Atomkraft - Cold Sweat (W.A.R. Productions)

A partially pleasing release from the UK thrash veterans
Release Date: 
28 Aug 2011 - 11:30pm

Look, I like thrash as much as the next man – especially if the next man happens to be Derek Thrash, winner of last year’s Mr Thrash World Championships, but you have to draw a line somewhere I think. Okay, the world and his wife are reforming in 2011 so there’s no reason why UK old timers Atomkraft should miss out on the gravy train, and so here we have an EP from Tony Dolan and company, presumably to tide us over until they come up with something more substantial. After hearing this, however, if a full lengther does materialise it’s not something I’m going to be moving heaven and earth to get a copy of.

Opening up with a cover of Thin Lizzy classic Cold Sweat is a risky move for a start; Its an absolute classic in this reviewer’s opinion, so you’d better bring your chops if you are going to try this one at home. Somewhere on the internet is a homemade video of Lizzy in a pub in Ireland around the time that they recorded CS, fully electric and blasting the bejeezus out of the petrified looking locals as they literally take the place apart – it’s that kind of song.  Atomkraft’s version doesn’t touch the original, of course, though apparently Lizzy guitarist Scott Gorham approves, so what do I know? Hampered by a tinny, DIY production the song shouts where it should bellow, although there is some nice lead work, from guest Aussie axeman Joe Matera, to make the thing worth listening to.

Next up is Dead Again, and to be honest this is much more like it. 100 seconds of fast and furious THRAAAAASHHHHH metal that’s delivered with conviction and a bit of fire. Atomkraft were, after all a thrash band back in the day and this is a far better area for them to be working in. The lack of an expensive production here doesn’t hamper the song at all, and it actually sounds as if there’s a band worth getting excited about at work here. Dead Again is followed by The Darkening, a fine slab of chaotic early Slayer that’ll really get you going if you’re of an advanced age. I don’t remember Atomkraft being this good in the mid eighties! However the ground gained by those two songs is promptly conceded again by the dire Enter Sandman lite that is Gripped. An awful song (albeit again featuring some tasty soloing, this time I think from Atomkraft regular Par Hulkoff ) that I don’t want to hear again I’m afraid.

To be fair, Atomkraft were never Premier League material in the first place so it’s maybe a bit unfair to expect more from them this time around; They probably deserve a bit of kudos for giving it another go, and if they can take The Darkening and Dead Again as a template for the future then maybe, just maybe, they’ll be able to deposit a bit of egg on my face next time around. I hope that’s the case.