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Review: Roxxcalibur - Gems of the NWOBHM
Gems of the NWOBHM

Label: Limb Music Products
Year released: 2015
Duration: 1:11:06
Tracks: 14
Genre: Heavy Metal


Review online: February 1, 2016
Reviewed by: MetalMike
Readers' Rating
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Rated 4/5 (80%) (9 Votes)

Gems of the NWOBHM is the third album from the Heavy Metal historians in Roxxcalibur. Like its predecessors, Gems is loaded with cover versions of rocking tunes from the "golden age" of Metal back in the early-to-mid 80s. There are several names here that most self-respecting NWOBHM fans should be familiar with like Legend ("Why Don't You Kill Me?"), Mythra ("[The Age of] Machine"), Split Beaver ("Hounds of Hell") and Budgie ("Panzer Division Destroyed") along with several that only the true fanatic will recall (Satan's Empire, Bashful Alley, Smokin' Roadie, etc.)

As with their past albums Roxxcalibur do their best to stay true to the original arrangements and the most you are likely to hear in the form of improvements is in the production as the shoestring budgets the bands were working with back in the day didn't allow for much more than one or two shots at getting a song down. The material on Gems is varied as was the NWOBHM movement and features some songs that would stand up to today's traditional Heavy Metal ("Why Don't You Kill Me?" "Fool's Gold") as well as some that are closer to the Hard Rock end of the spectrum ("Paper Chaser" "Stormchild") but other than a few with annoyingly repetitive choruses ("Somewhere Up in the Mountains" "Stormchild") everything is solid with much being pure delight. Roxxcalibur focused on singles, including some that were the only songs the bands in question ever released, and contributions to compilations so many are truly "lost" gems.

I consider myself a huge fan of the NWOBHM even if I'm not the most knowledgeable and Gems of the NWOBHM is just awesome. The sound is excellent as is the playing and the source material is top notch. The album is not for those who only prefer extreme forms of Metal but those with an ear for melody and/or a desire to learn the history of the music, we all love that Roxxcalibur has come up with their best collection yet. And if you grew up on this stuff, get the air guitar tuned and crank up Gems of the NWOBHM.

More about Roxxcalibur...
Review: Lords of the NWOBHM (reviewed by MetalMike)
Review: NWOBHM For Muthas (reviewed by Hermer Arroyo)
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