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The War of Words

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  • THE BAND: Rob Halford (vocals, guitar), Russ Parrish (guitar, keyboards), Brian Tilse (guitar/keyboards), Jay Jay (bass), Scott Travis (drums & percussion).

    THE DISC: (1993) 12 tracks clocking in at approximately 59 minutes. Included with the disc is a 4-page foldout including 1 black & white band photo, song titles, equipment used, and thank you’s. Recorded at Wisseloord Studios in the Netherlands… a prestigious and well-known studio used also by – Def Leppard, The Police, Scorpions, ELO, Elton John, and others. All tracks written by Halford. Label – Epic / Sony.

    COMMENTS: 1992 saw hard rock and metal revamped a bit with Megadeth (“Countdown to Extinction”) and Rage Against The Machine (self titled debut). The following year (‘93) however, I feel was a tough year for the hard rock and metal scene. Grunge and alternative was still a driving force, as Nirvana (“In Utero”), Smashing Pumpkins (“Siamese Dream”), and Pearl Jam (“Vs.”) all had good releases. A few well-known band’s that fell a little flat – Rush (“Counterparts”) and Scorpions (“Face The Heat”). However, there were several other albums that stood out – Robert Plant’s “Fate Of Nations”, Mr. Big (“Bump Ahead”), Lillian Axe (“Psychoschizophrenia”), BulletBoys (“Za-Za”), Coverdale/Page’s only album together… and Fight’s debut. With Rob Halford and Judas Priest parting ways in ‘92 who knew what to expect with Fight. This debut did get some notice – reaching #83 on rock’s mainstream chart (the song “Little Crazy” reached #21). The sound was a bit different. Still metal, but gone was the 70’s and 80’s Judas Priest trademark sound, and in was that 90’s Pantera/Anthrax edge. Halford’s been around for 4 decades now… and outside of his work with Judas Priest, and his solo “Resurrection” (2000) album, I strongly feel this Fight debut is the best thing he’s been involved with. Parrish and Tilse are very talented on guitar – extremely crunchy rhythms, and lighting quick solos. Scott Travis is an animal on the drum kit. Highlights include – the faster “Into The Pit”, “Nailed To The Gun” and “Vicious”. Several of the songs are mid temp metal rockers… simply great songs – melodic, dark and ultra heavy – “Life In Black” (my favorite song on the album), “Immortal Sin”, “For All Eternity” and “Little Crazy”. The only negative is the last track… “Reality, A New Beginning” is a great song, however there’s a hidden bonus track here – “Reality” lasts for about 4 minutes, then there is a 4-5 minute empty gap, followed by a 3-4 minute hidden song (judging by the repetitive chorus it’s probably titled “Jesus Saves”). I just don’t understand why band’s (and/or their labels) present it like this… just give it to us – don’t make us wait. Overall, this Fight debut is a wonderful album – one of a handful of metal highlights for me in 1993 (4.5 stars).

    Posted on January 29, 2010