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Metal history is rife with would-be lost classics and forgotten pioneers. The further time marches, the more early-80's musicians reform with old member or (more often) young mercenaries, put out records, and try to make a little scratch with nostalgia. Frequently these bands were not worth listening to back then and remain mediocre now.

Warfare, though, are one of the few missing links worth uncovering. The UK outfit bridged the gap between punk and metal, and presaged thrash and black metal the same way that Venom did, albeit with less notoriety. Arguably, Warfare kept that crossover scene's spirit a live while Venom were floundering on records like Possessed. That project's singer and drummer, Paul "Evo" Evans, hasn't put out an album in twenty five years, but is returning now with his first solo album, Warfare. This sound hasn't been this relevant in ages, thanks to new adherents to the style such as Midnight. Guest spots from Hawkwind's Nik Turner, Paul Gray from The Damned, Kat Shevil of Winds of Genocide, Steve "Lips" Kudlow of Anvil and especially Fast Eddie Clak formerly of Motorhead lend the project some cred, but Evans performed the lion's share of the instruments on his own. Better, Evans sometimes engages in genuinely thoughtful songwriting, something that most of his successors ignore.

Not that you'll need any Kleenex on hand for "Cemetery Dirt". A d-beat tirade, it's the kind of vicious call to arms that made Warfare worth remembering.

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Warfare is out on May 26 Via High Roller. Order it here and follow Evo on Facebook.

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