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NWOBHM Blitzkrieg (UK) A Time of Changes
CD, Released date : 1985 - Neat Records
Style: NWOBHM

RATING : 17/20
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Tracklist
1. Ragnarok (Instrumental Inferno) 01:45
2. Inferno 04:30
3. Blitzkrieg 03:21
4. Pull the Trigger (Satan Cover) 05:25
5. Armageddon 06:16
6. Hell to Pay 04:44
7. Vikings 04:03
8. A Time of Changes 06:24
9. Saviour 03:38
Total playing time 40:06

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11 ratings 1 17/20
Review
    Loudpipes, Friday 01 July 2011 Talk to your friends  
A bit late to the game, but some of the most solid NWOBHM you'll find.

Thanks to important line-up changes, among other reasons, Blitzkrieg sadly broke up and didn’t get the chance to shine earlier in their careers and it’s a real shame. While A Time of Changes is definitely a flawed album at times, at its best it also showcases the NWOBHM movement in its best form and thus, it is a gem worthy of acquiring.

Blitzkrieg were one of the first bands in the NWOBHM to really begin pushing the limits of the genre early on in the movement, alongside Satan and Iron Maiden, and a lot of these tunes were writTen in 1980/’81. It’s worth noting that, because you can tell how this band’s material had a profound effect on bands like Metallica – whom covered the song “Blitzkrieg” in 1984 – Exodus, Heathen, etc. The band’s harder, more driving but still very much traditional style was certainly a big influence upon what would become thrash metal. This is worth noting because despite the release date of 1985 the songs actually date back a lot further.

Is it any good? Personally, I’m a huge sucker for the NWOBHM in general (though I’ll acknowledge there were a lot of mediocre or bad bands) and thus, I dig this album a lot, even if it isn’t perfect. The biggest problem that afflicts this album is a horrible production – imagine Satan’s Court in the Act but even more drenched in reverb in general. The rhythm guitar sounds muffled, the snare has this huge but loose sound to it, and in general instead of augment the instrumental sound it hinders it. It’s really BAD sounding all around, and it’s not even bad but somehow fitting raw like CitA. It’s truly a shame because the music is class stuff.

The songwriting is pretty damn strong – most of these songs still possess that hard-rocking vibe like pretty much the entire NWOBHM, but as I said earlier, there’s a more pronounced hard-edged approach to the riffwork on here than most bands of the movement. Heavy, but not quite what Satan had going on CitA and the earlier Demos. (IE proto-power and thrash riffs) There’s a lot of excellent, catchy, galloping riffs on here, you name the song, they have ‘em. The drumming is pretty basic but solid, fits like a glove in backing these tunes. Brian Ross’ arew excellent and about as good of a performance as the one he did on Satan’s CitA: a smooth, melodic mid-range combined with the odd jarring falsetto shriek.

As for the songs… “Inferno” is a strong, heady opener with an instantly memorable chorus (in that NWOBHM sense, IE hard rock-ish) and some excellent riffing in the middle. “Blitzkrieg” is probably the greatest song on here, especially with that powerhouse of a main riff and the excellent melodic solo that appears in the middle, though the over six minute-long “Armageddon”, the excellently melodic ballad “Vikings” and the well-developed title track also lay claim to that title. The rest of the songs are all pretty strong in their own right, especially “Pull The Trigger” (which is actually a Satan cover – the song originally appeared on the Into The Fire Demo. Russ Tippins of Satan also does the guest outro solo on here).

While a full-legnth was definitely too late by 1985 to make the impact it could have, A Time of Changes is nonetheless an exceptionally strong album for those more inclined towards traditional heavy metal to lisTen to. The reissue, known as A Time For Changes: Phase 1 includes this album, the early Demos, and what would’ve been their debut in 1981 all as bonus tracks on 2 discs, thus making this more than worthy of the price one might pay for them.




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