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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.

 Preyer 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 Class proto-speed.


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 wave.


Nin Chan


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