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Mournblade: Anthology - Vol 1 | FESTIVALPHOTO

Mournblade: Anthology - Vol 1



Angel Air/Border

When the NWOBHM succumbed, temporary, in the mid eighties, MOURNBLADE mixed the genre with punk (also down for the moment) and space rock. Vocalist Dunken Mullet and guitarist Rich Jones formed the nucleus of the band, and started it all in 1983. The name was pilfered, just as TYGERS OF PAN TANG and STORMBRINGER, from Science Fiction. Inspiration came ore precisely from the writings of Michael Moorcock, from whom the band got permission to use the name at a book fair. Between 1984-85 the band performed approximately 400 gigs in venues such as The Marquee, the 100 Club, and Dingwalls. Is the magic still present some 26 years later?

Punk/metal and a dose of HAWKWIND, that was apparently a new concept in the mid nineties. MOURNBLADE are normally included in the second or possibly third wave of the NWOBHM, which by then was petering out. But the mix of MOTÖRHEAD/HAWKWIND and fantasy called “Anthem of Chaos” has a straightforward riff, a heavy keyboard intro and Dunken´s voice, which you probably either love or hate. Swords were important to this lot of cause, as was space rock patented keyboard patterns, as in the first part of “Servants of Fate”. Post-NWOBHM feels like a terma that does them justice, but they sure are spaced out. But they made entertaining music, and good use of Derek Jasnoch´s keyboards. By 1985 they had switched rhythm section presenting ex WHITE LIGHTNING bass man Derek Max Goddard, and drummer Jeff Ward. The odd thing about Rich´s guitar work is that it is not outstanding, but still strangely enchanting most of the time. Space rock takes over in “Science Fiction”. The keyboards are allowed to dominate, complete with an odd chorus and lyrics that may well be conceived over some dodgy Afghan pot. The live tracks from 1985 were recorded on a tape recorder, leaving them authentically shaky. The vocals were up front in the mix, some of the space rock is lost to the punk/NWOBHM pace and lyrics of a battle axe and frozen corpses enforce that. MOURNBLADE must have been a sight for sore eyes with their make-up, lightning effects, a big black sword and all. Add to that the intensity in the tracks. They make one big return to Space Opera with “Titanium Hero”, with an opening not far from the sound of a dentist´s drill. The ending of the gig is ecstatic with “Sidewinder/The Sorcerer” and “Servants of Fate”. The oddest thing here is the 2009 remix of “Titanium Hero” by David Bickley. It sort of leaves you with a faded taste, modern, dance friendly and all. But who cares, after such a fantastic trip in the time machine. I now hope for part 2, or maybe the re-release of the bands first full-length album “Time´s Running Out”.

Track List
Anthem of Chaos
Servants of Fate
The Stairway
The Machinery of Joy
Science Fiction
In the Arms of Morpheus (Live)
Eternal Champion (Live)
Hunter Killer (Live)
Battlezone (Live)
Titanium Hero (Live)
Sidewinder/The Sorcerer (Live)
Servants of Fate (Live)
Titanium Hero (Remix)

Writer: Mikael Johansson
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