Murder One (Reissue)


I suppose that the promotional effect of the "South American Assault Live" took its toll […]
November 12, 2013
Killers - Murder One (Reissue) album cover

I suppose that the promotional effect of the "South American Assault Live" took its toll for the continuation of KILLERS as a British Heavy Metal group in the USA. Figuring out the live compilation was released prior to KILLERS' debut studio delivery, it also surprised me that the band was able to link a lucrative deal with a label for playing early 80's IRON MAIDEN songs, which surprisingly weren't known to the label's representatives back at the time. It sounded weird because by 1992, IRON MAIDEN has been quite a public figure in the worlds of Rock and Metal. However, who am I to contradict historical facts. The end result was KILLERS's debut album "Murder One", reissued nowadays via Metal Mind Productions. Hailing with two replacements to the bass and guitar posts, both BATTLEZONE members, making KILLERS a nearly full version of the old BATTLEZONE bands of the 80's, the band reflected the post NWOBHM vision of Heavy Metal, resembling a heavier version of IRON MAIDEN, MOTORHEAD, JUDAS PRIEST, SAXON, RAVEN and TANK. Likewise, as expected, numerous connecting dots between KILLERS and BATTLEZONE music wise, meaning a total British direction, yet with a late 80's Metal ordinance with several Hard Rock penchants. Two years later after "Murder One" it would all change for KILLERS's musical forethought into a different actuality, yet with this debut they had the wits to manifest a mighty Heavy Metal presence.

Practically right from the debut chords of this album, I knew it wouldn't be anything constructive like the old MAIDEN tunes that Di'Anno took part in, even though judging by the "Remember Tomorrow" cover near the end of the tracklist; this lineup could have made a thing of the sort. However, in the long run, I am grateful that it didn't come to that. KILLERS, and it was also palpable on its BATTLEZONE stage in the mid to late 80's, were a straightforward Heavy Metal act, producing unpretentious, yet cutting edge, songs of a riff based visage with more or less big time choruses while featuring various of melodious skimps. Generally, there was nothing overly superior with KILLERS' songwriting, yet it was enough to become a considerate powerhouse in a time where Metal, especially within the US area, began to decline. "Takin' No Prisoners", which became my favorite in an instant, represented the borderline between Hard Rock and Heavy Metal, stomping on old Teutonic grounds from time to time (ACCEPT or GRAVESTONE). The main riff assumed a classic posture of mid 80's Metal along with one displayed on the chorus that provided the cool Rock virulence. Di'Anno, though raspier than ever with his voice, maintained his skill as a rather melodic singer. "The Beast Arises", the album's heaviest six pounder no doubt, explodes with a remarkable riff along with a rather energetic mid tempo guided rhythm section. Possibly being what is regarded as bread and butter of Traditional Metal, and along with Di'Anno's vocal performance, this song is a text book production as it should. "Marshall Lockjaw" is clearly a MOTORHEAD meets SAXON oriented speedy tracker, simple and to the point slasher with a slight Punkish smirk. "Awakening", hailing with an intro in the vein of the might early 80's PRIEST, achieved another successful soothing Hard N' Heavy testimony of brilliant songwriting. There is an awesome main riff along with a crafty developed C part, well done vocalic demonstration, all issuing a fine vibe of 80's feel. Lastly, and it is hard not to mention this one, is the cover for T-REX's classic "Children Of The Revolution". Personally, for years I have always thought that it was KILLERS's original, until it hit me one day. Anyway, a hymn that turned into a Metal relic.

Similar to the previous live compilation reissue, Metal Mind included live rehearsal gems introducing three of the album's songs in quite a vigorous display along with an acoustic version for "Dream Keeper", which sounded quite decent. In overall, all I can say that I just wish that "Murder One" would have been KILLERS' guiding pillar throughout their rather shortened career. 80's Heavy Metal, following mostly British patterns, encrusting this album made it fairly hooking, and it will serve well your collection.

8 / 10


"Murder One (Reissue)" Track-listing:

1. Impaler
2. The Beast Arises
3. Children Of The Revolution (T-Rex Cover)
4. S & M
5. Takin' No Prisoners
6. Marshall Lockjaw
7. Protector
8. Dream Keeper
9. Awakening
10. Remember Tomorrow (Iron Maiden Cover)
11. Impaler  (Live Rehearsal Recordings)
12. The Beast Arises (Live Rehearsal Recordings)
13. Marshall Lokjaw (Live Rehearsal Recordings)
14. Children of the Revolution (Live Rehearsal Recordings)
15. Dream Keeper (Acoustic version)

Killers Lineup:

Paul Di'Anno - Vocals
Cliff Evans - Guitars
Nick Burr - Guitars
Gavin Cooper - Bass
Steven Hopgood - Drums

Live Rehearsals
Paul Di'Anno - Vocals
Cliff Evans - Guitars
Graham Bath - Guitars
Brad Weisman - Bass
Steven Hopgood - Drums
Pete Newdeck - Backing Vocals

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