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)
Universe Productions 1983
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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
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)