Top 3 of 2008

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

I was gonna try to come up with a Top 10 records of '08 list, but I could only come up with 3... hahaha! That's pretty damn sad, but here it is: my Top 3 of '08 list.

Rise Above Records
Mammoth momentous Metal crushing everything in it's path. Not only the best record of the year, but the best record I've heard in years. This is REAL METAL!
SYPHILITIC VAGINAS • Complete Studio Collection
Rescued From Life Records
Loved these guys right from jump street, and this CD has it all... all their LPs, 7"s, splits, cassettes, etc. etc. You can't go wrong. Throw BATHORY, G.I.S.M., MOTORHEAD, and BULLDOZER in a blender, and you'd be getting close to the insanity of SV.
ENFORCER • Into The Night
Heavy Artillery Records
Top notch Speed Metal with piercing air raid siren vocals. If these Swedes don't get yer heart pumpin' you might need a defibrillator.

Top 10 Downloads from ARGTHN

The Top 10 downloads from A Reasonable Guide To Horrible Noise in '08 were:
1. THRASHER • Burning At The Speed Of Light: This record sucks but for some reason it's hella popular
2. DAMIEN THORNE • The Sign Of The Jackal: this one is kinda surprising too, but at least it's a good record
3. SODOM • Obsessed By Cruelty: No surprise at all... this album rules!
4. BAPHOMET • Morbid Realities Demo: Fully support the heavy downloading of this Western New York gem
5. SYPHILITIC VAGINAS • Syphilitic Vaginas: Great shit!
6. CONFESSOR • Uncontrolled/Collapse Demos: Jaw droppingly good
7. OLIVER MAGNUM • Oliver Magnum: One of my old-tyme faves
8. SUDDEN DEATH • All Or Nothing: Cool RUNNING WILD wannabes
9. SAINT VITUS • The Walking Dead: Classic Doom doesn't get any better
10. WITCH CROSS • Fit For Fight: Definitely one of my best finds this year. This record is A number 1
I realize that this is a completely pointless list, cuz some records have been up for longer than others, but WTF... it's the end of the year, and what would it be without meaningless compilations of useless information?

THUNDERCRAAFT • Fighting For Survival LP

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Boom Records 1984
Despite that brilliant album cover, THUNDERCRAAFT deliver mediocre middle of the road Metal that has more in common with 70's Rock than the ball crushing intensity that's usually associated German Metal. That's not to say that Fighting For Survival isn't a decent listen, it's just that it's not heavy... not even close. Clearly THUNDERCRAAFT were trying to muster all the menace they could, but they fall miserably short of the mark, coming off as a mild-mannered SCORPIONS rather than wildmen they aspired to be. OK, so it's not a particularly heavy record, but it's still fun in an innocent, lunkheaded sorta way. Download and become a wictim of THUNDERCRAAFT's Rock'n'Roll.
DOWNLOAD: Thundercraaft-FightingForSurvival.rar (80.16 MB)

SODOM • Pretenders To The Throne LP

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Big Scrotum Records 2008
If you can listen to this record... and actually enjoy it, then you are one seriously hardcore motherfucker. Much more hardcore than me that's for damn sure. This near unlistenable bootleg erroneously states that this is an unreleased EP from '84... when really it's a rehearsal, or maybe a demo... I'm not exactly sure, but whatever it is, the quality is abysmal. Now I'm not one to shy away from shitty production values, or even inadequate musicianship, but you gotta draw the line somewhere... and this is where I draw mine. I love early SODOM but I will never listen to this record again... I'll leave that to you more hardcore muthas.
DOWNLOAD: Sodom-PretendersToTheThrone.rar (43.26 MB)

DESTRUCTORS • Merry Christmas And Fuck Off LP

Friday, December 26, 2008

Death Records 1983
Well... if this album title don't sum it all up perfectly! Aside from the title, the best thing about this slab is the Pushead cover art. The music? Meh... simplistic UK82 Punk that's not nearly aggressive or angry enough, and a singer who sounds more like the Daily Show's John Oliver than a proper frontman. Only Gizz Butt's solos are worthwhile, and even those barely hint at what a great guitar player he'd become. I was never big on this record, and time has not been kind to the DESTRUCTORS' brand of weak and predictably bland Punk... I do seem to recall that their live record was a bit better than this, but I won't be diggin' it out any time soon. Consider this your lump of coal.
DOWNLOAD: Destructors-MerryXmasAndFuckOff.rar (78.87 MB)

RAW POWER • Wop Hour 7"

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Westworld 2008
Got suckered into buying this reissue (originally released in '85) simply because they tacked "Fuck Authority" on to the end of it. What's that? You've never heard "Fuck Authority"? Then stop reading and just download, cuz it's THE most ripping, vicious slice of hardcore Punk Rock to ever be loosed upon mankind. That fucking bass guitar in the middle! It was literally years before I even realized that that was even an instrument and not just obnoxious noise... and the cowbell, and the throat wrenching vocals... damn! The 4 songs that originally made up Wop Hour ain't not slouches either. "You are The Victim" and "Destroy" are the best of the bunch, cuz they sound like they coulda been on RAW POWER's 1984 masterpiece Screams From The Gutter LP, while "I Do What I Like" and "Factory" sound more like their underachieving After Your Brain record. Essential Italian Hardcore!
DOWNLOAD: RawPower-WopHour.rar (15.09 MB)
PS: Maybe it's just me, but every time I heard that damned PRODIGY song where he says: "Inhale, inhale, you are the victim", I thought to myself "Those limey bastards are ripping off RAW POWER"... they probably weren't, but they coulda been.

Today's Finds 12/16/08

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

When it rains it pours! Dropped by Hits & Misses and Discovery Records today... and got the BRATS record in the mail!
Y&T "Earthshaker" LP: Classic!
GLORIOUS BANKROBBERS "Dynamite Sex Doze" LP: I dug their first record, so I figured: what the eff? Plus it might be kinda rare.
DICTATORS "Every Day Is Saturday" 2LP: Collection of demos and rarities... gonna rule of course. Top 10 is my favourite... is that weird? Is it weird that I even have a favourite?
CROM "Hot Sumerian Nights" LP: I don't know anything about this band, but the album title made me laugh, and so did the song called "Banned in B.C.". Hopefully it's good shit.
RAW POWER "Wop Hour" 7": Not sure why I bought this. I have the original... but this one has "Fuck Authority" added to it... which I also have in multiplicity. Bah! It's RAW POWER, so it's OK.
BRATS "18th January 1981" LP: Came across this on eBay and had to have it. BRATS with King Diamond on vocals... I'm assuming I have these recordings somewhere, in some form, already, but I couldn't pass it up.


