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Fair Warning: The Box

Some pretty enjoyable melodic rock hokum.

Fair Warning have a distinctive style. It combines Queen, Uriah Heep and Glenn Hughes-era Black Sabbath. The result is a sumptuous sound, even if sometimes the band are just too precious, failing to loosen up and embrace the music.

Interestingly, this five CD set starts with their third album, 1997’s Go!. Presumably, because the Germans’ first two releases were on an a major label. As it is, Go! is the best of this bunch, as the songs are thrillingly empowered, well produced and feature some outstanding vocals from founder Tommy Heart.

The drama and quality drop a tad for Four and Brother’s Keeper, which come across as if the band are going through the motions; they’re a little dispiriting. Thankfully, Aura restores the pride, with a more streamlined approach in keeping with the modern demands (it was originally released in 2009, after all). Completing the set is 1998’s Live And More, which decently spans the band’s career up to that point.

In some respects, Fair Warning were always an approximation of the sorely ignored Zeno, whose one self-titled album from 1986 is a masterpiece of this genre. But The Box is a good way to catch up with a band who have AOR value.

Malcolm Dome had an illustrious and celebrated career which stretched back to working for Record Mirror magazine in the late 70s and Metal Fury in the early 80s before joining Kerrang! at its launch in 1981. His first book, Encyclopedia Metallica (opens in new tab), published in 1981, may have been the inspiration for the name of a certain band formed that same year. Dome is also credited with inventing the term "thrash metal" while writing about the Anthrax song Metal Thrashing Mad in 1984. He would later become a founding member of RAW rock magazine in 1988.

In the early 90s, Malcolm Dome was the Editor of Metal Forces magazine, and also involved in the horror film magazine Terror, before returning to Kerrang! for a spell. With the launch of Classic Rock magazine in 1998 he became involved with that title, sister magazine Metal Hammer, and was a contributor to Prog magazine since its inception in 2009. He was actively involved in Total Rock Radio (opens in new tab), which launched as Rock Radio Network in 1997, changing its name to Total Rock in 2000. In 2014 he joined the TeamRock online team as Archive Editor, uploading stories from all of our print titles and helping lay the foundation for what became Louder.

Dome was the author of many books on a host of bands from AC/DC to Led Zeppelin and Metallica, some of which he co-wrote with Prog Editor Jerry Ewing.