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Review: Holocaust - The Nightcomers
The Nightcomers

Label: Phoenix Records
Year released: 2003
Originally released in: 1981
Duration: 37:14
Tracks: 9
Genre: Heavy Metal


Review online: March 12, 2010
Reviewed by: Adam Kohrman
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Rated 3.93/5 (78.62%) (29 Votes)

Old metal albums need to be taken in a historical context. While they may not have to be "heavy" by current standards, they must be viewed within the context of that era, and what they sounded like to fans of the time. A great example of this is legendary NWOBHM rockers Holocaust's "The Nightcomers." If you were to listen to this album now, heavy metal wouldn't immediately pop into your mind as the fitting genre title. It's hard rock, or as I've heard it classified, "pub rock." But it's not too far removed from other early NWOBHM acts such as Diamond Head and Legend, who are indisputably remembered as metal bands. These solos don't shred too much, but you can hear the foundation of the fast paced power chords that defined our genre. For 1981, this was very heavy, and very influential. This is their debut, and it's early NWOBHM at its finest, before the band became much more progressive.

This album begins with an ode to rocking itself, "Smokin' Valves," which showcases Holocaust's riff-based style alongside vocalist/guitarist John Mortimer's fun-loving, nasal groan. He exudes cheerfulness alongside his emotive and quirky proto metal music. Songs like "Death or Glory" and "Mavrock" take it up a notch, being heavier and packing a huge punch for the time. It's on songs like these that you can see the stepping stones for bands like Mercyful Fate and even Celtic Frost. Holocaust really know how to make catchy music, as rocking anthems like "Cryin' Shame" and "Come on Back" are simply infectious. The album's most well known song, famously popularized in a Gamma Ray cover, is "Heavy Metal Mania," a song in dedication to the art of metal, an early example of many later songs.

This is a must for anyone interested in the history of heavy metal music. It's refreshing to sit back and listen to something so simple, yet so unrestrained and free. This album exudes cool; it's a monument of what metal was in its formative years. Put on some sunglasses, lay out in a lounge chair, and sip on some lovely drinks and listen to this influential NWOBHM classic. You won't regret it.

More about Holocaust...
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