Sunday, December 14, 2008

Rockcity Records 1984
If this record is an accurate representation of Metal in New York City circa 1984, then I'm glad I grew up in Canada, cuz this is some seriously second rate shit. WARHEAD and CITIES start things off, and both offer decent HALLOWEEN-ish Metal, but then it's all downhill. TAKASHI are dreadfully bad, sounding very similar to KISS at their dullest and most pedestrian (picture "Getaway" played by even worse musicians). Unforunately there's two VIRGIN STEELE tracks to suffer through. The first is an almost 4 minute guitar wank-a-thon followed by their naff theme song. TEAZER are every bit as bad as their name suggests. One of this record's few highlights comes from BLACKLACE, who's brand of metallic barroom Rock is entertaining and just plain fun. The demo version of OVERKILL's "Feel The Fire" is painfully long, terribly dull, and sloppy. I've already completely forgotten DEATHSLAYER, but album closers FRIGID BICH are surprisingly good, in spite of the stupid name and stupider misspelling of it. It would be wrong of me to not comment on the cover shot... yes, that's a dude in a diaper. What in the fuck!?!?! Nothing says New York Metal like a soiled diaper.
DOWNLOAD: NewYorkMetal84.rar (78.14 MB)

WARRANT • The Enforcer LP

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Noise Records 1985
I've never really been sure of what the distinction is (or if there even is one) between Speed Metal and Thrash Metal - the terms have always seemed interchangeable. Then I got to thinking about this German Metal masterpiece... it's not quite Thrash cuz it retains a very Heavy Metal feel, but it's much heavier and faster than yer typical 80's Metal record... yes folks, this IS Speed Metal, and what a shining example it is! Imagine Udo and Wolf Hoffman on a crazed amphetamine binge and you'll have an idea of how much ass "The Enforcer" kicks. WARRANT deliver the goods on every track, and what they lacked in originality (there's a track called "Nuns Have No Fun" for christsake!... not to mention "Die Young" and "Send Ya To Hell") they made up for in terminally catchy, monsterously anthemic Metal that never ceases to blow my mind. For years this has been one of my go-to records, and dare I say it... I listen to this way more than KREATOR and SODOM (but not DESTRUCTION - that would just be stupid). Can't recommend this one highly enough, every track is top-notch, and the drummer's name is Lothar Wieners (which has always struck me as being way funnier than it actually is). Do yourself a favour and download this straight away.
DOWNLOAD: Warrant-TheEnforcer.rar (71.74 MB)

PRETTY MAIDS • Pretty Maids EP

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Bullet Records 1983
This record woulda been described as OTT back in the day... over the top. Well 4 of the 6 tracks are OTT and the other 2 are ballady and forgettable. "City Light" starts things off in fine fashion - an upbeat rocker that's kinda reminiscent of the NWOBHM, which, along with THIN LIZZY, was a big influence on these Danes. Speaking of THIN, "Bad Boys" starts off with a distinctly "Angel Of Death"-ish intro before breaking into a fast, in your face barrage of early 80's OTT Metal. "Shelly The Maid" is PRETTY MAIDS' take on "Charlotte The Harlot", and is also the best song on this, their debut EP. Furthering the MAIDEN comparison is vocalist Ronnie Atkins who sounds an awful lot like Di'Anno... not bad at all! Think you're ready to go over the top? Then get ta downloading bitch!
DOWNLOAD: PrettyMaids-PrettyMaidsEP.rar (46.65 MB)


Sunday, December 7, 2008

Tunes For Fucker Records 2007
Like a lot of people outside of Japan, and particularly in North America, my only exposure to Japanese Hardcore was through compilations. Meaning I was familiar with all the same bands you probably were (G.I.S.M., LIP CREAM, KURO, THE STALIN, etc.). Through mp3 blogs, and SYPHILITIC VAGINAS, I recently discovered the greatness of ZOUO, so when I saw TUNES FOR FUCKER Vol. 2 I had to grab it. Along with ZOUO's "The Final Agony" 7", TFF2 contains a TRANQUILIZER flexi, a MANBIKI CHOCOLATE 8", and G-SPOT's "Radical & Shout" 7". I really know nothing about any of these bands, but ZOUO sound very similar to G.I.S.M. (especially the vocals), and judging by the song titles have a Satanic lyrical direction. The 6 TRANQUILIZER tracks are blazingly fast walls of sheer distortion (lots of info re: TRANQUILIZER here). G-SPOT are kinda crappy Punk Rock that doesn't do much for me, but MANBIKI CHOCOLATE are killer, and easily my favourite of the 4 bands on TFF2. I'm gonna assume that all of these records are extremely rare, making TUNES FOR FUCKER Vol. 2 a pretty cool package.
DOWNLOAD: TunesForFuckerVol2.rar (77.45 MB)

PITTBULL • Pittbull LP

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Nemesis Records 1991
Detroit's PITTBULL play NY inpsired Hardcore/Metal that's heavily influenced by the CRO-MAGS, REST IN PIECES, KILLING TIME et al. and as a result winds up sounding a lot like Buffalo's ZERO TOLERANCE. Similar influences = similar sound, but PITTBULL are slightly more Punk and less Metal than ZT, at times even reminding me of BLACK FLAG. Pretty damn good record! The mile a minute vocal workout of "You Deserve Worse" is excellent, as is "Burn", but "Cold Grin" (a take on "Cold Gin"?) is the standout for me. It's the most intricate and Metal track on the record (main riff is pure HM... almost PRIEST-ish) and kinda discordant too. Unlike most NYHC, PITTBULL don't come across as being overly macho/testosterone driven which is a definite plus in my books. If NYHC is your thing, then you're pretty much guaranteed to dig this record.
DOWNLOAD: Pittbull-Pittbull.rar (52.72 MB)

Today's Finds 12/5/08

Friday, December 5, 2008

Hit up Rotate This for the first time in a long time, and was pleasantly surprised by their used Metal. Someone musta just unloaded their collection, so I picked up a few things:
ALIEN "Cosmic Fantasy" EP: Don't know a thing about these guys, but one look at the cover and I was sold!
PITBULL "Pitbull" LP: Some old friends used to rave about how great PITBULL were... I've never heard 'em, but if I remember correctly, they were comparable favourably to the CRO-MAGS... we'll see.
WILD DOGS "Wild Dogs" LP: I really dug that DR. MASTERMIND record, so hopefully this is on par.

ATTILA • Rolling Thunder LP

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Shattered Records 1986
New York Heavy Metal maniacs ATTILA offer up 9 pounding Metal anthems that (much like this poorly crafted sentence) borrow heavily from Canadian Power Metal stalwarts EXCITER. Didn't think much of "Rolling Thunder" after my first listen, but once "Urban Commandos" crept into my subconscious, I couldn't get enough! Even though "Urban Sombrero" woulda been a better title. Straight up fist pounding Metal with a military/nuclear war lyrical angle. The cover of "School's Out" is totally forgettable... but then again, most ALICE COOPER covers are - MEGADETH and ANTHRAX (and innumerable others I'm sure) have attempted to replicate the COOP with equally disappointing results. This record isn't outstanding by any stretch, but it's decent, and definitely worth checking out... even if it's just for "Urban Sombrero"... er, I mean commando.
DOWNLOAD: Attila-RollingThunder.rar (68.83 MB)

Today's Finds 12/1/08

Monday, December 1, 2008

Found all kindsa good shit at Hits & Misses today... gonna be a while before I can go back so I figured I should stock up:
TUNES FOR FUCKER Vol. 2 LP: Comp of Japanese Hardcore that's got ZOUO on it (along with TRANQUILIZER, MANBIKI CHOCOLATE, and G-SPOT) so I couldn't pass it up.
MIDNIGHT "Farewell To Hell" 10": Shouldn't have to explain.
ENERGY VAMPIRES "Energy Vampires" 2LP: Never mind ENERGY VAMPIRES... Hits & Misses is a cash vampire... sucking that shit right outta my wallet! This is a beautiful package so I hadta buy it... never heard of 'em though.
GERM ATTAK "A Bleak Future" 7": Crusty Punk from Ottawa... really just bought this cuz they're from Ottawa, and I kinda remember their stuff on myspace being good.
-->HIRAX/F.K.Ü. Split 7": You gotta respect Katon and HIRAX for stickin' it out all this time, and I really dug that F.K.U. "Horror Metal Moshing Machine" 7"... should be good.

