Album Review: Artch - Another Return
Reviewed by Rick Eaglestone
Having started my journey into heavy metal the same year that Artch originally released 'Another Return' in 1988, I am amazed that our paths never crossed it is only now into 2023 that the album is getting the re issue treatment that I get to discover it for the first time.
The first metal album I ever bought was Iron Maiden’s “Live After Death” and after this album’s instrumental opener ‘Conversio Prelude’ I feel I almost thrust into that first purchase as the prominent bass and chants at the start of ‘Another Return To Church Hill alongside the Dickinson esgue vocals immediately make for a wonderful familiarity before a faster pace fires through into ‘Power To The Man’
Entering Dio territory ‘Loaded’ is a great overall track, vocally it is easily the most polished and also has some nice solos, this is then followed by the slower ballad ‘Where I Go’ which delivers even more of an impact as it is paired with the previous track and as a standalone has my favourite elements of the album, if had this on cassette back then I would’ve rewound it to this continuously, easily my highlight track of the album.
The aptly named ‘Metal Life’ encapsulates 'Another Return' perfectly as all the previous elements are all there in one raised fist, I particularly enjoyed all the tempo shifts as up next is a straight up juggernaut ‘The Promised Land’ and having gone back and listened to other NWOBHM albums of that time the heaviness of this in this particular genre even more staggering and I am really glad in a way that it is getting a remaster so people can not only enjoy a really great heavy metal album but also appreciate how Artch were not shy in stepping outside into other paths.
‘Shoot To Kill’ continues the beating heart into ‘Living In The Past’ which would’ve made a great addition to soundtrack to 1986’s Trick or Treat had it been released a few years earlier. Finally the album concludes with ‘Reincarnation’ which the band use to demonstrate their prolific use of solos once more and was a great way to end the album as I am already looking to see if I can add to this my still ever growing cassette collection.