Nuclear War Now! Productions 2007
I'm really happy that I was wrong about this record... I thought it was gonna be unlistenable artsy noise recorded by New York hipsters and I was wrong - at least about the unlistenable part, cuz VILLAINS are definitely noisy, and they could very well be hipsters, but this record rules! It's got a DARK THRONE-ish Black Metal feel mixed with a bit of retro-Thrash, and it kills right from the get-go. Bands like TOXIC HOLOCAUST could learn a thing or two from VILLAINS about creating raw, reckless, vicious Metal with that old-school flava. Excellent record that you need to hear.
DOWNLOAD: Villains-DrenchedInThePoisons.rar (54.52 MB)
Nuclear War Now! Productions 2007
Generation Zero was the shit back-in-the-day... and it still holds up nicely. This, MUTUALLY ASSURED DESTRUCTION's second demo, is full of dizzyingly complex Thrash Metal riff-a-thons that twist and turn in so many directions that your head'll spin. Vocalist Rob Johnston adds a bit of a crossover vibe to the whole thing with a Punkish delivery and politically charged lyrics... for some reason Animosity era C.O.C. comes to mind. The rhythm section hints at Germany's VENDETTA, while the guitar playing shows a bit of a Bay Area influence... think VIO-LENCE's aggression mixed with TESTAMENT-ish riffing. The playing is fantastic throughout, and all the elements combine to create an orgiastic, no-holds-barred, all-out Thrashfest. Really hard to pick a favourite, but "Technological Noose" is excellent, as is the title track. Downloading is a must!
DOWNLOAD: MAD GenerationZero.rar (77.52 MB)
P.S. Many thanks to Vim for the virgin rip, cover scans, and upload.
Pit Bull Records 1984
More top notch Rock/Metal from the hugely underrated SOUND BARRIER. Much like 1983's Total Control, Born To Rock is fulla hugely anthemic songs that are complex and at the same time commercial... no easy feat, but SB pull it off no probs. These guys have chops for days, and cram more musicality into a 4 minute ditty, than most bands can eke into an entire album... and they do it without sounding like some kinda self indulgent wannabe prog wankers. They even make the normally pedestrian "Born To Be Wild" into something wholly new, completely their own, and frankly pretty awesome. SOUND BARRIER's music is unpredictable, and so full of energy and joy (yeah I said it) that it never fails to impress or excite.
DOWNLOAD: SoundBarrier-BornToRock.rar (36.14 MB)
Polaris Records 1988
Laughably amateurish, yet oddly endearing in spite of it's numerous shortcomings, On The Loose is yer basic generic subpar Metal record. More than anything else, this reminds me of the DEAD SERIOS record I posted a while back... it's unintentionally funny pap. Only the upbeat "Motorized" is worthwhile, if only for this lyrical gem: "Death Angel, Overkill, Motorhead... Metal!", and the album's heaviest moment, "Hammerhead", is decent too. It's a shame that some of Detroit's rich musical history has never rubbed off on Windsor, ON... and as a result we're left with the likes of PSYCHO. Rare: yes. Good: no.
DOWNLOAD: Psycho-OnTheLoose.rar (60.33 MB)
Kraze/Maze America 1991
It's been at least 10 years since I last heard this record, and I gotta wonder why it took me so long to get back to it. Dreaming With The Dead is an intense exercise in complex, intricate, razor sharp American Death Metal. I always knew this was good, but I've gained a whole new appreciation for it. I found myself marvelling at how the multi-layered guitars create an almost symphonic effect at times. Kinda MORBID ANGEL-ish, but RIPPING CORPSE were no wannabes, they carved a swath through the the masses of generic DM bands to create their own niche. Equally as heavy as Dread Cthulhu, and just as grotesque... RIPPING CORPSE fhtagn.
DOWNLOAD: RippingCorpse-DreamingWithTheDead.rar (65.9 MB)
Tandan Records 1984
Sweden is a country that produces an inordinate number of great bands... as I'm sure we all know. Every subbgenre of Punk and Metal is littered with Swedish bands who put most others to shame - be it Death Metal, Hardcore, whatever, it doesn't really matter. Unfortunately STRIKE aren't one of 'em. This, their self-titled slab, is full of crappy wannabe American commercial Rock. This doesn't even qualify as Metal... it's more like HONEYMOON SUITE (OK they're not American but you get the idea) or a poppier, unbluesy GREAT WHITE... actually I can't even draw comparisons because this is the kinda shit I'd normally avoid. These guys make EUROPE sound absolutely crushing. If you're in the mood for some mindless big-haired party anthem Rock then this is yours to download, otherwise steer clear.