HYMNS OF THE DEAD Vol. 1 Cassette

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Mould In Hell Records 1989
Some pretty serious shit here! I'll assume we're all familiar with, and know how amazing, NIHILIST, GRAVE, DISMEMBER, and even MERCILESS were/are... so I don't need to say much about them right? That leaves 7 lesser known Swedish Thrash/Death Metal bands who've contributed to this cassette comp of demo tracks. OBSCURITY deliver a real mid-paced pounder that calls to mind BATHORY's slower moments with killer pitched vocals. HYSTERIAH lean more towards technical Thrash with a palpable ARTILLERY "Terror Squad" influence. LEPROSY fucking slay! Excellent vocals, great guitar harmonies... one of the best tracks, if not the best, on HOTDV1. TREBLINKA's simplistic Death Metal shows little or no similarity to their later incarnation as TIAMAT. MACRODEX's "Rest In Pieces" flipflops between TESTAMENT style Thrash and full-on Death Metal, while ATROCITY stick to straight up Thrash. Finally KENTIK BROSK are the Swedish equivalent of AUTOPSY... 'cept for the stoopid country bit in the middle of their track. This is mandatory listening for while yer flipping through your Swedish Death Metal coffee table book.
DOWNLOAD: HymnsOfTheDeadVol1.rar (88.14 MB)

D.N.A. • Victim In Damnation Demo

Monday, November 24, 2008

Private/Indie 1989
No rose coloured glasses here... this demo sucks as hard now as it did in '89 when D.N.A. shat it out... but nevertheless, here it is for all you obscurity freaks.
DOWNLOAD: DNA-VictimInDamnation.rar (17.62 MB)

MALHAVOC • Age Of The Dark Renaissance Demo

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Private/Indie 1986
So I finally had a hankerin' to hear this one again, and went over to my old friend Vim's A Warrior Of Genghis Khan blog to get it, but the link is dead. So I dug up my old cassette and got to rippin'. Goddamn! Hearing this again is a total timewarp. I'm gonna go out on a limb and say this is the best thing that any Metal band from Toronto has ever done... sure, everything from Toronto is measured against SACRIFICE, but I get way more enjoyment outta this than I do from SACRIFICE, or SLAUGHTER, or... well that's it really isn't it. I'm gonna quote Mr. Fuego for this one, cuz he summed it all up perfectly:

H.P.Lovecraft, Bathory and Celtic Frost were the prime inspirations for Malhavoc in '87. Spine chilling riffs with the creepiest vocal style ever created. The intro is just killer and that first riff is never to far back in my sub conscience (kind of a variation on Instellar Overdrive). The gtr tone has always reminded me a little of Kill 'em All though the music is light years away. There are so many killer riffs on this but my fav riff has always been the one in Fey at 1:42. Also known as "The Riff That Never Dies!" Throw out yer meter cause the drums are real slop in places, but it only adds to the frankenstein effect in the end. I cut alot of gtr teeth on this demo and still consider these tunes to rank with the best of that era. Unfortunately, Malhavoc abandoned their classic style a couple of years later after an failed attempt to release an album, Shrine, on Toronto's ever inept Fringe Records. Thankfully some of these recordings were tagged on as bonus tracks to later Malhavoc releases, but here are the demos in all their raw tape-hissing glory.

Unfortunately I don't have an original copy of AOTDR, so that crappy artwork you see has nothing to do with this demo... it's just something I threw together so there's cover art on my ipod... sorry James.
DOWNLOAD: Malhavoc-AgeOfTheDarkRenaissance.rar (71.45 MB)

AXE WITCH • The Lord Of Flies LP

Friday, November 21, 2008

Fingerprint Records 1983
I was pretty stoked to find this one at Ric's Collectibles a few weeks ago... "Visions Of The Past" is such an excellent record that I couldn't wait to get this one on the wheels of steel to see how it stacks up. Thankfully AXE WITCH do not disappoint! "The Lord Of Flies" is full of the same fantastic Euro Metal that made "Visions Of The Past" such a stand out. This record is a bit more rockin' than VOTP (and that can only be a good thing!), yet the ACCEPT and TYGERS OF PAN TANG influences still comes through loud and clear. Vocalist Anders Wallentoft is top notch and unmistakeably distinct, and it's his voice that raises AXE WITCH above the run-of-the-mill Metal pack. Totally solid record all the way through, but the last track "Seven Angels" is a haunting stand-out, and a great finish. Get it!
DOWNLOAD: AxeWitch-TheLordOfFLies.rar (72.17 MB)

RAZOR • Evil Invaders LP

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Viper Records 1985
This is what Thrash Metal is all about... vicious and hard as fucking nails! Stace "Sheepdog" McLaren is THE quintessential Thrash vocalist - his bad-ass, tough-guy, I'm-about-to-fuck-you-up schtick is still totally believable to this day. Dave Carlo is a goddamn machine and M-Bro is the one of the worst drummers of all time, but fuck it, it all totally works for the 10 undeniable classics on "Evil Invaders". Sheepdog has the best ad-libs ever, and this record is chock full of 'em. UP YOUR ASS! RIGHT HERE! RIGHT NOW! Oh yeah, how could I forget about Mike Campagnolo... he had an awesome moustache.
DOWNLOAD: Razor-EvilInvaders.rar (71.36 MB)


Friday, November 14, 2008

Capitol Records 1985
The guys in DARKTHRONE were totally right when they wrote that "Canadian Metal" song for their last record... it does rule. And even though I doubt they referenced any of the bands on this comp, they rule none the less. DAGGER start things off with a commercial party anthem, and D.D.T. follow it up with the best track on MMMV1, the pounding "Let The Screw...". I'd never heard of D.D.T. before this comp, but their self-released EP is at the top of my want list now. SADWINDER deliver straight up Metal with soaring Geoff Tate-ish vox, while FIST are simplistic Rock/Metal that's slightly reminiscent of Belgian MOTORHEAD wannabes KILLER... maybe that's just cuz their contribution is called "Killer" though. WITCHKILLER's track sounds like "Rhythm Nation" off the top with cheesy keyboard orchestra hits, but develops into a bit of a "United" style anthem. "Got To Be Cruel" by STORMBRINGER starts off slow but winds up being a damn good track with a memorable chorus and cool gang vocal bits. GALLEON have a bit of the NWOBHM in their sound, and the blatant IRON MAIDEN harmony guitar parts don't hurt. The tracks by HEAVENKNOX and TZAR are probably the weakest on MMMV1, the former having little to make it standout and the latter being generic knuckleheaded Rock... but thet can't help it cuz they were "Born To Rock". The last track comes from CREEPY FAMILY, and is definitely the weirdest of the bunch. They look a bit like DEATH SS or RIPPER and incorporate some spooky keyboard parts to add to the horror vibe. It's a bit cheesy, bit I totally love this track. Unlike most comps featuring unsigned bands, the production quality on MMMV1 is top notch.
DOWNLOAD: MooseMoltenMetalVol1.rar (67.29 MB)

STRYPER • Soldiers Under Command LP

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Enigma Records 1985
I was gonna write a great big buncha bullshit trying to make this record not seem that bad... but I couldn't do it, cuz it is bad. 7 of the 10 songs on "SUC" (hahaha) are virtually unlistenable, ranging from pure AM radio schmaltz ("Together As One" and "First Love") to unbearable Pop Metal ("Together Forever" and "(Waiting For) A Love That's Real"). The fucked up thing is that the other 3 songs ("Surrender", "The Rock That Makes Me Roll" and the title track especially) are really good... great even. Straight up Metal with sick Randy Rhoads inspired riffs, soaring harmony guitar parts and vocals, and some cool drum bits here and there. So even though the suck far outweighs the good on this record, the title track alone is worth the download.
DOWNLOAD: Stryper-SoldiersUnderCommand.rar (82.88 MB)

RAZAR • Decadence & Discipline LP

Monday, November 10, 2008

Private/Indie 1984
Not exactly sure why I'm posting this, cuz I don't think that anyone in their right mind should give a shit, but who knows... maybe obscure Alaskan Rock bands are your thing. And come to think of it, I've seen similar records go for hundreds and hundreds of dollars on eBay, so it's bound to appeal to someone. I found this nugget in Buffalo, sealed, for $1.99, and I got what I paid for. It would be far too easy to rip on this record for being an amateurish pile of crap (and if you need proof, check the gawdawful ballad "Over And Over"), instead I'll let the cover shot speak for itself. If you actually have the patience and willpower to sit through this record, or a complete lack of anything better to do, wait for this killer line: "Even in the deepest sleep / I'm dreaming of you / As it happens when we meet / A game of tea for two". Damn! Wilde, Frost, and Yeats had better look out - they have rhyming in Alaska now.
DOWNLOAD: Razar-Decadence&Discipline.rar (71.57 MB)


