Blitzkrieg is Leicester's answer to Iron Maiden, their latest album is the 2007 album Theatre of the Damned, I used to have their 1985 album "Time of Changes" and was intrigued to see what their latest release was like. The only similar member from the original line up is the NWOBHM band's singer Brian Ross, the words 'original line-up' and Blitzkrieg don't fit too well together because the band has always suffered from personnel changes, in fact to date they've had 36 different musicians playing for them, a hell of a lot for a 5 piece metal band and something that definitely effects the band's lack in identity.
The album starts off rather strongly with the best coming first, the first 5 or 6 tracks being fairly decent but the end tracks tend to blur into one and are not particularly catchy. I have to say I'm a bit disappointed by this album.
Theatre of the Damned has the potential to be much better but Brian Ross's vocals are pretty weak, the lyrics are typical early heavy metal fare and the delivery is important in determining in how they are received because let's face it, they tend to be pretty silly lyrics at the best of times. Unfortunately Ross's voice is a little bit too soft for the genre and it really could do with someone like Dio ripping out these simple metal stories.
The other musicians are pretty faultless, whilst not doing anything spectacular there are still some great guitar solos, the band are a tight unit and the production is much improved on the band's earlier releases.
The most recent release from old-time classic metal band Blitzkrieg is slightly disappointing considering the time they've now had to hone their skills, yet the same old problems remain. First is the persistence of line-up changes seemingly rearranging the band every year and destroying any kind of chemistry that could go towards the songwriting process, and second is that Brian Ross' singing, while cool and high in the early eighties way, still sounds weak and frankly dull as he delivers narratives that should be compelling, but end up sounding unconvincing and even slightly daft.
Released in 2007, this benefits from a crisp modern production job that even brings out Paul Brewis' clunking bass, but also draws attention to the repetitive style of the other instruments, especially Ken Johnson and Guy Laverick's guitars. The only really interesting guitar riff in the album is the one that leads the otherwise bland 'Devil's Spawn,' and even that's directly pinched from Testament. Even their attempt at tackling the Phantom of the Opera tale in track two ends up less satisfying than all the other versions I've heard from the likes of Iron Maiden, Iced Earth, Anachronia and even the Misfits, but I guess it's still superior to Andrew Lloyd Webber.
Blitzkrieg's albums always tend towards similarity in the later songs and this is no exception, the best material always being used up early on, but considering the amusing subject matter and possibility of an overarching concept, I'd expected much more.
1. Theatre of the Damned
2. The Phantom
3. Devil's Spawn
4. My Life is My Own
5. Spirit of the Legend
6. The Passing
7. Into the Light
8. Tortured Souls
9. Together We Are Strong
10. Night Stalker
1. Theatre Of The Damned / 2. The Phantom / 3. Devil´s Spawn / 4. My Life Is My Own / 5. Spirit Of The Legend / 6. The Passing / 7. Into The Light / 8. Tortured Souls / 9. Together We Are Strong / 10. Night Stalker. Bonus Tracks:11. Armageddon / 12. Blitzkrieg