Title: “Into The Pit”
Label: Metal God Entertainment
Release Date: 5/27/2008
Genre: Heavy Metal
Did you say that you were looking for a fight? Oh you meant the band “Fight”, well in that case have I got a release for you to sink your teeth into. Presenting “Into The Pit”, a four disc endeavor that gives you all of the bands releases on three CD’s plus a concert DVD as well. That’s right with this special limited edition boxed set we get the bands debut album “War Of Words”, their EP “Mutations”, and the sophomore release and final studio album “A Small Deadly Space” plus a full live concert that presents the bands second concert ever from Phoenix, AZ. The size of such a release requires that we break it down piece by piece and that’s what we will do as each CD gets its own little overview.
CD1: “War Of Words (remixed/remastered): Into The Pit, Nailed To The Gun, Life In Black, Immortal Sin, War Of Words, Laid To Rest, For All Eternity, Little Crazy, Contortion, Kill It, Viscious, Reality – A New Beginning.
*** When this album was originally released I admit to being a little bit hesitant because Rob Halford was no longer a member of Judas Priest and for me this was Earth shattering information since I had held the group as one of my top three bands of all time for so many years. One just didn’t process or take too easily any sort of dramatic information like this when you were a staunch supporter of a group. However, the band quickly proved to the world that any reservations they might have had would be unfounded and that the singer had assembled a powerhouse lineup of guitar players to compliment his own voice and the drumming of Scott Travis. The skin basher had also come along for the ride but also was able to maintain his station as a member of Judas Priest and I was pretty happy with his level of drumming destruction anyway so he was a perfect addition to this group when it came down to it. If you already owned the Fight debut “War Of Words” then you might appreciate the fact that it has been remastered quite a bit but also that it had been remixed by legendary producer Roy Z. Now, I was not too sure about the recording needing a remix but I had to say that the end result was a bit cleaner and more polished. There are some who felt that the remaster of the album found the band being too far in the background in the mix while Halford’s vocal was much more dominant. This is slightly true and to be expected since it is his project after all, but in the end I loved hearing superbly crisp versions of “Nailed To The Gun” and the thunderous “Into The Pit”. That one will shake your room if you play it loud enough. I was also rather fond of “Immortal Sin” and “For All Eterntiy” since they reminded me more of the Priest sound that I had missed during recordings like “Turbo” and “Ram It Down”.
CD2: “Mutations” (remastered): Into The Pit (live), Nailed To The Gun (live), Freewheel Burning (live), Little Crazy (live), War Of Words (bloody tongue mix), Kill It (Dutch Death Mix), Vicious (Middle Finger Mix), Immortal Sin (Tolerance Mix), Little Crazy (Straight Jacket Mix), Culture Of Corruption Mix (War Of Words Bonus Mix), Lost Faith Mix (Kill It Bonus Mix).
*** “Mutations” was a combination of live tracks performed by Halford and the guys in Fight along with a number of reworked mixes of the bands tunes. I always like when a band delivers some live tracks for their fans and during these tracks the band sure sounds hungry and really comes off as a group that delivered in the live sense. There are only four tunes and one of them is a Judas Priest cover which Halford holds a much darker vocal on as opposed to the way he did it with his previous band mates. Fight definitely had some great songs and each of them seemed to be tailor made for the venues and screaming Metal fans. Next up are the actual mutations on the album which are several reworked re-mixes of the tracks you knew from the debut album. To be honest this is something that I never really enjoyed because when you catch a band live you would not be hearing the remix of their song but the true version. While this is a personal preference and you might be one of those people who enjoy such things I had to say that I was only interested in the Tolerance Mix of “Immortal Sin”. We get enough of this kind of stuff with every Rob Zombie release and to me that’s more than enough.
CD3: “A Small Deadly Space” (remixed/remastered): Beneath The Violence, Legacy Of Hate, Never Again, Mouthpiece, I Am Alive, A Small Deadly Space, Gretna Greene, Human Crate, Blowout In The Radio Room, In A World Of My Own Making.
*** The bands sophomore album “A Small Deadly Space” would actually also be their last recording together as a group as the singer would move on to another solo project called “Two” with Trent Reznor and then eventually form his juggernaut second solo band Halford. In a sense it is a shame that this album became Fight’s last as it was really, really heavy and perfect for the new breed of Heavy Metal that was building up. Pantera was going strong around this time and other bands were picking up the pace as well and delivering Metal that was as heavy as it was aggressive. With “A Small Deadly Space”, Fight was doing the same thing and had they stuck to it, I think we would have found this album as only the tip of the iceberg in the Metal onslaught that they would have slammed us with. If you don’t agree just listen to tracks like “Beneath The Violence” or “Legacy Of Hate” and if that doesn’t convince you well perhaps you need to start listening to safer music. “A Small Deadly Space” was also remixed and remastered by Roy Z. The sonic improvements are a little more subtle here since the second album was not as much in need of it as the first appeared to be…
DVD: “Live In Phoenix” – For a band that was only on their second gig they come off as surprisingly strong and I say it like this because every single band no matter who is in the lineup has some amount of concert warming up to do before they are a killing machine. The guitarists of Parrish and Tilse along with bassist Jay Jay are all super charged and into the music as they demonstrate their technical skills as well as snarl at the crowd. Halford sounds really good but doesn’t do much in the way of showmanship during the set and instead just walked back and forth a bit. He was also only wearing the equivalent of sweat shorts and shirt as opposed to the more regal garments of leather and spikes that we have come to expect from him. The camera angles are limited in this one, but of course there was only a couple of them positioned around in the first place so you are not going to get much more than the close up and stage pans. The video itself while dark is rather clean and clear and the audio enjoyable and not some conventional bootleg that is hard to listen to and takes away from the enjoyment. The DVD also delivers some bonus footage with the Epic Sony “War Of Words” commercial from 1993, Amsterdam Studio Footage, “War Of Words” worldwide release party, Metal God bungee jumping, and “A Small Deadly Space” promotional video blowout from the Radio Room. For the most part this grouping of bonus features was nothing more than filler but in the end nice to have. The commercial is just so terrible it needs to be watched again and again. It was also interesting to see Halford enjoying a bungee jump and all I can say is “Rob you are braver than I”, since I don’t plan on doing this anytime soon. Perhaps this segment will inspire those other Metal daredevils out there.
The whole thing is packaged rather nicely in a multi-sectioned digipak that is loaded with artwork and photos. They also give you a twenty four page booklet inside that continues the photography display and offers up lyrics for all of the albums and the liner notes offer some additional background to make this a true document of the bands entire, albeit brief, career. The only downside is that if you already owned the Fight DVD release “War Of Words – The Film”, that you will already have owned the remastered CD for “War Of Words” as well. If you own those two releases and add the “K5 Demos” to the batch then you have the complete work of Fight and are able to become a little bit of a Metal historian yourself. Based on photos included in the booklet, the albums also appear to be available separately but the DVD concert is only in this limited edition.
Track Listing: DVD
1. Into The Pit
2. Nailed To The Gun
3. Life In Black
4. Immortal Sin
5. War Of Words
6. Laid To Rest
7. For All Eternity
8. Little Crazy
10. Kill It
12. Reality – A New Beginning
13. Light Comes Out Of Black
Official Website: www.robhalford.com