First, there was the New Wave Of British Heavy Metal. Then came a wave of bands who had been influenced by it. Together they forged a newer new wave, if that makes sense.
Birmingham is not only England’s second city and the home of some of the best Balti houses in the UK, but it is also the place where many of the most influential metal bands originated from. The list is impressive. There was Black Sabbath, Judas Priest, the more melodic Magnum, and later Napalm Death. In 1988, Marshall Law added itself to the list.
In fact Marshall Law are still going strong but in honor of their past Angel Air Records have re-released Power Game, their 1993 album. It comes complete with a bonus track, and excellent sleeve-notes by Joe Geesin, all of which proves to be very timely indeed.
The band came about when guitarist Dave Martin (formerly of Chinawhite and Shadowlands), and vocalist Andy Pyke (who had been with Detroit), and Damian, were drawn together by their love of British metal.
However, it wasn’t just their local heroes like Judas Priest that grabbed their attention. Other influences were drawn from further afield through the likes of Welsh band Budgie, Motorhead, US trio Testament, Malice, and Dio.
The Dave Martin story is a fascinating one. He was classically trained but that was all destined to change when he went to a Motorhead gig. Joe’s sleeve-notes also inform us that Dave and Andy Pyke would go to Edwards No. 8, one of the best rock venues in Birmingham. Little did they know that they would soon be back there but this time fronting their own metal band.
First to join was ex-Realm guitarist Andy Southwell who was drafted in to form a formidable twin attack with Dave Martin. By the time their self-titled debut album appeared in 1989 they had added bass player Rog Davis, and drummer Mike Donovan.
The album, which is considered something of a cult metal classic, contained many of the Marshall Law live anthems including “Under The Hammer,” “Marshall Law” and “We’re Hot.”