Published on December 19th, 2016 | by Justin G.
Chateaux: Highly Strung
Towards the end of the legendary New Wave of British Heavy Metal (NWOBHM) scene, a lot of bands were softening their sound to try and reach more mainstream audiences. Cheltenham band Chateaux wasn’t having any of that though. They started out as a heavy metal band and that’s how they ended things in 1985 with Highly Strung.
Highly Strung is the third (and final Chateaux) album, and it continues along the same path as their previous two albums (1983’s Chained and Desperate and 1984’s FirePower). This is nine songs’ worth of raw, distorted guitars, piercing vocals, pounding rhythms and completely clichéd (and completely awesome) lyrics. You pretty much have to love songs like “Hot Touch at Midnight,” “Chase the Sun” and “First Strike.” It’s like Grim Reaper meets Savage, with its melodic aspect and biker metal aesthetic.
Chateaux stayed true to metal, but they never really made it big. Highly Strung was their final offering. They remain a cult classic NWOBHM band though, and for more than just the one album they did with Steve Grimmett. Highly Strung is as strong an album as their previous two, and is one that any serious fan and collector of the NWOBHM scene and ‘80s heavy metal in general ought to check out.
Reissue Notes: After being out of print for 15 years, we have a new CD reissue of Highly Strung thanks to the No Remorse label. Their version features new digitally remastered audio, but that’s about it. No bonus material, and a very sparse booklet, which is a bit disappointing. It is good to have this lost NWOBHM gem on CD again though.
Summary: You got the first two. Might as well go three for three.