Studio Cortina de Ferro Corporation 1993
I don't really know what to say about this craptastic offering from Brazil's CORTINA DE FERRO because I have no points of reference for this. I guess it'd be considered Power Metal, or maybe Melodic Metal or something along those lines. The major difference being that modern Power Metal is invariably over-produced, sterile and mechanical while Temple Of The Darkness is painfully under-produced, flat and weak sounding... but I'm not sure which is worse to be honest. Plus the keytars (yup keytars!) are overbearing, cheesy, and completely distracting. Highlights are André Luiz's blatant Yngwie-isms and the mistitled PRIEST cover: "Breaking In The Law". This is thoroughly amateurish stuff, but still kinda interesting due in equal parts to it's rarity and it's cluelessness. Enjoy?
DOWNLOAD: CortinadeFerro-TempleOfTheDarkness.rar (62.25 MB)
Studio Cortina de Ferro Corporation 1993
High Dragon Records 1987
This record was intriguing for a variety of reasons: 1) the front cover features some sorta apparitional kabuki pirate, 2) instead of A and B sides Another Dark Carnival's got Slut and Balls sides, and to top the whole packaging fiasco off, 3) there's a track called "Glory Hole"... now I ask you, faced with this inescapable awesomeness what was I supposed to do, not buy it? Given the band's name I expected CASTLE BLAK to be Metal... real Metal, maybe even a bit Thrashy - apparently I shoulda looked more closely at the band photos! These guys really suck, and I mean hard. Commercial and wimpy, bland and completely devoid excitement or any sense of urgency, this is commercial Metal at it's worst. If this had come out in 1981 it might have been excusable, but to think that these dipshits were peddling this pap in 1987 is laughable and offensive. One final note: as if abusing us with their own songs wasn't enough, CASTLE BLAK decided to include a couple of covers. KISS's "Do You Love Me" is an apparent attempt to fully realize the song's crap quotient, and "Some Kinda Of Wonderful", popularized by GRAND FUNK RAILROAD, is possibily one of the worst songs, and cover choices ever. What more can I say to dissuade you from downloading this?
DOWNLOAD: CastleBlak-AnotherDarkCarnival.rar (75.75 MB)
Stumbled upon this, my new favourite Metal mag, at Hits & Misses yesterday. Chromium Dioxide is a comic/Metal magazine par excellence that combines 3 of my favourite things: Metal, art, and humour (think Metal Inquisition 'cept these guys actually like Metal). CD1 features 36 glossy pages of old school and re-issue reviews, lots of great artwork, super classy design, and interviews with TALON, CAULDRON, and Jeff Young (MEGADETH). This's gotta be the best looking, and one of the most entertaining zines I've ever come across, and these dudes love their old Metal as much as I do. If you dig the stuff I post here at ARGTHN, then you'll love Chromium Dioxide! I highly recommend that you track yourself down a copy... if not, don't be surprised if Vert, Knarrenheinz and Uxumer Guy show up at your front door and attempt to force your head even further up your own ass!
Check it out here: http://www.chromiumdioxide.com/
Back when I started this blog I used to do this Greatest Songs Of All Time thing - I've pretty much bailed on that because I couldn't find a reliable free host for streaming mp3s (any suggestions?). One of my first posts was NAGY FERO & BIKINI's "Come Off It!!"... fucking amazing song, but since it's no longer available to you (for the reason stated above) I've decided to post the entire album. Here's what I originally wrote:
In 1984, my sister and I gathered up our cash and sent it away to Reach Out International Records in the Big Apple. I got the BAD BRAINS cassette, NEW YORK THRASH compilation, and WORLD CLASS PUNK (I forget what my sister got... prolly EINSTURZENDE NEUBAUTEN or something). At the time I had a penchant for foreign punk bands that didn't sing in English, and the WORLD CLASS PUNK cassette was chock-full of 'em. My favourite track was by an Hungarian band credited as HOVA-LETT NAGYFERO BIKINI. Well it turns out that the band is actually called NAGY FERO & BIKINI, and their 1983 album is called "Hova Lett...". It took me almost 20 years, but I finally found a copy of this record on eBay, and I couldn't pass it up. NF&B are not really a Punk band, as there's elements of ska, jazz, fusion, rock, metal, new wave, and traditional Hungarian folk (at least that's what I assume it is) all mixed into their sound. This is a bizarre record that truly defies classification. The song that's featured on WORLD CLASS PUNK ("Come Off It!!") is also the best song on this album... which is a bummer, cuz I was hoping for 13 more killer songs in the same vein. "Come Off It!!" is a cross between punk (Nagy Fero's vocals), metal (double bass drums throughout, phenomenal guitar solo), and some kinda fucked-up Japanese-sounding cyber-electro shit (check the drum/vocal breakdown). This song still kills me almost 25 years later! The rest of the album isn't total shit (as I had first thought), and in fact, after ripping it today, it's beginning to grow on me. The guitar player's jazz tinged solos are fantastic, and the ultra-modern Devo-esque stuff at the end of Side 2 is truly bizarre
DOWNLOAD: NagyFeróandBikini-HovaLett.rar (70.21 MB)
Goddamn MAELSTROM were a great band! Their sound is a taut amalgam of RUSH, MEGADETH, BLIND ILLUSION, HALLOW'S EVE, and WHIPLASH... progressively technical yet violently aggressive. Time changes abound, acoustic and classical guitar interludes add haughty airiness, and crushing straight-ahead Thrash riffs combine in an all-out Metal maelstrom (ha!). How such a heady, talented band sprouts up from such a podunk little town (Port Stanley, ON / Population: 2500 tops) is beyond me. What's even more impressive is the fact that when this demo was released, they were a 2 man band with Bill Johnston playing guitar, bass, and singing (they would later flesh out into a 4 piece). If you dig technical Thrash, you'll love this shit. Anyone got their second demo "Into The Maelstrom"?
