As the novelist William Gibson wrote “Time moves in one direction, memory in another”. As the tides of time wash our presence into the murky depths to be quietly forgotten, this maxim is irrefutable. But tides work in a myriad of ways, occasionally washing ashore the debris of the night storm or the message in the bottle from afar.
With that in mind, Worship Metal bring you a new weekly review series of bands that time has seemingly forgotten…..
When you think of Belgium, does your mind conjure up images of chocolate? Tintín? Beer? Or maybe waffles? We can safely say that you probably won’t be thinking of heavy metal! Whilst you might be hard pressed to name many metal bands from Belgium, in the early to mid 80s they had a vibrant metal scene with bands such as Acid, Killer, Crossfire, Scavenger and Ostrogoth flying the metal flag high.
Formed in 1980, Ostrogoth released a couple of demos before signing to the legendary Mausoleum Records who released their classic Full Moon’s Eyes EP in 1983.
A release that we will be concentrating on here.
Inspired by the last great British cultural export to hit continental shores, Ostrogoth – much like their European counterparts – took the NWOBHM and ratcheted up the metal whilst dispensing with the hard rock influences; creating a more belligerent beast in the process.
With their Full Moon’s Eyes EP, Ostrogoth fused the precision and steely riffing of Accept, with the melodic sensibilities of the Scorpions and the raw aesthetic of the NWOBHM, to create a speed metal assault that bludgeoned the listener with rapier like riffs and melodic refrains with catchy choruses. From the speed metal riffage of the title track to the grinding metal of “Paris by Night’’, Ostrogoth delivered a barrage of bangers that made this EP as legendary as the debut EPs from Mercyful Fate and Sortilège.
Despite the brevity of Full Moon’s Eyes, the four songs present are of the highest calibre as they thrash and slash like Freddy Krueger at a teens slumber party, leaving a pile of corpses scattered asunder.
Despite the glory of their debut EP, Ostrogoth would never reach such dizzying heights again and would sadly fade into relative obscurity over time. However, for those in the know, the debut EP by Ostrogoth is a classic of 80s euro metal and deserving of a place in the pantheon of the metal gods.
Brief history: After an EP and two albums, Full Moon’s Eyes, Ecstasy and Danger (1984) and Too Hot (1985), Ostrogoth went through a major line-up change for 1987’s Feelings of Fury (1987), following which the band disbanded. Between these years, they shared the stage with amongst others Def Leppard, Manowar, Vandenberg, Loudness, Uriah Heep and Gary Moore. 2002 saw Ostrogoth reuniting for a string of Belgian shows featuring both original vocalist Marc ‘Red Star’ De Brauwer and his replacement Peter De Wint on vocals, each representing the material of their time with the band.
In 2010, Ostrogoth briefly reunited with original singer Marc De Brauwer, who was soon to be replaced by Josey Hindrix. Several years later the band started working on new material and recorded the EP Last Tribe Standing, which was released in 2015. Another major line-up change happened in 2018 but the band are still, very much, a going concern!