Top 3 of 2009

Thursday, December 31, 2009

Last year I could only come up with a list of 3 records that were released in 2008 that I actually purchased and/or enjoyed, so this year I'm going to honour that tradition with another measly list of 3. To be honest, I've got a brain like a sieve, and any record that came out 8 months ago that I might've liked has already been long forgotten. So 3 it is!

ZOMBI • Spirit Animal
Relapse Records
Without a doubt the best thing Relapse has ever released. Layers upon layers of keyboard driven 70s horror soundscapes and Kraut Rock meanderings create an ambient, moody, scary record that I can't get enough of. Think: GOBLIN, TANGERINE DREAM, RUSH, and John Carpenter movie soundtracks. I'm confident that the MAJEURE record is going to be spectacular too, but I haven't even had a chance to crack the plastic on that one.

THE DEVIL'S BLOOD • The Time Of No Time Evermore
Van Records
After all the teasers released by TDB... finally a full length to sink yer teeth into. Much like ZOMBI, THE DEVIL'S BLOOD are all about atmosphere and a haunting aura, 'cept instead of keyboards, they layer harmonized and reverb drenched guitars and vocals over 60s-style Rock meets MOTORHEAD. This didn't blow me away like Come Reap did, but I'll take what I can get!

AT WAR • Infidel
Heavy Artillery Records
This one was a toss up between WHIPLASH and AT WAR, but Infidel has edge over Unborn Again. While both are great returns to form, AT WAR were able to retain more of their initial energy, and sound - this coulda come out a year after Retaliatory Strike and it woulda sounded exactly the same. Yeah there's lots to question re: AT WAR's politics and gun toting, pro-war stance, but somehow it just makes them more likeable. Not because I agree... but God love 'em for being so damned American!

Top 10 Downloads of 2009

These are the albums, posted during 2009, that were most downloaded. Excellent selection of titles, but of course, as with last year, I recognize that the more recent posts haven't had as much time to be downloaded... tough shit for them!
1. TKO • In Your Face: Ah yes... this was the discovery of the year for me! Easily my favourite record/post of the year. Yours too evidently.
2. BRATS • 18th January 1981: Essentially a MERCYFUL FATE record... not surprising it had the shit downloaded outta it.
3. FAITHFUL BREATH • Gold 'N' Glory: Killer head gear.
4. CRACK JAW • Nightout: German Metal - almost always a safe bet.
5. BLACK SABBATH • Born Again Unmixed: Crushing alternate version of the mighty Born Again.
6. MOTORHEAD • BBC Sessions: Duh!
7. NIGHTWING • Black Summer: Love that album cover, and the songs are cool too.
8. VILLAINS • Drenched In The Poisons: Good record, even if it's not "hispter or darkthrone clone bullshit".
9. SORTILEGE • Metamorphose: One of my Euro-Metal faves. Glad to see the French version was grabbed over the English.
10. MX MACHINE • Manic Panic: Not sure if people downloaded this cuz they liked it or cuz they hated it... whatever, I thought it was good.

LOUDNESS • The Birthday Eve LP

Monday, December 28, 2009

Nippon Columbia Company 1981
Probably the most well known of Japan's 80s Metal exports, Osaka's LOUDNESS started life as more of a 1970s guitar hero tribute. VAN HALEN being the most obvious influence, but there's an undeniable Uli Jon Roth/SCORPIONS feel, blatant RUSH style Prog passages, and some bits of LED ZEPPELIN thrown in to complete the unholy Classic Rock mélange. LOUDNESS is very much Akira Takasaki's band; his guitar playing is technically beyond reproach, but also tasteful and widely varied... so good it almost makes you forget about those annoying vocals. Thunder In The East is the only other LOUDNESS record I've heard, and by that point they were fully ensconced in the sheen of big budget American production. The Birthday Eve is more raw, stripped down, and classic in feel and approach, with the only hints of full blown Metal found in Takasaki's playing and the high register vocals. Decent record, but mildly annoying, and I can't quite put my finger on why.
DOWNLOAD: Loudness-TheBirthdayEve.rar (74.18 MB)

TARGET • Master Project Genesis LP

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Aaarrg Records 1988
Holy shit this is a good record! Herky-jerky technical Thrash that not only sounds like, but is equally as good as, and better in some cases, than Cracked Brain-era DESTRUCTION, OBLIVEON, M.A.D. and ARTILLERY. Trust me, I'm not being overzealous or hyperbolic, this album is that good (yeah I know Cracked Brain kinda sucks, but whatever). Not only is there the modern cyber-techno Metal replete with harmonized R2-D2 guitar solos, but there's a healthy dose of straight ahead Thrash so things don't become so abstrusely angular that you can't even wrap yer head around it. Steve Gray's vocals are excellent, and help to elevate TARGET above all the aforementioned bands with regards to melody and accessibility (excepting ARTILLERY perhaps). This is one of the best Thrash records I've posted. Download at will.
DOWNLOAD: Target-MasterProjectGenesis.rar (68.73 MB)


Friday, December 11, 2009

Napalm Records 1986
GUITAR PETE'S AXE ATTACK has gotta be one'a the worst band names of all time. It's just so fucking stupid... AXE ATTACK is par-for-the-course for mid 80s Metal: dumb but not overly moronic, but any of the potential menace conjured up by AXE ATTACK is lost when Guitar Pete decided he should become the band's namesake. What's more, the guy ain't no guitar wizard... just yer typical axe slinger - I guarantee that on any given Friday night in 1986, you coulda thrown a rock in L'Amours and hit an equally competent guitarist. OK enough about the name. Much like Pete's guitar playing, the music on Nitemare is standard at best. Not super heavy, commercial but not overly so, just middle of the road American Metal. Nothing really jumped out at me as being spectacular or gawdawful... meh.
DOWNLOAD (only if you've got the bandwidth to spare): GuitarPetesAxeAttack-Nitemare.rar (70.37 MB)

JINGO DE LUNCH • Cursed Earth EP

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Bonzen Records 1988
Wow, this record is blowing my mind! JINGO DE LUNCH really got it right... heavy, hard-assed Rock informed by Punk or maybe Hardcore. As an example of just where their heads're at, there's THIN LIZZY ("Cowboy Song") and BAD BRAINS ("Pay To Cum") covers, and there's not a tongue in cheek anywhere to be found. The sound is huge, almost SACRILEGE-ous; the drums are massive, but the female vox are much more melodic than Tam's. A couple of the more metallic riffs remind me of SACRILEGE too, which is weird, because on the surface the two bands have little in common. "Pay To Cum" is on the record at the wrong speed, so I've included a proper, 45 rpm version as well as the original... because I care. Get this!
DOWNLOAD: JingoDeLunch-CursedEarth.rar (40.66 MB)


