Killing Joke – Killing Joke (1980)

AllMusic Review: Since 1980, there have been a hundred bands who sound like this; but before Steve Albini and Al Jourgensen made it hip, the cold metallic throb of Killing Joke was exciting and fresh. The harshly sung vocals riding over the pulsating synth lines of the opener “Requiem” have a vigor and passion that few imitators have managed to match. The precise riffs and tight rhythms found in songs like “Wardance” would influence a generation of hardcore musicians; yet “The Wait,” with its thrashing guitars and angry vocals, would find itself covered on a Metallica album only six years later. That such a bleak and furious album could have such a widespread influence is a testament to its importance. Certain parts of the album have not dated well; the vocals and drums are mixed in such a way that they lose some of their effectiveness, and the fact that so many other bands have used this same formula does take some of the visceral feeling away. But this is an underground classic and deserves better than its relative unknown status. Fans of most kinds of heavy music will probably find something they like about this band, and this is a good a place as any to start the collection. — Bradley Torreano

Track Listing:

All lyrics are written by Jaz Coleman; all music is composed by Killing Joke (Coleman, Geordie WalkerYouthPaul Ferguson), except as noted.

Side A
No. Title Music Length
1. “Requiem” 3:45
2. “Wardance” 3:49
3. “Tomorrow’s World” 5:31
4. “Bloodsport”
  • Walker
  • Glover
  • Ferguson
Side B
No. Title Length
5. “The Wait” 3:45
6. “Complications” 3:08
7. “S.O.36” 6:52
8. “Primitive” 3:37


Schill Score: 4/10


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