Recca Records 1981
I was struck by the Blade Runner/SIGUE SIGUE SPUTNIK aesthetic of Leather Boys From The Asphalt Jungle and just could not pass it up. I knew nothing about FAST (or THE FAST as they're alternately known) before finding this slab, and internet searches don't yield much more information. It'd seem that FAST was a 2-man punk/rock/funk art project with the seediest sides of New York City as both it's backdrop and subject matter. Most songs juxtapose urban life with the wilds of the jungle and the survival of the fittest in both. I can't directly compare this to anything, but it's got a sorta poppy Punk/Glam Rock feel with some funky Disco tinged bass lines. Definitely an interesting and fun listen!
DOWNLOAD: Fast-LeatherBoysFromTheAsphaltJungle.rar (45.68 MB)
PS: The guitar sound on "Ride On The Wild Side" is killer!!!
Recca Records 1981
Eastern Front/Restless Records 1986
An absolute stone cold classic here! Live At Ruthie's Inn is chock fulla some of Thrash Metal and Hardcore's finest, live and in their nascent prime. The first record is live from the Eastern Front (which I'm assuming was some sorta festival held at Ruthie's in '85) and includes VIOLENCE, LAAZ ROCKIT, DRI, RAW POWER, HEXX, FORBIDDEN EVIL, and a slew of others. The quality is uneven and raw, a fact that only helps to convey the unbridled energy of the era. To further document the Bay Area scene at the time, the second record features cracking demo tracks from DEATH ANGEL, BLIND ILLUSION, SACRILEGE (pre-BC), HEATHEN, RUFFIANS, LEGACY, and a shitload more! I'm not gonna bother breaking down each track as I'm sure it's not necessary... you know that every one of the aforementioned bands rule, and that you oughta download this tout de suite!
DOWNLOAD Pt. 1: LiveAtRuthiesInn-Disc1.rar (79.87 MB)
DOWNLOAD Pt. 2: LiveAtRuthiesInn-Disc2.rar (75.4 MB)
Megaton Records 1985
I've said it before, and I'm sayin' it again, the Dutch new some shit about Metal back in the day, and you need look no further than MARTYR for the proof. Like countrymen EXISES, MARTYR deliver complex Metal with lots of disjointed time and tempo changes yet they retain a driving aggressive feel throughout. MAIDEN definitely comes to mind with all the gallopy triplet riffs and prominent bass playing, as do Euro Metal obscurios OSTROGOTH and SORTILEGE. This is a very good, and altogether too brief, record.
DOWNLOAD: Martyr-ForTheUniverse.rar (53.1 MB)
Mercenary Records 1987
Wow! I had no idea this was gonna kick so much ass! I saw PRIMAL SCREAM around the time this record was released and they failed to make an impression... so I'm very surprised by the quality, musicianship, and songwriting found on Volume One. At times I hear touches of East coast heavyweights WARGASM, AT WAR, and WHIPLASH in PRIMAL SCREAM's sound, but they are in no way derivative or unoriginal, just equally as talented and intense. Unlike many Thrash bands of the time, PRIMAL SCREAM offer more than just yer typical speed and aggression by incorporating classic Metal elements (sporadic "clean" vocals and catchy riffs) and some straight-up Rock guitar playing here and there. Top notch!
DOWNLOAD: PrimalScream-VolumeOne.rar (57.66 MB)
Viper Records 1986
Following hot on the heels of 1985's Evil Invaders, the album that is arguably RAZOR's defining moment, came Malicious Intent. The band doesn't stray far from their previous effort's winning formula: Dave Carlo's guitar playing is still tight as all hell, Sheepdog's voice is a tortured howl, and, if you can imagine it, M-Bro sounds even worse! Jesus that guy was a crap drummer. Though all the elements are present (including Mike Campagnolo's moustache) Malicious Intent pales in comparison to Evil Invaders mainly because of a poor production job. Everything is a bit too clean and toned down, which tends to mute RAZOR's viciousness, and worse, it makes M-Bro's shortcomings behind the kit even more obvious. Still, it's a great record, and you'd be well advised to take Sheepdog's advice and turn it up! Turn it up! Louder! LOOUUDDDDDERRR!!!