Friday, December 4, 2009

Metal Blade Records 1985
Universally accepted as one of the worst album covers of all-time, the cover shot makes it next to impossible to take this record seriously. However... musically PREDATOR is in keeping with Metal Blade's collection of half-assed Metal bands that were only able to eke out a single release (THRUST, WITCHKILLER, 3RD STAGE ALERT, DEMON FLIGHT, BLOODLUST, etc.). That is not to say that Easy Prey is a bad record, in fact it's more than decent, and PREDATOR "mastermind" Jeff Prentice is a fantastic guitar player whose virtuosity keeps things interesting. Kinda like Chicago's THRUST, without the high-pitched vocals and hate-on for posers. More enjoyable than expected, and as far as I'm concerned, the album cover's stupidity is more endearing than off-putting, so it's win/win.
DOWNLOAD: Predator-EasyPrey.rar (81.08 MB)
PS: Sleazegrinder tracked down Jeff Prentice and conducted a great interview re: the album cover, and ramshackle nature of the band, album, and everything PREDATOR

AXTION • Look Out For The Night LP

Thursday, December 3, 2009

IRD Records 1985
Within the realms of Metal, this is as diametrically opposed to BLESSED DEATH as you could possibly get, so if yer lookin' to have yer nuts crushed, this ain't the one to download... but if you're up for some middle of the road Hard Rock/commercial Metal you're in luck. Look Out For The Night starts off kinda limp wristed, but gradually develops into a pretty decent platter. Yeah it's tame and generally lightweight, but the boys get the lead out on a few tracks ("Fury Of The Tempest", "Your Number's Up", and the title track), and there's enough hard rockin' attitude and cool guitar bits to make it worthy of repeateded listens. Slightly reminiscent of SINFUL, it's sorta second rate, and a bit demo-ish in the production department, but that's never stopped me before... it ain't gonna stop me now.
DOWNLOAD: Axtion-LookOutForTheNight.rar (77.51 MB)

BLESSED DEATH • Destined For Extinction LP

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Roadrunner Records 1987
I had the pleasure of seeing these dudes a couple of times in the late 80s, and I hated them! The guy's non-stop, ear-piercing wail was infuriating, their slobby biker image was irksome (at the time I prolly woulda preferred if they were in jammer shorts or some bullshit), but what I really didn't like was that they made me wait for the other bands on the bill: AT WAR... and more importantly WHIPLASH! The photo on the back of this record irritated me... in a nutshell, I disliked everything about BLESSED DEATH. Even today I debated buying this slab for all the aforementioned reasons, and many others, but I swallowed my pride and returned home with a goddamn BLESSED DEATH record. I was right about the air-raid siren screams (they never stop!!), and he seems to have little sense of time, rhythm, or song structure, but as a band BD are absolutely crushing. Thrash that is almost a precursor to Death Metal; complex, relentless, and really just heavy-as-fuck. OK... I like BLESSED DEATH... there, I said it... are you happy now?
DOWNLOAD: BlessedDeath-DestinedForExtinction.rar (62.52 MB)

QUICK CHANGE • Circus Of Death LP

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Roadrunner Records 1988
Yet another band I don't remember ever hearing about back in the day... but based on the band photo it's easy to understand why someone might ignore, or attempt to expunge all memory of QUICK CHANGE. Said photo had me convinced that this record would truly suck, but thankfully my expectations weren't met. Circus Of Death is fairly typical of what was happening in late-80s Thrash, there's a bit of a skateboard/Crossover vibe (maybe it's just that goddamn flipped up hat) and a distinct Bay Area influence... kinda like a less manic, less intense VIO-LENCE, with vocals that are not unlike Sean Killian's or Russ from FORBIDDEN. Lots of Thrash bands, INDESTRUCTIBLE NOISE COMMAND for instance, were unable to write songs that didn't bore the shit outta the listener with 500 generic riffs strung together for interminable amounts of time - not so with QUICK CHANGE. The songs are concise, heavy, and surprisingly good. A Neo-Thrash fan's dream!
DOWNLOAD: QuickChange-CircusOfDeath.rar (72.58 MB)

TOX • Prince Of Darkness LP

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Samel Records 1985
Although the album title, cover art, and even band name, all exude a certain aura of heaviness, Prince Of Darkness is, not surprisingly, not the heaviest slab of molten balls-to-the-wall Metal ever made. A quick glance at the song titles made that abundantly clear, but it certainly didn't stop me from from giving TOX a chance... and I'm glad it didn't. What TOX lack in heaviness is made up for in classy Hard Rock hooks and memorable NWOBHM-style jaunts... think DEEP PURPLE or THIN LIZZY-ish 70s Rock melded with ANGEL WITCH and the mild Prog tendencies of NIGHTWING. The somewhat cheeseball, yet oddly spooky title track is a stonecold classic, and begs to be covered by THE DEVIL'S BLOOD. Welcome to the sorcery!
DOWNLOAD: Tox-PrinceOfDarkness.rar (70.11 MB)

THOR • Only The Strong LP

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Viper Records 1985
In keeping with HEAVY LOAD's viking heritage, artwork, and whole "Heathens From The North" vibe, I've decided to post a record by someone who thought he was a viking. He's definitely from the north, but he got the hemisphere wrong, and I dunno how his buxom bedmate, Pantera, fits into the whole Norse pantheon, but whatever... that's just splitting hairs. He thought he was a viking god and who am I to say he's not - it's totally possible that Thor is Thor, and in the mid-80s he came down from Valhalla to rock we wee mortals. Surprisingly (to me at least) he did a bang up job. Only The Strong may be the most clichéd Metal record of all time, but it's a hard rockin' good time, and "Thunder On The Tundra" is as majestic a Metal anthem as you're ever likely to hear.
DOWNLOAD: Thor-OnlyTheStrong.rar (70.36 MB)

HEAVY LOAD • Metal Conquest EP

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Thunderload Records 1981
OK, so I'm showing up to the party a little late... but I partially blame you, dear reader. I bought this record in April '08, and, like some kinda jerk-off, let it sit in amongst all the crappy records I've amassed (and posted), and you.... you just sat by and let it happen. A simple email or comment: "Hey dipshit, post that HEAVY LOAD record" woulda sufficed, but nothing. And so it is that you're complicit in my negligence and ignorance regarding Sweden's mighty HEAVY LOAD. If you have even a passing interest in Metal, I'm confident that you're gonna drop a heavy load of yer own whilst checking out Metal Conquest.
DOWNLOAD: HeavyLoad-MetalConquest.rar (37.72 MB)

TANK • Crazy Horses 7"

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Kamaflage Records 1982
TANK are, in my opinion, beyond a shadow of a doubt, the greatest band of the NWOBHM era. I hesitate to lump them in with the masses of NWOBHM bands, as they undoubtly transcended the limitations of the genre and the scene... that is until the Brabbs bros. left and everything went to Hell in a hand-basket, but during their early days (read: first 2 records) they were untouchable! "Crazy Horses" is an alternate version of the Osmonds' classic (?) found on TANK's sophomore outing Power Of The Hunter, and the phenomenally titled "Filth Bitch Boogie" is a non-LP b-side. These have probably been tacked onto the end of CD re-issues, but in case they haven't, here they are in their infinite glory. Hold on to your toupees!
DOWNLOAD: Tank-CrazyHorses.rar (13.31 MB)

SOUND BARRIER • Hollywood 12"