Sunday, November 9, 2008

London Records 1978
YESTERDAY AND TODAY's sophomore offering was 1978's indomitable "Struck Down". So full of sick pure Rock grooves, phenomenal musicianship, and over-the-top songwriting that it had to go widely ignored by the record buying public. Dave Meniketti (Guitar/Vocals) and Leonard Haze (Drums) are the stars of this slab. Not only did they write 80% of the tracks, but their talents shine the brightest. Meniketti's voice is classic and ballsy and Haze is an absolute motherfucker behind the kit - raw talent, fills for days, and single kick drum flurries that'd make Bonham cry. His playing never ceases to amaze me... one of the all time greats! Album opener "Struck Down" is a fantasticly crushing dirge that instantly made me forget everything I thought I knew about Y&T. "Road" and "I'm Lost" are up-tempo rockers while "Dreams Of Egypt" is moodier and mildly Middle Eastern. The only low point is the naff "Nasty Sadie", and even that song ain't so bad. "Struck Down" is Hard Rock the way it's meant to be played.
DOWNLOAD: Yesterday&Today-StruckDown.rar (59.19 MB)

HYDRA VEIN • Rather Death Than False Of Faith LP

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Metalother Records 1988
Thrash Metal was never the UK's strong suit. Most bands were either mediocre (XENTRIX, RE-ANIMATOR) or straight up shit (ACID REIGN, D.A.M.), with SABBAT and early ONSLAUGHT being a couple of rare exceptions. I dunno why, but the limey's always seemed to miss the mark (though the current crop of UK Thrash revivalists are doing their part to rectify that situation). I was aware of HYDRA VEIN when they were releasing records, but because of of their woeful countrymen I paid them no mind. Too bad cuz this is a really good straight up Thrash Metal record. HYDRA VEIN certainly weren't breaking any new ground, but they were writing some cool songs, and were more than able players. It's clear that album opener "Rabid" is musically inspired by AGENT STEEL, and the vocals throughout are heavily influenced by SABBAT's Martin Walkyier. Though somewhat generic, and a bit tedious as the record carries on, "Rather Death Than False Of Faith" is delivered with enough venom to warrant your download and a few listens.
DOWNLOAD: HydraVein-RatherDeathThanFalseOfFaith.rar (73.24 MB)

SPELLBOUND • Breaking The Spell LP

Monday, November 3, 2008

Sonet Records 1984
I picked this one up cuz of the crazy cover shot, and didn't give much thought as to whether or not it would actually be any good. Thankfully it is... really fucking good! SPELLBOUND deliver top quality commercial Metal/Hard Rock that is accessible and melodic yet retains enough metallic bite so that you won't feel like a total ponce while diggin' on it. Early DEF LEPPARD and RATT come to mind, but I'd take SPELLBOUND over both of those bands any day. After a distinctly TROUBLE-esque harmony guitar intro, the first side is packed with 4 straight-up hard rockin' Metal masterpieces. The second side has a couple of overly saccharine ballady rockers ("Piece Of My Heart" and "Passion Kills"), but the remainder of the songs are stellar. Vocalist Hans Fröberg's gritty vocals are not unlike Paul Dianno's at times (especially his adlibs) and some of the riffs and harmony guitar parts call to mind the almighty THIN LIZZY. All around a fantastic record that is coming highly recommended.
DOWNLOAD: Spellbound-BreakingTheSpell.rar (79.54 MB)


Sunday, November 2, 2008

Big Chief Records 1988
I dunno who's responsible for the flawed thinking behind this Thrash/Blues abomination, but he oughta be sent for a long walk off a short pier. "Thrashin Blues"... seriously? That is one of the fucking stupidest things I've ever heard, and the music lives up to both the band's moronic monicker and the album's torpid title. Generic Thrash Metal abounds, with embarrassingly unfunny attempts at humourous lyrics, and the odd Blues flourish thrown in for novelty's sake. This record is a perfect example of how saturated the market for Thrash Metal had become in the late 80s... every piece of shit band got their chance to abuse the record buying public, and (presumably) line a record company's coffers. Adding to this record's innumerable woes, are Carl Canady's (sic) sloppy production, and a terribly sibilant pressing - it's particularly ear piercing and really hard to listen to. I remember the autobiographical "Lame From The Neck Up" from back in the day, and of the 10 trivialities found on "Thrashin Blues" it's the easy stand out cuz it's the most straight up Metal and maybe ever so slightly reminiscent of METAL CHURCH. 21st century bluesmen my ass!
DOWNLOAD: ViolentPlayground-ThrashinBlues.rar (71.8 MB)

SAD IRON • Total Damnation LP

Friday, October 31, 2008

Universe Productions 1983
This album is seriously making me reconsider my statement re: the Dutch in that EXISES post from a few weeks ago. This is bargain basement Metal of the lowest order - high on youthful exuberance but completely bereft of talent, production, song writing, tuning, and brain cells. Normally any combination of these wouldn't be reason for me to dislike a band, but in the case of SAD IRON there's just way too much mediocrity crammed into this mercifully short album. If sloppy neanderthalic proto-Thrash is yer thing, then maybe you'll dig "Total Damnation", but I found nothing (save for a couple of hilariously stupid lyrics) to get excited about. "Total Waste Of Time" is more apropos... no wait, "Total Waste Of Vinyl".
DOWNLOAD: SadIron-TotalDamnation.rar (69.01 MB)

SORTILEGE • Sortilege EP

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Rave-On Records 1983
Over the past few years this has become one of my all-time favourites. It's got it all: simple raw production, memorable and well-crafted songs, solid musicianship, and one of Metal's best vocalists in Christian Augustin. To be honest, this record wouldn't be much without Augustin's powerhouse vocal performance - when he screams out "SOR-TI-LEEEEEEEEGE" at the beginning of the the fourth track, the hairs on the back of my neck stand up. I really dig that everything is sung en français too - not understanding a word doesn't bother me because I honestly couldn't give a shit about what bands sing about, and French just sounds really cool, and adds to the overall vibe. Just FYI... the drummer's name is Bob Snake. Get it or get lost!
DOWNLOAD: Sortilege-SortilegeEP.rar (34.09 MB)

WITCH CROSS • Fit For Fight LP

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Roadrunner Records 1984
I hope you're ready for some real Metal, cuz this album's got it in spades. Denmark. 1984. Recorded at the same studio as "Melissa" and "Don't Break The Oath". 'Nuff said? ...apparently not. WITCH CROSS sound nothing like MERCYFUL FATE, but goddamn if they don't kick just as much ass. These guys are way more Rock, and kinda reminiscent of a heavier SCORPIONS - like I said, this is serious shit! "Face Of A Clown" is too cool for words - the super loud harmonies in the main riff, great drumming, and vocal lines that are catchy-as-fuck... I absolutely love it. I don't feel like gushing about every song, but suffice it to say that the other 7 are just as cool. Adding to the greatness of this record is the production... it's all over the place. Every song has a different mix, and there's all kindsa shit going on in the background that's barely audible, but it definitely makes for an interesting listen. And finally, vocalist Alex Savage makes an incredible record even better with his fantastic voice (which is really loud in the mix), superb melodies, and spirited delivery. Do I even need to suggest that you download this?
DOWNLOAD: WitchCross-FitForFight.rar (75.25 MB)

