2. Above the Law
3. Stand Back
4. Release the Pain
6. Bad Gold
7. Vice Cobra
8. Gin Lake
Title: Above the Law
Country: United Kingdom
CAT#: TTR 018
Released: 31 July 2007
Running time: 33:36
Eight slabs of undiluted heavy metal rock ‘n’ roll fuelled by cheap alcohol and easy women. Musical influence comes from the old guard – Motorhead, Hellhammer/Celtic Frost, Discharge, Thin Lizzy – injected into a band that has totally found their sound, with fresh energy and a unique approach.
Above the Law is a true diamond in the ocean of meaningless, stale shit that manages to pass as Heavy Metal these days.
Outlaw rock ‘n’ roll, Hellish grooves and Iron fists! BE WARNED!!
This is the album of the Summer! Come weigh in and test yer chin!!!!
…this barks and bites with an admirable grit and fire, indeed Motorhead/Discharge is not far off the mark. – Hellride Music
Just buy the bloody album and enjoy some rocking metal!!! – Metal Team UK
…an enjoyable blend of heavy sounding punk styled Hellhammer mixed with early 80′s Heavy Metal. – Necrometal
I haven’t heard a band in ages that tapped into that mondo-destructo combat-metal vibe so effortlessly. Did they escape through a fuckin’ time machine or something? – Sleazegrinder
…it rocks like you wouldn’t believe and you will be throwing devil horns into the air long before the end of the third track. – Chronicles of Chaos
My interest in this band was peaked when I saw them described as having a Motorhead/ Discharge vibe with touches of Hellhammer; indeed a promising combination to be referenced. The party using that description had not yet obtained “Above The Law”, so I’m guessing that they were listening to the (now out of print) “Break-Neck Speed Triumph” demo. The band describe this new full length (though full length of yore time wise (33 minutes)) as a move in a more traditional rock n’ roll direction. If that be the truth, I’d kill to hear that demo, because this barks and bites with an admirable grit and fire, indeed Motorhead/Discharge is not far off the mark.
Opener “Downtown” struts the Motorhead influences more strongly at first glance with gravelly vocals competing with Hellhammerish guitar tones over a somewhat rocking and rolling framework but rapidly brings the more hardcore less rocking and rolling bark of Discharge to the table and proceeds to mix and blend the two styles in a very effective fashion. The remainder of the album does not deviate much from that blueprint, but each song has an individual identity and strength. Title track “Above the Law” is one of the best, with a great slower, doomy section and a pounding chorus that burrows into your brain like an iron maggot and will not be dislodged. “Leathered” swings, swaggers and pounds with a self possessed authority and filth that’ll bring a serious smile to face of any head-banger worth their salt as guitars penetrate their ears like the stingers of angry 2 ton hornets. “Gin Lake” pulses with a low down urgency and catchiness that makes it’s somewhat repetitious nature welcome (no mean feat that).
I wouldn’t say that this demonstrates the same level of brilliance that it’s obvious influences did (but let’s be fair, that’s a sparsely populated stratosphere), but it’s a damn fine and enjoyable disc, that brings enough of it’s own identity to the table to escape the derision due fawning lap dog hero worship and earn the respect due those who choose great influences and do something worthwhile with them. A band well worth checking out if you like the raw and dirty end of metal or hardcore, a necessary check out if you love both of those.
– Michael Ballue, Hellride music.
When I was asked to review a group that had been influenced by Motorhead, and sounded a little like them, the thought running through my mind was that this could be very good or very, very, very bad – no middle ground. Thankfully, for my sanity, and for Bristol based band Salute, “Above the Law” is a very good slab of straight forward, no frills, ball-crunching metal. In fact, I’d go as far as saying it’s quite a refreshing slab of uncomplicated fury that is summed up by the bulging bicep on the front cover, the skull with shades on the back cover (rock’n’fucking roll!), and the booze fuelled pics in the inner sleeve.
“Downtown” is not a cover of Petula Clark (classic…..erm) and this two minute barnstormer sets the mark. A nice deep, bassy tone and thick sounding drums behind vocals that sound like they’re coming straight from the bottom of a bottle of Jack Daniels!
“Above the Law” has a much bluesier/stoner feel to the song and the title track simply rocks. Half way through, the song slows down and hits a nice groove and the feeling this band give off is feel-good crossed with righteous indignation, crossed with don’t mess with me or my booze cos I’ll deck ya!
