Now that’s a challenge! It was the beginning of the ‘80s; Thatcherism was at its best, Communism was system’s arch enemy while at the same time the Soviet Union was moribund, the term ‘Cold War’ was used on a daily basis by the average citizen… yet a British band decided to release an EP (12”) entitled “Soviet Invasion”, whose cover was adorned with a Red Army soldier. The conditions demand it… Challenge serving as means of promotion, fear of nuclear holocaust, strikes everywhere on the Island, the rights of workers / laborers are demolished one by one, the welfare state collapses, a war for some stones (and a bit pointless prestige…) that comes with Argentina, the neoliberal parties in their infancy and a punk movement that turned out to be not enough… Of course the British weren’t “comrades”, nor agents of Moscow. Courting with exaggeration, the band caused more stir with the album’s cover than with its lyrics, even though the band revealed an aspect (social sensitivity and antimilitarism) that’s quite interesting and mainly original for the genre. The EP starts with the title track. An introduction with acoustic guitar for 25 seconds is almost immediately extinguished by a Sabbath riff (trick used by the band in the legendary LP “Death Penalty” as well). Traditional doom with raw guitars, thick sound and vocals almost heartbreaking. Perfectly matched with the message they were trying to convey, that of the cry for world peace. The second piece isn’t at the same high level although it has the same structure and the same ingredients of traditional Heavy Metal / Doom with some additional elements of N.W.O.B.H.M. enriching it. The vocals on “Rabies” are reminiscent of Ozzy while the drums sound pretty simplistic compared with the title track. Third and final piece, “R.I.P.” is NOT a live recording, but a studio recording, with added samples of crowd sounds, a Paul Birch idea, boss of Heavy Metal Records. Highly addictive piece with clear references to and influences by Sabbath ( ‘Vol. 4’ – ‘Master of Reality’ period) closes the album in an exquisite way.
There’s a bootleg re-release (2004) with a different tracklist (without “R.I.P.”, “Rabies” on Side A and with Side B being essentially the 7” single “Burning a Sinner” (“Burning a Sinner” and “Satan’s Children”).
1. Soviet Invasion
3. R.I.P. (Live)
1982 Line up:
Zeeb Parkes – Vocals, Phil Cope – Guitar, Toss McCready – Bass, Kid Rimple – Drums