Anthology, Vol.1

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Even the band's fans would be hard-pressed to recall Mournblade as anything but an afterthought in the story of the New Wave of British Heavy Metal, a band that arose when it was already all over bar the shouting, and clung on till long after the last rites were read. But remembering that such historical absolutes are only apparent with a great big dollop of hindsight, Mournblade also fought loud and hard enough for Kerrang! magazine to describe them as "the future of heavy metal," and the 13 tracks (plus one remix) here remind listeners what the fuss was about. Drawn from the band's own untouched archive, it delves into a wealth of demos and live recordings, beginning with a pair of 1984 cuts, recorded with producer Nick Graham, ex-Atomic Rooster. "Anthem of Chaos" and "Servants of Fate" set the stage for the rest of the CD: a seven-track live performance from Christmas 1985 and a four-track EP released in 1986. The sound quality throughout is as good as it needs to be, but what really grabs the attention is just how accurate that Kerrang! claim should have been. With their crazed blur of metal, punk, and just enough psychedelia for the space rock crew, Mournblade perished unremembered, but they could have altered history.

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