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Articles Home » 1978 Articles » Granmax - 1978 Kiss Heaven Goodbye
 
Granmax - 1978 Kiss Heaven Goodbye



ARTIST: Granmax
ALBUM: Kiss Heaven Goodbye
LABEL: Panama
SERIAL: PRS 1023
YEAR: 1978
CD REISSUE: 2001, Black Rose, BR407

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:

LINEUP: Nick Christopher - vocals * Steve Myers - guitar * Tim McCorkle - bass * Louis McCorkle - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 Mistress Of Eternity * 02 Dream Woman * 03 Daughter Of Hell * 04 It's Worth The Wait * 05 Prince Of The Southern Ice * 06 This Life's For Me * 07 Respected Man * 08 Travels Of Time


Background
Over the decades this second and final release from Granmax has become somewhat of a quasi-legendary heavy metal classic, the band seemingly helping set the stage for the oncoming decade, whether directly or indirectly. History records Granmax as a product of Omaha, Nebraska, yet intricate research (the first page a Google search) reveals they were actually from Liberty, Missouri, as passionately described by a former roommate of Tim McCorkle's. Regardless the band was a typical road warrior outfit, plundering the Midwest trying to make a name for themselves. It paid off and the band's first album 'A Ninth Alive' appeared in 1976 to moderate interest. They were a three piece at the time, adding 'Chaz Nikias' (Nick Christopher) to change direction. Based on the debut that was a wise decision, the album being a standard hard rock workout with inevitable shades of Aerosmith, Kiss and Starz clearly apparent. While it wasn't a disaster it pales to the follow up, which took a heavy metal approach few surely saw coming. For 1978 it was almost revolutionary, with galloping riffs and fantasy based lyrics not too dissimilar to the recently reviewed Sorcery. As such it feels like a product of L.A., based on the Sunset Strip and nights of excess and inhibition, not the obscure climes of the barren Missouri plains.


The Songs
'Mistress of Eternity' is the ideal way to begin an album, rolling out an extended intro which takes off into thunderous traditional metal which is able to stand with anything Judas Priest was doing in 1978. The chugging riffs sound several years ahead of their time and when you read about NWOBHM acts borrowing from Granmax it seems plausible. 'Dream Woman' is rooted in the Aerosmith sound, although far more realized than their attempts on the crude debut and able to stand alongside the then crumbling Boston legends. 'Daughter Of Hell' opens similarly to early Montrose and expands into a wall of noise, taking in acoustic guitar licks and heavier sections which could be construed as vaguely Southern Rock based. It's hard not to think of Starcastle on the melodic rocker 'It's Worth the Wait' particularly during the latter's 'Real to Reel' era. Listening closely the riffs in the background have a savage edge, giving it the metal tag. The traditional metal of 'Prince Of The Southern Ice' roars along with zero subtlety, this one up there with the also fledgling Riot, showing the strides American metal bands were making. 'This Life's For Me' begins in a plodding, routine manner, but an instrumental excursion mid-way through exhibits some of the heaviest riffs you're likely to hear during the last 70's, the speed almost prototype thrash. 'Respected Man' is equally as relentless, metal bravado at its finest, the riffs once again beyond compare for true metal in 1978. 'Travels Of Time' opens with mystical effect, the strings and acoustic guitars aiming for an epic feel, before the looming heaviness kicks in. Comparison wise it's close to Teaze's 'Touch The Wind' with the buildup and utter devastation late in the track.


In Summary
A landmark metal album which will leave you shocked if you've never heard it. Obviously the 70's was packed with legendary hard rock bands who set the stage, but for heavy metal of the true sort, this is definitive late 70's material. How Granmax never made it is open to question, but given their legacy lives on proves they weren't totally obscured by later bands who adopted their innovative sound. As recently as 2012 the band was playing reunion gigs in Missouri, proving the public appeal still remains decades later. As it should too, Granmax long overdue for recognition here as a pioneering metal giant.


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Comments
#1 | Eric on July 19 2015 18:06:18
Funny you mentioned Starcastle as they opened for Granmax for one show in Kansas City in 1976. I had the debut at one time, just wasn't impressed enough to go further. Cool sleeve though.
#2 | gdazegod on July 20 2015 02:09:02
I reckon Truth And Janey were a better representation of American HM during this era.
 
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