DOWNLOAD: Razor-MaliciousIntent.rar (67.13 MB)
Yahoo! Records 1987
HANOI ROCKS seem to have a polarizing effect on people: you either love 'em or you hate 'em. I think I was in the 6th or 7th grade when I saw Michael Monroe interviewed on a local TV show called The New Music, and ever since I've been firmly entrenched in the love 'em camp. Nights Are So Long was Monroe's first post-HANOI ROCKS solo outting (Night Are SOLO ng... get it?) and it's pretty darn good. Monroe's vocals are stronger (i.e. more in key) than any of his previous recorded output, and the band, though at times sounding a bit stiff, is clearly fulla great musicians (including MOTT THE HOOPLE's Ian Hunter). The bulk of Nights Are So Long is made up of covers by the FLAMIN' GROOVIES, MC5, JOHNNY THUNDERS, and a few written by DEAD BOYS alums Jimmy Zero, Stiv Bators, and Frank Secich, with only one or two crediting Monroe. If you like HANOI ROCKS, you're sure to dig this, otherwise (if my theory holds true) you'll hate it.
DOWNLOAD: MichaelMonroe-NightAreSoLong.rar (63.25 MB)
PROPHECY were a buncha righteous dudes from north of Toronto who dealt in chugging mid-paced Thrash that's just on the cusp of Death Metal. Unforseen Future is definitely not the tightest thing yer gonna hear any time soon (sounds like they're barely keeping it together), but there's some cool riffs and great vocals that call to mind Schmier (DESTRUCTION) and Rob from SACRIFICE (especially the high pitched screams that finish off certain lines). "Avoid Death's Call" is still a great song, but honestly, and unfortunately, I got bored quickly with the rest of it.
DOWNLOAD: Prophecy-UnforseenFutureDemo.rar (49.06 MB)
Megaforce Records 1985
In 1985, when From The Megavault came out, I foolishly had zero interest in the collection of rarities culled from the Megaforce archives, but today, as I'm sure it did then, it stands up as an absolutely top notch comp. The exclusive tracks from OVERKILL, EXCITER, RAVEN, S.O.D., and BLESSED DEATH all make this essential, with tracks from T.T. QUICK, ANTHRAX, and unknowns MEDIEVAL STEEL and IMPERIOUS REX only sweetening the deal. BLUE CHEER's take on the oft covered "Boney Maroney" is the odd-man-out here, with standouts being the Violence And Force-era outtake from EXCITER and the live RAVEN track. Download with confidence.
DOWNLOAD: FromTheMegavault.rar (64.5 MB)
Allegiance Records 1985
It was safe to assume that this record would suck, but nothing could have prepared me for how utterly and hilariously bad it really is. In spite of 23 musicians and 5 different vocalists being credited, Young And Fast features none of the original RUNAWAYS, and was clearly an attempt, by the ever unscrupulous Kim Fowley, to cash in on the name and further defile the RUNAWAYS' legacy. The words to explain just how terrible this record is simply don't exist. To say that the lyrics sink sub-moronism to new lows and that the music and melodies are childish, superficial, and painfully bland is only scratching the surface. The songs range from hamfisted SUZI QUATRO-ish Glam Rock (sorry Suzi), to synthesized 60s girl group pap, to pseudo-urban electro pop and fuck knows what else. There is no question that this is THE worst record I've posted and possibly the worst record I've ever heard, and I strongly advise that you do not download it unless you've got an insatiably morbid curiosity or are in search of a good laugh.
DOWNLOAD: TheRunaways-YoungAndFast.rar (59.64 MB)
Miami 1992 Records & Tapes 1983
When putting together an all-girl Rock band, I'd imagine that the vocalist position would be the easiest to fill (followed by the bass player perhaps), as strong female vocalists are not tough to find in the 80s Metal milieu (Lee Aaron, Dawn Crosby, Betsy Bitch, Doro Pesch, and on and on). It's slightly confounding then that vocalist Terry O'Leary is LEATHER ANGEL's weak link. She comes across as a second rate Cherie Currie, her vocal shortcomings heard clearly when she gets into the higher register (particularly during "Under Your Spell" with her falsetto sounding more like Kate Bush than any kinda leatherclad angel). Generally We Came To Kill comes across as an even lower rent, latter day (read: more Metal) RUNAWAYS... the band even referring to themselves as the Queens Of Leather, a possible nod to THE RUNAWAYS' Queens Of Noise nick. Maybe not mandatory, but definitely a fun listen in spite of the cringe worthy "Whole Lotta Love" cover.
