March 22, 2021

Music can induce so many different feelings and emotions but, sometimes, you come across an album that if suffused with pure and simple joie de vivre it automatically lifts your mood and puts a great big grin in your face. This excellent old school metal album by the Swiss band Distant Past is a perfect example of the pure exhilaration that music can bring.

The band hails from Bern/Freiburg Switzerland and, according to the publicity, was an active studio project from 2002 to 2016 which released a couple of demos and then two studio albums in The Utopian Void in 2014 and Rise Of The Fallen in 2016. It seems like there was not a stable line-up around this time which led to the hiatus but then the vocalist Jvo ‘Jay Jay’ Julmy and bassist Adriano Troiano (both ex metal band Emerald) decided to resurrect the band and brought a new team on board with the twin guitarists of Ben Sollberger and Lorenz Laederach with Remo Herrmann on drums and suddenly a new, lean and hungry Distant Past was in business and firing on all cylinders. The result is this fantastic new album, The Final Stage, ten superb metal tracks borne out of NWOBHM and now very definitely New Wave Of Traditional Heavy Metal with trademark searing twin guitars and a frantic, frenetic and strident vocalist who lays everything on the line and gives it everything that he has.

The songs are perfect being direct, hard hitting and straight to the point with no messing around and in Sollberger and Laederach the band has two almighty weapons of mass destruction and, oh boy, can these two play as they combine in true Tipton/Downing and Gorham/Robertson style and when they let loose you sit up and take notice. This is retro metal, pure and simple, straight out of the Judas Priest, Iron Maiden and Diamond Head school and is played with real style, vigour and passion and you simply have to go on the metal journey with them. Look, Distant Past are not the best metal band ever and they have a few rough edges but this adds to the charm and warmth of their delivery as this is metal as it should be played, raw, angry and intense.

The Final Stage is classic metal and demands that the speakers be cranked to 10 and total satisfaction is guaranteed, give them a listen and you’ll be so glad that you did. The Final Stage is a classic demonstration of how hard rock should be delivered and I just loved the short burst of Charlton Heston at the beginning of I Am Omega, pure class from the boys from Switzerland.

The Final Stage track list

  1. Kill The Dragon (2:59)
  2. Staring At The Stars (3:23)
  3. Queen Of Sin (4:10)
  4. Fall From Glory (4:33)
  5. I Am Omega (4:08)
  6. The Power Of Evil (5:01)
  7. The Final Stage (1:09)
  8. Dawn City (7:16)
  9. World Of Wires (3:49)
  10. Path Of Fate (4:30)