Wednesday, January 31, 2018

N.W.O.B.H.M. Wednesday: Robespierre-Garden of Hell

Shadow Kingdom Records

Robespierre is a N.W.O.B.H.M band that is comprised of David Cooke (guitars, vocals) and Gordon Logan (drums). Initially formed way back in 1983, this heavy metal/doom metal didn't have as much success the first time around as they should have. Fast forward some to 2011 and the compilation "Die You Heathen, Die!" is released on vinyl by Buried by Time and Dust Records. Slowly but surely the buzz starts to rise about this long-lost English metal band with a shit ton of talent and enthusiasm. By the time the compilation is released on CD by Skol Records (and in a killer package FYI!) just about everyone is hip to what Robespierre has to offer. That was in 2013. That summer I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to interview vocalist/guitarist David Cooke (link). Here it is early 2018 and we are just now getting a taste of what modern-day Robespierre has to offer. Let's not mince words then. For any Robespierre fans out there (and yes folks, that does include me!), "Garden of Hell" is solid proof that some things get better with age! Starting off strong with the killer track "Punish Oppressors", "Garden of Hell" is the long-overdue debut album from Robespierre and dammit man(!), it has been worth the wait! There are ten tracks in all on this British metal release and there isn't a dud to be found! This is 100% killer/no-filler N.W.O.B.H.M. that demands multiple spins and more than a few devil horns in the air salutes! Numbers like "Mare of Steel". "Feed the Fire", "The Black Mirror", and "Men of Violence" make this album stick out with grandness. By combining their familiar sound (thunderous heavy metal with grit and style!) with shades of doom metal and traditional/power metal, Robespierre has development a hard & heavy sound that is as gloomy as it dangerous! No matter whether it is "Dagon Rises", "Fear", "Welcome to the Cult" or "I am a Flower (In the Garden of Evil)", Robespierre has demonstrated the positive effects of evolving your sound and style. For a band that traces it's roots back to the early eighties, band members Gordon Logan and David Cooke still sound young and refreshed on this new album. It's obviously that both musicians still have the fire burning deep down inside. That is reflected in the dynamic performances and the way in which this album has been presented. On a scale of 1 to 10, "Garden of Hell" is a sandwiched somewhere in-between a 8.5 and 9. In my eye that makes "Garden of Hell" a new metal classic!

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