But hey, Maiden relentlessly issue all sorts of versions of everything to siphon the last cent (or pence) from their fans wallets and let’s not even start on KISS! So I can forgive ‘em and really this solid metal outing should of sufficed to silence critics and to ensure the bands survival.
Other tidbits you may find helpful in making your choice would be A) bob Rock production, B) nifty foldout packaging on the initial pressing and C) a defiant will to win. Though to be fair, reasons not to buy this would be A) not quite the kill factor of Slave to the Grind, B) knowing the band were disintegrating from within – yeah it’s a downer and C) the absence of chilling slower numbers – there is nothing approaching In A Darkened Room, Wasted Time or Quicksand Jesus.
Still, recommended metal.