Saturday, February 9, 2008

SAMSON: (1982) Before the Storm @192kbps

Still smarting over singer Bruce Dickinson's recent defection to join the on-the-verge-of-greatness Iron Maiden (and to a lesser degree, the simultaneous departure of "colorful" drummer Thundersticks), Samson mainstays Paul Samson (guitar) and Chris Aylmer (bass) once again set about signing up new bandmates who might help them carry on with their career. In came the quite capable if less than photogenic Nicky Moore, a portly veteran of numerous small-time blues-rock outfits, along with drummer Pete Jupp, and, after touring the U.K. for much of 1981 in search of their chemistry (not to mention a new record deal), Samson got to work on what would become their fourth album, 1982's Before the Storm. Issued by Polydor, it was in fact a very competent effort that saw the bandmembers successfully turning their backs on the Dickinson era by replacing some of their New Wave of British Heavy Metal edge with a less explosive but, frankly, more natural-sounding hard rock grit -- at times quite reminiscent of recent touring partners Blackfoot, in fact (see first single "Losing My Grip"). Convincingly anthemic rockers like "Danger Zone," "Test of Time," and "Turn Out the Lights" carried the rest of the day, and despite the odd, ill-fated retread (the slow-paced "Red Skies" rewrote portions of early favorite "Vice Versa"), the new Moore/Samson partnership seemed to be off to a promising start. ~ Eduardo Rivadavia, All Music Guide

1. Dangerzone / 2. Stealing Away / 3. Red Skies / 4. I'll Be Round / 5. Test of Time / 6. Life on the Run / 7. Turn Out the Lights / 8. Losing My Grip / 9. Young Idea / 10. Running Out of Time / 11. Driving with Z.Z. / 12. Living, Loving, Lying / 13. Pyramid to the Stars / 14. Front Page News / 15. Riding with the Angels

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