Roksnax – Split (1980)
Feat. Hollow Ground / Saracen / Samurai
- “Die or Deliver” – Samurai
- “Rock On” – Hollow Ground
- “Speed of Sound” – Saracen
- “Fight with the Devil” – Hollow Ground
- “Temptress” – Samurai
- “Fast Living” – Saracen
- “Flying High” – Hollow Ground
- “Feel Just the Same” – Saracen
- “Knights in Painted Castles” – Samurai
- “The Holy One” – Hollow Ground
- “Spirits of the Lost” – Samurai
- “Setting the World Ablaze” – Saracen
The first of two compilations released by the legendary Guardian Records N’ Tapes – who were responsible for releasing NWOBHM classics such as Satan’s “Kiss Of Death” single and Mythra‘s “Death and Destiny” EP – Roksnax is solid gold and as we’ve already waxed lyrical about Hollow Ground (with the 4 tracks from their Warlord EP featuring here), it’s the output from Samurai and Saracen we’ll be concentrating on.
Samurai may have been a flash in the pan but they were the toughest muthas on Roksnax, thundering through “Temptress”, “Knights In Painted Castles” and “Spirits Of The Lost” like their very lives depended on delivering high-speed, high-class metal at all costs! Whether “Die Or Deliver” was the battle cry of a particularly over-zealous Kebab shop owner is up for debate but it’s an absolute stomper of a track nonetheless, stronger than steel and an ideal opener for the EP.
At t’other end, Saracen closed Roksnax on a considerable high with the ridiculously good, Judas Priest-esque “Setting The World Ablaze”, while the more melodic “Feel Just The Same” and “Fast Livin'” united the hard rock sounds of the 70’s with the kind of metallic sounds perfected by Priest, Diamond Head etc as the 80’s marched on.
Frankly, you’d be hard pressed to find a better representation of the strength and depth of the early 80’s NWOBHM movement than this outstanding split EP.
Note: The Saracen featured on this compilation should not be mistaken for the band who released Heroes, Saints And Fools in 1981 and Change Of Heart in 1984. Also, the Samurai featured here is not the Welsh Samurai (was a razor-sharp Leek this Samurai’s weapon of choice?) who released Sacred Blade (1984) and Weapon Master (1986).