Cult New Wave of British Heavy Metal act Robespierre toiled in the musical underground during the heyday of that cherished metal movement, but never recorded an album proper...until now that is. Garden of Hell is the bands debut album, now arriving 35 years after they originally appeared on the scene, and is being released by Shadow Kingdom Records. Was it worth the wait? Well, for NWOBHM completists, Garden of Hell will be a fun listen, a rough & raw release that seems to have tumbled out of a cassette deck time portal from 1984. While these guys can crank out some cool riffs here and there, the songwriting overall just falls flat time and time again throughout Garden of Hell. "Punish Oppressors" spends too much time repeating the line 'revolution' to the point that it becomes quite annoying, and "Mare of Steel" contains a chorus that just flat out doesn't work. "Dwelling in the Shadows" tries to be doomy, but the vocals disappoint and lack any sort of menace, and on the somewhat Motorhead-ish "Feel the Fire" it's again the vocals that bring things down to mediocrity. Best tunes on the album are easily "The Black Mirror" and "Dagon Rises", each sounding not far removed from classic Manilla Road, and "Fear" also chugs along quite nicely, showing that there are certainly some merits to be found here on Garden of Hell.
Overall, kind of hit or miss, the band obviously trying real hard to be relevant at a time when fans are looking back on the NWOBHM days with much fondness. Let's see where they go from here.
01 Punish Oppressors 4:22
02 Mare of Steel 3:54
03 Dwelling in the Shadows 6:05
04 Feel the Fire 3:38
05 The Black Mirror 6:26
06 Men of Violence 3:18
07 Dagon Rises 5:19
08 Fear 5:42
09 Welcome to the Cult 4:13
10 I Am a Flower (In the Garden of H 6:02