Label promotion and the biography sheet of Raging Speedhorn would have you believe we are about to hit the next Metallica, Pantera or Anthrax. Something that would leave an undying mark on the face of heavy metal, regardless of what happens with the band 10-15 years from its birth. I have been listening to How the Great Have Fallen patiently, waiting to be enlightened … and it is still not happening.
It is true that UK metal/hard rock scene has been pathetic in the last two decades. It seems as though the land that gave the world Judas Priest, Iron Maiden and Black Sabbath has run out of metal minds. Raging Speedhorn have tried to change that, but with the eye not on British tradition of classic heavy metal or thick doom-sludge. Instead, the young lads out of Corby (everywhere you read the town is called “grim” for some reason) went after American modern aggressive, and dare I say, commercial sound. I guess the youth not only on this side of the Atlantic is yearning for angry music as Raging Speedhorn have enjoyed some success with sold-out shows, the single in UK Top 50 in 2001 and, what else, the spot on the UK Ozzfest show. Didn’t I mention commercial and aggressive in the same sentence above?
The dirty waters of music label business kept Raging Speedhorn from releasing their music in the US, but with How the Great Have Fallen it is about to change. I can see why Raging Speedhorn will challenge some of the American acts for the crown of the modern (or should we say nu?) metal. And they very well may have a large audience here, but it certainly will not include this reviewer.
Brazen attitude, anger and emotion are needed in heavy metal. There are numerous bands who wank their guitars producing gutless music. Raging Speedhorn could not be confused with any one of them, but How the Great Have Fallen quadruples in attitude what it has in musicality. The music on the album is raging singlemindedness propelled by the combination of 1-2 downtuned riffs repeated from one song to another. The sound is dirty, jumbled, angry, embodying the spirit of the British hooligan. The band has two vocalists, John Loughlin and Frank Regan (since departed), but it is pretty hard to distinguish between those hardcore screams with only an occasional growl (title track).
Faster songs on How the Great Have Fallen fancy themselves after Black Flag and The Clash with their punk qualities. The song titles (A Different Shade of Shit) and the lyrics (you will run out of fingers on your hands counting “Fuck You” screams in How Much Can a Man Take) fit the description. Producing something mildly thrash related (Snatching Defeat from the Jaws of Victory) Raging Speedhorn runs out of breath towards the end of the album closing with three slower more melodious, but still full of threnody, chugs (Slay the Coward, The Infidel is Dead and anthemic Don’t Let the Bastards Grind You Down).
High marks on attitude and posture, Raging Speedhorn gets low marks from me on anything else. However, if you are young, spry and feel you are being put down unfairly all the time, this band’s music can provide a great source for venting your frustrations.
Killing Songs :
Master of Disaster, Snatching Defeat from the Jaws of Victory
|Alex quoted 45 / 100|
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