Nazareth - The Newz
Hard Rock
13 songs (64'48)
Release year: 2008
Nazareth, Edel
Reviewed by Marty
Surprise of the month
Wow...I can't believe that this is the first Nazareth album to be reviewed here at This band was a huge influence on bands like AC/DC, Saxon and Motorhead with classic albums like Razamanaz, Loud and Proud and Hair Of The Dog. Suffice to say that there's a severe lack of really influential 70's hard rock albums in our database that requires some immediate attention.....stay tuned!! These veteran Scottish rockers suffered a huge blow in 1999 while on tour when original drummer Darrel Sweet dropped dead of a heart attack. They eventually re-grouped with original bass player Pete Angew's son Lee on drums. Along with original vocalist Dan McCafferty, the band now sees fellow Scot Jimmy Murrison handling the guitar duties. Vowing to carry on, the band has continued their sometimes gruelling tour schedule and after 1999's Boogaloo album, vowed to give up recording any new material and continue playing the classics to their devoted fan base. Well, all that's apparently out the window as Nazareth has just released a brand new album entitled The Newz and I'll be damned if it isn't one of their best albums in decades!!

I grew up listening to Nazareth and remember when tracks like This Flight Tonight, Love Hurts and Hair Of The Dog first hit the North American radio waves and ever since 1974 or 1975, I've been a huge fan. They have always had a knack for mixing bluesy hard rock, heavy rock and pop music with their albums and even to this day, tour regularly to a very strong worldwide fan base. With The Newz the classic Nazareth sound that many of us know and love has returned and is in very fine form indeed. The album starts with Goin' Loco, a bluesy romp with some seriously heavy breakdowns and it's obvious that Dan McCafferty still has that great raspy yet strong voice that was always such a staple of their sound. The light pop feel of Day At The Beach leads into a crushing heavy number entitled Liar. A scathing attack on George W. Bush, this one has the classic hypnotic heaviness of their heydays in the 70's. See Me is a great acoustic celtic flavored track with a soaring spirit and Dan's voice absolutely shines. I really love the feel of this and it reminds me more of the very early days of the band. Enough Love is a great radio friendly melodic yet heavy rock tune that would've been top 10 if it had been released in the 80's and once again, the passion in Dan McCafferty's voice just rips your heart out. Warning and Meanstreets are both solid rockers but Road Trip really tears it up. Fast and reckless with huge guitar riffs, this again brings the Razamanaz/Loud And Proud era back to mind. The album highlight for me is the track Gloria. It might go down for me as one of the greatest Nazareth tracks ever and from the very first time I heard it, the chorus sections brought chills down my spine. A gut-wrenching story about a man spending life in prison and watching others come and go is brought to stark vivid reality by Dan McCafferty's very poetic vocals. His soaring vocal for the chorus of Gloria-a-a-a-ohhh is one of the best things I've ever heard. One of the lines, "Fear is not respect, and it won't make a boy a man" is one of those phrases that rings so true and is something that I will treasure from this album from this day on. The Razamanaz/Loud And Proud era is once again revisited with Keep On Travelin' complete with fat guitar riffs, some great slide work by Jimmy Murrison and a huge Nazareth gang style chorus. Loggin' On is a very topical look at how the youth of today relies on the internet for most of their social interactions. Dan McCaffery sings, "They've gotta get out again, make some friends....They've gotta get out again, make some trends". Being a teenager in the 70's, I can really relate as there was much more face to face interaction socially and, common interests amongst groups of people start trends. If you don't meet and interact as a group, social trends and ideals are going to stagnate. The Gathering is an atmospheric and slow heavy metal romp with decidedly Saxon-like qualities and shows that this band can still crank it up and play music that was part of the origins of heavy metal. The album finishes with a quiet little "soliloquy" entitled Dying Breed, an ode to all the veteran rockers still out there giving it their all.

This album was a huge surprise and has been stuck in my car CD player for a while now. I love the way that it weaves in and out of all the different eras of the band from the celtic and folk flavored sounds of their first 2 albums to the heavy metal punch of the mid 70's and even some of the more AOR and pop styles of the 80s. This is a collection of great Nazareth songs and a few would go down great live along with all their other classics. They are currently in the midst of their 40th Anniversary tour that's seeing them play well over 100 shows this year. Retire?....not a chance! There's still lots more life yet left in these veterans and just when it appeared that they were going to take the "play the classics only route" for the rest of their career, they come out with a new CD that is as good or better than many of their others over the years. Fans of the band are going to love this and The Newz has really put me in a "Nazareth mood" lately with almost all of their CDs getting regular listening. Some haven't been heard in a very, very long time. A little nostalgia is a great thing now and again isn't it?

Killing Songs :
Goin Loco, Liar, See Me, Enough Love, Road Trip, Gloria, Keep On Travelin' and The Gathering
Marty quoted 86 / 100
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