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.
DOWNLOAD: Crucified-InflictionOfPainDemo.rar (63.36 MB)
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)
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)
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)
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)
321 Lakeshore Road East
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.
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)
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)
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)