Killers: Murder One/Menace To Society (remastered)
The name Paul Di'Anno conjures many a thought in the mind of the Heavy Metal fanatic. First and foremost he was the original voice of Iron Maiden and of course produced 2 beyond classic discs with Maiden (Iron Maiden and Killers) before being replaced by Bruce Dickinson. Those 2 Maiden records are prototypes of what Metal music would go on to become and Di'Anno's gruff and masculine vocals were a big part of what Maiden in those early days. But since those hallowed days, Di'Anno has become some sort of an enigma. He has been in jail more times that I'm sure he'd like to count, lost his Visa to even get into America and has somewhat become forgotten with his music career since those Maiden days. But in the early to mid 90's Di'Anno was fronting his own band he called, Killers, and those first 2 Killers records were outstanding! I remember getting both of them, the first time around in the 90's and loving both of them. They were both very current sounding and HEAVY. Well, Metal Mind Productions has once again unearthed 2 lost classics in the form of Killers' debut record, Murder One and their follow up, Menace To Society. Both discs have been re-mastered, contain bonus tracks and come in slick packaging.
First released in 1992, Killers debut album, Murder One is flat out awesome! I don't know if Di'Anno sounded THIS good even while in Iron Maiden. The original record consisted of 10 tracks that were filled with aggressive angst and brutality that was unlike anything Paul Di'Anno had done up to this point, even in Maiden or his Battlezone (remember their awesome song, "Warzone"?) project from the 80's. Nirvana was ushering in the new guard and metal was being saved by bands like Pantera and Killers was on that Pantera side of things. While being heavy, being melodic is also a key to this lot of songs being, oh so good. Songs like the crushing, "Marshall Lockjaw", "Impaler" and "The Beast Arises", all show what the 90's Paul Di'Anno was all about. Heavy, fresh and modern sounding while still having that traditional Metal feel is what Murder One was and still is! Killers even do a "killer" cover of the T-Rex song, "Children Of The Revolution", giving it a rather heavy kick in the pants, while also of course including a cover of a Maiden classic, in the form of "Remember Tomorrow". Drummer, Steve Hopgood steals the record with some awe-inspiring Metal drum chops and a thunderous drum tone to die for and co-guitars were provided by Cliff Evans and Nick Burr who also do their best in fueling some great guitar pyro.
I loved this record when it came out in '92 and it sounds even better now, thanks to the people at Metal Mind Productions. Murder One in this deluxe edition, now has 15 tracks in all, with 4 live rehearsal songs and 1 acoustic song. If you call yourself a fan of the legendary Paul Di'Anno and do NOT own this debut Killers record, you need to right this wrong and pick it up now! Di'Anno never sounded so awesome and the 10 tracks that made up the original record are all great songs. It really is a shame that this record didn't do more back in '92, I have constantly played this record since back then and still don't grow tried of it and it really is an Underground Classic!
Menace To Society
Originally released in 1994 and recorded after Paul Di'Anno had spent 3 months in a L.A. County Jail on a drug/firearms charge, Menace To Society would have a much tougher attitude to it, much more in line with what bands like Pantera and Machine Head were producing at the time. From the first kick drum splatter of "Advance and Be Recognised", the Pantera influence of the Vinny Paul triggered drum tone and the easily similar, legendary nasal Dimebag guitar tone, are 2 very evident and prominent pieces to the new Killers sound. Originally released with 12 tracks, this new deluxe edition comes with 17 tracks with 5 live rehearsal recordings.
I have also loved Menace To Society since coming out in '94 (thanks Z-Rock!). This second effort is much different than their debut, with Di'Anno growling more on this record and with lyrics written in the fit of anger with the music as muscular as the imagery. Songs like the aptly titled, "Think Brutal", "Die By The Gun", "Chemical Imbalance" and the eerie coolness of the song known as, "?" and the great vocal performance on "Past Due", make this sophomore disc a great one. The influences of the Metal world around them was rubbing off, but Di'Anno, returning drum shredder Steve Hopgood, guitar player Cliff Evans and bass player Gavin Cooper were all forging their own sound and identity and they were still writing some top flight material.
Another gem of a record that holds up 20 years after its original release and with this remastered edition with 5 bonus tracks now is the time to check out Paul Di'Anno and Killers with this great 2nd album of theirs. Mean, heavy and with a Metal legend singing his ass off, Menace To Society is a (pardon the pun) killer record.
02. The Beast Arises
03. Children Of The Revolution
04. S & M
05. Takin' No Prisoners
06. Marshall Lokjaw
08. Dream Keeper
10. Remember Tomorrow
11. Imapaler (live rehearsal)
12. The Beast Arises (live reh.)
13. Marshall Lockjaw (live reh.)
14. Children of the Revolution (live reh.)
15. Dream Keeper (acoustic)
Menace To Society:
01. Advance And Be Recognized
02. Die By The Gun
03. Menace To Society
05. Think Brutal
06. Past Due
07. Faith Healer
08. Chemical Imbalance
09. A Song For You
10. Three Words
12. City Of Fools
13. Die by the Gun (live reh.)
14. Faith Healer (live reh.)
15. A Song for You (live reh.)
16. Chemical Imbalance (live reh.)
17. Three Words (live reh.)
Added: January 22nd 2014
Reviewer: Butch Jones
Related Link: Band Website
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