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Metal Blade Records 1986
As requested, here's SOUND BARRIER's take on the THIN LIZZY classic "Hollywood (Down On Your Luck)" from the latter's 1981 Renegade album. Renegade was by no means the highlight of LIZZY's career, there's a couple of decent songs ("Angel Of Death", "The Pressure Will Blow"), but the Gorham/White guitar duo was uninspiring and the weakest of LIZZY's legendary guitar combos. Much the same can be said about SOUND BARRIER's pairing with Metal Blade Records. After their stellar debut on MCA, and the raucous Born To Rock EP, the mighty SOUND BARRIER found themselves on a label whose roster was generally populated by one-off Metal bands of varying and questionable quality... certainly not the most illustrious company for a band of SOUND BARRIER's caliber. They delivered the Speed Of Light record which included "Hollywood (Down On Your Luck)", a tribute to Phil Lynott who passed away earlier the same year. As they did with "Born To Be Wild", SOUND BARRIER are able to make the song their own by adding interesting, tasty flourishes, but unfortunately the production is weak, flat, and sounds little better than a demo. This woulda kicked mucho ass if it sounded even half as good as their earlier records, but still, it's a great song, and any THIN LIZZY cover is OK in my books.
DOWNLOAD: SoundBarrier-HollywoodSingle.rar (13.79 MB)

THE BONELESS ONES • Skate For The Devil LP

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Boner Records 1986
VERBAL ABUSE's "Ratt Pakk" got me to thinkin' about another song of the era and genre that I love equally as much: "I'm A Skater", which you can hear on this righteous slab by Bay Area skaterock mofo's THE BONELESS ONES. Much like V.A., THE BONELESS ONES dealt in a Metal/Punk crossover, but while the former pontificated on everything from killer rats to chicks who piss themselves, THE BONELESS ONES' lyrics deal almost exclusively with skating; from skating in the name of Satan, to longing for skate Betty's, to losing friends to spills, and just generally getting rad. I don't personally give a shit about skating, but you gotta admire their dedication! All the dudes in THE BONELESS ONES are adept musicians, but Luke Skeels' guitar playing is the most outstanding - the metallic riffs, and his searing leads steal the show. The bass and guitar trade off on "I'm a Skater" is simple, but extremely effective, and stokes me out every time! Get it.
DOWNLOAD: BonelessOnes-SkateForTheDevil.rar (58.08 MB)

VERBAL ABUSE • Rocks Your Liver LP

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Boner Records 1986
Yeah yeah I know... I've heard it a hundred times: "Their first record is better", "It's not the same band", "They went Metal", blah blah blah and boo-fucking-hoo. You know what, that first record ain't got "Ratt Pakk" on it, and for that sole reason this record is superior. I first heard the track in question on CKLN's Aargh Rock back when this came out, and since then it has remained one of my all time favourites. Rocks Your Liver is Crossover. Kinda like THE ACCUSED without the extreme throat torture. Yeah there's Metal riffs, rockin' solos, some ridiculous lyrics, etc. but to me this still has a definite hardcore feel to it: ultra high energy, the band delivers every track with reckless abandon, and the sound is more akin to an 80s hardcore record than anything Metal. There's loads cool songs and killer riffs on VARYL, but it's Scotty Wilkins' vocals that really do it for me. This record rules, and if yer skeptical, just download it and check out "Ratt Pakk", it'll kick yer balls off!
DOWNLOAD: VerbalAbuse-RocksYourLiver.rar (64.38 MB)

UNCLE SAM • Heaven Or Hollywood LP

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Skeller Records 1987
Best album cover ever? OK maybe not, but you gotta admit that it's pretty great, and if cover art is supposed to be intriguing and memorable (and it is) then Heaven Or Hollywood is an undeniable success. Unfortunately I think more people are familiar with the cover than they are with the rawk laid down by these four Rochester reprobates. For instance: I was under the mistaken impression that UNCLE SAM were a questionable Southern Rock/Metal mash-up, but this is pure and simple Garage Rock in the smacked out vein of JOHNNY THUNDERS and THE JONESES. The vocals are snotty, the guitars reverb drenched, and the attitude is pure Punk Rock... really not what I expected based on the group shot, and all the press they received from Metal journos back-in-the-day. Gotta say that I'm pleasantly surprised. This is rough and tumble cock rock the way it oughta sound - no big budget West Coast sheen here, just bare bone Rock stripped down to it's core.
DOWNLOAD: UncleSam-HeavenOrHollywood.rar (65.53 MB)


Monday, October 5, 2009

Giant Records 1987
Found this one buried deep within the nether regions of my LP collection. Don't remember where, when, or why I bought this, but at some point I felt compelled to part with some hard earned cash in order to walk away with this slab. I do recall a pretty big stink about how great these guys were supposed to be when this, their debut, was released, but I can't say I understand why. By '87 the market was flooded with johnny-come-lately Thrash bands, and every new record was touted as the greatest thing since Bonded By Blood, but trust me, this ain't even close. Musically Razorback is typical Thrash, but the vocals are weak and uninspired, and the production leaves a lot to be desired. It's not terrible, it's standard and predictable, and as far I'm concerned that's worse than being crap... at least you remember crap. This is very reminiscent of the majority of stuff churned out by British thrashers in the mid/late 80s... yeah it's that bland, and life is just too short for generic Metal.
DOWNLOAD: INC-Razorback.rar (91.75 MB)

STEELER • Strike Back LP

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Steamhammer Records 1986
Not to be confused with Yngwie's early outfit, this STEELER hailed from Germany and were first called SINNER (evidently they had a tough time finding an original name). I think guitarist Axel Rudi Pell is considered some kinda guitar wank hero... maybe not on par with Yngwie, but of course according to Yngwie no one is. Strike Back is standard fare for mid-80s German Metal: the quality is high, the band tight, it's aggressive yet commercial, and there's the mandatory nods to ACCEPT. Dunno what else to say really... this is a totally solid record - exactly what you expect from der Vaterland. If you dug CRACK JAW and SPELLBOUND you'll prolly dig this one too.
DOWNLOAD: Steeler-StrikeBack.rar (70.15 MB)

JADE • If You're Man Enough LP

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Roadrunner Records 1985
This is a surprisingly decent record from a band that had the deck stacked against them: a) they're Canadian b) female vocalist (when combined with point a) generally results in dismal middle-of-the-road Rock a'la TORONTO, or HEADPINS, or even LEE AARON) and c) the production combines not only a drum machine, but one'a those abhorrent Rockman direct guitar pieces of shit that were so overused in the 80s. So with all that as a starting point, If You're Man Enough isn't as terrible as you might expect. OK, so it's not exceedingly heavy and it leans towards the Hard Rock end of the spectrum, but the songs are well written and catchy, there's some decent riffs here and there, and Sweet Marie Black's got a great voice. If the production wasn't so thoroughly second rate this'd be a damn good record.
DOWNLOAD: Jade-IfYoureManEnough.rar (72.36 MB)

CYCLONE • Brutal Destruction LP

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Roadrunner Records 1986
I distinctly remember this record being released, there was a bit of hype and favourable reviews, and I always wanted to hear it... but was it worth a 23 year wait? Highly doubtful. These mustachioed mutherfuckers certainly weren't breaking any new ground, sounding very much like yer standard second generation American Thrash band. In fact, they're deadringers for Cleveland's DESTRUCTOR... 'cept a bit sloppier maybe. The vocals are uncannily similar to Dave Overkill's, and I was waiting for every next song to be "Iron Curtain" or "Pounding Evil"... but no. Brutal Destruction might not be the most appropriate title, but CYCLONE do deliver 8 decent, if generic, tracks of American come Belgian Thrash. I seemed to enjoy this record more by the time the second side was underway, so maybe it's a bit of a creeper. Forget retro-Thrash and get some of the real deal... or an old Belgian facsimile of the real deal... or something like that.
DOWNLOAD: Cyclone-BrutalDestruction.rar (59.18 MB)