SAVATAGE • Hall Of The Mountain King LP

Friday, October 17, 2008

Atlantic Records 1987
Over the years I've downloaded this record 4 or 5 times, and each time it was pretty much unlistenable - every rip was a muddy pile of shit. So I'm merely posting this as a public service... finally a quality rip of "Hall Of The Mountain King", and it's a vinyl rip to boot. I'm not one of those assholes who goes on about how much better vinyl is than CDs (though it is my preferred format), but in this case it's true. If you've already downloaded this elsewhere, do yourself a favour and get this superior version. Having said all that, I shouldn't have to explain how amazing SAVATAGE are, and how great this record is... we all know that right!?! After the disappointment of "Fight For The Rock", SAVATAGE came back firing on all cylinders with HOTMK - it's a classic, so download and join the legions of the night!
DOWNLOAD: Savatage-HallOfTheMountainKing.rar (74.09 MB)

LEE AARON • Metal Queen LP

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Attic Records 1984
In 1984, as a pubescent Canadian kid, there wasn’t much better than seeing LEE AARON strut around in her lion cloth, wielding a massive sword, and sparring with a giant robotic spider. No that's not some teenage fantasy I concocted... it’s the “Metal Queen” video, and unfortunately it's the high-point of LEE AARON’s “Metal Queen” era, cuz this record is a thoroughly light-weight affair. Most of the tracks are commercial Hard Rock, and though there’s plenty of cool riffs and harmony guitar parts, they are definitely not Metal. The only exceptions are the fantastic title track (kinda reminds me of “Balls To Wall” with that eerie middle part), “Deceiver”, and “Steal Away Your Love”. “Shake It Up” and “We Will Be Rockin’” are painfully bad, and utterly Canadian, and like many of the tracks on “Metal Queen”, could easily be mistaken for TORONTO or HEADPINS songs… and they ain’t so Metal my friends! Gotta say that Aaron’s voice is pretty great though, ballsy and gritty, and totally devoid of the overly theatric tendencies of other Metal frontwomen of the time (ex: Betsy Bitch). Though not total shite, I was really hoping this record would live up to it’s title.
DOWNLOAD: LeeAaron-MetalQueen.rar (75.8 MB)

EXISES • Exises LP

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Medusa Records 1986
I wasn't too sure what to make of this record when I picked it up. The cover's got a kinda futuristic African tribal vibe, and I have no idea how that relates to a Dutch melodic Metal band... but whatever, that wasn't gonna stop me from wasting my money! EXISES are a weird band, very melodic, technical and commercial, yet still very much a Metal band. They incorporate each of these disparate elements without any of them sounding forced or compromised. The guitar player is fantastic. His playing and the band's anthemic songwriting call to mind early SAGA... add to that a touch of SAXON, a pinch of ACCEPT, and a smidge of RUSH and you'd be getting close to the EXISES sound. The Simmons drums really date this record, but somehow they still work by adding to that futuristic vibe the cover hints at. This is another surprisingly enjoyable record... I'm slowly starting to realize that the Dutch pretty much ruled at Metal in the 80's.
DOWNLOAD: Exises-Exises.rar (66.18 MB)

KERRY DOLL • 'Til Death Do Us Part EP

Friday, October 10, 2008

Krypt Kicker Records 1984
It seems ridiculous now, but when I found this record, I actually thought it was gonna be good. I figured it would be one of two things a) sleazy Glam trash or b) full on Metal... or better yet, a combination of both. Unfortunately it's none of the above. What it is, is hackneyed amateurish Rock that desperately wants to be Metal, but falls way short. The songs are sophomoric and obvious, the playing is barely adequate, and vocalist Kerry sounds totally uninspired. The chick doing background vocals is much much better than the band's namesake. The sound quality is demo-ish at best... this is really subpar stuff. It's not even so bad that it's good, it's just plain bad. I couldn't wait for this record to be over... thank god it's only got one side. Oh yeah, that's the only good thing about this record: it's a one-sided picture disc, and the picture is pretty funny/cool. Download if you must.
DOWNLOAD: KerryDoll-TilDeathDoUsPart.rar (35.74 MB)

HEATHEN HOOF • The Occult Sessions EP

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Nuclear War Now! Productions 2005
One look at this record and I knew it was gonna be good... the cover art and band name were both so great that the record had to be good... and I was right. HEATHEN HOOF pay homage to all their NWOBHM heroes by shamelessly and blatantly copping their styles, and that's no criticism - they do it so well that you'll swear you're listening to some unknown band from back in the day. Each of the 4 songs on "The Occult Sessions" is melodic and memorable, with riffs that'll be stuck in yer head for days, and the solos are killer too, especially on "Modern Inquisition". The only thing that's weak are the vocals, they sound like a Black Metal dude who's kinda trying to sing and is having a tough time at it. After a few listens the vocals stopped grating on me, and I actually kinda dig 'em now, and seriously, think about all the NWOBHM bands that had terrible singers, so maybe they were trying to add authenticity with the crappy vocals... I wouldn't put it past 'em, cuz their attention to detail is quite impressive. This is fun record, so download and get trampled under the HEATHEN HOOF.
DOWNLOAD: HeathenHoof-TheOccultSessions.rar (28.53 MB)

Looney Tunes • Burlington ON

Saturday, September 27, 2008

425 Brant Street
(905) 637-3203
Nothing more than sheer mind-numbing boredom drove me to Burlington to check out Looney Tunes' vinyl selection. Upon arrival I realized that I'd been there a few years ago and found PHIL LYNOTT's first solo record on CD - I was stoked and Jimmy was mystified. The shop looks to be about the same, maybe a bit messier than it was (aren't we all), but still jammed full of new and used vinyl and CDs. As you know, I find stores without a Metal section very disconcerting, and unfortunately Looney Tunes added to my disconcertment. I was forced, like every other schlep on the hunt for good Metal, to sort through prit'near every LP in the stinking place... and with very little pay off. Yeah I found SAVATAGE's "Fight For The Rock" for $5, but it's their worst album, and I really only bought it so that the entire trip wasn't for naught. There's some good classic Rock and Punk vinyl reissues, but I find it hard to pay $25+ for something you can find used, with a bit of legwork, at a fraction of the price. All in all a decent shop, but definitely not worth the drive to Burlington (from wherever you might happen to be).

CONFESSOR • Uncontrolled / Collapse Demos

Friday, September 19, 2008

Private/Indie 1988 & 1990
Few bands have the polarizing effect that North Carolinian Prog/Doom Metal meisters CONFESSOR have on people. You either love 'em or hate 'em, and I totally get why people don't like them. They just happen to be all the same reasons why I do: the ear piercing caterwaul of vocalist Scott Jeffreys, and Steve Shelton's impossibly complicated drum patterns. You've definitely gotta be in a mood for having your head fucked with when you listen to CONFESSOR. A recent post on Metal Inquisition re: "Condemned" (Earache 1991) got me to thinking about their phenomenal demos, and how much better they are than that record... so here they are. I taped these from the originals, so they're 1st generation and the sound quality is really good - unfortunately there's no cover scans though. These demos stood out above everything else that was being released at the time for a number of reasons, 1) the band was unlike any other, oppressively heavy, tight, complicated, and menacing, 2) the production was top-notch thanks to Dick Hodgin who also produced C.O.C.'s "Technocracy" as well as CONFESSOR's latest offering "Unraveled", and 3) the demos looked great - the artwork and design, though simple, was very classy... not yer typical photocopied affairs. So when the band released "Condemned" I was pretty disappointed - I'm sure it's mainly because I heard these demos first, and absolutely loved 'em, therefore anything else couldn't compare. Re-recording these tracks seemed totally unnecessary... especially when the new versions lacked the intensity and heaviness of the demos. No matter, here are the "Uncontrolled" '88 and "Collapse" '90 demos for your enjoyment and edification.
DOWNLOAD: Confessor-Demos.rar (52.69 MB)

