Nitro - O.F.R

edited December 2022 in Year-1989


LABEL: Rampage
SERIAL: R2 70894
YEAR: 1989


LINEUP: Jim Gillette - vocals * Michael Angelo - guitars * T.J. Racer - bass * Bobby Rock - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 Freight Train * 02 Double Trouble * 03 Machine Gunn Eddie * 04 Long Way From Home * 05 Bring It Down * 06 Nasty Reputation * 07 Fighting Mad * 08 Shot Heard Round The World * 09 O.F.R


To this day Nitro are the only band I recall who attempted a mixture of thrash, AOR, hard rock, even grindcore, and successfully translated it to disc. Nitro were formed by Gillette in the late 80's after he was kicked out of an early incarnation of Tuff and replaced by Stevie Rachelle.

Gillette, even before Nitro's debut, was famed for posessing the highest scream in metal, with a four octave range. His strange concoction of King Diamond meets Udo Dirkschneider (Accept) vocals plus an insane combination of said musical styles, made 'O.F.R.' (which means 'out-f***in-rageous') one of the more unique albums of the genre. Not just then, but to this day. Same for their hair, with ten inch spikes!

The Songs

'Freight Train' is solid metal, thanks to Angelo's heavy duty guitar work, riffs, solos, the whole deal. 'Double Trouble' puts Gillettes' vocals into context, one moment growling menacingly, the next piercing ears. Stunning.

'Machine Gunn Eddie' is pure thrash mayhem, easily on a par with Megadeth and all the big boys in 1989. The thrash riffing is present, speed of light naturally, plus the obligatory rapid fire drumming. As if this isn't enough Rock pulls out the grindcore drumming in the last minute. Bloody genius!

'Bring It Down' follows the same path, more speed metal with a real bad attitude. 'Nasty Reputation' is hard rock directed with a huge AOR chorus, instantly memorable.

'Fighting Mad' is just that. Ultra melodic harmonies in the hook with breakneck riffing. Gillette pushes his voice to the brink on this one, making even Ian Gillan circa 1970 sound redundant. 'Shot Heard Around The World' contains another vital AOR type melody throughout, but never sacrifices the heaviness. By the end of it all you know you've heard something a bit special.

In Summary

Amazingly 'O.F.R.' hit no 134 on Billboard. By 1991's 'H.W.D.W.S. (Hot, Wet, Dripping With Sweat)' Nitro had toned down the image and music, relying on basic hard Rock. Gillette has gained most fame as the man who married Lita Ford, but he's still making music. His latest project, Organ Donor, released an album 'The Ultra Violent', proving Gillette still has the heavy edge.

'O.F.R.' is an album he's unlikely to better. This is a 'one of a kind' album, surely one of the most original created. It may have looked and sounded like a joke to the more scathing rock fan, but the aggression was there for all to hear. No one has even tried to fuse these genres together like this before or since. After this there was no point.


Freight Train

Long Way From Home

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  • gdazegodgdazegod Antipodes
    edited November 2022

    Two new videos added into the review above. Also of note, Michael Angelo Batio will be the guitarist on Manowar's 2023 tour, but I believe its just a fill in role and not permanent.

  • I do like the 2 Nitro albums - but O.F.R. is the real bad boy just completely over the top.

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