The Almighty-Welcome To Defiance

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Reviewed: May, 2021
Released: 2021, Cherry Red / HNE Records
Rating: 4/5
Reviewer: JP

There are a handful of Hard Rock bands that have enough fire-power, grit, sleaze, and balls to be easily accepted into the Metal community.   I don’t think the band would care one way or the other but The Almighty are one such band.  A long prolific career is deserving of a retrospective and the good people at Cherry Red/Hear No Evil Records are the ones to make it happen.

This Scottish band formed in 1988 had a really solid 15-year run with seven albums.  They got swept up in Melodic Metal fury in the late 80’s and debuted with a major label effort on Polydor.  The years burned and churned and sfter three major-label albums the band moved to Chrysalis and then eventually Sanctuary records.   This new box-set, WELCOME TO DEFIANCE captures the post-Polydor years, namely CRANK (1994), JUST ADD LIFE (1996), the self-titled comeback in 2000 and their last full-length album of new studio material since 2001, PSYCHO-NARCO.

The box itself is a classic clamshell presentation and it comes with a generous 16-page full-colour booklet, it is decent but it is essentially just the credits. It could have used an essay or extra photos or something.  All the discs are housed in wallets and for the record, the album art for PSYCHO-NARCO is ‘officially’ in the Top 10 list of most boring album covers of all time.  Al the discs are housed in wallets.

Reissuing studio albums that fans already have is great, any fan worth their salt already owns these, but the real treasure in this seven disc set and discs Five, Six and Seven.  Getting to the good stuff, Disc five is the semi-rare, Japanese only live album called CRANK AND DECEIT-LIVE IN JAPAN where we get to hear the band at arguably the height of their power.  It is a rough n’n ready, loose n’ lethal scrappy little live album.

Disc Six is simply titled B-SIDES AND REMIXES, which it pretty self explanatory.  In some of these reviews I’ll do a fairly extended commentary on the rare and unreleased material but I’m not as familiar with the detailed intricacies of there deep catalogue.  This is where the book let falls a bit short.  It doesn’t exactly say in detail where these songs are from.  It gives us some catalogue numbers, which is nice but unless you memorize catalogues #’s (I don’t) we don’t know which B-side appeared on which single, so much research is required.

Disc Seven is a bit better in that regard.  It is called LIVE B-SIDES AND SESSIONS and we get a bit more info about the Live EP, recorded in Germany in 1994 and some more bonus tracks, but when you come right down to it, to the best of my knowledge there are no unreleased songs on this set.  To me that doesn’t matter because I didn’t buy everything the band ever did , so for me there are at least a coulee dozen rare songs.   Fans will really enjoy the cover tunes, remixes (although some of the techno remixes may have been a bit ill-advised) and the raw live material.    WELCOME TO DEFIANCE  pretty much has it all.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Track Listing:

DISC ONE:
CRANK (1994)

1. ULTRAVIOLENT
2. WRENCH
3. THE UNREAL THING
4. JONESTOWN MIND
5. MOVE RIGHT IN
6. CRANK AND DECEIT
7. UNITED STATE OF APATHY
8. WELCOME TO DEFIANCE
9. WAY BEYOND BELIEF
10. CRACKDOWN
11. SORRY FOR NOTHING
12. CHEAT
13. SHITZOPHRENIC

DISC TWO:
JUST ADD LIFE (1996)

1. ONGOING AND TOTAL
2. DO YOU UNDERSTAND
3. ALL SUSSED OUT
4. HOW REAL IS REAL FOR YOU
5. DEAD HAPPY
6. SOME KIND OF ANYTHING
7. COALITION STAR
8. 8 DAY DEPRESSION
9. LOOK WHAT HAPPENED TOMORROW
10. 360
11. FEED THE NEED
12. AFRAID OF FLYING
13. INDEPENDENT DETERRENT

DISC THREE:
THE ALMIGHTY (2000)

1. BROKEN MACHINE
2. I’M IN LOVE (WITH REVENGE)
3. LA CHISPA DE LA MUERTE
4. BIG BLACK AUTOMATIC
5. FOR FUCK’S SAKE
6. POISON EYES
7. WHITE ANGER COMEDOWN
8. TNT
9. STOP
10. USAK-47
11. ALRIGHT
12. BARFLY
13. FAT CHANCE
14. MISERY GUTS

DISC FOUR:
PSYCHO-NARCO (2001)

1. GALVANIZE
2. 427 FREAK HORSEPOWER
3. RUSE
4. SOUL ON A ROLL
5. BEGGING
6. HATE THE WORLD
7. WAITING FOR EARTHQUAKES
8. IF I KNEW WHAT I WANTED
9. 7 X
10. BIG IDEA IDIOT
11. MONDO BALORDO
12. BLOWOUT KIT FOR THE UNDERDOG
13. WITNESS RELOCATION PROGRAMME
14. MILLION TIMES NOTHING

DISC FIVE:
CRANK AND DECEIT –
LIVE IN JAPAN (1995)

1. JONESTOWN MIND
2. CRANK AND DECEIT
3. ADDICTION
4. MOVE RIGHT IN
5. THE UNREAL THING
6. TAKIN’ HOLD
7. SORRY FOR NOTHING
8. WRENCH
9. 360
10. WAY BEYOND BELIEF
11. UNITED STATE OF APATHY
12. OVER THE EDGE
13. WILD AND WONDERFUL
14. CHEAT
15. WELCOME TO DEFIANCE
16. ULTRAVIOLENT
17. CRUCIFY

DISC SIX:
B-SIDES & REMIXES (1994-1996)

1. JONESTOWN MIND (THERAPY? REMIX)
2. JONESTOWN MIND (RUTS REMIX)
3. THANKS AGAIN, AGAIN
4. KNOCKING ON JOE
5. STATE OF EMERGENCY
6. HELLELUJAH
7. DO ANYTHING YOU WANNA DO
8. GIVE ME FIRE
9. SUPERPOWER
10. DSS (DESPERATELY SEEKING SOMETHING)
11. TENSE NERVOUS HEADSHAKE
12. CANNED JESUS

DISC SEVEN:
LIVE B-SIDES & SESSIONS (1994-1996)

1. WRENCH
2. MOVE RIGHT IN
3. ADDICTION
4. WELCOME TO DEFIANCE
5. SORRY FOR NOTHING
6. THE UNREAL THING
7. UNITED STATE OF APATHY
8. CRANK & DECEIT
9. DO YOU UNDERSTAND
10. JESUS LOVES YOU
11. I FOUGHT THE LAW

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