Heavy Metal Albums Meet Norse Viking Mythology on Blitzkrieg
by Jody Haskins for The Laguna Spectator
Heavy metal albums sometimes can get lost in the shadow of more commercially successful bands. The debut album from NWOBHM band Blitzkrieg is a lost treasure in the sea of heavy metal albums. A rare concept album from the origins of the NWOBHM. Blitzkriegs “A Time of Change” is a concept album based on Norse Viking mythology regarding the end of the world. The Vikings believed that the world one day would cease to exist as we know it. This day is called Ragnarok. Ragnarok signals the destruction of the Gods and the humans. Ragnarok will be the final battle between the Aesir and Jotuns. The battle will occur on the plains of Vigrid.(1) Watch the video below while you read the rest of the article. You will be hooked by the end.
Here is the video of the full album from YouTube. I recommend hitting the play button and listening to this album as you read the rest of the article.
Sadly the album did not get released until 1985. That year was the very end of the NWOBHM movement. Many music critics agree that if this album had been released in 1981 when it was recorded.
Blitzkrieg would be as big as the Big 4: Metallica, Saxon, Megadeth and Anthrax. I believe they could have been bigger than Saxon and Anthrax at the time.
The music is hard, heavy, thought provoking and melodic. Much like Led Zeppelin, Blitzkrieg realized that there were already too many heavy metal albums about driving cars, getting wasted and chasing girls. Led Zeppelin turned to Tolkien’s “The Hobbit” and “The Lord of the Rings” books for inspiration to write about broader ideas and concepts. Blitzkrieg does the same thing here only they used Norse Viking mythology instead of Hobbits.
Lead singer Brian Ross is best know as being the lead singer of the heavy metal band “Satan”. His screams are epic throughout this album. As good as any in the business in 1985. The production is suburbly handled by Martin Smith and Brian Ross. The best track on the album is “Pull The Trigger”. This song is so amazing that I keep playing it over and over. You will too.
So what does all this have to do with a Blitzkrieg and what is a Blitzkrieg?
A Blitzkrieg is a military tactic designed to cause disorganization among the enemy by utilizing both mobile forces and locally concentrated firepower. So in a way the NWOBHM band know as Blitzkrieg was unleashing the last gasp of the NWOBHM movement with an album that would be legendary if it had been released as intended in the beginning of the NWOBHM in 1981 instead of at the NWOBHM movements funeral in 1985. This album is an all out Blitzkrieg on your senses. The band is tight and loud and the singer can scream at such a high pitch it boggles the mind.
The album starts out with Ragnarok which is an instrumental piece that is pretty spaced out sounding. Ragnarok sounds like part Steve Miller Band, part Metallica. This last about a minute or two and then the song Inferno kicks off with a classic NWOBHM groove and a scream by Brian Ross (Satan lead singer) that will send chills up your spine. The chorus is very addictive. Speed metal classic that has some sweet guitar solos and melodic vocals. This is my second favorite track on the album.
Blitzkrieg: I will sum this one up quickly as face melting new wave of british heavy metal at it’s finest. Satanic voices, screeching and soaring guitars with Black Sabbath type riffs and Sex Pistols speed. If you like this kind of shit you will love this song. You know I do.
Here we go with “Pull The Trigger”. That scream to start this track off could shatter glass! Now this is a “hit” by anybody’s calculation and once again had it come out in 1981 as originally intended this is one of those songs that would have put Blitzkrieg up there with the Big Four. Just give it a listen. You won’t be sorry. Fast, heavy and hard with Bad Company style lyrics and Randy Rhodes sounding guitars.
I am going to leave it here. The link to hear the whole album is at the beginning of the article. I highly recommend you give it a good listen or two. I am serious guys and gals. If you like the Big Four of the New Wave of British Heavy Metal and if you love Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin and Deep Purple then you will be a Yuge! Blitzkrieg fan. This is my first five star review. I am about to burn me a CD and put it in my 1998 Lexus CD changer. This one is going to be hard to ever get out of the rotation.
Sometimes heavy metal albums can be resurrected. Such is the case with Blitzkriegs A Time of Change. In 2015 the current version of Blitzkrieg Re-Recorded a brand new version of “A Time Of Changes”.
(1) Ragnarok in Norse Mythology – From “Norse Mythology” web site.