DYOXEN • Apocalyptic Dreams Demo

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Private/Indie 1987
I found DYOXEN's First Among Equals record disappointing when it was released - today I don't remember why exactly, but I'm sure it's got something to do with being one of those "I only like the demo" guys that Metal Inquisition despise so much. Sorry, but it's true - this, the notorious London ON thrashers' first demo, is pretty damn killer and a superior offering to their 1990 album. After an unintentionally PILEDRIVER-esque intro and obligatory instrumental time-waster the band finally gets to the good shit: 4 tracks of tight, moderately complex Thrash that's not unlike Boston's mighty WARGASM, and thanks to Michael Scott Saunders' vocal lines and tasteful guitar playing, there's even some hint of melody amongst the intense thrash'n'bash. Excellent stuff - highly recommended.
DOWNLOAD: Dyoxen-ApocalypticDreams.rar (36.73 MB)

S.D.I. • Satans Defloration Incorporated LP

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Scratchcore 1986
You'd be well advised to down 3 or 4 steinkrugs of Krombacher (or your bier of choice) to get yourself in the mood for this 'un... it might also give you some insight into the minds that created this brazen masterwork of mindless Metal. Only an excess of booze could explain why S.D.I. were content to record the same song over and over again 10+ times. There's little variety on Satans Defloration Incorporated: simplistic, fast riffs that border on Punk over a barrage of non-stop double bass drums that plow through every song. Only "Bloodsucker" and "You're Wrong" break the pace, and as a result are the most memorable tracks on this slab. This record is exactly what I've come to expect from a second rate German Speed Metal... it's more fun than it is evil, and more ham-fisted than technical, but it's still a good time... and after that many steins, who gives a fuck! It's Metal for christsake!
DOWNLOAD: SDI-SatansDeflorationIncorporated.rar (67.29 MB)

MX MACHINE • Manic Panic LP

Monday, August 31, 2009

Restless Records 1988
An old friend of mine used to rave about this band, and how great this record was, so I figured "What the eff... I'll give it a shot". I expected typical late 80s Bay Area style Thrash, but am happy to report that that ain't what MX MACHINE were all about. Manic Panic is essentially a Crossover record, but instead of blending Hardcore and Thrash, MX MACHINE combine straight-up Metal, with a touch of MOTORHEAD's Rock/Punk/Metal, and Hardcore-ish vocals and lyrics. Unlike most bands of the era, MX MACHINE weren't about speed for speed's sake, as most of the songs pound out at a moderate pace that never even approaches Thrash or Hardcore tempos. Even without a reliance on speed, this is still a high energy, aggressive collection of good ole kick-ass. Judging by the sticker on the cover "No Glam Fags" was supposed to be their theme song or some shit, and though it's plainly un-PC, it's more imbecilic than it is offensive; the intro is completely unfunny, and the song itself isn't nearly as good as the rest of the record. On the whole though, Manic Panic is damn good... and surprisingly so!
DOWNLOAD: MXMachine-ManicPanic.rar (57.29 MB)

Heavy Metal Records • Webster NY

Saturday, August 29, 2009

75 W Main Street
(585) 872-4129
Ever since I saw the Heavy Metal Records guys at the Buffalo Record Show in April I've been jonesin' to check out the store, so with fresh new passport in hand I headed down Rochester way.‎ Thankfully the shop does not disappoint - it's tiny, but absolutely packed to the rafters with Metal! There's a veritable fuckload of CDs, DVDs, LPs, and t-shirts... and good shit too, not yer run-of-the-mill crap. Vinyl prices are more than reasonable, with most used records coming in at $5 and new releases at $20 (with a few up to $25). I could have easily spent all the cash I had at Heavy Metal Records, but while I was in Rochester I had a few other places to check out, so I had to restrain myself... next time I won't be so frugal (or I'll bring more money). Yeah this place rules! Here's what I picked up:

METAL INQUISITOR "Doomsday For The Heretic" LP: Heard a song on Ian Christie's Bloody Roots radio show and loved it.
SAVATAGE "Sirens" LP: Fuck yeah! The original Par pressing! This made the whole trip worthwhile.
CAULDRON "Chained To The Nite" LP: I didn't love what I heard from this, but that album cover is so goddamn great that I figured it deserved a chance.
HERETIC "Breaking Point" LP: I think the selling point on this one was that Kurdt Vanderhoof produced it... and if that ain't weird, I don't know what is.
RAVEN "Life's A Bitch" LP: Lately I've been having a hard time remembering just how bad RAVEN's post-All For One records were... so I picked this one up as a reminder.
HOLOCAUST "The Nightcomers" LP: No need to explain I'm sure.
OVERDRIVE "Metal Attack" LP: I haven't heard Swords & Axes in years, but I remember digging it, and I'm sure I'll dig this one too.

There was a ton of other great records that I had to pass on, but I will be back. In fact, I'll be back soon because Bob, the owner, is having a series of huge blow-out sales. Every Saturday starting Sept. 12 'til the end of the year, he moves piles of CDs, records, DVDs, and t-shirts into the hallway and everything is $5!!!!! So yeah, you can bet I'll be back for that.

Next up was the infamous House Of Guitars. It had been about 18 years since I was last at HOG, and evidently very little has changed. The place is still jam packed with guitars and amps, and what an impressive selection it is. The thing that bugs me about HOG is the way they just kinda pile the guitars upon each other inside the display cases. When buying a guitar, I prefer if it hasn't been crushed by 12 others guitars for past 24 months... I guess I'm just anal like that. Right, so in the basement of House Of Guitars is a warehouse sized room full of CDs, t-shirts, and a few remnants of their formerly glorious vinyl collection. It's such a fucking mess that I got fed up after 5 minutes and left cuz there's absolutely no rhyme or reason to the records they've got left

I whipped by The Bop Shop for a quick boo at their Metal section (which is decent) but was more intent on getting to The Record Archive before they closed. My whole interest in Rochester record shopping was piqued by Seriah Azkath, who mentioned that The Record Archive was tits... and he was right. There's a load of Metal records, and it's not the kinda stuff you'd normally come across. Again I could have blown a shitload of money, but the realization of how much this trip was costing me began to sink in, so I showed some restraint and only bought:

LADY KILLER "Lady Killer" LP: Another awesome score! This one alone woulda made the trip worthwhile, but SAVATAGE trumps it.
RAVEN "Stay Hard" LP: More research material for my How Hard Did RAVEN Really Suck? project. I have a feeling it's not quite as hard as I thought when I was kid.
ROCK GODDESS "Rock Goddess" LP: Never seen this one before (always the Hell Hath No Fury album), but it's produced by Vic Maile which usually indicates quality.
SATAN JOKERS "Trop Fou Pour Toi" LP: French Metal en français! Digez vous?

If yer on the hunt for Metal records, Rochester, and Heavy Metal Records in particular, is a sure bet!