DOWNLOAD: Strike-StrikeEP.rar (37.43 MB)
10 Records 1985
Not sure if these guys actually went by U.S.A. WARRIOR, or if the U.S.A. was just tacked onto the cover to somehow distinguish them from the multitude of other meatheads using the same name. No matter, this WARRIOR play straight up Heavy Metal that, for a couple of reasons, is more commercially viable than most. First the production. It's glossy and full, and sounds like the kinda big budget treatment usually reserved for the likes of WINGER or POISON. That's not a bad thing, cuz the record sounds great. Vocalist Parramore McCarty (yup that's what it says) adds to to the commerciality with a strong voice and catchy melodic vocal lines. But don't get the wrong idea... this is Metal - there's plodding pounding rhythms, galloping riffs, doomsday lyrics, harmony guitar solos, etc, etc, it's just done through a commercial sheen. JUDAS PRIEST were clearly an influence, and there's a bit of a SAVATAGE feel to the proceedings. This is really good shit, and apparently these guys were out there fighting for the earth, so I think it's only fair that you give their little record a listen.
DOWNLOAD: USAWarrior-FightingForTheEarth.rar (70.04 MB)
Höhnie Records 2005
I've been on a bit of a Crust bender lately, after picking up that DISFEAR/DOOMRIDERS split 7". I started searching Hardcore Holocaust and discovered a buncha bands I'd never heard of, and started thinking about old bands that I wanted to hear more of... thus Siberian Hardcore by Finland's BASTARDS. BASTARDS were my favourite band on the FINNISH SPUNK/HARD BEAT comp put out by Propaganda Records in 1984 - their track "The Beginning Of The End" was mid-paced Punk with a bit of a Rock'n'Roll feel, which made them stand out amongst the relentless thrash of all the other bands. For 20+ years I've only known 2 of their songs, so it was with some hesitation that I picked up Siberian Hardcore. Hesitation because I find that when it comes to Hardcore, I really only like the same stuff I liked when I was a kid... bands that were around back-in-the-day, that I didn't check out or wasn't aware of, just don't do it for me like they woulda when I was younger... oh the joys of getting old. Anyways, this record may be the exception because it's fucking fantastic. Siberian Hardcore is fulla songs just like the one I loved on the FS/HB comp - lotsa metallish muted picking, they mix up the tempos so it never gets boring, and everything is delivered with aplomb and youthful exuberance. If I had to draw a comparison (and I always do), I'd say BASTARDS lean more towards G.B.H. than DISCHARGE, mixed with that distinct Scandinavian sound (which is totally DISCHARGE influenced anyways). I have a feeling that I'm gonna be searching out more of these Finnish re-issues (this one was originally released in '84)... especially the APPENDIX Money Is Not My Currency record - always loved that cover! Download if yer feelin' a bit crusty.
DOWNLOAD: Bastards-SiberianHardcore.rar (75.89 MB)
no label 2008
Technically this might be a BRATS record, but you'll recognize a bunch of these songs as classic MERCYFUL FATE tracks, and you might even recognize some of these versions (I know a few are on the Curse Of The Pharaohs boot LP, and some might be on Return Of The Vampire too). Regardless, this is a great bootleg of a BRATS' rehearsal, and a very cool document of the proto-FATE band. The Pre-King Diamond BRATS had a distinct Punkish/NWOBHM sound and released one killer album, but this record sees the band heading towards the full-on Metal of MERCYFUL FATE. "Death Kiss" starts things off and there's no mistaking it as anything other than "A Dangerous Meeting", "Love Criminals" is "Into The Coven", "Powers Of Darkness" is "Return Of The Vampire", and "Night Riders" is the best alternate version of "Curse Of The Pharaohs" I've heard. That leaves 2 songs that I'd never heard before: "Sometimes You're Deadly" is nearly 10 minutes long, and is phenomenal! This song alone was worth every penny of what I paid for this record. "Fightin' For The Knighthood" is another marathon, clocking in at 8:50, but as you'd expect from MERCYFUL FATE, they cram enough riffs into that 9 minutes for 15 songs, so it never gets boring. Top notch boot that's a must have for MF fans, but maybe just a curiosity for BRATS fans.
DOWNLOAD: Brats-18thJanuary1981.rar (84.34 MB)
PS: Just discovered that there's a new BRATS LP out called The Lost Tapes. It's a full album that they recorded before they did the 1980 album... can't wait to hear it!