Ah, the pleasures of good Ebony Records metal. A lot of collectors
would find such an exclamation to be paradoxical, and that the words
“quality” and “Ebony Records” are absolutely mutually exclusive.
Granted, the label very much deserves its reputation as a
second-tier N.W.O.B.H.M merchant, especially when placed in contrast
with the dominant Neat Records, and in all earnestness their
catalogue boasts but three truly world-class troupes, the sublime
Chateaux, Blade Runner and the anthemic Grim Reaper, but admittedly,
the fare offered by Ebony Records has secured considerable renown
for being a bit more linear and meatheaded than some of the more
progressive-minded material of the period.
hail from that dubious period vaguely termed as the “Second Wave” or
“Post-NWOBHM” (depending on how anal you are about classifications),
a glorious period that also spawned the likes of Hell, Desolation
Angels, Atomkraft, Warfare and Deep Switch.
To be honest, Preyer are a bit of an anomaly in themselves,
Terminator being a HARD-HANDED exhibition of molten STEEL that finds
itself in rather unenviable company, with Blood Money, Rankelson and
Cobra all offering forgettable outings upon the issue of said debut.
Stylistically, this treads common ground with the virgin Atomkraft
outing, though to be frank Preyer aren't quite as captivating or
consistently brutal- they share the same menacing, thuggish,
homicidal bent, inherited from the likes of Holocaust, Jaguar and
Blitzkrieg, as well as the surging, white-hot gleam of post- Stained
Adhering to Ebony Records' credo of blatant, bludgeoning
obviousness, Preyer exert a single-minded heftiness that is quite
seizing- moronic as it may seem in points, the band compensates for
any dearth of progressiveness with sheer balls-out vitriol. This is
music to lose brain cells to, and Preyer offer no apologies for
their steamrolling savagery, equal parts Loose N Lethal, Power Games
and “Dissident Aggressor”.
The quality is not always sterling, but the sheer propulsive force
of fusillades like opener “Reserve The Rights”, “Leather And Chains”
(could anything be any more unashamedly metal?) and “Beware The
Night” attests to the irrepressibly infectious energy of this
steely, murderous speed metal. Elsewhere, “Over The Top”
appropriates and channels lessons learnt from Tipton and Downing to
lethal effect, razor sharp, well-punctuated riffing providing a
hyper-rhythmic basis for Pete Macintosh's manically shrill, almost
Tim Baker squeals, and “Shout It Out” opts for decidedly more
deliberate, mid-paced Killing Machine territory.
Is this formulaic? One could certainly suggest that it is, but in my
eyes it is no more formulaic than the highly acclaimed Atomkraft,
Warfare, Avenger and the like. The necessity of this record is
proportional to your yen for straightforward, honest and workmanlike
post- Priest speed metal, perhaps a bit behind the times for 1986,
what with developments Stateside, but surely one of the more violent
recordings to have seen the light of day in the second N.W.O.B.H.M