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Monday, March 18, 2024

INCOMING!! Speed Limit


Time capsules are mysterious treasure chests of history, captivating with their often enigmatic and curiosity-piquing nature, stirring the imagination and exploratory desire of future generations. They act as bridges between eras, containing carefully selected objects, information, and messages that provide insights into the life, culture, and aspirations of their time. Such a musical time capsule is represented by The Broken Record: Chorus Sound Tapes 1990 from the Austrian heavy metal, or rather hard rock band Speed Limit, which will be officially released for the first time in 2024 after remaining hidden for nearly thirty-five years.

Last year, the band Speed Limit celebrated their musical revival with the album "Cut A Long Story Short," which remained in the top 10 of the official rock and metal charts for several weeks and also showed a strong presence on the sales charts of Amazon and iTunes. On the occasion of the 40th anniversary of the formation from Salzburg, the band announces several surprises, among which the release of the long-believed-lost album "The Broken Record" marks the beginning. Originally recorded in 1990 at the Chorus Sound Studios in Vienna, this work was intended as the group's second studio album. Unfortunately, a release did not materialize at that time.In 1990, Speed Limit was at the pinnacle of their creativity. Following the success of their mini album "Prophecy," which gained widespread recognition in the international heavy metal scene with tracks like "Lady" and "Dead Eyes," the band was named Austria's best metal act in a competition by the Austrian magazine "Rennbahn Express." The jury included legends such as Bruce Dickinson from Iron Maiden and Gene Simmons from Kiss.

Concerts alongside bands like U.D.O, MANIAC, or CHROMING ROSE, coupled with various festival and TV appearances, significantly increased Speed Limit's fame in the European metal scene. The band from Salzburg thus established themselves well beyond national borders, and their future seemed assured.

At the same time as Speed Limit parted ways with their guitarist Hel Lennart and found a suitable replacement in Joe Eder, the former guitarist of Torso, they entered the Chorus Studio in Vienna to work on a new album. However, the recording process took longer than expected, leading the band to take breaks to play some concerts. The initially planned release date for the album had to be repeatedly postponed and was eventually abandoned for reasons that are no longer entirely clear today. During this tense phase, singer Steven Hogger left the band. The album remained unreleased for a long time – until today.

In addition to the original versions of some songs that later appeared in revised form on the albums "Perfect Inspiration" (1992) and "Moneyshot" (2010), "The Broken Record" offers an exciting acoustic testament. It impressively documents the musical evolution of the Salzburg heavy metal and hard rock band and includes some unknown works of Speed Limit.

In the opening track "Back in Black," Speed Limit tells the story of a young person breaking free from societal conventions and finding their identity in music. This song serves as a clear homage to the rock icons AC/DC. Lyrically, Speed Limit presents themselves from a particularly profound perspective. The heavy hard rocker "Rock 'N' Roll Insanity" deals with freedom on one hand and the love for music and the life of a musician on the other, while the up-tempo metal song "Telling A Tale" addresses the hypocrisy of Christianity, criticizing dogmatism by questioning the futility of blind faith rules and the preaching of a priest as merely telling stories. In contrast to the speed of this piece is then the moderate hard rocker "Black Dessous." First released in 1992 on the official album "Perfect Inspiration", the original version also deals with passion and desire.

A topic that is also explored in the fast heavy metal banger "After Midnight." The song discusses the interplay of attraction and rejection between two people, intensifying in a nocturnal setting. The hard rocker "Fly With The Eagle," which was first released in a revised form on Speed Limit's 2010 album "Moneyshot" as "Fly Like The Eagle," addresses the desire for boundless freedom.

The original version of "Higher & Higher" deals with the theme of a fleeting romance, seeking a continuous escalation of passion. "It Ain’t Easy," another relatively unknown title from Speed Limit's repertoire, comes at a moderate pace and explores the hurdles and sacrifices that come with being a musician. With the hard rock song "Nights Alone," typical of its time, Speed Limit addresses the themes of loneliness and longing, while the original version of the fast hard rocker "Head Over Heels" tells the story of a woman desperately searching for love, only to face disappointments repeatedly and lose herself in a vicious cycle of despair and longing.

The cover versions of Michael Jackson's "Beat It" and Huey Smith's "Don’t HaHa" in their original versions provide a fitting conclusion to "The Broken Record: Chorus Sound Tapes."