DOWNLOAD: Maelstrom-FatalForsightDemo.rar (50.46 MB)
PS: FeatherofHuginn from Behold...The Blogtopus came through with MAELSTROM's second demo "Into The Maelstrom"... I'm checking it out now and it's killer! Same great techno-Thrash, but way better production. Get it here. Thanks a million FOH!
Island Records 1986
After discovering and absolutely loving that TKO record, the bar for commercial Metal has been raised impossibly high. The result being that records like DIAMOND REXX's Land Of The Damned sound even more subpar and generic than they clearly are. On the surface both bands are very similar: commercial Hard Rock/Metal, kinda glammy yet streetwise and sleazy, and moderately heavy. Dig a little deeper, and these two bands are nothing alike. TKO wrote excellent songs, and performed 'em with aggression and panache, while DIAMOND REXX, wrote derivative and pedestrian songs with moronically dull lyrics. Vocalist Nasti Habits' delivery of said lyrics simply adds to the overwhelming boredom - he's a one trick pony, and the trick sucks. The only enjoyment afforded by Land Of The Damned is in the hilarious group photo and the band members' ridiculous monikers. If I were giving records numerical ratings, TKO would get a 10/10 and DIAMOND REXX a 2/10. Download if you're curious, but don't blame me for the ensuing boredom.
DOWNLOAD: DiamondRexx-LandOfTheDamned.rar (68.45 MB)
Pentagram Records 1985
Not feeling particularly verbose these days, so this is gonna be a short one. East Lansing, Michigan's finest (and perhaps only), DED ENGINE deliver 10 tracks of straight-up, no frills, aggressive, American Metal on this, their '85 debut. Excellent stuff, not awe inspiring or terribly original, just heavy, straight ahead Metal without any fluff or pomp. Download or "Take A Hike".
DOWNLOAD: DedEngine-DedEngine.rar (64.68 MB)
Apparently Ian Gillan's response to Born Again went something like this: "I looked at the cover and puked! Then I heard the mix and puked!" Funny... but way off base. Not only is the cover one of the greatest things I've ever seen, but it's perfect for the music contained within the grooves of this monumental record. As far as the mix is concerened, it's sloppy and muddy, but it's integral to the overall menace of Born Again... and this is a menacing record if ever there was one. Oh shit... this ain't Born Again though... it's Born Again Unmixed. I downloaded this from a newsgroup a few years ago, and there was a story about how these were rough mixes that ended up in the possession of Bill Ward's girlfriend at the time. The entire record is here plus an unreleased track called "The Fallen" (rumour has it that there's up to 5 other unrleased tracks that were recorded during the Born Again sessions). Some songs have different guitar bits here and there, different lyrics, and missing vocal parts. "Trashed" has a neat extended bit after the solo, but the coolest thing about Born Again Unmixed is the 9+ minute version of "Zero The Hero"!!! The end of the track is just the main riff over and over again for about 3 minutes... that damned riff could go on for 20 minutes and I'd be happier than a pig in shit. Anyways, Born Again rules, and this is a very cool alternate version of that obnoxiously heavy, and downright scary, record.
DOWNLOAD: BlackSabbath-BornAgainUnmixed.rar (80.37 MB)
PS: Here's a cool link to loads of info about Born Again, including the original picture of the baby used on the cover. Awesome!