VICTORY • Culture Killed The Native LP

Friday, August 28, 2009

Rampage Records 1989
Another of Herman Frank's post-ACCEPT bands here... and as usual this pales in comparison to his work with Udo & Co. For the sake of comparison I went back and relistened to HAZZARD (Frank's first band after his stint in ACCEPT) and though it's still a disappointment, it's better than Culture Killed The Native. Where Hazzard is a decidely German record, filled with great riffs in the tradition of ACCEPT (surprise, surprise), this is a very American sounding record. The production is slick, the choruses are hugely overblown (and they all sound exactly the same), and it often reminds me of CRÜE's Dr. Feelgood. Vocalist Fernando Garcia is a dead ringer for SOUND BARRIER's Bernie K. - same voice, same phrasing, similar melodies... but somehow this guy is annoying. A coupla songs storm outta the gates with aggressive riffs and that big sound, but they limp across the finish line, burdened by heaps of reverb and choruses that are too massive for their own good. It's not as if this is a "bad quality" record, as all the players are able and the sound is decent, but unfortunately the songs are gratingly commercial. First HAZZARD and now this... that's two strikes for Frank, and I'm not about to give him a chance for a third.
DOWNLOAD: Victory-CultureKilledTheNative.rar (72.82 MB)

CRACK JAW • Nightout LP

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Steamhammer Records 1985
More awesome Germanic Metal for y'alls! Nightout is fulla anthemic tracks that combine heavy riffs with accessible vocal melodies, making CRACK JAW slightly more commercial than the majority of their mid-80s cohorts. The guitar playing is fantastic, so if the vocal poppiness starts to grate on your nerves, the tasteful and moderately technical playing of Holger Eckstein will be a welcome distraction. Album closer "Seven Days Of Wonder" features some excellent harmonized galloping riffs, and is an epic, classy way to wrap up the record. Solid band, good production... a quality release in every respect, even if it's not the heaviest of all time.
DOWNLOAD: CrackJaw-Nightout.rar (66.9 MB)


Sunday, August 16, 2009

Mercenary Records 1987
L'Amour Rocks features 8 bands who in '87 were all in their infantile demo stages - some would later become fairly well known, while most others were destined for obscurity. This is a surprisingly solid comp, and save for THE BOYS' track there ain't a stinker in the whole bunch. Here's a breakdown:
WRATHCHILD: Not the UK glamsters, but WRATHCHILD AMERICA, before they were forced to tack on the AMERICA. Great double-time Power Metal that reminds me of EXCITER - what ATTILA wished they sounded like.
MATRIARCH: More Power Metal that seemed ripe for Metal Blade's picking... but I don't think these guys did much after this.
JETT BLAKK: Along with WRATHCHILD, JETT BLAKK are the standouts... pretty surprising too, considering their band photo. Straight ahead Thrash with a bit of a Crossover feel - check the full on S.O.D. mosh part in the middle. The guitar player ended up in over-the-top glam act PRETTY BOY FLOYD.
LETHAL AGGRESSION: Now for some real Crossover. Apparently these guys are still at it... that's dedication!
ATTACKER: These guys had already been on, and been dropped by (presumably), Metal Blade by the time L'Amour Rocks was released. Impressive! Great track though.
HALLOWEEN: Snapped this record up cuz of HALLOWEEN, but unfortunately this track pales in comparison to the stuff on their phenomenal Don't Metal With Evil debut of 3 years earlier. Still cool though.
MEANSTREAK: I always thought MEANSTREAK were more of a Thrash band, but "Lost Stranger" is straightforward Metal with a kinda generic Rock feel... not spectacular, but a totally decent offering.
THE BOYS: The most commercially viable band on L'Amour Rocks, and also the most boring and predictable.
DOWNLOAD: LamourRocks.rar (52.07 MB)

The Vinyl Obsession • Markham ON

Friday, August 14, 2009

4560 Highway 7 East, Unit 900
(905) 479-2400
Today I headed up to what seemed like the goddamn North Pole to check out a new record shop in the outer limits of the GTA: The Vinyl Obsession. It's always risky making these long treks cuz it can be, and often is, all for naught. You arrive at a dank-hole-in-the wall just to find a "Metal section" full of well abused RAINBOW and MOXY albums... not the case with today's little foray into the godforsaken no man's land of Markham, ON. Apparently I have the Metal equivalent of gaydar, cuz within seconds of walking into the place I had pounced on the Metal vinyl like a fat kid on a Smartie. It was a respectable size, wasn't tucked into the dingiest corner of the shop, and contained lots of decent records - not too shabby! Straight away I noticed that the prices were a bit outta whack: generally overpriced considering that most of the records are simply in average shape... maybe only 3 or 4 mint records amongst them. Thankfully the owner, David, was not opposed to me suggesting what the records were really worth (or at least what I was willing to pay for 'em) and so I left with a handful of cool titles:

HUSTLER "Now Or Never" LP: The band photo sold me, cuz the album cover stinks! 4 bad-ass French dudes lookin' like they're ready to fuck you up... '85 style.
WARLORD "Thy Kingdom Come" LP: Believe it or not, I'd never seen this record before. Couldn't get away from that damn Cannons Of Destruction thing when I was a kid, but this one... never.
BLACK SPOT "Flaps Down" LP: Never heard of these dudes, have no idea what they're about, but judging by the cover shot they're a Metal band (even though this kinda whiffs of Grunge or some kinda late 80s Alternative snooze-fest).
VECTOM "Rules Of Mystery" LP: I feel like I should be more familiar with this band, the name rings a bell, but nothing concrete springs to to mind. Certainly looks to be good.
L'AMOUR ROCKS Compilation LP: HALLOWEEN is on it and that's all I needed to see.
ADAM BOMB "Fatal Attraction" LP: The guy rules on that TKO record, and just days ago I read a big thing on him on, so I hadta have it.
STEELER "Strike Back" LP: Still haven't listened to their first album... ooops, mistook these guys for Yngwie's old outfit - this is an altogether different band.
VICTORY "Culture Killed The Native" LP: Another of Herman Frank's post-ACCEPT projects, and even though I didn't care for HAZZARD, I decide to give this one a go.

If The Vinyl Obsession is able to maintain a selection of titles this varied, and have a steady flow of new ones regularly coming through the door, it will surely become the go-to place for used Metal.

