Friday, July 12, 2013

French Metal Friday:Lust-We'll Never Die

I tossed and turned the idea over and over about whether I wanted to post this one as a Forgotten Gem or include the group in a long, and I do mean l-o-n-g, overdue French Metal Friday posting. You can see which one ultimately won out. With this French act, who actually started off under the odd moniker of Lazy for some reason (as well as Dust), we have another unfortunate example of a "one and done" band. It's of course one thing when you're looking at some crap band that obviously never should have been allowed to make even one album, but when presented with a group that, talent-wise and sound-wise, should have (in a perfect heavy metal world) kept the party going then well, that sucks. As far as the why they were only able to get one album released it looks as if line-up changes threw a monkey wrench into the band's plans making it hard to keep up morale and motivation. No sense in passing judgement as band life is hard and tiring with rewards hard fought. You do what you do and somethings things just happen. It's all a roll of the dice. So yeah, this 1988 album was all she wrote, but when it's as good as this one is whose complaining!. As far as the history goes we will have to take a trip back in time to see the roots of Lust. Picture this: The year is 1981. Four teenagers, 3 of which were all about Kiss while one, the group's bassist (on purpose or not his name was Lemmy) was riding high on all things Motörhead, decided that the time was right for them to form their very own outfit. Early on as Lazy they played hard rock with lead vocalist Fred Williams and lead guitarist Paul Leisy providing a great deal of "punch" that the band would become known for. Even though they started off as a hard rock outfit (as evident by those initial influences) that would all change when the band picked up a copy of Manowar's 2nd release, "Into Glory Ride". Hearing Manowar for the first time was like getting hit a lightning bolt from heaven (or if you will it was a big, flashing neon light that pointed the way!) for Lust and they soon went from playing hard rock to playing straight-up heavy metal. That change proved to be a good call and, armed with a second guitarist by that point, three demos were released before they hit gold with this 9-track LP. By that point things had been smoothed out and the public was looking at an act/album that featured both male and female vocals and was more epic in scope then those earlier influences would suggest. Indeed, by that point in time they had gone from a simple group of teens playing hard rock into a truly powerful metal act that was well versed in the art of crisp guitars with soaring leads. The down side was that those demos they had released and shopped to labels were not exactly representative of this new found epic/power metal style. The tapes had been sent out to 14 different labels by that point and with no offers on the table (remember, those tapes represented the older, less heavy version of Lust) they decided to go it alone. As they went to work on this album, which was self-produced by the band, Lust, thanks to all the various influences that were coming together by this point, was ultimately more grand in nature and yes, HEAVY!. The resulting studio material proved to be killer and the complete album would go on to become a French metal classic! The material that was recorded ended up coming across as a sweet mixture of  Manowar and some of of the metallic vibes of Lust's fellow country men. Trust, Sortilège and Warning are all good reference points (as far as the home-grown influences went) with "We'll Never Die" proving to be a nice mixture of traditional French metal (somewhere along the lines of Iron Maiden and Judas Priest for those who don't know the previously mentioned French acts), speed metal and the epic power metal that was in vogue at the time. In other words it was a true winner. The material on this one album, which was re-released by the label Cult Metal Classics in 2005, is all at once heavy, driving, epic and melodic. My personal copy is from Cult Metal Classics who re-released this album with 6 bonus tracks added on. These extra cuts give you a good overview of how much this group was able to grow since coming together as teenagers back in the early 80s. The bonus material does not have the same magic as the regular album cuts do, but it is always cool to see how bands evolved. Anyway, after the final mixing was done with this lone album both Paul Eisy (rhythm and lead guitar) and drummer Peter Tillman ended up leaving the group. After that it would prove to never be the same band-wise or chemistry-wise and by 1990 they decided to throw in the towel. There was an attempt at a comeback in 1994 though. It lasted around 2 years, but with only two original members involved (vocalist Fred Williams and guitarist Paul Eisy) it never ended up as nothing but a pip dream. Will Lust return again one day? Who knows. While a return/reformation of the band would no doubt be highly celebrated it is at least comforting to know that we have this one killer LP by them to serve as a tribute to what was and what could/should have been.

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