SNAPCASE • 1991 Demo

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Private/Indie 1991
When SNAPCASE (or SOLID STATE as they were initially tagged) first started playing shows around Buffalo, it was hard to not think of them as ZERO TOLERANCE lite. It was the same shtick, just done by younger kids. I guess it's not all that surprising since NYHC (with few exceptions) really is a one-trick pony: macho tough-guy bullshit, lyrics about being screwed over by your friends, blah blah blah... heard it once, heard it a million times. To their credit, it does seem like SNAPCASE were going for something a little different lyrically - some kinda new-age nonsense, or maybe it's just more of that Krishna business that was de rigueur at the time. Musically this is just what you'd expect: simple Metal riffs, John Joseph wanna-be vocals, lots of double bass drumming, gang backing vocals, etc. I absolutely loved "Die Laughing" back in the day, and after a few listens... I gotta say it still holds up. Apparently SNAPCASE became a hugely influential band (I've never heard any of their records), pretty surprising considering this demo is far from groundbreaking, but in '91 it was the shit!
DOWNLOAD: Snapcase-1991Demo.rar (20.81 MB)

TENSION • Pericolo Di Morte 7"

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Tantrum Records 1985
This is the third installment in my 4 part series of Buffalo reviews, and after all the macho NYHC posturing of ZERO TOLERANCE and SNAPCASE (demo coming next), this is a refreshing change. TENSION were a mystery to me when I was a kid cuz they were 3 parts from Buffalo, NY and 1 part from St. Catharines, ON (the crappy little Canadian town I grew up in). "What? A real live hardcore band from St. Catharines?" No one could believe it, and no one (I knew) knew the guy in the band... but whatever, he was from St. Catharines so we all bought the 7". Can't say that I loved this 7" either, but it was still cool cuz of the connection. TENSION play what I'd describe as European style 80's hardcore: ultra fast thrash with buzzsaw guitars, rife with poltical lyrics, and social commentary. The songs aren't mindblowing by any means, but the band is tight and furiously passionate. It's taken 23 years, but this one is starting to grow on me.
DOWNLOAD: Tension-PericoloDiMorte.rar (20.16 MB)

BAPHOMET • Morbid Realities Demo

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Private/Indie 1989
BAPHOMET were one of those bands that I could never take seriously... not exactly sure why, they just seemed like a sad joke - even after they signed to Peaceville (a far greater accomplishment than any band I've ever played in could manage). They were super friendly, genuine guys, but as a band they were completely ghetto. Having said this... over the years I've discovered that being wrong is something that I'm really good at, and whatever I thought about BAPHOMET back in the day was way off base, cuz this demo is "sick dude" (in the parlance of the time and place). It's simple, barbaric Death Metal in the vein of "Morbid Visions" era SEPULTURA... and the vocals fucking rule! They have a South American feel to 'em (no not samba or merengue), with a bit of Tom Angelripper thrown in for good measure. He almost lends a Black Metal feel to proceedings, and I chuckle every time I hear his fucked-up ghoulish laughter at this beginning of "Infernal Invocation" - priceless. I find most Death Metal completely forgettable, but every track on "Morbid Realities" is memorable for something. It's the kinda stuff that might not be 100% stellar throughout, but every song has at least one cool part that you look forward to - a killer riff, or lyric, or drum fill, or whatever. Totally enjoyable basic US Death Metal - get it!
DOWNLOAD: Baphomet-MorbidRealitiesDemo.rar (37.51 MB)

ZERO TOLERANCE • Fuel The Fire Demo

Friday, September 12, 2008

Private/Indie 1991
If you had asked me, in 1990, which band from Buffalo was gonna "make it", it wouldn'ta been SNAPCASE, and it sure as fuck wouldn't have been CANNIBAL CORPSE (or Cannibal Crap as we lovingly referred to them)... it would have been Buffalo's finest NYC wanna-be's ZERO TOLERANCE. And of course I woulda been dead wrong. It's immediately apparent that the guys in ZT spent a few too many hours dissecting the CRO-MAGS' "Best Wishes" record, cuz 4 of the 5 tracks sound like "Best Wishes" outtakes, with the fifth sounding like a "Blood Sweat & No Tears" leftover. Yup, this is yer typical lunkhead, knuckle-dragging NYHC, and I ate this shit up when I was in highschool. The surprising thing is that I still dig this demo. As soon as I put it on it all came flooding back: the singer's blantant rip-off of Bloodclot's onstage antics, the bass player's Harley moves, and their "Face The Panic" rallying cry. These guys were top dog in Buffalo, but like tons of other promising bands the world over, they were big fish in a small pond, and it got them nowhere. Kinda too bad, cuz this is a great sounding demo full of flawlessly executed (if unoriginal) Metal/Hardcore.
DOWNLOAD: ZeroTolerance-FuelTheFireDemo.rar (25.87 MB)

WAR DANCE • A Short Sharp Shock Demo

Friday, September 5, 2008

Private/Indie 1988
I was a huge ENGLISH DOGS fan back in the day - loved "Mad Punx & English Dogs" when I was a Punk Rock kid, and loved "Where Legend Began" when I was a Metal skid. I really wanted an ED shirt, so I wrote the band, and after some delay got a reply from Graham 'Gizz' Butt himself. He informed me that the ENGLISH DOGS were no more, but that he had a new band... WAR DANCE, and that they had a demo available. We traded demos, cuz my band had just released one too (which Gizz didn't care for too much: "I like music with more melody" was his response if I remember correctly - haha), and soon the "None But The Brave" cassette showed up at my door. I didn't totally love it - I guess it's got a kinda Post-Punk feel (not that I really even know what that is), but it was cool to hear what Gizz & Co. were up too regardless. A few months later they released "A Short Sharp Shock", and this was what I was waiting for! Right off the bat there's no mistaking Gizzy's trademark guitar sound, metallic riffs and guitar harmonies. The first 2 tracks are full-on Thrash, and they make "Where Legend Began" sound puny by comparison. These are followed up by 2 tracks that lean more towards melodic Punk. They're still heavy, intricate songs, but the vocals are melodious and memorable making them slightly more accessible. "I Against I" era BAD BRAINS comes to mind a few times during these tracks, especially in the bass breakdown bit in "Hours Of Sunday". The last track "Against The Grain" successfully combines WAR DANCE's Thrash attack, with their Punk Rock leanings in a roaring conclusion to a masterful demo. When I think of all the shitty generic Thrash bands that were releasing material in the late 80's, the fact that WAR DANCE were never signed, and no one knew who the hell they were, is criminal. This demo is better than 75% of the records I own from the era.
DOWNLOAD: WarDance-AShortSharpShock.rar (42.14 MB)
PS: Oh yeah... "Giveaway" is one helluva song!

"Sitamoia" by THIN LIZZY

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

From the album: Remembering Part 1 (Decca Records 1976)
When you're dealing with the greatest Rock band of all time, it's pretty hard to say that one song is better than the next. "Sitamoia" may, or may not, be better than "Bad Reputation", or "Vagabond Of The Western World", or "Are You Ready?"... it's hard to compare perfection with perfection. Yeah I know that not everything THIN LIZZY did is pure gold, but between the years of 1973 and 1980 they could do no wrong, and at this very moment, I can think of no better song. To my knowledge "Sitamoia" first appeared on the 1976 Decca compilation "Remembering Part 1" and features Gary Moore in one of his early stints with the band. Aside from his work in THIN, I couldn't give two shits about Gary Moore... his solo records are boring white-boy blues, but while in THIN LIZZY he played with a blistering originality and metallic flair that is rivaled by few. "Sitamoia" was recorded during a period that bridges the gap between LIZZY's prog/folk beginnings (the Eric Bell era), and their rise to becoming the greatest Hard Rock band of the 70's (the Robertson/Gorham era). The tribal beat layed down by Brian Downey, Moore's Celtic melody line and mid-song gig, the soaring, intertwining fiddle parts, and Lynott's plaintive vocals and vague lyrics, all combine to make "Sitamoia" the most dramatic track THIN LIZZY ever recorded. I say this without any hesitation, humour, or irony... if you are unable to appreciate the splendour of this song... you, my friend, are awash in a sea of your own stupidity. Listen, and bask in the glory that is one of THIN LIZZY's... nay, music's finest moments.

