Armageddon: End of The Beginning
Frog Juice Production
Into every life a little hard rock / heavy metal must fall, and you could do much worse than having this crew drop in to rock your house. Lead singer Dennis Willcock fronted Iron Maiden for a few years but left to kick around with other projects. He cut a demo in 1977, and then disappeared until 2015. He’s been active, just not prominent. But he’s back now, and this high-quality project gives you a solid headbanging experience yet retains the melodic structure early heavy metal. Plus, you can hear the lyrics. Are they great lyrics? Hard to say, most of the metal that’s crossed my path emphasized the wall of noise over clever wordplay.
Opener “V1” (a reference to the early German cruise missiles that terrorized London) comes on strong with a galloping bass line, clean key changes, and lyrics that threaten to “Rock your house down”. Hide the cover and I’d swear its Michael Schenker and UFO up there. But this isn’t a cover band or a tribute act, each song has a melodic structure that is both distinct yet united by a common songwriting sensibility. “Lights” is a slower, more conceptual piece where spectacular fret work shows an artist side of metal that’s been lost over the years. “She’s So Easy” touches on another familiar metal theme: readily available lust and vehicles in which to satisfy it. The title track wraps up the album, and it’s a doozy. Filled with rock bombast, its spare chords, measured drum beats and fancy solo bridges present us with the lyric “We’re giving it away, we gotta save the earth…” It’s the perfect mix of social responsibility and head banging machismo. I think I hear an encore number here. Yeah, it’s a lot like Iron Maiden, but let’s never forget the first rule of rock and roll: don’t mess with a winning formula.