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  VARDIS
'Vigilante: Nemo Me Impune Lacessit'
(Hoplite Records)
Release Date: Out Now!


Gary 'Rockulus' Clarke

Rockulus Maximus



vardis

Interesting how new bands continue to strive for the sort of acclaim that was heaped on specific albums from the past.

Times have moved on and are significantly different which has created a whole new framework for fans and musicians to interact. The concept of remastered reissues has found a place in the modern music scene and what we have here is just one fine example.

You may recall first-hand the revelation that was known as the New Wave of British Heavy Metal or you may be catching up. Either way, a band who cast their shadow within the scene went by the name of Vardis. According to lead vocalist and guitarist Steve Zodiac, 'Vigilante' was the bands finest album and it has received a new coat of paint, translating the old analogue tapes into a pristine digital entity.

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The three-piece juggernaut could really hammer home some Metallic gems in their day and captured here are some examples of what the chemistry between Zodiac, Terry Horbury (bass and vocals) plus dummer Gary Pearson could conjure up. All songs included here were written by the creative juices of Zodiac and he also commands the producer's chair throughout apart from the bonus track 'Who Loves Ya Baby' which is a bonus track credited to producer Vic Maile.

Back in 1986 this album was unleashed by Raw Power and was the swan song for Vardis, as Zodiac explains how the band were promised the Earth but descended in to “music biz” hell instead. Complete with loud guitars, barking vocal delivery and prolific beats, the sound echoes the classic style of what was easily identified as the New Wave of British Heavy Metal back in the day, and if you're catching up with the scene I can recommend a compilation called 'Classic Rock Presents NWOBHM' which also includes a Vardis classic titled 'If I Were King'.

Instant anthems that drag your ears to Hook City include 'I Must Be Mad' which injects a little boogie into its bravado; 'Radio Rockers' complete with a jagged rock'n'roll vibe; 'Don't Mess With The Best ('Cos The Best Don't Mess)' with a fine sing-a-long rolling hook and the quirky jam that fades out, plus 'Guitar Hero (Just For You)' showcasing a demanding chorus.

It's easy to pick out a confident swagger during these recording sessions, a sense of self-belief in their direction and abilities. Zodiac states on the liner notes how in his vocal performance he could hear the band making its last statement while sorting the original master tapes.

If you re-visit your first two Iron Maiden albums and check out the sizzle and fizzle in the sound and the atmosphere, then it'll get you in the mind-set for 'Vigilante'. Rugged, rough and full of truth, this CD will sit nicely as a testimony of a muscular scene that is fondly remembered by so many.

Imagine how excited the Metallica drummer Lars Ulrich will be when he realises this wee gem has been given a dusting down and is now available in this modest package! Very nearly a classic through and through; but despite the dizzy heights it strives to reach we can all feel humbled and reminisce over another slice of solidly performed Heavy Metal from an era that beckoned in the digital age and bigger hair.

Learn How To Shoot Straight
Running (Beyond The Threshold Of Pain)
I Must Be Mad
Radio Active (Feel It)
Radio Rockers
Don't Mess With The Best ('Cos The Best They Don't Mess)
Guitar Hero (Just For You)
Wild Sound
Who Loves Ya Baby
Bad Company
All The Worlds Eyes


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