For over forty years now, the band Speed Limit from the Austrian city of Salzburg has stood for melodic heavy metal and hard rock. The musical journey of Speed Limit began in 1984 when the two bands Ampere and Speed Limit merged and thereafter performed together under the more sonorous name Speed Limit. From the beginning, the lineup included bassist Chris Pawlak, guitarists Chris Angerer and Joachim 'Jocky' Brunner, singer Hans Huthmann, and drummer Andreas 'Andy' Rethmeier.

Speed Limit's concerts quickly became a central meeting point for the Austrian and Bavarian metal scene and enjoyed great popularity. With their debut album 'Unchained', released in 1986 via Die Mühle Recordings, the band solidified their reputation. Songs like "Burning Steel" and "Fight To Survive" are now considered classics by Speed Limit, and 'Unchained' is today sought after as a coveted collector's item among enthusiasts. After several concerts that took the band all over Austria and the southeast of Germany, singer Hans Huthmann and guitarist Joachim Brunner left the band.

With the Bavarian frontman Steven Hogger and guitarist Hel Lennart, Speed Limit quickly found suitable replacements and worked on the now legendary mini album "Prophecy," which was released in 1988 via Breaking Records. This release enabled Speed Limit to achieve success in several European countries. Tours through Austria, Hungary, and Italy were commonplace at the time, as were an extensive series of television appearances and airplay of the clips for "Lady" and "Dead Eyes," which helped to cement Speed Limit's popularity. Contributions to compilations that reached as far as Japan did their part, and Speed Limit achieved international success with "Prophecy."

Concerts with U.D.O. or Chroming Rose were common, and in 1990, Speed Limit was chosen by the magazine Rennbahn Express as the best Austrian metal act. The jury included Bruce Dickinson from Iron Maiden and Gene Simmons from Kiss. At this time, Speed Limit was tirelessly working on the follow-up to "Prophecy," which was scheduled for release in 1990, but unfortunately never materialized. Frustrated by this situation, singer Steven Hogger threw in the towel and was replaced by the Bavarian singer Chris T. Ebert.

With the lineup of Chris T. Ebert (vocals), Chris Angerer (guitar), Joe Eder (guitar), Chris Pawlak (bass), and Andreas Rethmeier (drums), Speed Limit came together in 1992 at the Kick-Sound Studio in Salzburg and, together with Peter Wehrham and Peter W. Kevin, produced the official second studio album "Perfect Inspiration." In addition to songs like "Nightmares" and "Serenade 45," the album also featured new recordings of the until then unreleased songs "Nights Alone," "Head Over Heels," and "Black Dessous." Extensive concert tours, TV appearances, and radio interviews followed. However, during this time, the band faced internal differences. Founding member and drummer Andreas Rethmeier left the band, and in the short term, U8 drummer Kurt Rumpf stepped in before he handed over to Boogie Stuff drummer Fred Forrester.

With him, Speed Limit played a well-attended and warmly received unplugged tour to promote their new work "Perfect Inspiration". The concerts of this tour were recorded and rest today in the band's archives. Although public and media interest in Speed Limit did not wane, "Perfect Inspiration" could not replicate earlier successes. The trends of the music scene at the time dictated otherwise. Heavy metal and traditional hard rock generally had a difficult time during that period, and in November 1994, Speed Limit disbanded after their farewell concert at the then newly built Rockhouse in Salzburg.

In 2008, Speed Limit surprised everyone with the announcement of their reunion. Alongside bassist Chris Pawlak and guitarists Chris Angerer and Joe Eder, vocalist Steven Hogger was also back on board. Andy Rethmeier did not participate in the reunion; his position on drums was taken over by Wolf Krug.

The five flagship rockers from Salzburg made it clear from the start that this should not be seen as a comeback but as a new beginning. The news of the reunion spread like wildfire after the first band rehearsals, and soon Speed Limit were invited to open for Nazareth in Austria. On April 12, 2008, Speed Limit took to the stage together for the first time in almost fifteen years, precisely at the Gusswerk in Salzburg, and were enthusiastically greeted by around 1300 rock fans.

This reinforced the desire for a reunion.

The official reunion show of Speed Limit took place in front of a packed Rockhouse in Salzburg. Shortly thereafter, they embarked on a short tour with Uriah Heep. At the same time, they performed as co-headliners at the Austro Rock Festival in Salzburg alongside No Bros and Blind Petition. The reunion tour continued in 2009, with Speed Limit performing at the Celtic Metal Festival in Hallein among others, and successfully touring through southern Germany, including shows with Manfred Mann’s Earth Band.