KRANK • Hideous LP

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Metal Blade Records 1986
My first exposure to KRANK left me with the distinct feeling that I'd just heard the worst band of all time... and I'm not totally unconvinced that that wasn't their goal (fuck that's a few too many double negatives to unravel). KRANK deliver a nasty Metal/Glam amalgam that's hard to pinpoint and even harder to dislike. At once sounding like rock'n'roll dregs just up from the gutter, and the next a well-oiled Metal machine. KRANK's raison d'etre is not unlike INFERNAL MAJESTY's was a few years later: to combine Glam aesthetics with heavier Metal musicality... of course INFERNAL MAJESTY were considered little more than a joke (at least that's how they were viewed in Toronto), while KRANK are in on the joke, never taking themselves too seriously. The sleaze factor is high on "Hideous", which led me to assume that KRANK were L.A. through-and-through, but no... they hail from the cock rock mecca of Philadelphia, PA. Go figure!
DOWNLOAD: Krank-Hideous.rar (69.47 MB)

Atomix Records • St. Catharines ON

Monday, September 1, 2008

4 Garden Park (Unit 1)
(905) 280-0346
St. Catharines is a desolate wasteland of bleakness and despair... and as such, it's no surprise that vinyl shops are few and far between. I spent the first 20 odd years of my life in St. Catharines, and during that time there were some great record stores (T.N.T. Records absolutely ruled - far too good to survive in this podunk town, Records On Wheels, Dr. Disc, Tantrum, and some others I'm forgetting), but today (as far as I can tell) there's only one proper record store in the city... Atomix Records. Atomix is a nice shop with lots of well organized LPs, and a great Soul/R&B section, but there's nary a Metal record to be found - profoundly disappointing. In addition to peddling vinyl, the friendly folks at Atomix also repair and sell parts for turntables, which I thought was pretty damn cool. There's a lot of good quality vinyl crammed into a relatively small space, but no Metal = little chance of a repeat visit.

Taking a break

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Believe it or not, there's some things that are more important than Metal... I know it's hard to believe. As a result, A REASONABLE GUIDE TO HORRIBLE NOISE is gonna be on hiatus for a little while. Eventually it'll be back up and running, but for the meantime I won't be posting anything new. If you need your fix, check out the links on the left for other great blogs.

MERCY • Session 1981 7"

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Nuclear War Now! Productions 2007
Let this record stand as a reminder of all the things that are great about Metal! It bristles with an innocence and energy that is sorely lacking these days, and it's more memorable than the first time you got laid. Unlike MERCY's later output (I'm really only familiar with the "Witchburner" record), these recordings are steeped in the Metal/Rock tradition of "Hell Bent For Leather" era JUDAS PRIEST, and though "Witchburner" is phenomenal, these songs are better. Yeah the sound is kinda rough, but that only adds to the old-school charm. Along with the palpable PRIEST influence, THE BRATS' mix of Punk and NWOBHM, and MERCYFUL FATE's more rockin' early demo recordings, also come to mind. Impossible to pick a favourite, but "Shadow Woman" is spectacular, and for some reason when the glass starts breaking in "Dreams" I find it difficult to contain my excitement. It's quite surprising that MERCY aren't heralded as the great Metal pioneers they obviously were.
DOWNLOAD: Mercy-Session1981.rar (23.12 MB)

SUDDEN DEATH • All Or Nothing LP

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Private/Indie 1987
Straight up, and kinda out of date by 1987, German Metal that borrows equally from from fellow Teutons RUNNING WILD and ACCEPT. Deftly recorded by the go-to producer of the day Harris Johns, at his famed Music Lab Berlin studio... kinda impressive for an (I assume) independent release. Absolutely nothing groundbreaking, but "All Or Nothing" is full of mid-paced, fist-pounding anthems that'll have you searching for your denims 'n' leathers of yesteryear. "Bloody Conclusion" coulda been lifted directly from "Branded And Exiled", while "Backstage Queen" sounds like "Heavy Metal Ears" era PICTURE, and "Dust In The Wind" has a kinda latter-day TANK vibe... like I said, this isn't the most original stuff. This record is more German than lederhosen and bratwurst... and better than both (though I do enjoy rockin' a good pair of lederhosen every now and then).
DOWNLOAD: SuddenDeath-AllOrNothing.rar (72.45 MB)

SEDUCE • Seduce LP

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Psycho-Mania Records 1985
A while back a friend sent me a link to this phenomenal website documenting Detroit rock between the years of 1980 and 1990 (I wish there was one of these for every city!), and instructed me to check out the SEDUCE page... I was sufficiently blown away, and immediately started searching for a copy of their first, independently released, self titled album. This record is what Metal is all about... it's dirty and seedy, bombastically heavy, expertly executed, and full of memorable song after memorable song. Like all great Metal bands, SEDUCE knew that a balanced mixture of Rock and Metal yields the greatest results, and this record is full of the evidence. Opener "Viper's Bite" is a headbanging masterclass, and is followed up by the menacing stomp of "Love To Hate". "Face To Face" sounds like "Shout At The Devil" era MOTLEY CRUE... 'cept heavier (and maybe even superior). You get the idea... every track is outstanding, but it's the ballady live track "The Mirror" that shows off guitarist David Black's outstanding abilities. The subtlety of his playing and his use of dynamics are truly impressive. It's disgraceful, and baffling, that SEDUCE didn't become one of the biggest bands of the 80's. Download! Download! Download! And leave a goddamn comment if you dig it (or even if you don't... but that's highly unlikely).
DOWNLOAD: Seduce-Seduce.rar (53.65 MB)
PS: This post is pretty pointless now, because the link is dead, and that ain't the actual album cover... but that don't change the fact that this album rules! It's just too bad that you won't get to hear it... not through me at least.
PPS: Almost forgot, that photo is © 1982 Bob Laperriere

She Said Boom! • Toronto ON

Monday, July 7, 2008

372 College Street
(416) 944-3224
I was pleasantly surprised by this store when I dropped by last week - I had been here once before, but didn't think much of the selection. Now they have a Metal section... it's small, but at least they have one, and there was some decent stuff. A lot of ARMORED SAINT and ANTHRAX records, but there was also AT WAR, DEVASTATION, and KREATOR, so there was some good stuff amongst the typical crap. I went back today and picked up the UNCLE SAM record with the nude chick/razorblade cover... I don't know if they're any good, but I think it's kinda rare with the original cover, and even though I'm totally broke right now, I decided to part with the $7. I quickly flipped through the New Arrivals too, and they seem to get good quality stuff. There's tonnes of used books as well, but I didn't check them out - no time for reading when there's Metal to be had. From now on I won't just walk past this place (like I have been for years)... I also wouldn't make a special trip, or go out of my way to check it out, but when I'm in the neighbourhood I'll no longer avoid it.

