Friday, October 2, 2009

Dusting Off a Cassette Pt. 30: Fight: War of Words

It was the early 1990's. Rob Halford left Judas Priest. Grunge was threatening to destroy mainstream metal. Pantera's groove metal style was quickly gaining steam. What to do?

Rob Halford formed Fight, a band which took heavy, Pantera/Exhorder-like groove metal riffs and combined with Halford's shrieking Painkiller-era vocals. Halford sounds fresh and revitalized here after making a major comeback with the aforementioned Judas Priest album.

I first became familiar with the band in one of those Columbia House magazines that my friend was getting as a member of the club. I didn't know even much about Judas Priest, so it wasn't until years later that I gave them a chance with the Mutations EP. That recording featured remixed and live versions of songs from this album. Several years later, I see this cassette for cheap so I thought why not? The songs certainly sound different than they did on the EP, but this is one very good slice of groove metal.

One can count the really good groove metal albums on two hands: Exhorder: Slaughter in the Vatican, Pantera: Far Beyond Driven, Machine Head: Burn My Eyes, Sepultura: Chaos A.D., White Zombie's last two full lengths, and now this. This is a criminally underrated album from a time when metal was not well-received. It's a shame Fight suffered a massive musical misstep on their next album and were never heard from again. Halford would then take another musical misstep before re-discovering himself in his self-titled band.

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