Saturday, 13 September 2014

Audrey Horne - Pure Heavy (Album Review)

Album Type:  Full Length
Date Released: 29 September 2014
Label: Napalm Records

'Pure Heavy' CD/DD/LP track listing:

1. Wolf In My Heart 03:57
2. Holy Roller 04:09
3. Out Of The City 03:32
4. Volcano Girl 03:32
5. Tales From The Crypt 03:19
6. Diamond 01:30
7. Into The Wild 03:39
8. Gravity 04:25
9. High And Dry 04:20
10. Waiting For The Night 04:05
11. Boy Wonder 05:50

The Band:

Toschie - vocals
Ice Dale - guitar
Thomas Tofthagen - guitar
Kjetil Greve - drums
Espen Lien - bass guitar
Alright, when I first heard about these crazy Norwegians they had just released 'Youngblood'. That's an album that absolutely floored me from the opening bars and it is still one of my feel good albums. You know, one that you play on bad days and everything feels good again. At that point I thought Audrey Horne was a brand new band but I quickly learned 'Youngblood' was opus number four. Hmmm, I never seem to learn. Oh well, despite this glitch in my knowledge, when news filtered through that Audrey Horne was about to release wax numero cinque I just about had a coronary. As I received a promo copy of this new baby, 'Pure Heavy', I knew good times was on the horizon...and hell fucking yes! Can't stop playing it which increasingly damages my already messed up neck from 30 years of serious headbanging! By the way, you simply can't go wrong when you take your band name from the excellent show 'Twin Peaks'.

Starting out in pure 70's fashion with 'Wolf In My Heart', an absolutely amazing song. It has that big guitar sound, big vocal harmonies, groove and melody that the great rock bands of the 70's had. Razor sharp riffing kicks off 'Holy Roller' as it pounds it's way through my skull. This is how proper heavy metal should sound like, so metal bands...stand up and take notice. Oooh yeah, now we're talking! The dual guitar harmonies and solos, as well as the chorus on 'Out Of The City' are soaked in the legacy left by the mighty Thin Lizzy. I'm not complaining since it can't get much better. Three songs in and I'm already on my knees begging for mercy....not that I want to but still!

It's back to full force heavy metal again on 'Volcano Girl'. A pumping bass line and pounding drums back up the riff attack with majestic backing vocals allowing singer Toschie to shine. A sample of Ozzy's coughing from 'Sweet Leaf' leads into AC/DC-Sweet land on 'Tales From The Crypt'. A great rock anthem if there ever was one....hmm it might be only me but the drums reminds me of Thin Lizzy's 'Do Anything You Want To'. Slowing things down considerably with the beautiful acoustic number 'Diamond' Audrey Horne gives me a minute or two to soothe my aching neck.

Yes indeed, the respite was shortlived but I don't care. 'Into The Wild' is a beast in the vein of the best Pretty Maids ever did. It has me bouncing off the walls while playing air guitar like a maniac. Man, listen to the guitar duel at the end, damn! 'Gravity' is a slightly slower tune with some very nice bluesy undertones. Halfway through though it shifts to almost an Ozzy song, where especially Toschie reminds me of the bat-crazy frontman. A faster-than-light twin guitar attack unleashes 'High And Dry' with the bass guitar and drums joining in making this a barnstormer indeed. Not letting off the gas Audrey Horne dives head first into 'Waiting For The Night' and I'm taken back to my youth when I first started to listen heavy music. This song has all of the great 80's heavy metal and hard rock that I grew up with. Magnificient! Unfortunately, all great things must come to an end and sadly 'Pure Heavy' is no exception. However, staying true to this release they go out with a bang and a half. 'Boy Wonder' has a nice Iron Maiden rhythm section where the bass guitar echoes of Steve Harris. Mixed with Toschie's Ozzy-sounding vocals, the song is more than interesting. Going for the kill this is another neckbreaker and guitar solos towards the end are brilliant.

No one is happier than me having Audrey Horne back this quickly. As I have stated earlier, they always make me feel good. And that's because a combination of things. Great musicianship, great songwriting, a great attitude and a fantastic way of incorporating their influences to flow naturally with their own ideas. I know I have made a ton of references to other bands and artists and that is meant to be in the best possible way. Audrey Horne aren't afraid to show where they come from and when you can, like they can, blend all that with originality you have great music at your disposal. Ignore these brilliant Norwegians at your peril because they are the real deal!

Words by: Håkan Nyman

Thanks to Mona and Jon at Napalm Records for sending us a promo to review. Pure heavy will be available to buy from Napalm Records on 29th Sept 2014.

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