Beowulf – The Re-Releases (CD)

Friends of Suicidal Tendencies, Beowulf comes forth with music from twenty years ago that sounds as fresh and as new as today with the re-release of their S/T and “Lost My Head” albums, both on this single disc. The tracks may all sound a little fuzzy, but this fuzz is not anything that obscures the sizzling guitar lines and thrash sound of the band. “Drink Fight Fuck” is a track that moves back a few years and reflects the more classic, Motorhead-type of sound that the band comes back to quite a few times during this disc. There is no reason with the re-release of these albums why Beowulf shouldn’t be on the lips of all fans of thrash and normal metal; the band shreds through a track like “Shoot Them Down” with some of the sickest guitar riffs ever laid on a disc, while the bass line does nearly the same thing with the following track “Taste The Steel”.

“Taste The Steel” gets extra style point for the extended break into chaos, which takes up the last minute/minute and a half while still holding the same solid instrumentation and arrangement constant. Seventy-seven minutes later the disc ends, with the band rolling triumphantly over the finish line. This late brand of metal is nothing near the hair metal that had presented itself for the beginning of the eighties in California, but in many ways shows a harder edge that is in many ways a retaliation for the other style. Many of the same structures that pervade these two albums would come back in much of the reductionist punk rock of the mid nineties.

Acts like Hellacopters and Gluecifer had to have imported these albums when they first came out and taken each guitar riff to heart. There is no remorse, no time to relax with the music that Beowulf commits to this disc. The music may be around twenty years old, but there is no age showing on any of the album’s twenty-six tracks. The style of music that Beowulf put down on record all those years ago still crackles with a freshness that bands are struggling to have in the current day. Pick up this album and prepare to be rocked and rocked hard by one of the most sincere metal bands of all time; for I Scream to re-release this is to give the next generation of fans a reason to live.

Top Tracks: Taste The Steel, Don’t Give A Damn

Rating: 7.9/10

[JMcQ]

Beowulf – The Re-Releases / 2006 I Scream / 26 Tracks / http://www.iscreamrecords.com / Reviewed 30 March 2006

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