(3 / 5)
Warfare were the pioneers of mixing punk with metal and labelled “metal punks”. Tyneside’s anarchic Warfare were formed by drummer Evo – ex Angelic Upstarts member – in early 1984, and they now return after a hiatus of almost 27 years.
HNE Recordings release this three-CD, 32-track release (also available as a gatefold single LP), of new songs, demos, and radio sessions plus rare rehearsals and live recordings from back in the day, all newly mixed or re-mastered.
Evo had learned his trade in the band Major Accident, cutting two singles and an album with them before a move to London to join The Blood. He played on “False Gestures For A Devious Public”, a cult album that peaked at # 62 in the UK chart in 1983.
Before forming Warfare, Evo also had a spell drumming for the legendary Angelic Upstarts, one of the UK’s biggest Oi! bands of the era, playing his first show with them in front of 15,000 people, second on the bill to The Damned at the Queen’s Hall in Leeds.
Warfare signed to NWOBHM pioneering label Neat Records for a series of influential releases, including “Pure Filth” produced by Algy Ward of Tank, followed by “Metal Anarchy”, produced by Lemmy.
Their third album, “Mayhem Fuckin’ Mayhem” was a big seller, followed by their fourth, “A Conflict of Hatred”. Their last album for Neat, 1990’s “Hammer Horror”, was a tribute to Evo’s favourite films of the ‘60s and ‘70s.
The band split in 1992 Evo called it a day, having played professionally since the age of 18 and retiring from the music business completely.
After a 27 year break, Evo decided to return with Warfare, having written a handful of new songs. He recruited a number of guest musicians, including the late ‘Fast’ Eddie Clarke from Motörhead and Fastway, who laid down his final guitar before his death in 2018.
Other guests include Pete Way from UFO and Waysted, whose bass guitar can be heard alongside ‘Fast’ Eddie and Evo on the song “Misanthropy”, the very first commercial release by the trio.
Other guests featured on “The Songbook Of Filth” include Tom Angleripper from Sodom, Lips from Anvil, Cronos and Mantas from Venom, Fred Purser from Tygers Of Pan Tang and Würzel from Motörhead.
Six live tracks and one rehearsal recording. Live we get “New Age Of Total Warfare”, “Rabid Metal”, “Metal Anarchy”, “Hungry Dogs” from Warfare, plus “Fight To Win” by Major Accident and “2 Million Voices” by Angelic Upstarts. There’s also “Degenerate” (Rehearsal) by The Blood.
By Graham Morrison
(2 / 5) ‘OK Zone’
(3 / 5) ‘Decent Zone’
(4 / 5) ‘Super Zone’
(5 / 5) ‘Awesome Zone’