FRENCH METAL FRIDAY: H-BOMB
If your here at Heavy Metal Time Machine then not only do you have good taste, but chances are you've been paying attention and know your heavy metal history pretty well. With that being the case then we all know that the early eighties saw a sharp rise in the number of heavy metal bands formed worldwide. For better or worse the market became flooded with acts. Inspired by icons like Judas Priest, Iron Maiden and Black Sabbath there were legions of kids who dreamed of forming a band and making it big. If you could pick up a guitar and play more than a few chords then you too could be a star. Fact is heavy metal bands were suddenly a dime a dozen. For every good band there were hundreds of bad ones. Whether it was here in America or all the way across the pond in France it just seemed as if this cult genre became the in thing. It was almost as if it was hip. Trying to find a real band among the masses was a chore. And yet standing tall among the rank and file of French heavy metal bands was a band known as H-Bomb. Named after the hydrogen bomb this Draveil, Île-de-France act was formed in 1982 and stood out in a field full of imitators. Playing a Motorhead inspired form of "energetic, pre-thrash speed metal" (a perfect description courtesy of the BNR Metal pages) H-Bomb crashed through the gates of heavy metal, made some serious noise and then sadly were gone before anyone knew what hit them. While the band may have been short-lived the fact remains that they made quite the splash during their day. They were one of only a hand-full of French heavy metal bands to get worldwide press. Before the Internet connected all of us (making the world seem smaller in the process) here was a band who were able to break out in a foreign market despite singing entirely in French. In order to do that you had to be better than just "good". H-Bomb was and then some. Here was another band who wouldn't take no for an answer and instead went out there to prove that they were just as good as any band French or American. Still many 80's bands managed an album or two. What sets H-Bomb apart you might ask? Let's face it for most bands the music just didn't stand the test of time. With this French band the music still sounds good. It's high energy heavy metal. Sure there is the Motorhead comparison (if for no other reason than this was another band that played fast, rocking heavy metal), but H-Bomb was more. You can hear the influence of NWOBHM as well as American rock like Kiss (although it would be a heavier Kiss!). Though short-lived their music still sounds fresh and relevant. The band made their debut on the Rave On label. For the most part they managed a stable line-up, but after releasing their debut 1983 EP Coup de Metal and the 1984 full-length album Attaque original vocalist Didier Izard left the band. In a interview given years later H-Bomb confessed that part of the reason why Izard left was because they thought an English singer would help them sell more records in foreign countries. It was obviously a mistake because after listening to the two releases several times Didier Izard does not seem to be a problem. With H-Bomb his voice fits the music. Either way though he was out after Attague and on the To Feel is Pain EP and the Stop the Lights Single (both 1986) it looks as if his replacement was Patrick Diamond (David Potter) of Cloven Hoof fame. They would prove to be H-Bomb's swan songs though as soon after they folded. Axe Killer Records would come along years later to re-release their music and if I'm not mistaken you can get them at not only Amazon, but Itunes as well. This is a band that needs to be discovered by a new generation. Their music is fast and furious while still retaining a good sense of melody. It's traditional metal on overdrive played by guys who knew what they were doing. If you've never heard H-Bomb then you owe it to yourself to check out this band.