Glory Bell’s Band! Here is an interesting ol’ favorite from Sweden, a country with a rich history of great heavy metal. Glory Bell’s Band released just two albums in their career. Dressed In Black was their debut. Their follow-up was 1984’s Century Rendezvous (released under the shortened band name “Glory Bells”). I previously posted a review for Century Rendezvous (check the “Album Archive” to find the review). Now its time to dust off the Dressed In Black LP and have a closer look…
Dressed In Black was originally released (on vinyl) in 1982 by Sound Of Scandinavia (SOS) records (SOSLP 068).
There is a “2 in 1” CD that contains Century Rendezvous and Dressed In Black. To my knowledge this is the only CD version of Dressed In Black to be found. Unfortunately, this is a bootleg and not an official release. The CD it is made to look like an SOS release, but SOS went bankrupt in the mid-eighties.
Gallery (click to enlarge):
- There is an official website called glorybellsband.com that contains some info on the band and their two albums.
- The glorybellsband.com site contains rare bootleg videos of the band performing live at a 1984 gig at the club “Glädjehuset” in Stockholm, Sweden. The clips are Flight Back Home from the album Century Rendezvous and Guest Working Man from Dressed In Black. The videos can also be viewed on YouTube.
- Lead singer Glory North (real name: Goran Nord) passed away in 2008. The official website gives no details other than it was due to a “long time of sickness”.
- The front cover of Dressed In Black illustrates the bell ringing from the introduction of the track Sir Lionheart. The idea for the cover was conceived by Glory North.
My Worthless Opinion: Glory Bell’s Band had not two, but three guitarists in their ranks, something very rare in the heavy metal world. But if you’re looking for blazing guitar pyrotechnics, you won’t find it on Dressed In Black. What you will find is traditional riffs and a focus on well resolved, oft-repeated grooves. Occasional dual guitar harmonies pop up here and there, bringing to mind the style of Thin Lizzy. The three guitars trade leads on the very cool Military Toys, the album finale. The songs are simple but effective. However, in stark contrast the conventions of the backing band, there are the hyperactive vocals of Glory North. What he lacks technically, he compensates for in his obvious lust for songwriting and self-expression. I babbled on about him and his stylistic charms in my review of Century Rendezvous, so I’ll spare you such tangents here, but it is North that will make you remember Glory Bell’s Band, whether you like the album or not. Dressed In Black is a refreshing record that captures a band’s love for music as well as their charming naivety. Though flawed it may be, Dressed In Black still shines. My score: B+