DR. MASTERMIND • Dr. Mastermind LP

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Shrapnel Records 1986
Against my better judgement, I picked up this DR. MASTERMIND record... choosing to ignore the fact that it's on the crappy guitar hero label Shrapnel Records. The cover, being so ridiculous, piqued my interest, and it was in great shape and the price was right ($7 I think), so I was sold. It seems like this was a project put together by a couple of guys from WILD DOGS (Matt McCourt aka Dr. Mastermind, and drummer extraordinaire Deen Castronovo) to showcase the guitar playing of Kurt James, but unlike a lot of these type of records, "Dr. Mastermind" actually features real songs... not just some background music for the inevitable unholy wankfest. Almost every song is fast and loud, full of manic double bass drum workouts, and ludicrously entertaining lyrics ("Man Of The Year", "The Right Way"). It's the kinda chest thumping sub-moronic fare that you just gotta love (if you've got any sense of humour at all)... kinda reminding me of PILEDRIVER in both stupidity and enjoyability. Shockingly this is a really good record!
DOWNLOAD: DrMastermind-DrMastermind.rar (66.08 MB)

DOOMED • Collectors Club 7"

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Peaceville Records 1993
After torturing myself with that 13 7", what do I do? Dig out this steaming pile of a DOOMED record of course. When I picked this up I thought it was gonna be amazing cuz: 1) there's a couple of guys from AUTOPSY in the band, and 2) they're called DOOMED... and since AUTOPSY had some pretty rad, doomy stuff, I thought this would be even radder and doomier. I was wrong... it's neither. Death Metal (especially American Death Metal) is not my thing, and this is pretty standard fare... combine awful, boring growled vocals and typically unimaginative riffs, and you've got a record that I listened to once and shelved for 15 years. When they slow it down, as they do in the first half of "Witches", DOOMED are pretty decent, but as the song progresses, and gradually builds speed, I find myself losing interest at an exponential rate. I had no idea that there were Horror movie samples at the start of each side of this record... kinda funny after the dudes at Metal Inquisition just posted about how tired they are, and how bands should start looking to other movie genres for their boring intros. Anyways, if sub-par Death Metal is your thing, by all means, download this.
DOWNLOAD: Doomed-CollectorsClub.rar (26.24 MB)

13 • Hollow 7"

Kichigai Records 1993
Remember in that SHEAVY post when I said there was a time when I'd buy anything that was even remotely Doom... well look no further than this 7" by New York all-girl Doom/Sludge band 13 for proof. I can't believe that there was a time when I actually liked this kinda crap... Jesus this shit is depressing. Yeah I know that's the idea, but c'mon... I'd never wanna listen to this stuff today. The B-Side track "Bound" reminds me of the first CATHEDRAL record, so I like it a bit more than the tuneless EYEHATEGOD sludge of "Hollow". 13 were a totally solid band, and heavy-as-all-Hell, but these days I need more Rock action... fuck that makes me feel old!
DOWNLOAD: 13-Hollow.rar (15.11 MB)

WIKKA • Wikka EP

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Private/Indie 1988
Alright... in honour of Canada Day (whoopty doo!!!) I've decided to post this rare little gem of Torontonian Metal. I don't remember reading or hearing anything about this band back in the day, but today this EP is highly sought after by Metal collectors the world over... so I was lucky to stumble upon it recently... and only pay $5 no less! This is a pretty cool record featuring 4 straight up Metal ditties that kinda remind me of Detroit's HALLOWEEN ('cept less wild and without the Randy Rhoads worship), and I detect a bit of a SAVATAGE vibe at times too. Not terribly original, but totally likeable, and I'm sure after repeated listens I'm gonna be all over this record. The bass intro to "Pharaoh's Awakening" is neat... but unfortunately the song gets less heavy afterwards... WTF!?! I'm sure that Power Metal fans will love "Beware Of The King", cuz it sounds like it coulda been lifted straight off a modern Power Metal record (lyrics about piles of treasure, and a king's vengeance... you know the drill). Vocalist Steve Horwood had a great voice, and along with the songs themselves, is the best thing about "Wikka". The only real fault I can find with this record is the production - the guitar sound is terribly weak, and I found myself thinking: "Imagine how great this record would sound with heavy, multi-tracked guitars" - it would be truly awesome! But as it is, it's still a thoroughly enjoyable slab.
DOWNLOAD: Wikka-Wikka.rar (30.56 MB)

Today's Finds 6/29/08

Sunday, June 29, 2008

I find it hard to drive down Bloor Street and not stop to look at records. Today I checked out Hits & Misses and came away with a few new things:
THE JONESES "Keeping Up With The Joneses" LP: Read about these guys on Sons Of The Dolls and I thought I'd check 'em out - was pretty happy to find this reissue.
BLACK WIDOW "Sacrifice" LP: Another reissue... I'll probably hate this one, cuz I think it's kinda hippy-dippy, but "Come To The Sabbat" is a fun song.
SARCASM "Crematory" LP: Nuclear War Now has put out some really cool records... hopefully this is one of 'em.

WILD HORSES • Wild Horses LP

EMI Records 1980
You have no idea how much I wanna love this record... it's Brian Robertson for Christ sake! He's played in the two greatest rock bands of all time: THIN LIZZY and MOTORHEAD... and probably played on 10 of my "10 All-Time Favourite Songs" (that list doesn't exist, but if it did I'd make damn sure that Robertson played on all of 'em). The guy rules... but unfortunately this album kinda sucks. Robbo's playing is of course beyond reproach, but that can't save these songs from their utter mediocrity. The ties between WILD HORSES and THIN LIZZY were strong, and WILD HORSES tried their damnedest to duplicate LIZZY's winning formula, but they always seem to fall just short. Alright... as I write this, the bottle of wine is starting to kick in, and this record is starting to sound really good. Drunkenly this album sounds great, but that prolly explains a lot, as Robertson himself was a notorious drunk... he probably thought it sounded great at the time too. "Reservation" is a decent rocker, but "Face Down" and "Dealer" are better, and "Blackmail" fucking rules (the LIZZY version from the "Man & His Music" bootleg series is far superior... but lending Phil's voice to any song would have that effect). Just for the fuck of it I'm gonna add the THIN LIZZY version to the .rar so you can compare 'em yourself. Side 2 is generally weak, at times reminding me of the J. GEILS BAND, or THE EAGLES, or something similarly awful (see: "Nights On The Town"). Just when I say something sucks, Robbo tears into one of his phenomenally, rippingly distinct solos, making me second guess myself... but no, a great guitar player does not a great album make... sorry Robbo. If nothing else, WILD HORSES looked cool as fuck!
DOWNLOAD: WildHorses-WildHorses.rar (71.71 MB)


Saturday, June 28, 2008

Planet Records 1984
Saw this one at Discovery Records and thought it looked cool, but it was a bit pricey, so I did a little investigating. Turns out this is kinda rare, and highly sought after, so the record collector nerd in me had to have it. Good thing too, cuz this is a really good record. Again, I'm no Glam Rock/Metal expert, but if I was gonna compare this to other notable bands, I'd say: GBR are more solid than HANOI ROCKS, and their singer can stay in key (I love HR, but it's true), but they're far less inventive and wacked-out than HR. GBR lack the nastiness, and are not nearly as sleazy or "street" as the first GUNS N ROSES album, and they're musically less raucous too. The first thing that jumped out at me was the SEX PISTOLS influence... in particular a Jones/Cook "Silly Thing" kinda vibe. A cover of "Did You No Wrong" mighta helped with this - but they musta really made it their own, cuz it's barely recognizable to me (but then again, I haven't heard the song in at least 15 years, so it could be spot on for all I know). A couple of songs on the B-Side contain some riffs that would have fit perfect on an early AC/DC record. The guitar player is very good, his solos are well crafted and über-Rock N Roll. The singer's voice is much higher than I expected - it took me a few songs to get used to it, but he's very good and a natural (ie he's not forcing it at all). This is a very solid Rock N Roll record, if any of the aforementioned bands appeal to you, then I'm sure you'll enjoy this... I certainly did. Oh yeah... according to the liner notes, the song "Too Much" might (and I quote) make you poop in your pants... you've been warned!
DOWNLOAD: GloriousBankrobbers-GloriousBankrobbers.rar (57.46 MB)