Messy, sloppy, appalling noise.
Check the date - 1981.
Angel Of Fear is the strongest root of many modern branches of metal that I know of from this time - I hestitate to try to name a genre, but it's thrashy, it's like speeded up Black Sabbath - but it's not, it reminds me of Death Metal, Black Metal, Power Metal - but it's none of these things.
It's mindlessly thrashy, it's intense, it blows everything else from 1981 out of the water - except for the tech metal of Raven, of course.
Next on the EP is a live recording in a completely different vein, like a dark, Meddle-era Pink Floyd, with shades of Wishbone Ash. The musicianship isn't too shabby - no playing that will startle you, but there's a kind of fire behind it that sets your spine tingling, if you've got any soul at all. This piece is well arranged and executed, and shows a more sensitive side of a band that were perfectly capable of far higher-octane performances - which is really what sets this piece in context as being remarkable.
The second guitar solo really shreds - and there's a motif that the guitarist returns to from the first which sounds like a kind of signature - I get the feeling that this band could have been REALLY great if they'd only stuck with it.
Rounding off the EP nicely is a piece that sounds a bit like early Possessed, returning to the Death Metal flavours. There are some nice tempo changes and stops/starts - and some passages of raw intensity that will have you creating a mosh pit in your sitting room.
The production is rough, as is the execution - but this is another side of the true spirit of NWoBHM; experimental, inventive music straight from the heart, made for fans by fans.
It's in no way perfect - but you don't really expect it from kids on the tightest of budgets, eschewing guitar lessons (and tabs were not freely available back then), playing an unpopular style of music - and a rather extreme version at that, using facilites that we would now look at as horrendously primitive, given what can be obtained freely and used on our computers.
So yes, I'm taking all that into account when giving this grading - but that's not to take anything away from the astonishing invention and musical creativity on display here.
Hence a full Masterpiece of NWoBHM - and an EP for ALL Metal fans to hunt down and devour... if you can; There are only 500 copies in existence.