Released: 2016, Dissonance Productions
Like the band name says, this ain’t the original band, with Grimmett being the only member from the seminal NWOBHM 80s lineup. Because of that fact, there are a lot of old fans and purists that might dismiss this as cash grab, and while understandable, that would be a mistake. Grimmett formed the new incarnation back in 2006 to tour and play festivals, but this is the band’s first LP, the last official output occurring back in 1987. WALKING IN THE SHADOWS (with Queensrÿche?) is the title of the new album, and it features 12 tracks firmly rooted in traditional metal but infused with modern elements and production.
My first thought was how would Grimmett sound after all these years and he continues to be an outstanding vocalist, with little of his impressive range diminished from the early days. The title track is a nice blast from the past, with Grimmett’s vocals soaring over solid and chunky riffing. As expected, most of this is mid-paced and old school in a NWOBHM tradition, with “Reach Out” recalling the early days of Grim Reaper. “From Hell” offers a worthy chugging verse with Grimmett’s chorus deliberately inspired from old classics like “See You In Hell” and “Rock You To Hell.”
“Temptation” increases the tempo a bit and is another track that showcases Grimmett’s abilities while the band provides a solid foundation for his acrobatics. There is not much more to say regarding the music, Grim Reaper being one of the original flag flyers of NWOBHM. Everything is solid and enjoyable, the production being much better than their early albums. Only gripe is that 12 songs are too much for this album, and as a result not every tune is a winner. They could probably have knocked it down to 9 songs and had very strong album. Still, it is worth mentioning that this does not surpass the glories of the band’s past, but it does prove that Grimmett and his hired hands still have much to offer nearly 30 years later. A worthy listen for fans of Grimmett and open-minded Grim Reaper fans of the glory days lineup.