Wednesday, May 08, 2013

N.W.O.B.H.M. Wednesday: Virtue-We Stand To Fight

No Remorse Records

I must confess that for many year, even after I had begun my open love affair with the N.W.O.B.H.M. scene, that I was ignorant to the importance of Virtue's 1985 "We Stand To Fight" 7" single. Greater men then me, or at least men and women more musically knowledgeable about the movement then me, had long been proclaiming "We Stand To Fight" to be one of the greatest singles ever to come out of the N.W.O.B.H.M., but it was only a few years back that I actually manged to download a "reasonable" sounding rip of it. Until now the only way you could have heard this 7" was to either (somehow) pay serious dough for a original copy, pick up a lousy bootleg copy or download it. None of those options, with the obvious exception of somehow securing a "real" copy of "We Stand To Fight" on vinyl, comes close though to this remastered edition which, incidentally, includes the band's only other known recording, their "Fools Gold" demo.
While this has been re-issued on vinyl as well (in a very limited run) it was the CD copy I opted for and, as usual for me, I was ever asleep at the wheel when it came to this one dropping. How I missed it initially I have no clue (other then perhaps some relationship issues I was going through around the start of this year). Anyway, as this was released initially in 1985 it was actually late to the game when it came to the movement. By 1985 the N.W.O.B.H.M. scene was drying up and fans were turning their attentions to everything from hair metal and glam to U.S. power metal and thrash. From what I've read about this single, as fine as it is, it did take some time before people caught on to how great it was, but by that time their just was not enough fanfare to keep Virtue in the limelight. The striking thing about this single though is that, given the right push and airplay, both of the cuts on "We Stand To Fight" have commercial appeal. That is especially true of  "We Stand To Fight'" which could have easily been a hit back in 1985. The other track, "High Treason", is also one of the better numbers to come out of the scene with comparisons to Satan, Demon, Tokyo Blade and Samson most certainly fair. Toe to toe these two cuts could have stood, but it just wasn't meant to be. The band's follow-up, the aforementioned demo, "Fool Gold", wasn't enough to hold this killer act together and sadly they ended up calling it a day. An interview with one-time Virtue vocalist Tudor Sheldon tells the full story of the band and, along some cool photos, makes this CD's booklet a nice bonus. While some might not like the price (typically this goes for about $14.99 or so plus shipping) of this re-release when they see that it only has 5-tracks let me just say it's worth eery penny! The re-master job is fantastic and pound for pound this is simply sensation heavy metal. Even if the three cuts from "Fools Gold" don't stack up to the group's single you could easily justify buying this for just those 2 tracks! And the thing is it's not like "Fools Gold" was a bad release as it's actually a pretty solid demo! Putting these five tracks together gives you almost 24 minutes of what is some of the finest material to ever come out of the N.W.O.B.H.M. era! I can't recommend this one enough! Whether you're just starting off your N.W.O.B.H.M. collection or you're looking to replace your burned copy of "We Stand To Fight" this is a great pick up.

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