There was a time when nobody doubted that PERSIAN RISK would be the next big name in what was then simply called Heavy Metal. The first single, featured here, sounded highly energetic and the title song’s memorable chorus would stick in your head forever in the long winter of 1981/82. My local record shop carried a very limited amount of this 7″, but I didn’t manage to get myself a copy. Money was short being a professional teenager and you always had choose carefully what you’d buy and whatnot. Nobody would have dreamed of the technical possibilities of today, when friendly folks like myself all over the planet would make even the most obscure record accessible in no time (ps: don’t let this happen!). One had to fully rely on other friendly folks and cassette tapes. In my case, said record shop would tape new and old releases for you for a small, rather symbolic fee and that’s how in the end, I ended up having at least on cassette what I couldn’t afford, like PERSIAN RISK’s first single, which today is worth quite a bit of money.
The a-side will forever be my favorite track by the lads from Cardiff (although on the following 7″ and the 12″ after that, they adapted a heavier sound): “Calling for you” is one of the NWOBHM’s most defining moments still and maybe even more now than ever before. “chasing the Dragon” misses these qualities a bit, but still is a more than decent song.
What a breath of fresh air bands like this were, after a decade of rock dinosaurs that got big and bigger, songs that got long and longer and the whole ridiculous stardom crap that followed with it. Much like in the Punk movement, you’ve had bands play at eye level in the NWOBHM. Bands that were often self producing records, playing small venues, all in a quick rush of sweat and adrenaline.
Of course, all of them hoped to be the next big thing, like Iron Maiden and Saxon etc. who started to make a living of their music and gained fame throughout the world, but that didn’t seem so wrong when you came from a working class background yourself and had first handedly experienced the frequently invoked “dignity of labor” in your local sweatshops or being at the mercy of the often sadistic despotism of the unemployment office’s officials.
Naivety, spontaneity â€“ all against the odds is what to me makes these bands be so highly enjoyable now (and maybe more than they ever were). On the contrary, we now witness an endless stream of dreadful reanimations of long buried corpses that all of a sudden smell funnier than they ever did before. Like it is the case with the reformed HELL (check out the new video here – if this doesn’t leave you deeply ashamed for a couple of minutes at least, you deserve no better).