Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
A Halloween Staple
Graboidz | Westminster, Maryland | 09/25/2009
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Based on the lack of reviews and the selling price of used copies, this disk must be pretty rare?! I actually stumbled across this album when it was first released, I had no idea who Warfare was, but I'm a sucker for horror films, and the CD Box (remember those long cardboard boxes CDs used to come in?) featured tons of the old Hammer Studios movie posters, so I picked it up. I thought worst case scenario I would be buying somone's take on the theme songs of those classic films. What I got was a nifty 90's heavy metal treat.
It seems Warfare came along in the mid 80's as part of the New Wave of British Heavy Metal which included such acts as Iron Maiden, Saxon and Venom. Founded by singer/drummer Paul Evo, the metal trio seemed poised for big things, and garnered favorable word of mouth after two EP releases. But due to band in-fighting, and antagonizing the record label, their first full length album was pushed back and not released until 1987. Their debut album "Mayhem F@@@in' Mayhem" tanked. Their follow up album "A Conflict of Hatred" featured a new keyboard player, and more melodic songwriting and became the band's biggest seller to date. Evo teamed up with former The Damned bassist Algy Ward for the next release, and working with Hammer Studios created "Hammer Horror".
There are some fantastic tunes found here, and some that aren't too great:
1. Intro/Dracula Theme - The Hammer films "Dracula" opening theme. Sets the tone nicely with thunder crashing in the background.
2. Baron Frankenstein - Crushing guitars, gutteral vocals, slamming drums and it's all about the mad scientist and his creation..what more could you want?
3. Velvet Rhapsody - A little keyboard number, basically just serves as the intro to "Phantom".
4. Phantom of the Opera - Upon first hearing, this was my favorite tune on the disk. Featuring some beautiful back-up vocals as "Christina" sings for the Phantom. This keyboard heavy tune stands apart from most of the other tracks. The only drawback is Evo's vocals, his emphasis on rolling the letter "r" is almost comical. Still a highlight of the album, and Evo obviously knew this as it's on here twice.
5. Scream of the Vampire part 1. - This was a cool idea, basically it's just a heavy metal jam session set behind the dialog of "Dracula".
6. Vlad the Impaler - A little historical catch-up for those of you unfamiliar with the origin of "Dracula".
7. Scream of the Vampire part 2. - See track 5. Basically tracks 5, 6 & 7 should be considered one long tune, but it's pretty cool, and a good idea incorporating the actual film dialog into these songs.
8. Funeral in Carpathia - Another quickie tune which serves as an intro to the next song.
9. Hammer Horror - This is just a great song. A celebration of the "Studio that Dripped Blood".
10. Plague of the Zombies - Another really solid tune, and it's about one of my personal favorite Hammer Horror films! Unlike most of the other tunes here, "Plague of the Zombies" basically just sums up the plot of the film in song. I love the chorus of this tune, and again the guitar work is top notch. Unfortunately the tune just kind of fades out at the end as Evo breathes heavily into the mic.
11. Ballad of the Dead - A cool little eerie guitar track which leads into the next tune.
12. Solo of Shadows - I'm not really sure why this included here? It has nothing to do with Hammer films, but is instead a tune about Evo's song writing process. It's not bad, kind of mellow, but doesn't really fit into the rest of the collection.
13. Prince of Darkness - Another Dracula song...I guess it's easy to tell which Hammer monster was Evo's favorite?! Great bass line on this tune.
14. Tales of the Gothic Genre - Once you've said the title, you've memorized 1/2 of the lyrics. Still this is a cool little number with slamming bass and percussion. Once again celebrating Hammer in all it's blood dripping glory!
15. Dance of the Dead - Another solid tune, and one that would have ended the disk perfectly.
16. Phantom of the Opera (Hammer House of Horror Mix) - Basically this is the same tune as track 4 with a bit of a longer intro, and about 20 seconds of Evo and Algy simply jamming tacked onto the end.
I don't see dropping serious cash to pick up a copy of this album. I usually break it out once a year around Halloween and enjoy giving it a spin, but it's not a great album by any means. While the musicianship is top notch, Evo's vocals simply aren't that great, and they tend to drag some of the songs down with them. If you are a die hard fan of Hammer Studios, then you may enjoy it for the samplings of the old theme songs and some of the dialog clips. If you are simply looking for a great Halloween tinged metal album, keep looking there are better albums more readily available."