DOWNLOAD: LeatherAngel-WeCameToKill.rar (42.28 MB)
GWR Records 1987
When MOTORHEAD expanded into a 4 piece in 1984 I was convinced that Würzel was the superior player in the new-look twin-guitar MOTORHEAD. Honestly this was based on little more than the fact that he looked the part (being an ugly motherfucker who might have given Lemmy a run for his money), because I still don't know who's playing what on those Burston/Campbell records. I have an inkling that Phil Campbell was responsible for those crazy half-cocked wah solos on Rock 'n' Roll, but again, that's just speculation. So, it seems that Würzel felt the need to spread his wings, step out from the shadow of Lemmy, and put out this here EP, the oddly titled Bess. Thankfully he did, because none of the 4 tracks on Bess would have been suitable for his day job. "Bess" is a slow bluesy instrumental that fails to excite and as such is an odd title/lead-off track. "Midnight In London" and "People Say I'm Crazy" are both up-tempo rockers, the former recalling the NWOBHM... with a slight whiff of DEF LEPPARD detectable. Würzel's got a good voice, with a gruffness and edgy incompetence that helps to elevate the fairly standard music on offer. Bess wraps up with another instrumental guitar showcase that meanders through Rock and some mild touches of Jazz (fretless bass solo anyone?). It's an interesting listen, but that interest will likely only extend to MOTORHEAD diehards.
DOWNLOAD: Wurzel-BessEP.rar (23.44 MB)
Greenworld Records 1985
Shockingly, I didn't hate this record! One look at the shoddy cover and sketchy band members and I was convinced that a torrential shitstorm was about to ensue. Granted, I went into this with extremely low expectations, and VYPER woulda had to suck some serious balls in order to meet 'em. It's like when you went to see Twilight and came out fully entrenched in Team Edward... not that that's happened to me... but, uhhh you know what I mean. Anyways, Afraid Of The Dark serves up 4 moderately heavy slabs of commercial Metal with "Time Flies" being the heaviest, most OTT and fulla manic guitar histrionics. The lyrics are suitably abysmal and just the title of "Daddy's Girl" should be enough to give you an idea of where these dipshits were at. But again, on the whole, not as bad as you might assume.
DOWNLOAD: Vyper-AfraidOfTheDark.rar (27.26 MB)
So the DESTRUCTION bootleg spawned some comments re: CELTIC FROST at the World War III festival... unfortunately I don't have a copy of that, but I do have this, from a year later, when FROST toured in support of the To Mega Therion record. I didn't record this, but I was there, and had my puny teenage mind sufficiently blown! It was my first Metal show: CELTIC FROST, VOIVOD, and SLAUGHTER... it couldn't get any better! SLAUGHTER actually scared me, VOIVOD were beyond phenomenal, and you can hear CELTIC FROST for yourself. The quality is shit, and if it hadn't been requested I wouldn'ta posted this... but it was, so I am. For the diehards!
DOWNLOAD: CelticFrost-July4-1986.rar (92.5 MB)
Old Thrash Records 2010
I couldn't resist buying this record even though I knew it was gonna blow. Who gives a shit though... it's DESTRUCTION at World War III! Hadta have it! The WWIII festival is one of those fabled shows that I'da given my left nut to see. In November 1985 not only DESTRUCTION, but VOIVOD, POSSESSED, CELTIC FROST, and NASTY SAVAGE all descended upon Montreal's Paladium for one of the best line-ups ever! Anyways, I kinda remember a videotape of this floating around, and I'm certain that said videotape is the source material for this boot. Of course it sounds like total ass, but it's cool as shit, and is infinitely better than the SODOM boot I posted way back. After a couple of songs the guitar becomes audible so at least you can decipher what the fuck is going on. If you don't download this, you know the punishment... death, death, DEATH!
