Because of its niche appeal, there are some who are dedicated to collecting NWOBHM singles. These are people who are super into buying records and have found excitement in the limited availability and attention for this music. Additionally, the single as an entity is interesting within the confines of heavy metal. As a format, these two or three songs usually act as the band’s resume to make themselves well-known among all of the other bands putting out the same type of sound. Much like garage in the 70’s, there existed for a couple of year a wave of similar sounding material that was all pretty amazing. Again, personal judgment. Below are twenty amazing NWOBHM singles chosen by myself and Tape Wyrm’s veteran guest, Deathofthesun. I expect you to have us both over so we can look through your crates of records.
Where are we starting? With some organ and a slight 70’s hard rock hangover? After Dark may not sound like the proto typical NWOBHM but once that twin guitar hits, there will be no question of its reason for being here. The band members from After Dark did absolutely nothing following two singles and a debut release. None of them even went on to join any other bands except for Michael Hare who played guitars in the lesser known Iron Heart in the late 80’s. Wait, the band sort of got back together in the mid 90's. Wait, nevermind. Just this single.
Fuck yes, Demon. If you are not aware of this band’s first two albums, Night of the Demon and The Unexpected Guest leave now to go purchase any remaining vinyl copies. Aside from Demon shaking the earth with solid hard rock, the band’s early work is entirely centered around the occult. Well, except for their bluesy first single, which is more of a beer fueled bitch fest about unfaithful women. Whether fascination or devotion, Demon’s darkness drapes quite nicely over electric riffs and gang vocals. Personally, I think their work matured in The Unexpected Guest but their debut single is more than enough to earn them a gold NWOBHM star. Just don't do Demon wrong.
(Windscape) Traitors Gate’s single came out in 1985, which is really pushing it in terms of the traditional / NWOBHM border. I assume that Traitors Gate would be axed from this NWOBHM discussion if this single was any less than damn awesome. Wait. It is so it stays. No. Fuck you. Devil Takes the High Road follows two demos of lesser quality. The 84 demo is still decent with songs like “ Take a Chance on the Night” but nothing comes close to Devil Takes the High Road. Traitor's Gate is a band that could have made an amazing debut if this was their warm up. Now let us check what the band did after this. Oh, look at that. Absolutely nothing. Don’t be a wimp and take the low road, listen to more Traitor's Gate.