2023 has been a great year so far for reissue specialist Cherry Red and its various label imprints, and this all new 3CD expanded version of Warfare’s 1985 album ‘Metal Anarchy’ is certainly no exception.

Hot on the heels of the excellent 2021 released ‘Songbook Of Filth’ 3CD set (you can read RPM’s review – HERE) where HNE provided a comprehensive history lesson in all things Warfare and their main man Evo. Here they take a deep-dive into the band’s second album uncovering the “long lost” original rough mix that Lemmy undertook prior to the final mix-down with the 9 tracks also in the intended album running order.

As with pretty much everything Warfare ever do though this release comes complete with a warning, and whilst this time around it isn’t regarding profanity or a possible health and safety issue what it does involve is the fact that the ‘Lemmy Sessions’ recordings contained on CD1 do come from the original cassette, so its complete with the inevitable tape drop outs that were only to common almost 4 decades ago. To put this into context think about what would have been considered something akin to a soundboard recording back in the halcyon days of tape trading and that is really what you are getting here.

Of course, playing the original rough mixes alongside the finished album, which is polished up for CD2 is always going to show the recordings up for what they are, rough mixes, but as a collector’s curio they are most certainly well worth a listen, as is of course the finished album. Which on playing again here I still can’t help but wonder what might have been if the band’s superb ‘Pure Filth’ debut had received the production that Lemmy afforded ‘Metal Anarchy’.

For me personally the most interesting part of this 3CD set is actually the final disc which presents the band’s 1984 released ‘Two Tribes’ EP (which was coincidently the first thing I ever bought by the band) and the ‘Total Death’ EP from the following year. Finally getting the chance to hear these two monstrous EPs back to back on CD is worth the admission price alone, and there’s even an additional ‘From Hell Mix’ of the Frankie Goes To Hollywood tune just for the 12” mix completists out there.

Right, I’m off to dig out my Metal City VHS for a long overdue watch (Google it if you are wondering what the hell I’m on about) as this set has really got in the mood for some proper ‘Metal Anarchy’.

Let’s get some hell going, right?



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Author: Johnny Hayward