7. Demon – Cemetery Junction
With Dave Hill retaining his vocal menace and the guitars of David Cotterill and Paul Hume combining to create a suitably sinful framework, Demon’s Cemetery Junction proved to be a high quality, straight-up hard rock album with more than just a cursory nod to the NWOBHM days that kickstarted their career.
Cemetery Junction was undoubtedly an incredibly melodic affair – awash with intricately layered keyboards – but it was still the riffs that did the talking; “Out Of Control”, “Life In Berlin” & “The Best Is Yet To Come” all containing that recognisable haunting quality backed by some serious clout!
While the Uriah Heep comparisons were still apt, Cemetery Junction proved to be a uniquely demonic moment in a career that has seen this great band remain relatively obscure….but beloved by those in the know!
You need to hear: “The Best Is Yet To Come”, a prophetic title perhaps and a rip-roaring affair fueled by some gloriously heavy riffs and majestic solos!
6. Quartz – Fear No Evil
NWOBHM in 2016 had much to thank Quartz for as this great band returned with a diverse album that encompassed both rip-roaring riff work-outs and introspective mood pieces designed to invoke shivers!
Still dripping with attitude and loaded with shit-kicking tributes to UK metal’s late 70’s and early 80’s glory days, Fear No Evil was an album fans had waited 33 years for and it did not disappoint; “Born To Rock the Nation” even had the nerve to buddy-up to Black Sabbath’s mighty “Paranoid” for good measure!
Clearly born to rock and more than capable of delivering the goods, in 2016 Quartz proved the NWOBHM movement still had plenty of gas in the tank.
You need to hear: The energetic and absurdly catchy “Dangerous Game”. Nuthin’ to fear here!
5. Steve Grimett’s Grim Reaper – Walking In The Shadows
Nearly 30 years since NWOBHM legends Grim Reaper released their last album (1987’s Rock You To Hell) and Steve Grimmett and his hired hands were back to play real heavy metal. Walking In The Shadows delivered that classic NWOBHM sound welded to the mighty lungs of Steve Grimmett – one of the defining voices of the genre – and shook the foundations of hell (please don’t ask us to actually describe what sits below hell!) with fire and brimstone rock ‘n’ roll!
With more than a hint of Steve Grimmett’s other band Lionheart, Walking In The Shadows may not have been particularly surprising in content but it was a coherent and consistently entertaining return to form from one of the NWOBHMS’s most revered acts.
From the boiling-hot bluster of the title track to the speedier likes of “Temptation”, Walking in the Shadows may have taken 29 long years to reach us but patience was deservedly rewarded.
You need to hear: “From Hell”….it’s a Grim Reaper track….with ‘hell’ in the title….and a shit-load of riffs and attitude, what more do you need to know?