World War III - World War III

geoviangeovian Earth Orbit
edited May 28 in year-1990

ALBUM: World War III
LABEL: Hollywood
SERIAL: HR-60992-2
YEAR: 1990

LINEUP: Mandy Lion - vocals * Tracey G - guitars * Jimmy Bain - bass * Vinny Appice - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 Time For Terror * 02 Love You To Death * 03 Over The Rainbow * 04 Call Me Devil * 05 Children Of The Revolution * 06 Go Down * 07 Love At First Bite * 08 The Harder They Come * 09 Atomic Sex Appeal * 10 Drive You Crazy * 11 The Cage


I'll admit to owning this once on CD, not quite sure how it ended up in my collection, but I do recall offloading it soon after. It may have been the impressive musicianship provided by L.A Guns axeman Tracey G plus the well-heeled back end of Jimmy Bain and Dio beat master Vinny Appice.

No doubt it was the cookie monster vocals of lead man Mandy Lion that was the offputting element, and listening to this years later, my opinion hasn't really changed a lot. Look, no offence, and I'm sure Mandy Lion is a nice enough chap (I understand he is in real life despite the dark imagery and persona) but those vocals kinda stop this album in its tracks, unfortunately.

Los Angeles had a lot going for it musically during this brief era of hair metal, so it was unusual for a label such as Hollywood to run with this album, considering the other acts on their books at the time. Looking at the lyrics, you'd think this was a Dio love affair, with a bit of W.A.S.P thrown in for good measure, and that's how it turned out. Musically though, this is impressive-sounding, I will admit to that, but those vocals..

The Songs

The album chugs in with the snarling 'Time For Terror'. Twisted guitar work makes way for some brutal riffing, and a likeable song admittedly, and some monster vocals from ML. Sesame Street's Oscar The Grouch and Cookie Monster have nothing on this guy.

Meaty riffs are the order of the day for 'Love You To Death', and Tracey G delivers some great lines, but if only I could understand what the lyrics were all about, Lol. 'Over The Rainbow' is a brief respite guitar instrumental, making way for the solid riff-fest that is 'Call Me Devil', heading into territory that the late Ronnie James Dio had trademarked for himself.

Lion has a go at re-producing T-Rex's 'Children Of The Revolution', though the style is nothing like the original. I do like Tracey G's guitar interpretation, including the Steve Stevens like ray-run effects through the middle. Very cool. 'Go Down' prowls with the same intent as Jack The Ripper on a nighttime walk, while 'Love At First Bite' should be on the latest 'Twilight' soundtrack, for a bit of beef and blood continuity.

'The Harder They Come' is perhaps WWIII's most melodic moment, but in saying that, it's still pretty heavy. 'Atomic Sex Appeal' sounds almost disturbing, five years earlier and Tipper Gore might have been on WWIII's case.

Vinnie Appice kicks some ass on 'Drive You Crazy', and along with Tracey G's raygun guitar effects, this makes for some good listening. The finale 'The Cage' is another prowler, and by this stage, I'm kinda thinking why I offloaded this in the first place? It's not too shabby after all - vocals included.

In Summary

World War III released one other album, 2002's 'When God Turned Away', with a completely different lineup. Strangely enough, World War III had many top line musicians passing through their ranks, it's a fascinating line up of the who's who of heavy metal.

When you see names like Kingdom Come's Danny Stag and Johnny B Frank, Hellion's Chet Thompson and Warrior duo Joe Floyd and Dave DuCey, you know that Mandy Lion commanded some respect in the L.A music industry. Still a going concern, check out what Mr Lion is up to on his website link (above).


Love You To Death

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    I really like WWIII - There was also a demos album that was released on the Spooky G label, which has been on my Discogs wants list for many a year. I even dropped Mandy an email years and years ago, got a reply but no copies of it about - think it was Tracey G that had the bigger hand in that release (may be judging by the label it was released on).
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    tompatompa Sweden
    Like this, too. Both the songs AND the vocals. In that year it provided something different, it made me take notice. Love You To Death might have silly lyrics but otherwise a great track.
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