D.C. LACROIX • Crack Of Doom LP

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Black Dragon Records 1986
D.C. LACROIX were the best band on Ever Rat's dismal Metal Meltdown 2 comp, but on their Crack Of Doom debut the band seems unsure of whether commercial party anthems or straight ahead Metal is their forte. They tend to flip-flop between, and/or meld the two, with mixed results - not surprisingly they're at their best when sticking to the metallic vein of "Black Leather Monster" or the ANVIL-esque title track. Vocalist Sylvie Lacroix sounds a helluva lot like Doro Pesch, but as a band D.C. LACROIX is little more than a glorified bar band. They come across as an Everytown, USA cover band that decided to try their hand at Metal, even though it's not what they would naturally play and is totally foreign to them. I might be way off base, but that's what it sounds like. I am, however, gonna give this one a few more listens cuz I have a feeling it might be a bit of a creeper.
DOWNLOAD: DCLacroix-CrackOfDoom.rar (65.75 MB)

Niagara Records • St. Catharines ON

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

377 St. Paul Street
(905) 228-0036

So it would appear that there's now 2 vinyl shops in St. Catharines... could things be looking up for the armpit of Ontario? Don't get too excited - Niagara Records is a bit of a dump, but there is a crapload of records in the decently sized shop. Generally the quality is below average, but I'm sure there's some gems tucked in amongst all the typical $1 bin records. The Metal section (yes they actually have one) is a bit underwhelming with it's abundance of ZEBRA, HELLFIELD, and ALCATRAZZ records, though I did find DC3's "The Good Hex" as well as a Y&T single, and a couple of standard Glam Metal slabs. First time I checked out Niagara Records they had JAG PANZER "Ample Destruction" under glass, as if they were preserving some hallowed artifact... and they wanted $30 for it in spite of the obvious wear... pass. These days a HEATHEN single or the crappy post-COCKNEY REJECTS "Quiet Storm" LP are the best you're gonna find. This is the kinda place I go to pick up records that I don't really care too much about (RATT, JETBOY, etc.) or when I just gotta buy something.

T.N.T. • Deflorator LP

Sunday, August 9, 2009

SL Records 1984
I ripped this record ages ago, but didn't really have much to say about it... and not surprisingly, I still don't. Deflorator is packed with nine decent AC/DC influenced rockers that have a slight Metal edge, and thus sound a helluva lot like KROKUS (so much so that I was convinced that these guys were Swiss). If you dig the SAMAIN record I posted yesterday, you're sure to enjoy this one too - it's rock solid from start to finish, and though it's taken a really long time, has grown on me steadily.
DOWNLOAD: TNT-Deflorator.rar (69.61 MB)

SAMAIN • Vibrations Of Doom LP

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Roadrunner Records 1984
Moustache Metal ran rampant in the mid-80s, but it was nowhere more present than in der Vaterland. 4/5 of SAMAIN carry on the long and strong German tradition of fuzzy facial appendages by proudly displaying their soup strainers on the back cover of Vibrations Of Doom: a generally innocuous blend of ACCEPT-ish pounders and mid-tempo rockers that recall Deutcshe Deflorators TNT. This is middle-of-the-road Metal that's very reminiscent of KROKUS... you know: it's cool, but it's not mindblowing by any means, and is generally forgettable. VOD does have it's moments, but there's a definite shortage of excitement ("Giant Man" or "Gonna Swing My Chariot" being the possible exceptions), as none of 'em really get the heart pumping. Maybe I can't fully appreciate it cuz of my lack of facial hair, but still, this is an above average record that warrants a few more spins and perhaps a few less shaves.
DOWNLOAD: Samain-VibrationsOfDoom.rar (70.73 MB)

CRUCIFIED • Infliction Of Pain Demo

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Private/Indie 1990
These guys were a Thrash band from the small town I grew up in, and to be totally honest, I always thought they were a complete pile of shit (even when I played with them for a Summer). So I wasn't expecting there to be anything redeeming about this demo when I decided to revisit it, but I was wrong... sorta. CRUCIFIED deliver Bay Area influenced Thrash that borrows heavily from METALLICA and FORBIDDEN, and though it's not terribly original it's got a certain bargain basement appeal. Some of the solos are blatant rip-offs of Kirk's Kill 'Em All leads... which themselves , as we all know, are blatantly ripped off... and I dig it. Unfortunately all the songs tend to drag on, and they each become tedious at around the 3:30 mark. Though generic, and not terribly memorable, this demo isn't as godawful as I expected, and the "Symptom Of The Universe" cover is cool.
R.I.P. Enzo
DOWNLOAD: Crucified-InflictionOfPainDemo.rar (63.36 MB)

TKO • Let It Roll LP

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Infinity Records 1979
I'm still shocked by how much I love TKO's In Your Face record. I've listened to it pretty much every day for the past 3 months, and still I can't get enough. Not only was the band that recorded Let It Roll almost completely different, but their sound shows little similarity to the over-the-top Metal of In Your Face. This, the band's debut, is a somewhat standard 70s Rock affair that would sit well amongst the Classic Rock radio staples of CHEAP TRICK, FOREIGNER, APRIL WINE and BOSTON... at times it even hints at FLEETWOOD MAC of all things (check the guitar melody on "What In The World" for proof). The songwriting is great and completely memorable, and Brad Sinsel's voice is a stonecold classic, but this lacks the energy, the manic guitar histrionics, and the Metalness (for lack of a better word) that I love so much about In Your Face. Still, I've become such a Sinsel fan that I'll take what I can get. Let It Roll? Sure, why the Hell not!?!
DOWNLOAD: TKO-LetItRoll.rar (64.72 MB)

WITCH • The Hex Is On EP

Monday, July 20, 2009

Axe Killer Records 1984
This record is hilarious. Take a look at that cover shot! Who knew that J Mascis could look so good in a pair of fishnets, knee-high boots, and 12 pounds of make-up!?! What? This isn't the DINO JR. mainman's new band! Fuck... duped again! I thought that Punky Peru or Peter Wabbit mighta been J's nom de plume. Oh well... instead of yet another Stoner Rock rehash, these SoCal misfits serve up a steaming pile of Metal Blade-ish tracks that could easily be mistaken for KRANK or some other forgettable Glam cum Metal outfit on the label's mid-80s roster. Much heavier than the band's image might suggest, The Hex Is On is balls out (literally) Metal with just enough sense of melody to tinge the proceedings with a touch of LA sleaze - kinda like a dingier Too Fast For Love. Surprisingly good, even if that ain't J wanking away on the solos (yeah yeah I know he plays drums in WITCH).
DOWNLOAD: Witch-TheHexIsOn.rar (34.01 MB)


Sunday, July 19, 2009

Grudge Records 1986
Right off the bat yer gonna be struck by how bad this sounds (drum machine, direct guitars, piss-poor production, etc.), and so it might take some patience to fully appreciate this hallmark of delete bins everywhere... patience that I'm not even sure I have. LOTCA is just such a bizarro record that I'm at a bit of a loss. High pitched vocals sail over galloping riffs that together weave the most clichéd tales of dragons, dungeons, and sorcerers you're ever likely to hear. A record this misguided is such a rarity that you gotta love it because (and in spite) of it's innumerable woes and shortcomings. The songs are kinda cool, and given the chance this record might grow on you, but the production is a seriously hard pill to swallow. Too bad this wasn't recorded by a proper band, in a proper studio... coulda been legitimately cool instead of being an odd and mildly humourous curiosity.
DOWNLOAD: LordsOfTheCrimsonAlliance.rar (66.69 MB)

MAD BUTCHER • Metal Lightning Attack LP

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Earthshaker Records 1985
Presumably named after DESTRUCTION's early ode to perverted purveyors of pulverized protein, Germany's MAD BUTCHER are Speed Metal simpletons who, in spite of their name, share little in common with Germany's finest. Instead, MAD BUTCHER are more akin to fellow NRW meatheads EXPECT NO MERCY in their no frills high-speed Heavy Metal attack that verges on Thrash, but falls just short of the requisite heaviness, aggression, and sheer sonic violence. Having said all that, Metal Lightning Attack is a likeable lighthearted romp through the well tread paths of second rate German Metal, and though I'm sure you've heard it a million times before, it's still fun as Hell.
DOWNLOAD: MadButcher-LightningMetalAttack.rar (71.53 MB)

