REVIEW: Fight – A Small Deadly Space (1995)

Part 3 of a miniseries on Rob Halford’s solo career!  Missed the last part, Mutations?  Click here!

FIGHT – A Small Deadly Space (1995 Epic)

Russ Parrish was out, and in came youngster Mark Chaussee.   This change negated one thing I loved about Fight, which was the interplay between two different guitar players.  Chausee and Tilse are too similar in tone, and so the followup album A Small Deadly Space renders me deaf if I try to listen to it in one sitting.  The mix on this album bothers me, it has so much bottom end, but then not enough on top to balance it.  I don’t like the vocal effects that reduce the power of Rob’s voice.   Halford doesn’t scream much on A Small Deadly Space.

The songs are powerful enough, and this time Rob is writing with his bandmates.  The opener “I Am Alive” is slow and massive, unlike anything on War of Words.  “Mouthpiece” is different yet again, with a slippery riff and an accelerated pace.  “Blowout in the Radio Room” is actually psychedelic metal.  Halford sings about how music gets him high, and goes for a tripping druggy sonic assault.  The guitar solos are straight out of the Hendrixian Book of Knowledge, it’s just great.  “Never Again” is one of the few moments of Halford screams, and it’s like an injection of adrenaline!  This is a Priest-quality album track.

SMALL DEADLY_0003I still think of CDs in terms of being albums, of having a “side one” and a “side two”, and to me this sounds like a natural break between two album sides.  I like side one, but side two wears on me.   The title track has a wicked wicked cool sounding guitar solo, but it’s just one lick that repeats four times.  Typical 90’s simplicity.  Then there’s “Gretna Greene”.  The lyrical matter is that of abuse, but unfortunately this very important subject is relegated to the back seat by the title of the song.  Yes, it’s an O.J. Simpson trial reference.  That wouldn’t matter so much if the music stood up, but this song is pretty boring.  They stay that way until “Human Crate”, which is slower but a really cool song with powerful vocals.  The album ends with a ballad, “In A World of My Own Making”.  For the first two minutes it’s just a piano, and Rob.  It’s a side of Halford rarely heard.  Then the band comes in, and it becomes a slant on “Beyond the Realms of Death”.  Except…with flat sounding drums and brittle guitars.

But that’s not all, there’s also the super hard to find secret bonus track, “Psycho Suicide”.  It’s noisy and tuneless, but it sure is heavy, and I kinda like it.

So, I think I’ve been clear that I’m not a fan of the mix of this CD.  A Small Deadly Space was remixed as part of the 2008 Into the Pit box set.  As I get along in this series of reviews, I’ll revisit that box set and see if this album makes a new impression on me.

For now?

2.8/5 stars

SMALL DEADLY_0004

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16 comments

  1. Haha what is it with Rob and Scotland? First Gretna Green (with an added e?) and then Loch Ness.

    I’ve never heard this but I’ve got this on that Box Set so that’ll be the remix. Quite intrigued to listen to it from the review though. Sounds interesting!

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    1. Scott in this case Gretna Greene was the street where the OJ Simpson murders were. So it plays into the abuse theme.

      It is an interesting album. I haven’t played the remix in years but I will for this series!

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      1. Oh yeah… you did mention that. I didn’t put 2 and 2 together! It’s an interesting contrast cause Scotland’s Gretna Green is associated with marriages (usually runaway ones).

        Look forward to your review of the remix. It’s a cool box set but I just keep listening to the 1st album over and over and forgot to try the rest. Think I watched the DVD once.

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  2. I’ve got the first Fight on order now, thanks to you!

    Read a really good interview with Rob Halford recently, I think he always comes across as very pleasant and sane.

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    1. I sure hope you like it — I don’t offer refunds!

      I agree about Halford. He has always seems very soft spoken and intelligent. I recall he once said he “devours” books. I like that. “Devours”. Nice word to use.

      When I get to the Two album (next) I’ll briefly talk about his sexuality but only because I think in an overview such as this, it is worth a mention. I feel I’d be negligent to not mention it since he came out while promoting the Two album. But utmost respect to the guy because that couldn’t have been easy at the time.

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      1. Have a search around on WordPress, because that’s where I found the interview, which was mostly about that, it might have been called LGBT icons.

        I agree with what you say, I can only think of him and Roddy Bottom from FNM who have come out, statistically there has to be loads more gay guys in metal.

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        1. Absolutely. You’re right about Roddy, and I think he was already out way back in the days of Angel Dust or before. There’s one more I can think of which is Dave Holland, this info came out with his molestation trial though.

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