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Quartz recall purer, simpler times on riotous but poignant On The Edge Of Tomorrow

Black Sabbath-connected metallers Quartz pay tribute to fallen comrade Geoff Nicholls on fifth studio album in 45 years, On The Edge Of Tomorrow

Quartz: On The Edge Of Tomorrow cover art
(Image: © Cherry Red)

True Story. In 1975 this writer was embroiled in the chaos of Black Sabbath’s Sabotage tour. I sat with Ozzy Osbourne in a Range Rover as we travelled between gigs. After a while, he grew bored and made our driver stop. Without explanation, Ozzy got out of the 4x4, waved down the van following us, and climbed on board. 

It transpired that the battered vehicle was transporting members of Sabbath’s support act, the unlikely named Bandy Legs. The van disappeared in a cloud of exhaust smoke. Bandy Legs eventually became known as Quartz. 

Fast-forward through the decades, and Quartz, who flirted with, but never quite embraced, the NWOBHM, are back, in part to honour the memory of founder member and sometime Sabs alumnus Geoff Nicholls. The guitarist/keyboard player passed away in 2017. 

Quartz: On The Edge Of Tomorrow cover art

(Image credit: Cherry Red)

On The Edge Of Tomorrow is a riotous return but also a poignant one; a reminder of purer, simpler times when Midlands metal, born out of the region’s industrial badlands, unwittingly took over the world. 

Naturally, the style is very Sabbafy, the guitars chunking and thunking over an achingly familiar Butler/Ward groove, the crisp but primitive production making you wonder if Rodger Bain is credited. 

Freak Of Nature, Death Or Glory, Night Of The Living Dead… the track titles tell it all. Cue recollections of headbanging chaos amid the cheap seats at Birmingham Odeon, the entire balcony bouncing terrifyingly, like a swimming pool springboard.

Geoff Barton is a British journalist who founded the heavy metal magazine Kerrang! and was an editor of Sounds music magazine. He specialised in covering rock music and helped popularise the new wave of British heavy metal (NWOBHM) after using the term for the first time (after editor Alan Lewis coined it) in the May 1979 issue of Sounds.