DOWNLOAD: Destruction-WorldWar3.rar (66.47 MB)
I kinda hate finding sealed vinyl, cuz of the eternal internal debate of whether or not it should be opened. This weekend at a local flea market I had the good fortune of happening upon this rare Canadian gem... sealed (and at a great price). Normally not an issue, I'd tear that shit off post-haste and slap it on the wheels of steel ASAP, but this one could possibly fetch a pretty penny, and so I'm torn. Though I didn't buy it with the intention of reselling (never do), the option is always there, and that shitty shrink wrap that is undoubtedly warping the virgin vinyl inside would definitely add to the asking price. My instinct tells me to crack it open and enjoy all the metallic wonders of OVERLORD, but there's that goddamn little frugal voice in my head telling me to leave it as is. If only it weren't sealed: I'd be rockin' it right now... and you'd be downloading it... and we'd all be happy.
Bernett Records 1984
I'm not all that familiar with Rhett Forrester. I know he replaced Guy Speranza in RIOT, but I like early RIOT so much that I've never been willing to hear anything after Fire Down Under (even though I own the Forrester-era records). Plus there's the whole Rhett Forrester/Rhett Butler Gone With The Wind thing - all a bit hokey if you ask me. But, I've sat on this record long enough and I figure it's time to take the plunge. Right off the bat this is much heavier than expected, the title track and album opener is a double time kick square in the nuts. The record carries on in similarly triumphant chest thumping fashion for it's entirety. Forrester's got a great voice, much like Blackie Lawless with a touch of David Coverdale thrown in for the more soulful bits. Good record, even if "Assume The Position" would make El Duce blush, and the drums are grossly over processed... these things can most likely be overlooked.
DOWNLOAD: RhettForrester-GoneWithTheWind.rar (72.33 MB)
Heavy Metal Worldwide 1987
Sometimes when you buy an album you have the good fortune of finding an unexpected surprise inside. Could be coloured vinyl, a poster, hand transcribed listener lyric sheet (kinda like winning the lottery in my opinion), or promo material. With this one I found a mini GEISHA promo package... just a brief bio and a buncha reviews, but it's always fun to read the hyperbolic nonsense record companies spew to pump up their second rate bands. According to the supplied info, GEISHA were on the verge of taking over the world and becoming the next big thing... or the next WRATHCHILD to be specific (aim high boys!). Anyways, someone failed to instruct the intern at the record label to not include the negative reviews... cuz at least 50% of 'em are less than flattering (ooops). I on the other hand think this is a pretty decent slab. Commercial and lunkheaded though it might be, it's still heavy and fun, and reminds me of SPELLBOUND's fantastic Breaking The Spell LP or a heavier RATT... making the phantasmagoric title and cover art a bit misleading. Mildly interesting factoid: GEISHA axe slinger Pete Blakk would go on to join KING DIAMOND for the Them, Conspiracy, and The Eye records. Oh shit... even cooler, vocalist Yenz Cheyenne (aka Jens Arnsted) was the singer in BRATS with Michael Denner and Hank Shermann! (thank you Encyclopaedia Metallum)
DOWNLOAD: Geisha-Phantasmagoria.rar (61.32 MB)
Noise Records 1989
Sweden's never been known for it's prodigious Thrash output (neither in quantity nor quality), and save for AGONY and MIDAS TOUCH I couldn't name another band off the top of my head. Retro-Thrash the Swedes are all over, but back in the day they were a bit lacking. Presage To Disaster is decent, but MIDAS TOUCH were not breaking any new ground by sticking to formulaic pseudo-techno-Thrash that was popularized and running rampant in America. "When The Boot Comes Down" is the standout here, as it's a bit slower, more melodic, and a touch more trad Metal than the remainder of the record. I expected this to be better, and though kinda cool, it still falls a bit flat.
