American band Nitro delivered one of the more unique albums of the HM genre. Not just then in 1989, but to this day. Same for their hair, with ten inch spikes!
Written by: Dangerzone
SERIAL: R2 70894
CD REISSUE: Discogs Reissue List
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: USA
LINEUP: Jim Gillette – vocals * Michael Angelo – guitars * T.J. Racer – bass * Bobby Rock – drums
TRACK LISTING: 01 Freight Train * 02 Double Trouble * 03 Machine Gunn Eddie * 04 Long Way From Home * 05 Bring It Down * 06 Nasty Reputation * 07 Fighting Mad * 08 Shot Heard Round The World * 09 O.F.R
To this day Nitro are the only band I recall who attempted a mixture of thrash, AOR, hard rock, even grindcore, and successfully translated it to disc. Nitro were formed by Gillette in the late 80’s after he was kicked out of an early incarnation of Tuff and replaced by Stevie Rachelle.
Gillette, even before Nitro’s debut, was famed for posessing the highest scream in metal, with a four octave range. His strange concoction of King Diamond meets Udo Dirkschneider (Accept) vocals plus an insane combination of the aforementioned musical styles, made ‘O.F.R.’ (which means ‘out-f***in-rageous’) one of the more unique albums of the HM genre. Not just back in 1989, but to this day. Same for their hair, with ten inch spikes!
‘Freight Train’ is solid metal, thanks to Michael Angelo’s heavy duty guitar work, riffs, solos, the whole deal. ‘Double Trouble’ puts Gillettes’ vocals into context, one moment growling menacingly, the next he is piercing ears. Stunning.
‘Machine Gunn Eddie’ is pure thrash mayhem, easily on a par with Megadeth and all the big boys in 1989. The thrash riffing is present, speed of light naturally, plus the obligatory rapid fire drumming. As if this isn’t enough Bobby Rock pulls out the grindcore drumming in the last minute. Bloody genius!
‘Bring It Down’ follows the same path, more speed metal with a real bad attitude. ‘Nasty Reputation’ is hard rock directed with a huge AOR chorus, instantly memorable.
‘Fighting Mad’ is just that. Ultra melodic harmonies in the hook with breakneck riffing. Gillette pushes his voice to the brink on this one, making even Ian Gillan circa 1970 sound redundant. ‘Shot Heard Around The World’ contains another vital AOR type melody throughout, but never sacrifices the heaviness. By the end of it all you know you’ve heard something a bit special.
Amazingly ‘O.F.R.’ hit no 134 on Billboard. By 1991’s ‘H.W.D.W.S. (Hot, Wet, Dripping With Sweat)’ Nitro had toned down the image and music, relying on basic hard rock. Gillette has gained most fame as the man who married Lita Ford, but he’s still making music. His latest project, Organ Donor, released an album ‘The Ultra Violent’, proving Gillette still has the heavy edge.
‘O.F.R.’ is an album that Gillette and Co are unlikely to better. This is a ‘one of a kind’ album from Nitro, surely one of the most original created during the era. It may have looked and sounded like a joke to the more scathing rock fan, but the aggression was there for all to hear. No one has even tried to fuse these genres together like this before or since. After this there was no point really.
Long Way From Home
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The drummer in the videos above is not Bobby Rock.