Stay seated. I don’t want you to get up thinking you need to run out and find a copy of Danger In The Air. I will tell you straight up that this album is a guilty pleasure of mine, and not one I would expect many people out there to love. You see, one of my favorite “pet” bands is the obscure German metal band Attack, and this album was Attack’s strange debut (Pro Sound Records). It is not as good as Attack’s later releases, but it still has a special place in my little ol’ heart.
Attack existed from around 1983-1996, not so much as a band but as a project for one man; Ricky van Helden. For all intents and purposes, Attack was Ricky van Helden, and Ricky van Helden was Attack. Throughout Attack’s career, Ricky was the mastermind and the only constant of the “band”. The lineup around him changed with each album. Ricky sang and played bass most of the time, but he also played guitar, drums, cello, and flute from time to time on Attack’s albums.
Danger In The Air is a bizarre album that relies heavily on arcane and very cheesy keyboards. What I love about Danger In The Air is that it sounds so out-of-place for 1984 that I can’t help but find it endearing. Ricky van Helden seems to have been influenced by such artists as… ummm… well… NOBODY! This guy was on his own little island and it’s fun to listen to the stuff he was throwing out there. Later albums showed some Iron Maiden influences and a real progression into speedy “power” metal. But on this debut, it seems he was pulling ideas from the deepest confines of his very own ass.
I must say that for an indie release, the productions is exquisite on Danger In The Air. Great fidelity and plenty of robustness. Ricky’s voice is quirky and heavily accented, but with medieval masterpieces like the title track and the folksy Sunday Morning, this is one odd album I just can’t resist. My score: B+