To finally complete their comeback album, Speed Limit briefly paused their live activities and released the album "Moneyshot" in November 2010 through Pure Rock Records. "Moneyshot" was well-received by the international press and reached the top 30 of the German metal/rock charts, where it remained for seven weeks. Around the same time, Karthago, a sub-label of Pure Steel, re-released the two works "Unchained" and "Prophecy" together in a bundle.

Live, Speed Limit was known for their performances at festivals, in clubs, and as support, as well as for their own event, the Classic Metal Summit, where they shared the stage with genre heavyweights like Pink Cream 69, Pretty Maids, Bonfire, Dynamite, and Shakra. In 2012, the band was hit hard by Steven Hogger's surprising decision to leave Speed Limit, especially since they were in the pre-production phase of their new album. Ritchie Krenmeier, known from Stigma 4, was chosen as his successor. Unfortunately, a certain lack of inspiration within the band led to the end of their collaboration with Ritchie Krenmeier and drummer Wolf Krug. For a while, this seemed to spell the definitive end for Speed Limit, but long- time members Chris Angerer, Chris Pawlak, and Joe Eder decided to make a fresh start.

With drummer Hannes Vordermeyer and Manuel Bretl, they released the album "Anywhere We Dare" in 2017 through Pure Rock Records, convincing long-time fans with songs like "Sweet Morphine", "Retired Hero", "Bridges", and "Sign Of The Times". An extensive concert tour once again showcased the unbroken energy of Speed Limit. In 2018, Manuel Bretl left the band.

After an unsuccessful search for a new singer, drummer Hannes Vordermeyer took on the role of lead vocalist. This was followed by concerts, and the production of the follow-up album to "Anywhere We Dare" began.

In December 2022, Speed Limit signed a long-term record deal with the German independent label NRT-Records, which was set not only to release the new album "Cut A Long Story Short" on June 17, 2023, but also to make Speed Limit's legendary back catalog available again after a long time. For the first time, "Perfect Inspiration" was released on all common music portals.

Tobias Schönbeck from HOEVER Film remastered the band's music videos, which were re-released by NRT-Records. With the single and its accompanying video for "Hit The Wall," Speed Limit initiated a new era and presented their new work "Cut A Long Story Short" live at the Rockhouse Salzburg on June 17, 2023. Both "Cut A Long Story Short" and the singles "Hit The Wall" and "Shine Brighter Than The Sun" managed to stay in the top ten of the official rock and metal charts for several weeks and reached high positions in the Amazon and iTunes sales charts.

In November of the same year, Speed Limit, along with U.D.O., entertained at the Wildstyle & Tattoo fair in Salzburg.

Nearly simultaneously, NRT-Records, Speed Limit's label, stumbled upon a previously unreleased album by the band from the year 1990. Driven by curiosity and amazed by the quality of the material, the label wondered why this album had never seen the light of day and entered a „Challenge Accepted“ mode.

After intense discussions with the band members, it was decided to release the album in honor of the band's 40th anniversary under the title "The Broken Record: Chorus Sound Tapes."

On April 26, 2024, approximately 34 years after its original completion, this energetic album will be officially released for the first time, capturing not only the essence of 80s hard rock and heavy metal but also still proving to be convincing today.

The year 2024 promises to be a year full of events for Speed Limit. In addition to the long-awaited release of "The Broken Record," numerous live performances are also scheduled. They will perform at Explosiv in Graz on Friday, May 3, and at Rockhouse in Salzburg on October 3. Furthermore, additional performances are planned, and the release of a live album for the band's anniversary is currently in intensive preparation.

Artist: Speed Limit

Title: The Broken Record - Chorus Sound Tapes

Release date: 04-26-2024

Type: Digital Album

Genre: Heavy Metal / Hard Rock / Melodic Metal

Label: NRT-Records

Labelcode: 101254

GTIN: 4099885893728

Line-Up (1990): 

Steven Hogger: Lead Vocals

Chris Angerer: Guitars

Joe Eder: Guitars

Chris Pawlak: Bass Guitar

Andreas „Andy“ Rethmeier: Drums

Songs 1 to 10 were written and composed by: Speed Limit

Song 11 by: Huey Smith & Johnny Vincent

Song 12 by: Michael Jackson

Produced by: Walter l. Huber & Peter Hacker

Studio: Chrous Sound Studio

Cover Artwork: Joe Eder

Photo copyright: Karl „Charly“ Swoboda

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