The Virginmarys: King Of Conflict

UK hard rockers tune into the timeless groove

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There’s an odd quirk about this album. While every track has undoubted quality, somehow the real essence of what the UK trio are trying to do only works when you get fully immersed in the flow of the songs from one to another. It’s then that you realise this is close to being an exceptional album.

What The Virginmarys prove is that they can really get to grips with the sort of approach Led Zeppelin, Humble Pie and Free had in the early 70s, something mirrored two decades later by the likes of Mother Love Bone and Alice In Chains. There’s a huge groove and power appreciable when you listen to the way Just A Ride flexes into Out Of Mind and then further through Bang Bang Bang.

They all have gritty melodies and fuel-injected riffs, but more importantly they have a gigantic momentum that sucks you with an intimate command of timeless hard rock. Best of all is the epic closer Ends Don’t Mend, which hums with the greatness of a young Led Zeppelin. This could easily end up among the year’s most crucial releases.

Malcolm Dome

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, 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. 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.