Ric's Recollections • Mississauga ON

Saturday, July 11, 2009

321 Lakeshore Road East
(905) 891-1523
Not to be confused with Ric's Collectibles (which is on the opposite end of the city, as well as the opposite end of the spectrum with regards to cleanliness, price, and Metal sections), Ric's Recollections is a tidy, if small, high-end vinyl aficionado's haven. Don't get me wrong, I've had many successful trips to Ric Collectibles, but my last venture out there left me emtpy-handed and full-walleted, while Ric's Recollections has left me penniless and heavy with Metal. The guy working, whom I can only assume was Ric himself, seemed reticent to direct me towards the "good" Metal, and had me sort through the generic Rock section for upwards of 20 minutes before making me aware of the 2 bins hiding underneath a rack. There I discovered quite the impressive selection of NWOBHM, and Euro-Metal, unfortunately I also discovered the unconscionably high sticker prices that are tacked onto every record that even begins to approach semi-rarity (I absolutely refuse to play $25 for a Banzai pressing of any record!). So, though there were at least 15 records I'd love to have in my collection, it'd be a cold day in Hell before I paid $300+ for 'em. Haggle though I tried, Ric is unflinching and nearly unbudging in his prices, and so I only left with these:

RAZOR "Malicious Intent" LP: This is the lone missing link in my Sheepdog/RAZOR collection. Happy to find it, and it didn't break the bank!
MAD BUTCHER "Metal Lightning Attack" LP: Looks cool as shit!
FALLEN ANGELS "Fallen Angels" LP: Just found out about this record/band a coupla weeks ago. 3/5 of HANOI ROCKS and Knox of THE VIBRATORS... how could that be bad?

Good shop, and I will definitely return, but it'll have to be when I'm in a particularly bounteous mood.

R.U.G. • Deathly Fighter Anthology LP

Thursday, July 9, 2009

GISM Appreciation Society 2009
I bought this record in spite of having already downloaded everything that's on it, ages ago, from another blog... which, evidently, is where the bootleggers got their material too. I did a quick search and have read many complaints about this record, and everything I've read is correct: this LP was made using mp3s as the source material (the quality is not good), and the pictures are all pixelated (clearly they were found online and blown up for the cover art). However, when I buy bootlegs, I buy 'em for collectability and not for quality or even playability necessarily. Sure, good quality is appreciated, but it's certainly not expected, cuz you never know what you're gonna get. So, what you have here is the RANDY UCHIDA GROUP's Deathly Fighter 7" from 1984 and six live songs that were downloaded as mp3s, pressed on to vinyl, purchased by me and converted back into mp3s... are you thinkin' what I'm thinkin'? Yeah... if you really, really wanna hear this shit, you'd be well advised to find the original mp3s and avoid the generational loss of vinyl and re-encoding. My personal experience with this record is this: I didn't really care for this stuff when I first downloaded it, but after investing my hard-earned cash in this boot, and giving it a proper listen, I've realized just how great the Deathly Fighter single is. Musically R.U.G. sounds like a slightly more metallized G.I.S.M., but the vocals are the big difference. While Sakevi had one of the most tortured vocal styles ever, Ronny Wakamats of R.U.G. is yer typical Metal vocalist: high pitched with mildly annoying overuse of vibrato. The star of this record is Randy's guitar playing - it's instantly recognizable and as infectious as ever. I can't say I'm disappointed with this record... it is what it is.
DOWNLOAD: RUG-DeathlyFighterAnthology.rar (62.81 MB)

EXODUS • Strike Of The Beast 2LP

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Imperial Records 2007
This is a beautiful package: 2LPs (one black, one green), high quality pressing, nice design with full colour insert... top notch in every way. Strike Of The Beast contains EXODUS' 1982 Demo and the Turk Street Demo (1984) plus a barely intelligible 1985 radio interview. I've heard the '82 demo before, and most likely have it on an old cassette somewhere, and this sounds pretty much how I remembered it - like a 9th generation cassette copy. It woulda been nice if they coulda found a cleaner version of these tracks, but that gripe is minor when compared to how great the songs are. Less manic and violent than they would soon become, the '82 demo sees EXODUS treading a more trad Metal path... and it's fantastic. Hard to imagine Baloff as a conventional Metal vocalist, but here's the proof. The Turk Street Demo sounds live, more like a rehearsal, but the quality is good, as the band tear through largely instrumental versions of most of the Bonded By Blood record (perfect for your next Thrash karaoke party!). We all knew that HEATHEN borrowed heavily from EXODUS, but check out "Strike Of The Beast" - it sounds exactly like the first HEATHEN record... I'd even swear it's Lee Altus playing the plentiful leads. This album is so heavy that when I opened it the records flew out and chopped a poser's head off at 20 yards (or something like that - anyone remember the original quote?) You're gonna wanna download this lest you be the poser at the receiving end of a vinyl decapitation.
DOWNLOAD: Exodus-StrikeOfTheBeast-Pt1.rar (53.22 MB)
DOWNLOAD: Exodus-StrikeOfTheBeast-Pt2.rar (57.43 MB)

RUNNING WILD • Metal 'til Death - Live 1983 LP

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Bootleg 2009
This record had the potential to be the biggest pile of shit ever committed to wax (next to SODOM's Pretenders To The Throne that is). I mean c'mon, a bootleg of a RUNNING WILD show from '83 - that could be bad. Thankfully this is a pretty decent offering. Rock 'n' Rolf and Co. storm through 9 pounding Metal anthems including "Chains And Leather", "Walpurgis Night", and "Genghis Khan" from their early records, and a bunch that never made it to official release. It's an audience recording, and it doesn't sound good by any stretch, but what it lacks in fidelity is made up for in exuberance and sheer spunk. The band sound like they've got their shit together - tight and pretty damn professional, and the crowd clearly loves it, chanting along throughout most of the show. I definitely don't consider myself a RUNNING WILD diehard, but I still enjoyed this immensely and will be digging out my copies of Branded And Exiled and Gates To Purgatory tout de suite!
DOWNLOAD: RunningWild-MetalTilDeath.rar (69.65 MB)

SACRILEGE • Early Demos LP

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Bootleg 2009
Lately I've amassed quite the collection of bootlegs, so in my next few posts I'm gonna attempt to weed through a few of 'em. First off is the mighty SACRILEGE. Early Demos contains, as the name implies, SACRILEGE's first 2 demos from November '84 and February '85 respectively. Cool to hear the band progress over a scant 4 months from crusty Punks to crusty Metal loving Punks. If you like SACRILEGE then you know what's in store: oppressively heavy Metal/Punk combining equal parts DISCHARGE and TROUBLE, and fronted by possibly the best female vocalist ever. SACRILEGE get my vote for having one of the heaviest and most distinct guitar sounds off all time - absolutely crushing! Right... so if, like me, you've resorted to buying AFTER THE BOMBS records to fill the void, and to get your SACRILEGE fix, you'll be plenty chuffed to hear this one. The real deal!
DOWNLOAD: Sacrilege-EarlyDemos.rar (46.07 MB)
PS: Forgot to mention how amazing the song "Out Of Sight Out Of Mind" on Early Demos is. It's reminiscent of "The Price Of Silence"-era DISCHARGE, and is very different from the version found on Behind The Realms Of Madness.

