Album Reviews

The Almighty – Re-F**kin-Issues, Blood Fire & Love, Soul Destruction Review

the almighty

Released: February 9th, 2015

Released By: Spinefarm Records

Genre: Hard Rock/Punk Metal

Links: thealmighty.co.uk , Facebook

 

Lineup:

Rick Warwick – Vocals & Guitar

Floyd London – Bass

Pete Friesen – Guitar

Stump Monroe – Drums

 

Track List:

Blood, Fire & Love

1.Resurrection Mutha

2.Destroyed

3.Wild & Wonderful

4.Blood, Fire & Love

5.Gifthorse

6.You’ve Gone Wild

7.Lay Down The Law

8.Power

9.Full Force Lovin Machine

10.Detroit

11.New Love Sensation

 

Blood, Fire & Live

1.Full Force Lovin Machine

2.You’ve Gone Wild

3.Lay Down The Law

4.Blood, Fire & Love

5.Destroyed

6.Wild & Wonderful

7.Resurrection Mutha

8.You Ain’t Seen Nothin Yet

 

Blood, Fire & Love Extras

1.Destroyed (demo)

2.Lay Down The Law (demo)

3.Full Force Lovin Machine (demo)

4.Destroyed (radio version)

5.Love Me To Death

6.Blood, Fire & Love (metal version)

7.Wild&Wonderful (live B-side)

8.Lay Down The Law (live B-side)

9.Power (Killer Watt mix)

10.Power (live B-side)

11.Power (dub mix)

12.Thunderbird

13.Good God Almighty

14.Power (Friday Rock Show session)

15.Wild&Wonderful (Friday Rock Show session)

16.Destroyed (Friday Rock Show session)

17.Thunderbird (Friday Rock Show session)

 

Soul Destruction:

1.Crucify

2.Free ‘n Easy

3.Joy Bang One Time

4.Love Religion

5.Bandaged Knees

6.Praying To The Red Light

7.Sin Against The Light

8.Little Lost Sometimes

9.Devil’s Toy

10.What More Do You Want

11.Hell To Pay

12.Loaded

 

Soul Destruction Disc 2 Extras:

1.Free ‘n’ Easy (7”edit)

2.Bodies

3.Hell To Pay (acoustic)

4.Devil’s Toy (7”edit)

5.Bad Temptation

6.Loaded (live UK 1991)

7.Little Lost Sometimes (radio edit)

8.Wild Road To Satisfaction

9.Crucify (live UK 1991)

10.Detroit (live UK 1991)

 
Back in the late 80’s and early 90’s, when the vast majority of the music world was kissing Kurt Cobain’s ass, another volatile band from UK were doing something just as important,and if you ask me, a 100 times better.

The Almighty formed in Scotland in 1988, and were made up of Ricky Warwick (guitar/vocals), Tantrum (guitars), Stump Monroe (drums) Floyd London (bass). In a career that has so far spawned seven studio albums, it was the first two, Blood, Fire & Love (1989) and Soul Destruction (1991) that have remained the most cherished. So to their hardcore followers, it must have felt like Christmas had come early with the news that these two classics have been re-released and repackaged along with an extensive glut of previously unreleased bonus tracks.

Debut, Blood, Fire & Love, still sounds as fresh and mean as it did 26 years ago. The intro to opening track Resurrection Mutha still sends an unnerving chill up my spine. The very nasty Destroyed and the anthemic, Wild & Wonderful, which feature nine times between them on these re-issues, maintain a massive abundance of character. Warwick’s dangerously engaging vocals continue to sound completely powerhouse, especially on the goth rock vibe of title track Blood, Fire & Love, which still sounds wonderfully relevant today.

The great thing about The Almighty’s music back in the day was it’s simplicity, tracks like Gifthorse and You’ve Gone Wild, have an innocent and naive charm about them, but extremely lovable nonetheless. But the main ingredient that dominates in their music has always been ferocity. Tracks like Power, Full Force Lovin Machine and the hell raising closer New Love Sensation, more than affirms that. And these tracks take on an even meaner exuberance on the Blood, Fire & Live album.

Recorded in the UK in 1990 it gives a definite and honest account of The Almighty live experience. Savage versions of Lay Down The Law and Resurrection Mutha will have your hammer and anvil pleading for mercy. And how can we forget the punked up version of Bachman Turner Overdrive’s You Ain’t Seen Nothin Yet, this cheeky version closes the album in arrogant style.

Disc 3 is a tasty little bonus for the purest of die hard fans. Packed with a mix of radio edits, live tracks and alternative versions, it includes the obscure metal version of Blood, Fire & Love and the brilliant killer watt mix and dub model of Power.

Love or hate demos, every song in history probably has one. The first ever recorded song in 1860, Claire De La Lune was more than likely put through the process. And it’s three demos that open this disc, Destroyed, Lay Down The Law and Full Force Lovin Machine, which give you an real insight into the bands perfection and imperfection. Overlooked tracks Love Me To Death, Thunderbird and the blues twang of Good God Almighty stand shoulder to shoulder with any of the bands recordings. Closing with a bunch of live tracks, recorded on Friday Rock Show with the legendary presenter Tommy Vance, it includes yet another but by far the best version of Power. If you’re like me and love hearing great songs in numerous guises, this extensive collection is a must.

The Almighty’s second album, Soul Destruction was released in 1991 and gained a UK chart position of No. 22, fairing a lot better than their debut. The Ricky Warwick penned Crucify kicks it off, and kicks down your door with a size 12 toecap, before the LA glam of Free ‘n’ Easy shows a more lightweight side to the band. That vibe carries on with the dirty and grizzly Joy Bang One Time, a song definitely not about the melting polar ice caps. Love Religion is one thunderous rocker that just won’t let you sit still, packed with razor sharp groove and rhythm. The moody and poetic Bandaged Knees is yet another gem that still sounds as fresh and meaningful today.

Without doubt the perfect choice as a single release, Little Lost Sometimes, is still an epic in every sense of the word, a masterclass in rock balladry. Devil’s Toy, What More Do You Want and Hell To Pay are just brash spit in your face rock tracks, no frills,just good old barbaric music. The album concludes in the same brutish manner it began, with the untamed Loaded, who’s live version on Disc 2 is an an absolute ripper. Seemed a shame to edit Little Lost Sometimes, but weighing in at 7 minutes long, no radio station would have attempted to even look at the record sleeve, never mind play it. A brilliant off the cuff acoustic rendition of Hell To Pay shows real versatility in a band who don’t just deal in turbulent brutality.
The quality of B sides on this disc is also of a serious quality, Bad Temptation and Wild Road To Satisfaction are stellar tracks, but it’s the eruptive version of The Sex Pistols Bodies that really stands out, a performance of that typifies The Almighty’s feral nature.

If your discovering this band for the first time, there might be a bit too much material across these two reissues. But for the loyal disciples, this is pure gold.

Written by: Brian Boyle

 

Ratings: Brian 9/10

 

 

SOUL-DESTRUCTION

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