Released: 2010, Shadow Kingdom
I’ve always enjoyed seeking out the strange, obscure, unique albums in the history of Metal. Bizarre bands, bands brave (or dumb) enough to try to do something outside the box. Not necessarily because I enjoy weird for the sake of weird, in fact it is quite the opposite. If a Metal band chooses to be weird they better have the solid Metal core to back it up…like Gwar for example.
Back in the day (aka the NWOBHM) there was a little band called Deep Switch. They did nothing, went nowhere but had fun and a sense of humour and managed to press one little album called NINE INCHES OF GOD. Nobody noticed. Well, that ‘s not entirely true. Because of the weirdness of the entire project they got a little cult following and the album has been re-pressed a couple of times. Now in 2010 Shadow Kingdom gives the album the royal treatment, and I do mean royal! It has a 30-page booklet and houses a double disc set with the demos and some unreleased demos as well. There are masses of liner notes, band history, lyrics, and over 40 photos.
Deep Switch brought a very English sense of humour to their crude 80’s Metal. Think of Spinal Tap (Yes, I known they are American, pretending to be British), think of Bad News, and think of Raven in their weirder moments. Plus they have a nun with her boob hanging out on the cover. I’m always a sucker for that naughty nun thing on Metal album art (Faust, Witchery, Belphegor etc)...and I’m not even Catholic! The lyrics are a bit crude, but harmless and fun.
The production is pretty raw, the vocals are quite far back in the mix so at times it is hard to decipher the subtle nuances of the humour. However, it loud and proud in the purest tradition of a bunch of young drunken louts crashing together a Metal album with dreams of stardom. The vocalist belts it out with enthusiasm and sincerity, hitting some pretty decent high notes, albeit a bit uncontrolled in delivery! Standout tracks are ‘Pigfeeder’ with quite a unique breakdown and off-kilter vocal delivery and the more straight ahead cut, ‘The Dark Angel’.
In reality NINE INCHES OF GOD only merits only a three out of five for curio-hunters, archivists and collectors but the bonus 0.5 is for the humour, packaging and presentation of this long-lost, little oddball of a diamond in the rough. How’s that for a mixed metaphor?