In the late 1970’s a new breed of British metal bands were coming to the fore and the term nwobhm was born. That is New Wave Of British Heavy Metal. The best place for information was in a weekly music magazine called Sounds. The editor Geoff Barton was a major force in the genre.
Bands like Iron Maiden, Saxon and Def Leppard to name but a few, managed success and are still doing so today but many nwobhm bands fell by the wayside. One of these was Gaskin who formed in 1980 and released 2 full length albums, End Of The World in 1981 and No Way Out in 1982 before they split up in December in 1982. A brief reformation saw Stand Or Fall released in 2000. Gaskin are most probably recognised by their 1981 debut single I’m No Fool which was chosen by Lars Ulrich for a 1990 compilation double album called New Wave Of British Heavy Metal ’79 Revisited, with help from Geoff Barton.
So here we are in 2012 with Gaskin’s 4th full length album, Edge Of Madness after reforming in 2010. Edge Of Madness was released via High Roller Records on Aug.24th 2012. Gaskin were more on the melodic side and this new release sticks to that formula so old fans will love it and for new fans, it is a great way to start. Produced and engineered by Gaskin drummer David John Norman, he has given Edge Of Madness a cutting edge sound but kept the atmosphere of nwobhm there to.
Opening track Just Before Dawn is a brief synth led piece which is followed by Damnation with a riff sounding like Ozzy era Jake E Lee. As Paul Gaskin’s voice kicks in, it is just like the early 80’s all over again and the song has a well worked keyboard/guitar segment midway. Second track is the anthem Heart Like Thunder, Paul’s lyrics telling his way of life, ” Rock And Roll,that’s my life. It’s the one thing that i need to get high. Every day,every night. It never fails to set my soul alight “.
Man’s World chugs along similar to Accept’s Princess Of The Dawn with ex Hawkwind member Nik Turner adding some saxophone flourishes. Wake Up Dead is a 6 minute haunting power ballad, the lyrical subject is a tale of lost love with a melodic guitar solo midway as the song ends with a heart machine flat lining.
Lost And Lonely is a fine mid paced rocker bringing to mind classic UFO with some fiery guitar solos. A huge riff opens The Contract, a brooding number with waves of synth and a lengthy guitar solo akin to Ritchie Blackmore’s sound in Stargazer. Bedlam is another song about a broken relationship with a pleading chorus of ” I want you back, I don’t want you back, I don’t know what the hell i want now. I need you back, I don’t need you back, so why the hell do I keep calling your name? “. Yet another song with some classic nwobhm riffs!
Final 2 tracks are another short instrumental called Te Amavi, just 2 guitars complementing each other and album closer is the title track. Another 6 minute number, it’s acoustic intro and vocal joined by another huge riff. It is the most powerful track on the album with a stunning Rainbow style instrumental break.
Gaskin will be playing the Denim And Leather nwobhm festival on Sept. 29th at the Slade Rooms in Wolverhampton and i expect a fair few tracks from the Edge Of Madness will be played there.
Gaskin band line up :-
Paul Gaskin – Vocals/guitars/keyboards.
David John Norman – Drums/backing vocals.
Andrew Solomon – Guitars.
Mick Cross – Bass.
Edge Of Madness track listing :-
Just Before Dawn.
Heart Like Thunder.
Wake Up Dead.
Lost And Lonely.
Edge Of Madness.
I award Edge Of Madness 9/10.