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See You In Hell

Ebony (1983)
Rating: 9/10

Another end of year release that pulverised its way to the top five of my “Best of ’83” list. This is a pretty well surprising record in view of past output by Grim Reaper. If someone had told me at the beginning of 1983 that I would be telling the world that a Grim Reaper LP would be far and away one of the finest British heavy metal releases ever made, then I would’ve laughed in their face. Perhaps the change in line-up had something to do with it, notably vocalist Steve Grimmett.

Steve used to be with Evesham’s Medusa, the band that gave us the Wrathchild duo of Lance Perkins and Eddie Smith. Grimmett’s voice is pretty distinctive; the man soars higher than Geddy Lee than anyone I’ve ever heard before (King Diamond excepted!).

Take a look at the goods on offer here. All typical heavy metal lyrical fodder, sure, but oh the delivery of it all. This band could be up there with the big names soon. The cream of the crop on See You In Hell has to be the opening cut, ‘Dead On Arrival’, with its rather slow beginning before Nick Bowcott riffs it up into gear and Lee Harris’ distinctive drum sound shatters the peace. Perhaps this is Grimmett’s best performance on the record with his shrill holler. The man can sing put it this way. The other cut that Grimmett in particular shines is on the title track, with a slightly catchy chorus making it a touch commercial.

‘Wrath Of The Ripper’ reminded me of Iron Maiden’s ‘Murders In The Rue Morgue’, possibly due to Steve’s Paul Di’Anno-like vocal rasping. A good, ahem, cut! ‘All Hell Let Loose’ on the other hand has a nice Judas Priest feel about it; heavy as hell, great axework and pumping bass (from Dave Wanklin). Brilliant stuff!

‘Now Or Never’ takes up where ‘Dead On Arrival’ left off, although perhaps a little faster in pace. ‘Run For Your Life’ is more of the same but what the hell, I love it!

Grim Reaper’s lighter side is shown on the mini-epic ‘The Show Must Go On’, a sort of metal ballad where Grimmett implores his lost love, “Remember my name honey”. On this showing Steve, I’m sure she will!

If there is to be a weak link it has to be ‘Liar’, a good track but sounding a little average amongst the other diamonds. Yes, See You In Hell definitely deserves its ‘9’ rating.

Dave Reynolds

Review taken from Metal Forces, Issue 3 (1984)

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