THE ALMIGHTY – Powertrippin’ [2xCD Expanded & Remastered] (2023)

THE ALMIGHTY - Powertrippin' [2xCD Expanded & Remastered] (2023) - full

Although THE ALMIGHTY were initially inspired by punk, when Scottish school friends Stump Monroe (drums), Floyd London (bass) and Ricky Warwick (guitar, vocals) joined forces with guitarist Tantrum in 1988, they chose a harder rocking, heavy metal sound. Snapped up by Polydor Records for 1989 debut “Blood, Fire & Love”, their more aggressive approach was a welcome relief from the glam orientated sounds imported from across the Atlantic. This was followed by “Soul Destruction” in 1991, and then “Powertrippin’” in 1993.
This 30th Anniversary Edition of ”Powertrippin’ [2xCD Expanded & Remastered]” including the singles ‘Addiction’, ‘Over The Edge’ and ‘Out Of Season’, this expanded, deluxe reissue of the album features the B-Sides ‘Blind’, ‘Insomnia’, ‘In A Rut’ (originally by The Ruts) and ‘Fuckin’ Up’ (originally by Neil Young and Crazy Horse). Live versions of ‘Takin’ Hold’, ‘Jesus Loves You…But I Don’t’, title track & more, illustrate what a powerful band The Almighty have always been on stage.
The bonus disc also includes demo versions of ‘Free ‘N’ Easy’ and the title track from ‘Soul Destruction’ which was never officially recorded or appeared on the final album. Plus there’s even time for an acoustic take of Neil Young’s ‘Keep On Rockin’ In The Free World’.

The Almighty demonstrated that British hard rock had plenty to offer at the beginning of the decade, and in 1991 the band were special guests of Megadeth. This tour highlighted which way the wind was blowing, away from hairspray bands in favour of something heavier. “Powertrippin’” was also the first album to feature guitarist Pete Friesen, replacing original member, Tantrum.

Informed by NWOBHM, but much more threatening and still holding a punk side to their attack, the instant thwack of “Addiction”, which opens this album and still finds drummer Stumpy Monroe rolling out one great drum fills, remains a magnificent statement that THE ALMIGHTY were at their prime on htis record.
“Possession” mines a similar seam of hard-hitting themes driven home with surprising finesse as singer Ricky Warwick’s refined rasp bites in deep and debuting guitarist Pete Friesen reinforces Warwick’s slick guitar work and then some. With bassist Floyd London adding a forceful bottom end, “Over The Edge” surprises by introducing a slightly more commercial tone that doesn’t lose any go the band’s sharpness.

However, it’s the acoustic strumming and clever lyrical pay-off of “Jesus Loves You…But I Don’t” that really confirmed that The Almighty had come of age with this album. What had come before in the shape of Blood Fire & Love (1989) and Soul Destruction (1991) had set the stage well, but this 1993 effort, which climbed to No.5 in the UK chart, was a clear step up in songwriting, performance and production, the latter thanks to Mark Dodson (Suicidal Tendencies / Anthrax).

As far as impactful but still hugely catchy hard rock goes, the strength and depth shown across this whole album delivers at every turn, the title-track a full force smack to the jaw, whereas “Life Blood” adds an irresistible groove.
With “Instinct” and “Meathook” equally as convincing, the standard simply never drops, Warwick proving a surprisingly engaging singer, while Monroe is one of the most underrated drummers heavy rock has seen, with both aspects illustrated perfectly on the tribal infused slow-strummer “Out Of Season”.

The bonus disc offers up a host of tracks otherwise hard to find. Live takes of songs from this album and those that came before prove a lot of fun. However, it’s the studio cuts and demos that are most intriguing, “Blind”, “Insomnia”, “Fuckin’ Up” (a Neil Young cover) all proving much more than B’sides that didn’t make the grade, even if none of them really suggest they should have taken a full spot on the album.
The inclusion of demos of earlier tracks such as “Soul Destruction”, “Free & Easy” and “Wild And Wonderful” are welcome.

Add in a great version of The Ruts’ “In A Rut”, an acoustic take on Neil Young’s “Rockin’ In The Free World”, other edits and acoustic takes, and this disc makes for an excellent accompaniment to the main event. And that is ”Powertrippin”, an album that really should have taken The Almighty over the top into mainstream success.
Highly Recommended


01 – Addiction
02 – Possession
03 – Over The Edge
04 – Jesus Loves You But I Don’t
05 – Stick & Wired
06 – Powertrippin’
07 – Takin’ Hold
08 – Out Of Season
09 – Life Blood
10 – Instinct
11 – Meathook
12 – Eye To Eye


01 – Blind (B-side)
02 – Insomnia (B-side)
03 – Fuckin’ Up (B-side)
04 – In A Rut (B-side)
05 – Soul Destruction (Demo)
06 – Addiction (Radio Edit)
07 – Wild And Wonderful (Demo Version)
08 – Out Of Season (Demo Version)
09 – Free ‘N’ Easy (Demo Version)
10 – Out Of Season (Edit)
11 – Takin’ Hold (Live)
12 – Jesus Loves You…But I Don’t (Live)
13 – Powertrippin’ (Live)
14 – Life Blood (Live)
15 – Addiction (Live)
16 – Hell To Pay (Acoustic Version)
17 – Keep On Rockin’ In The Free World (Acoustic Version)

Ricky Warwick (vocals, guitar)
Stump Monroe (drums)
Floyd London (bass)
Pete Friesen (guitar, vocals)



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