Blind Fury

Out of Reach

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After parting ways with frontman Steve Ross, securing the services of new singer Lou Taylor, and coming to the conclusion that they could only make it so far with a name like Satan, guitarists Steve Ramsey and Russ Tippins, bassist Graeme English, and drummer Sean Taylor changed their handle to Blind Fury (actually the name of Taylor's former band) and proceeded to record 1985's Out of Reach album. Curiously, the group's lingering, unresolved creative ambivalence over whether to pursue full-on metallic glory or mainstream acceptance was also reflected in Out of Reach's conflicting songwriting styles, generally resulting in two divergent schools of thought. On the one hand, songs like "Do It Loud," "Contact Rock and Roll," and even the rather silly "Dynamo" suggested that the band was angling for recognition within melodic heavy rock circles, by formulating songs of compact length, safe arrangements, and anthemic choruses that were easy to remember. On the other hand, six- and seven-minute extrapolations like the title track and the Queensr├┐che-ish "Dance of the Crimson Lady, Pt. 1" digressed into epic metal via dramatic intros, synthesizer-enhancements, and in the latter's case, lyrics about mystical lands of fantasy that were hardly fit for the Top 40. And the seemingly Iron Maiden-aspiring "Evil Eyes" took it yet another step beyond, assigning its verses to three different characters (a "Humble Scribe," "Demon Doctor," and "All Seer" -- whatever that is) to spew its overwrought tale. Unfortunately, neither extremity felt realized to its fullest potential, managed only to cancel out the other in the end, and consigned Blind Fury to the middle-of-the-pack qualification that its members had repeatedly struggled to escape from. Obviously they knew it, too, since all but Taylor would soon revert to calling themselves Satan by 1987 -- for better or worse -- and giving that franchise another shot.

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