TORCH • Torch EP

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Tandan Records 1982
Good goddamn! This kicks so much ass I'm not gonna be able to sit for a week! TORCH deliver aggressive NWOBHM inspired Metal that reminds me of TYGERS OF PAN TANG a lot, and I detect a bit of PRETTY MAIDS in the mix too. 3 of the 5 tracks clock in at around 3 minutes and are short sharp shocks that don't mince notes or words. TORCH don't fuck around. Their purpose is clear: kick the shit outta the listener with high-octane Metal, and leave 'em wanting more. Metal the way it's meant to be played I tells you.
DOWNLOAD: Torch-TorchEP.rar (32.41 MB)
PS: This guy has some sick live TORCH videos from '85.

Downtown St. Catharines Record Show

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Market Square
King/James Streets
Didn't expect much from the St. Catharines show, but I ended up walking away with some decent stuff. Nothing gobsmaking, but still good considering the locale. Actually, the location of this show is awesome. It's not in a dingy basement, but instead an open air market with tons of natural light and fresh air... nice change. Anyways, enough bullshit... here's the stash:

• HELLION "Postcards From The Asylum" EP
: Hard to believe, but I've never actually heard a HELLION record... seen 'em hundreds of times, but always passed. Musta been in a good mood today.
• APOCRYPHA "The Forgotten Scroll" LP: It's on Shrapnel, but you never know... it might be good.
• LEATHERWOLF "Street Ready" LP: Guaranteed to be good!
• LEATHERWOLF "Leatherwolf" LP: How many fucking records do these guys have called "Leatherwolf"!?! At least 3 by my count.
EASTERN FRONT: Live At Ruthie's Inn Comp LP: Killer record! My old friend Metcalf had this one back-in-the-day. Half live and half demo recordings by luminaries such as: HEATHEN, LEGACY, RAW POWER, BLIND ILLUSION, D.R.I. and lots more.
• HOLY MOSES "Finished With The Dogs" LP: So lame that I'm only buying this now - better late than never.
• VICIOUS RUMORS "Digital Dictator" LP: Damn! Didn't notice that this one was on Shrapnel too... oh well.
D.C. LACROIX "Crack Of Doom LP: Their's was one of the few good tracks on the Metal Meltown comp I posted way back. Looking forward to this one.
LEATHER ANGEL "We Came To Kill" EP: I bought a lot of chick Metal today... this, D.C. LACROIX, HELLION, HOLY MOSES, and I almost grabbed the second BLACK LACE record before I ran out of dosh.
TORCH "Torch" EP: I have a few TORCH records, but couldn't tell ya one thing about 'em... I think they're Scandinavian... OK so I lied.

Not bad eh? And to think I almost passed on this show, assuming that like most things St. Catharinesian it would be dismal and depressing. I never get used to being wrong.


Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Private/Indie 1989
I have absolutely no recollection of how this demo came into my possession, or if I'd ever even listened to it, and after hearing it today that makes perfect sense... cuz Murder Of The Unborns is so utterly unremarkable that it's rendered completely forgettable. If an unfunny rehash of the DAYGLO ABORTIONS sounds appealing to you, then MACHIAVELLIAN REGRESSION'll be right up your alley. It's weird, cuz this seems like the kinda stuff that should be, or least attempt to be, funny: there's the Cretin-ish vocals, and silly Punk cum Rock tunes, but the humour that made the DAYGLOs so outstanding is conspicuously absent. It's possible that this shit is hilarious, and the jokes are way over my head, but I kinda doubt it. For me, this lacks that certain je ne sais quoi, but if you're up for some second rate Québécois Skate Thrash/Crossover then by all means download!
DOWNLOAD: MachiavellianRegression-MOTU.rar (33.07 MB)


Thursday, June 11, 2009

Osmose Productions/Kron-H 1997
In the late 90s Thrash Metal made it's first resurgence, it's first attempt to reanimate it's Death Metal ravaged carcass. Not surprisingly these gasps of renewed life sprang forth from Scandinavia mainly, and were fostered in large part by France's Osmose Productions. There was BEWITCHED (Sweden), INFERNÖ (Norway), GEHENNAH (Sweden), and the oft mentioned, but veiled in obscurity and seeming secrecy, THE ROCKING DILDOS from France (and Finland). I kinda assumed that this band never really existed, but lo and behold I stumbled upon the On Speed LP at Hits & Misses last week. Despite being lumped in with the aforementioned bands, THE ROCKING DILDOS, unlike their labelmates, were less of a Retro-Thrash (as it was called back then) rehash, instead churning out the ever popular D-Beat, mixed with some healthy doses of straight up Rock action, and a hint of Black Metal. Add lyrics that are both an homage to, and an attempt to outdo, the mighty El Duce, and you've got a pretty lethal combo. Nothing to be taken too seriously, just GTs all around.
DOWNLOAD: TheRockingDildos-OnSpeed.rar (64.41 MB)

OZ • III Warning LP

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Combat Records 1984
Imagine, if you will, a bleak and desolate world in which OZ's 1983 sophomore outing Fire In The Brain doesn't exist. This world, so devoid of warmth and joy is little more than a living Hell. It's here, in this godless realm, that OZ's III Warning is considered a good album, because the undeniable greatness of Fire In The Brain has left a void, and isn't looming over it, casting an oppressive shadow that few follow-up records could escape. Life in this alternate reality is grim, so you turn to III Warning for comfort, it's cold, but it's something. The brutish and neanderthaloid pound of opener "Third Warning" gives you hope for greater things, new vistas of Metal opportunity, but your hopes are senselessly dashed by the time you reach the naff "Rock 'N' Roll Widow" at the end of the first side. Sure there's sparse flashes of greatness here and there, but they're few and fleeting, and you're left with the sinking feeling that things ain't gonna get any better. Your mind wanders to an unreal place, a new and better world, where OZ's full potential is not only realized but cherished and revered. With a jolt you wake from your nightmare, dopey and dazed. "Phew! Only a dream", you think to yourself as you reach for the only thing that will erase that horrible place from your memory... Fire In The Brain.
DOWNLOAD: Oz-IIIWarning.rar (64.9 MB)

KILLER DWARFS • Killer Dwarfs LP

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Attic Records 1983
So we all know that "Heavy Mental Breakdown" rules... right? Well, whether you do or not, you need to download this cuz take my word for it, it does! Back in the day the video was on regular rotation up here in Canada, and it's left an indelible mark on me... and prolly most other Canuck metalheads around my age. Listening to this record for the first time in years, it hit me like a ton of bricks - KILLER DWARFS were the Canadian RIOT. It's spot on - similar lyrical themes (gambling outlaws who live to Rock!), and musically both are top notch, classy Hard Rock/Metal. Add in some Geddy Lee-ish vocals, a bit o' TWISTED fuckin' SISTER, and the slightest amount of RAVEN and you've got a damn fine combination. Great record, straight up and down - and those zebra guitars are pretty bad-ass too!
DOWNLOAD: KillerDwarfs-KillerDwarfs.rar (69.61 MB)