Hailing from Birmingham UK, with seven successful studio albums to their name, this power metal band’s self-titled album has been reissued by Dissonance Productions and I must comment that it’s fresh blood to me. Originally Marshall Law was produced in 1989, but my first thoughts are ‘Why the hell didn’t I hear this record sooner?!’. With a status of currently being split up, it’s about time that the heavy metal archives were opened up to unleash this cult classic in its entirety to a whole new generation of metal fans.
Racing in like a tempest, the fiery distortion and cutting edge riffs of Armageddon is a neat way of opening up the record, much more like the calm before the storm for Under The Hammer. This track is undoubtedly one of my favourites, the banshee shrieks of vocalist Andy Pyke simultaneously to the galloping rhythm conducted by Mick Donovan on drums gives me a sense that this band was amongst the speed metal movement back in the late eighties. The tracks to follow have no intention of leading the intensity astray, the delivery of catchy choruses and exhilaration of shredding riffs will leave you on a high from every length of the album.
Marshall Law sure gives me the same goose bumps as to what I experienced when listening to Judas Priest’s Painkiller album for the very first time; additionally it’s apparent that the band had fed off the inspiration of the NWOBHM movement. However, in terms of sound this is most definitely incomparable to any band I’ve heard before. It’s fair to say they’ve incorporated all the components of what it means to be a European heavy metal band, but focusing on the lyrics sets them apart from the generic carbon-copy bands of their time. You can forget happy choruses as these Birmingham lads conquered themes of WAR, DOMINANCE and DISHONOUR- the very definition of power metal!
More notably the riffs throughout the record have clearly been well thought of; their complexities and mastery immaculate. Heart and Thunder and Screaming are the tracks that really show off the twin guitar power of leads Andy Southwell and Dave Martin. The sheer harmonic chemistry between these two drives a whirlwind of energy throughout the album. Marshall Law certainly is a hidden gem and a real treat to heavy metal fans that are new to their music, go ahead and give the album a listen because we can guarantee that you’ll be throwing your fist in the air!
A cult classic unleashed from the very depths of British heavy metal's archives.