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)
Mould In Hell Records 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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
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)