Heavy Sentence – Warriors of Madness (Dying Victims Productions)Friday, 19th January 2024
We all start somewhere when it comes to our metal journey. For this scribe, the NWOBHM scene offered a multitude of artists firing on all cylinders for the glory of the music. So it’s always exciting to hear newer bands like Heavy Sentence pushing the platform to the faithful while also hoping to grab more of the younger generation clamoring for something they can hold onto. Hailing from Manchester, England, the quintet has released a few EPs plus a full-length Bang to Rights in preparation for the latest EP Warriors of Madness. At three tracks in just under 13 minutes, the execution of bluesy based hard rock/metal possesses numerous 70’s/early 80’s overtones, steady in its pure attitude through whiskey-soaked vocals, rambunctious guitars, and four on the floor rhythm section mechanics.
Most listeners will perk up to the delightful twin guitar melodies that develop out of the steady hands of Jack MacMichael and Tim Orrocks – simplicity at its finest, straight out of the Thin Lizzy / Iron Maiden playbook. Conversely the main chord progressions sit in more of that Motörhead meets AC/DC wheelhouse, especially when you hear the bar room boogie feel for “You’ll Never Take Us Alive”. The jumpy nature to the title cut should get most listeners to stand attention, pounding fists into the air to the sturdy hooks while the menacing, hoarse delivery of G. Howells shatters glass through his potent pipes- the latter half instrumental activities containing elements of early Metallica during their more controlled melodic passages from the early 80s. The primal production value as well as down to earth tones should also be worth their weight in gold – thankfully free of the brick wall grid action that renders many modern records interchangeable.
Warriors of Madness aligns well with those early NWOBHM acts from 1979-1982 – doing their best to attract attention in any small pub they could play in, as listeners felt the buzz of heavy metal growing day by day. Heavy Sentence stirs those souls who beckon for the early sounds that show no signs of flaming out.