ENOLA GAY, the name of the fateful plane that dropped the first atomic bomb in the history of mankind, is also the name of one explosive metal band. Enola Gay formed in 1987 although it took 8 years before the bands was offered a record deal and released their debut album. The band has toured with such bands as Iced Earth, Nevermore, Stratovarius and Grave Digger.
Enola Gay - F.O.T.H. (Shark Records/Victory Japan) 1995
1. "Intro/Fly off
the Handle" (4:38)
I first discovered Enola Gay after a friend sent me a copy of "Pressure" in 2000, which I loved. I immediately began searching for their other releases. Their third album, "Strange Encounter" was easy to find, being released on Century Media. However, their first album eluded me until seven years later. I now finally own the final piece in my Enola Gay collection. My copy is a Japanese release on Shark Records and distributed by Victor Entertainment (VICP-5513).
"F.O.T.H." is Enola Gay's debut release and is pure German power metal. On this release they were not overly melodic or saturated with keyboards. They were also not what I would describe as progressive metal. Rather, "F.O.T.H." is real heavy metal similar to bands like Vicious Rumors, Metal Church or early Rage. "F.O.T.H." sports memorable guitar riffs, well executed guitar solos, thick guitar and bass tones, pounding drums, and aggressive, yet melodic vocals. Vocalist Peter Diersmann is actually one of the things I enjoy so much about this band. His vocals are mostly clean and mid-rage, but are passionate and aggressive. For the most part the songs are all heavy although there are some mellower moments. "Never Be Without A Friend" is a melodic, acoustic ballad that is quite emotional and features some nice Thin Lizzy style dual guitar leads. The very next song brings back the aggression with one of the album's heaviest tracks. "Doomwatch" is a fast, double bass driven, speed metal number that has a similar vibe to Accept's "Fast as a Shark". There are a few other songs that have the double bass backbone, such as album closer "Kingdom of the Light", but overall the heavier songs are more mid-paced, traditional heavy metal.
I believe "Kingdom of the Light" is actually a bonus track on the Japanese version even though it's not listed as such. From what I can gather from the few internet sites I could find Enola Gay on, the German CD version contains eleven tracks with the intro being track one and "Fly of the Handle" being track two. The Japanese version also has eleven tracks, but the intro is part of "Fly Off the Handle". The songs are incorrectly listed on the back of the Japanese CD. (thanks Kieran)
Enola Gay - Pressure (Rough Trade) 1996
1. "Back to Prison"
Yet another killer German power metal band. Man, there are so many good bands in Europe that are just not seeing enough publicity and distribution in the States. "Pressure" is the band's second release. The style rides a fine line between prog-metal and power metal. The music is heavy and aggressive, yet retains a sense of melody. The singers voice reminds me of another singer, but the name slip my mind upon writing this. The guitar solos on this disc simply shred. Upon closer examination of the liner notes, I discover that Uwe Lulis (Grave Digger) played much of the leads on this disc. The band do smoking rendition of the Beatles "Eleanor Rigby", which has also been recorded by American thrash band Realm.
Enola Gay - Strange Encounter (Century Media) 1999
1. "Enola Gay"
WOW! Enola Gay take their German power metal sound one step further adding in a slightly more modern tone, not unlike Nevermore. OK, I don't mean to say that Enola Gay have gone grunge nor do I mean to suggest that they sound like Nevermore clones, but take the emotional vocals, crunchy riffs and impassioned songwriting of Nevermore and mix it with the German metal of bands like Grave Digger and Rage and you'll get an idea of what "Strange Encounter" sounds like. Lyrically the band searches political ideas. Album opener "Enola Gay" questions the decision to drop the first atomic bomb and whether "they have learned from the past." This theme behind this song reminds me of a another German metal band called Accuser that have also written songs critical of America. Other songs explore the evils of television and the psyche of a rapist.