ARTCH – Another Return ’88 [digitally remastered reissue] (2023) *Exclusive*

ARTCH - Another Return '88 [digitally remastered reissue] (2023) *Exclusive* - full

Formed in 1983 in Norway, ARTCH were a straight up classic ’80s metal act but a little heavier than your stock NWOBHM worship band, but clearly the roots of their sound all lay within that field, and you could probably develop a crush on this if you’re a fan of Dio’s original two Sabbath records, the heavier side of Saxon, or Iron Maiden circa 1980-1984. The vocalist, an Icelander named Eiríkur Hauksson aka Eric Hawk, has a voice that ranges from Bruce Dickinson’s vicarious leering to a more hard rock attitude like an Ian Gillan or Ronny James Dio.
ARTCH debut “Another Return” appeared in 1988, and while not many metal fans remember or are aware of this album, over the years became a cult classic LP.
Now reissue label Hammerheart Records are about to reissue the record next weekend, digitally remastered obtaining a bigger sound.

The guitars are massive on ”Another Return’, at places with quite bone crunching riffs, and the drums crash like a stormed wreck against a treacherous rocky landmass. The songwriting throughout most of the album is impeccable, with an excellent course plotted through mid paced to slower, emotional tracks, plus a classic metal ballad, and it sounds just as fresh as most of the modern but throwback metal we hear coming out of Europe today.

“Conversio Prelude” sets an ominous, yet majestic tone to the record, through flighty keyboards that feel like they’re strafing the skyline from a medieval castle or bell tower. Then the steady chugging of the title track, the choir like woes, and a bell strikes as the bass begins to slowly churn. Something very dark and very metal is about to happen, and soon Hawk’s alights like a blaze of early ’80s Dickinson. The bridge here at about 1:15 sounds almost exactly like Maiden, but all will be forgiven when he hear the climactic chorus to the sound, which is beyond vainglorious. Yeah, that was pretty bad ass.
They follow it with “Power to the Man” driven by a thundering verse which leads to a bouncing chorus with a hard rock groove.

“Loaded” on the other hand offers a steady rock pace and a feel very much akin to excellent Eighties band Fifth Angel. Great, simple riffing that you simply can’t get away with anymore.
As mentioned, there is one ballad here, called “Where I Go”, and it opens like a mix of Scorpions and mid-’80s hard rock / power ballad American style. You’ll feel your jaw bounce to the bass-lines and skull crack when the heavier riffing and leads erupt over 3 minutes in.

“Metal Life” is a nice, driving classic metal piece which sounds like some hypothetical blend of Twisted Sister and Impellitteri, and “The Promised Land” feels like it could hammer spikes into a railroad with its guitars, though the lyrics are a little bit cheesy, and I question the wisdom of having two songs about ‘metal’ in a row, even for a 1988 record.
The record closes with a three punch combo: the straight old-school metal of “Shoot to Kill”, the laid back but heavy burn of “Living in the Past”, and the rhinoceros speed of the closer “Reincarnation”.

“Another Return” was a very strong debut from this Norwegian band that I’ve never grown tired of in over 30+ years. This is timeless metal with a very good songwriting, performances and production, now served with a modernized punch thanks to this remaster.
Highly Recommended

You’ve seen it first at 0dayrox


01 – Conversio Prelude
02 – Another Return To Church Hill
03 – Power To The Man
04 – Loaded
05 – Where I Go
06 – Metal Life
07 – The Promised Land
08 – Shoot To Kill
09 – Living In The Past
10 – Reincarnation

Eiríkur Hauksson aka Eric Hawk – vocals
Cato Olsen – guitar
Geir Nilssen – guitar
Bernt A. Jansen – bass
Jørn Jamissen – drums


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1 Response

  1. Mike says:

    Love ur site, I also have the DVD Another Return Live… and beyond

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