“Stand Back” is another straight-forward pacier one, followed by the groovy “Release the Pain”, where the song slows down without losing momentum or interest; some of these slower parts on “Above the Law” adding the mood on the cd. A good piece of guitar work in the background adds to the atmosphere on this one and the vocals sound almost Anselmo-esque crossed with Lemmy before we’re led into the aptly titled “Leathered”. A rock title if ever I’ve heard it with lyrics like “Feelin so leathered – come test this chin!” – this song is one of the most enjoyable listens in a while. Good riff, top lyrics, beer drinking music – nice!
To be quite honest, the whole album is the perfect drinking session accompaniment. Your head will be nodding up and down like the Churchill dog going over speed humps at 60mph, and the metal snarl will no doubt appear at some point as you soak your best mate with half of the pint you were holding!!
Songs “Vice Cobra” and “Gin Lake” close the cd off in similar style – simple, effective, straight forward, enjoyable metal that goes down as well as the bottle of bourbon that will be inevitably drunk whilst listening to this little rocker of a release.
I was sceptical that I would enjoy this due to my penchant for the technical death, but this album is a raw, passionate slab of dirty metal that deserves to be listened to. Sure. It’s not gonna get a ten out of ten for groundbreaking, but let’s face it, what does these days!! Just buy the bloody album and enjoy some rocking metal!!! Good stuff and can’t wait to see em live!!
– Andy Duke, Metal Team UK.
With all these Thrash throwback bands coming out of the woodwork who are are now glorifying and era they were NOT part of, I find it hard to take them to seriously or think that they are original. HOWEVER, Salute are an exception to this raging rule.
Main mad Swine (also in Swine (total VON style worship BM) and Hateful Abandon (Doom), is one hell of a prolific musician. Salute is an enjoyable blend of heavy sounding punk styled Hellhammer mixed with early 80’s Heavy Metal. It may not sound like its a big deal but, once listened to, it is their own concoction of these superficial elements that make this disc an awesome thing to listen to.
I heartily recommend the main track “Above the law” and “Gin lake” as the release’s strongest point.
-Abysmal Lord, Necrometal.
Brit bruisers Salute may be going in an entirely different direction than I think they are. If you squint a little, they could pass for a garage-band version of Pantera, I suppose. But to my aged and wounded ears, they sound like battle-ready acid metal, circa 1982 – you know, Venom, Hellhammer, Tank, Warfare, Discharge, GBH, stuff like that. Blistering, blinding, bullet-belt rock served up in bloody fistfuls. If I was the guy I was 25 years ago, I would rock Above the Law hard, all night long, for months. I would rock it while I pissed in flower beds and tapped out fanzine reviews on a battered old typewriter. I would draw their logo on my leather jacket in metallic pen and write Salute fan letters signed in my own blood. Well, maybe not my own, but somebody’s. I haven’t heard a band in ages that tapped into that mondo-destructo combat-metal vibe so effortlessly. Did they escape through a fuckin’ time machine or something? Anyway, the best song is Vice Cobra, but that’s not important. The important thing is that flagrant, shameless headbangery is back, so invest in a neck brace and a bullet belt and get with the program. Awesome stuff, obviously.
Amongst Salute’s many fans is Fenriz (from an obscure and minor Norwegian band called Darkthrone), which may seem surprising: why would one of the grandmasters of black metal give a shit about “undiluted heavy metal rock ‘n’ roll fuelled by cheap alcohol and easy women”? The answer appears to be that Salute sound just like what Fenriz would have been listening to when Darkthrone was formed — Venom, Motorhead and Hellhammer / Celtic Frost — and for that matter, Darkthrone themselves on albums such as _A Blaze in the Northern Sky_ and _Panzerfaust_, minus the blackened adornments.
As can be gathered by the bands above, the songs are simple yet rocking numbers, built around a couple of riffs, and the presence of their influences is felt more strongly than a swift kick to the balls. Not to mention frequent — one could polish off a bottle of tequila simply by downing a shot each time a Hellhammer / Celtic Frost inspired riff surfaced. Yet despite what I have said, and as unbelievable as it may be, it actually works, and this was one of the better albums I have heard so far this year. Despite a lack of originality, it rocks like you wouldn’t believe and you will be throwing devil horns into the air long before the end of the third track. It’s hard to pinpoint exactly, but their catchy riffs and lack of pretension are the probable reasons. Commended for all who believe Celtic Frost lost the plot after _Morbid Visions_.
7.5 out of 10
Quentin Kalis, Chronicles of Chaos.