by: Frank Godla
FUCK YES!! I'm always surprised to learn many people either never heard of Fight, or simply never got hip to it. That's understandable though,maybe balls to the wall crushing metal with top notch musicians, and one of the best front men known in the genre's history may not be your thing… but that doesn't make you less naive.
The year was 1993, mainstream metal was only getting lighter and weaker across the U.S. when ex-Judas Priest front man Rob Halford announced he'd be making a come back with a new younger band, and a more direct approach. His last effort with Priest then was Painkiller, an LP that was as epic then as it is now. So needless to say the metal community was both eager and worried to see what Halford had in store. Most critics claimed he'll never be able to release something as heavy as Painkiller again, and it's simply not where metal is anymore. Wow were they wrong!
Fight's debut LP War of Words tears your speakers a new asshole from the opening track Into The Pit and continues onward with a slew of classics Halford still breaks out live today. Despite War of Words being a fairly simple metal LP, it groves like a headbangers dream and showcases the immense talents of drummer Scott Travis (who also played on Priest's Painkiller LP), Jay Jay (the demonic looking bass player who donned a smoke breathing gargoyle above his rig), Guitarist Brian Tilse, and Russ Parish (who you may also recognize as "Satchel" from the comedy metal band Steel Panther). Combined there is no lack of beefy riffs, insane trade off guitar solos, monster double kicking, and guttural low end to compliment Halford's high end vocal style.
I had the privilege to catch these guys live a couple times, and I can honestly say it was my favorite Halford live era without a doubt. In the end it proved he didn't need the leather, the spikes, the motorcycles, or hi end show to prove he's a metal god. Lots of energy, and great metal tunes are sometimes all you need.
If you missed it, Metal God Entertainment released a film a few years back simply titled "Fight – War of Words: The Film" It comes packed with loads of awesome live clips, interviews, news clippings, and official music videos. You can check out the trailer for the film here.