By Jason Wellwood
Shadow Kingdom seem hell bent on finding as many (almost) forgotten metal bands as they can in order to give their music new life in the digital age with a pile of added bonus material. While this is a huge bonus for many bands and fans alike, no matter what, you’re bound to find some gems that could have stayed forgotten. Crisis’ original EP Armed to the Teeth is backed with their debut full length Kick It Out and then teamed with an entire bonus disc of unreleased and demo material. There’s nothing wrong with that at all, in fact if I had found the original albums somewhere I probably would have thrown them on once for a listen and a laugh, and that’s probably all they would have gotten from me. Crisis do have some early metal influences happening though the majority of what you’ll hear is hard rock driven material. The guitar owes as much to the 60’s British Invasion sound as it does NWOBHM, which is to say that it’s catchy but not exactly metal and not overly memorable either. I will hand it to them in the bass department though, the bass is audible, and in many cases takes a bit of a lead role which was very unusual for bands at the time. All in all though, the EP and the Album aren’t anything that you haven’t heard before done better.
There are definite flashes of decent song writing in the band, ‘It Isn’t Easy Being Me’ is very reminiscent of Blue Cheer and has moments where it will make you tapping your foot and bobbing your head. ‘Blue Roses’ is a little flat, but the Rolling Stones influence is obvious and shines in parts which would give you hope that things improve as the band went on. Unfortunately that’s not the case. While not bad, this compilation isn’t essential in any way, shape or form, it’s good for a listen once but I doubt you’ll get much mileage out of it.