Monday, February 15, 2016

HOLOCAUST - Predator


Jonn Mortimer – Vocals, Lead Guitar
Mark McGrath – Bass
Scott Wallace - Drums

I was really excited when a promo copy of the latest album from NWOBHM heroes Holocaust arrived at my email inbox (thanks Gina!).

Predator is Holocaust's first full length album of new material in 12 years and as they say “some things are worth waiting for”.  Before this the band put out a 3 song EP in 2013.  The tracks from that EP, “Expander” , “Shine Out” and the funky instrumental “Observer One” are remixed and on Predator.

Sometimes having a legacy can be both a blessing and a curse.  It's either old school die hard fans like me who say “Wow Holocaust have a new album out!! Fucking awesome gotta have it!!” vs the close minded individuals who think “Those motherfuckers are still around?”.  To those people I say – fuck you.  Although, there are times when bands from years ago lay dormant and release a “comeback album of all new material” that sounds like it was written years ago, and is nothing special.  It's a very delicate balance for these older bands who may feel they have something to prove by showing they're “current” without sounding like they're going backwards musically.  Ironic as so many younger bands struggle to find that “vintage” sound of the 70's bands. 

Holocaust are a band probably best known for their fist pumping anthem “Heavy Metal Mania” and for Metallica's cover of the song “The Small Hours”.  It would be quite easy for them to tour the Euro festival circuit playing a set of their “greatest hits” and collect the cash – but if there's one thing I've learned about John Mortimer and his band, they have something called musical integrity and the desire to create.

Mortimer is the band's chief song writer and he wears his heart and his passions on his sleeve.  An unabashed fan of “performance artist” Lady Gaga – the song “Can't Go Wrong With You” is an ode and love song to my fellow New Yorker. 

After a couple of listens it's hard to pick a favorite track, there are so many standouts, but I am really liking the song “Revival” and the lyrical refrain, “Oh Let the Lion roar within your heart”For the most part the lyrics are positive like the song “Shine Out” - “It's never a sin to be who you are – no matter what the church or society says...”

The rhythm section of Mark McGrath (Bass) and Scott Wallace (drums) are solid throughout the album, never overplaying and making your your neck keep banging to the music.

It's 2016 – and one of the best bands to come out of Scotland during that so-called New Wave of British Heavy metal period are back with a modern sound with just a slight wink to the “old days”.

If you like your heavy metal played well, with thoughtful, intelligent lyrics and just a dash of punk rock snarl, Predator is the album for you.  Highly recommended!


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