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.
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)
Straight up, and kinda out of date by 1987, German Metal that borrows equally from from fellow Teutons RUNNING WILD and ACCEPT.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)
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
372 College Street
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.
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)
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)
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)
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)