BLACKSMITH - TIME OUT OF MIND (Heaven And Hell Records)


                                  (Review by Stefan)

To those into Classic US Metal, Heaven And Hell Records added this ‘previously unreleased’ album from New York based Blacksmith to their ‘Lost Relics’ series. I can only be very pleased with that because this hidden treasure called “Time Out Of Mind” has a lot to offer. Originally recorded in 1991, this re-issue keeps the almighty, old school US Metal scene alive and kicking as if it were yesterday.


In 1986, Blacksmith brought out a first self-titled EP… back then, the vocals were done by Mrs. Heidi Black. Two years later on, and with new singer named Malcolm Mania Lovegrove, Blacksmith was back in business with their debut full-length output entitled “Fire From Within”. Stronger than ever before, they also have put many stages ablaze during live performances and as support for greats like Liege Lord, Powermad, Overkill, Laaz Rockit and Forbidden. I still remember the 80s/early 90s Metal scene as a very unique and unforgettable era – we went to gigs and we knew in advance that it was going to be a friendly, violent, fun night by the forces of Metal. We paid a little cash to get in but what we got in return was much more worth than that. Each gig we experienced was a night to remember, a lifetime remembrance actually.


Due to the band’s label Topic Records called it quits, the existence of Blacksmith came to an end somewhere in the nineties, a deadly silence descended as years passed by and we didn’t know about the future. Basically thanks to CEO Jeremy of Heaven And Hell Records who came on with a fantastic idea to release a Blacksmith compilation “Strike While The Iron’s Hot” in 2011. More exclusive news from the same record company grabbed all of my attention, the never released before Blacksmith effort “Time Out Of Mind” should see daylight on CD, what meanwhile happened! The CD version was created based on a master cassette tape so the sound quality is not what you should call perfect but I don’t care about that. Keep in mind that, without the genius idea of Heaven And Hell records, we never had the chance to enjoy this fantastic album, which is actually a top-notch US Metal classic one to me.


“Time Out Of Mind” really brings on Metal music as it should be. Straight forward and full energy loaded tracks, hard as steel and without beating around the bush… US Metal for maniacs pure. Traditional Heavy Metal with linkages to Power and Thrash Metal, that is what Blacksmith is all about. Malcolm Lovegrove’s voice is made by sharp steel and cut through flesh and bone mercilessly. He has a very clear and unique voice able to deliver some outstanding high pitched screams as well. To compare, I recommend to check out your 80 US Metal collection by the likes of Exxplorer, Culprit, Mordred, Medieval Steel, Deus Vult among others. Founder/guitarist/producer Dave Smith treats us with full of talent killer riffs and flammable leads, great musician anyway!


“Time Out Of My Mind” opens in a Traditional Power/Heavy Metal manner, typical US styled with great vocals and awesome guitars. ‘Burn Down The World’ got me by the throat right from the start until the end, US Power Metal as it should be! The longest track of all calls ‘Lost City’ is for all US Power/Thrash Metal, akin to the sound of early 90s Americans Mystik. ‘Powerhead’ is one of my faves because of its pure powerthrashing character and awesome vocals, this time featuring high-pitched screams as well. The guitars on this song are fantastic. ‘Pieces Of Chuck’ is a brief introduction of next killer song ‘Wreckage’, a piece where Power Metal reigns supreme. Another favourite of mine is  ‘The Lesser Evil’ – what a superb composition that will set US Power Metal defenders’ heart and soul on fire. High pitched vocal delivery and outstanding, powerchord guitar moves including scorching solo’s… like it a lot! A few faves of mine have been announced but I would like to add one more by the title of ‘Live By Violence/Die By Violence’. US Power/Thrash Metal from a high level with all elements on board that’ll make you start headbanging. “Time Out Of Mind” is brought to an end with a hidden bonus track, more specifically a cover song from Punk legends The Ramones’ ‘Blitzkrieg Bop’ and honestly speaking, I was not waiting for a song like this. Following my own heart I have to tell you that the great “Time Out Of Mind” album from Blacksmith officially stops right after track number 10!


“Time Out Of Mind” is a fantastic, previously unreleased effort that made a huge impression on my heart and soul. Classic Heavy Metal meets Power/Thrash Metal all by the American way and that’s exactly how I’d like to get my thrills most of all. Meanwhile, Blacksmith are reformed and pretty busy writing songs for a new album to come out soon. Stay tuned on their official homepage at:  Order Blacksmith’s albums “Strike While The Iron’s Hot” and“Time Out Of Mind” right HERE.  


My Points: 92 / 100