"Guns For Hire"

By Dr. Abner Mality

The name Convent Guilt sounds goofy at first, but think about it...rather subversive once you "get it". Anyway, these guys are the latest in a series of Australian traditional metal bands popping up recently. Their style is very much influenced by the more obscure NWOBHM bands like Crucifixion, Trespass and Cloven Hoof, but should appeal to any fan of Priest, Saxon, Maiden, etc.

This record isn't a technical knock-out by any stretch and the vocals seem a bit off at times, but these faults are kind of endearing when it comes to Convent Guilt. Their buddies in Johnny Touch tried for the same kind of charming naivete but fell flat on their face. Not so this time. "Angels In Black Leather" sets the template for the album, with that catchy NWOBHM feel all over the place. It's pleasant listening despite some creakiness. And the band sticks to this comfortable feel for the rest of the album with minor variations..."Don't Close Your Eyes" is a bit more melodic, almost like something from the first great Def Leppard album, while "Stockade" is fast and furious, trad metal leaning towards thrash.

One very notable exception is "They Took Her Away", which brilliantly tosses in a kind of rural English folk feel into the metal. The acoustic riff is just as catchy as the metal one and the sing-song vocals add to the rustic atmosphere. This is the best and most memorable tune on the disc.

"Guns For Hire" is not a "blowaway" album but it's easy on the ears and can be endorsed for fans of metal's glory days.