By Martin Popoff
Rob Halford has certainly taken a Rolls-Royce approach to reissuing his Fight and Halford material, Metal God Entertainment basically throwing down the gauntlet, ringing the dinner bell and saying, “Come an’ get it!”
Now Into The Pit gathers up the Fight catalog and puts it in one “swellegant” three-panel box set. Did a test, and I can’t say the remixing and remastering makes any appreciable difference (and these are records that did need a fix, sounding harsh then and harsh now), but that’s a minor quibble.
Fight is, of course, the young, loud and snotty Phoenix-based band Halford put together as a wake-up call after Rob’s departure from Judas Priest, Halford feeling that things were getting stale, and that he’d like to write like an adult for the first time since… 1979’s Hell Bent For Leather, really.
Included is the band’s scrappy War Of Words debut, the underrated and rumbling A Small Deadly Space follow-up and the trendy, pointless Mutations EP, expanded.
A fourth disc comprises a live show, jerky-camera studio footage from Amsterdam, a Sony ad for the debut album and some promotional radio-type footage. A big beautiful booklet includes lyrics to everything (in annoying upper/lower case), some photos and a top-flight layout related to the whole fiery-looking package.
Fact is — and this goes for doppelganger Bruce Dickinson gone solo as well — stepping out of the box allowed for mature, vital, edgy metal we otherwise wouldn’t have heard. The plush reissue of all of this material affirms that Rob realizes just how good Fight was, comparisons with Priest best not dwelt upon.