By Albert Mansour
A quick run down on Dragonslayer: this four piece English band was originally called ‘Heavy Thunder in its infancy, then in 1980 they changed their name to Slayer. In 1983 to stop any confusion with the American band named Slayer, who had just released their debut album Show No Mercy, they changed their name to Dragonslayer. They had already pressed the 7′ EP, containing the tracks “I Want Your Life,” “Satan Is Free” and “Broken Hearts,” under the name ‘Slayer’ so they had some labels printed with the name ‘Dragonslayer’ and they were simply stuck them on to the EP’s. Many of the tracks sound similar to the output of groups like Angel Witch, Jaguar, Trespass, Dark Star and Praying Mantis This release combines their efforts from their 1982 Demo, 1984 7” Single, and 1986 Demo. For the first time ever all of these songs are officially released still in their original glory. It’s a shame this band was never was picked up by a record label back then. There’s a huge early Judas Priest influence here, also the usual Scorpions, UFO, Deep Purple, Sabbath, Uriah Heep influences as well. The songwriting is amazing, layered with solid high vocals, catchy riffs, and memorable choruses. The great artwork of George Barr, illustrator of Dungeons and Dragons, fits in very well with the music presented within. Also worth noting: eight tracks on the album were recorded and mixed by Colin Richardson (Slipknot, Machine Head) back in 1982 at Cargo studios Rochdale England U.K. before he became a name producer. This long-forgotten band from the NWOBHM era is hidden gem and highly Recommended.
(Shadow Kingdom Records)