|Review: Warlord - Deliver Us|
Label: Metal Blade Records
Year released: 1983
Genre: Heavy Metal
Review online: May 26, 2018
Reviewed by: MetalMike
Rated 4.25/5 (85%) (4 Votes)
The NWOBHM may have produced more and better-known bands but the U.S. was no slouch in the field of heavy metal in the early 80s. Case in point, the classic debut EP from California's Warlord, Deliver Us. An early member of the Metal Blade stable and appearing on both Metal Massacre II and III, Warlord was one of the pioneers of a "theatrical" style of metal. Previously limited to hard rock acts like KISS and Alice Cooper, they adopted a specific style of dress, complemented by their stage set and took on the kind of stage names that wouldn't be seen again until the rise of black metal. Guitarist Destroyer (Bill Tsamis, the band's founder) and drummer Thunder Child (Fates Warning's Mark Zonder) were joined by a variety of bass players and keyboardists over the years, but the string of singers, all named Damien (I, II, III, etc.) really gave the band some mystery. Deliver Us features Damien King I (Jack Rucker) and he is my favorite of all the band's singers.
Deliver Us only has six songs, which would appear on a myriad of compilations and live albums over the years, but that's because they are all so good. "Winter Tears" and "Penny for a Poor Man" are lighter weight affairs that foreshadowed the commercial direction U.S. metal would take a scant few years later, but remain solid songs. "Deliver Us from Evil" is the prototypical Warlord song with Zonder's pounding drums and Tsamis' smooth guitar melodies underscoring Rucker's high, clear singing. "Black Mass" has a menacing riff and chorus, exceeded slightly by the anti-nuclear war themed "Lucifer's Hammer", both pounding metal anthems. That leaves only the pinnacle of Warlord's career, the amazing "Child of the Damned." Fast, fierce and full of energy, this is what metal is supposed to sound like. One listen is all it will take to stick the chorus in your gray matter for all eternity.
It's a shame the lineup of Warlord was in constant flux, rendering their output exceedingly variable over the years. Even at their best, they never came close to what they created on Deliver Us. It remains an absolutely essential heavy metal release.
|Other related information on the site|
|Interview with guitarist Bill Tsamis on December 8, 2013 (Interviewed by Luxi Lahtinen)|
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