DOWNLOAD: MidasTouch-PresageToDisaster.rar (67.09 MB)
Universe Productions 1983
I don't know what the eff is going on, but I don't hate this record! I was sure it'd suck based on the band's tracks from the Holland Heavy Metal comp (even though they were better than SAD IRON... that ain't sayin' much!) and this righteously bad band photo (I can hear the guy up front now, the one who looks like Tony Orlando: "Hey guys check it out, I got this awesome goldtop Les Paul to match my gold lamé pants"). SEDUCER ain't Metal by any stretch, so if you can't stomach straight up Rock I'd move along and avoid this one. Imagine classic high octane TED NUGENT played at half time and with a quarter of the energy. Throw in a tiny bit of Southern Rock, some Russ Dwarf vocals, and a track that sounds like THE EAGLES' "Life In The Fast Lane", and you might be starting to get the picture. Yeah it's not great, but I expected much much worse.
DOWNLOAD: Seducer-Seducer.rar (60.91 MB)
Axe Killer Records 1985
One night at work, being beyond bored, I decided that come hell or high water I was going to solve one of Metal photo mysteries posted over at the always entertaining Test Your Metal blog. I literally spent hours researching and cross-referencing bands, photos, labels, discographies, and finally my hard work paid off... in spades! No, not really, but I did discover that the band in the cornball photo was France's own STATORS. And so it is that I felt overly acquainted with a band I'd never heard when I happened upon this record a couple of days ago. I can happily report that their wacky band photos are no indicator of the cool NWOBHM styled tracks STATORS have laid down here. I really dig the French vocal inflections (reminds me of the mighty SORTILEGE), and the well written songs are chock fulla interesting riffs and great lead breaks. I certainly did not expect to enjoy this record as much as I do. Good stuff, definitely worth a shot.
DOWNLOAD: Stators-NeverTooLate.rar (62.88 MB)
Criminal Response Records 1985
Technically this might not be an Ebony release, but surely Criminal Response Records was some sorta subsidiary or off-shoot, cuz this reeks of Ebony, and more specifically: it sounds like Ebony (i.e. like complete shit). However, much like they did on their Ebony debut, COBRA try their damnedest to overcome the crippling effects of a third rate production job by whipping out a serious collection of hefty, aggressive, NWOBHM killers. Manic off-the-cuff solos and loads of cool riffs are what make Warriors Of The Dead, and though lacking, the production is much better than Back From The Dead.
DOWNLOAD: Cobra-WarriorsOfTheDead.rar (54.58 MB)
Rampage Records 1988
Based on the shoddy album cover, I assumed that DRIVE were gonna chauffeur me through the dim, well worn streets of generic, cliched, low-rent Metal straight to the heart Boredom Town... population: me. Thankfully messrs. Chavez et al. had no intention of treading that unfortunate path. Characters In Time may be ensconced in that abysmal cover, but the grooves contain top-notch modern Metal (by late 80s standards) that rivals OLIVER MAGNUM, bests WARRIOR, and is akin to a heavier QUEENSRYCHE. Mildly technical, highly melodic, vocally harmonized, and always engaging, DRIVE's debut may have taken the fast lane to the delete bin, but it's definitely worth a kick at the tires.
DOWNLOAD: Drive-CharactersInTime.rar (79.73 MB)
Noise Records 1984
When I picked this outta the rack I thought to myself: "Whoa! that Australian hardcore band put out a record on Noise!?! They musta really fucked up!", but calm yourself, cuz this most definitely ain't that band - these guys are German through and through. VICIOUS CIRCLE remind me of TYRAN PACE 'cept a bit less heavy, and a bit less PRIEST-y. The biggest similarity is in the soaring high pitched vocals. If Ralf Scheepers is a dead ringer for Rob Halford, then this dude is a dead ringer for Scheepers. It's a sorta... well... it's a vicious circle isn't it (sigh). The thing that really sold me on this is that it's produced by Horst Müller who did early DESTRUCTION and SODOM records... but please don't expect VICIOUS CIRCLE to sound anything like that.
DOWNLOAD: ViciousCircle-TakeIt.rar (22.5 MB)
Allegiance Records 1983
As far as I'm concerned, this is what real Metal sounds like! The production is raw, and the sound: heavy and aggressive. The band lays it down like their lives are depending on it, tearing through all 9 tracks with aplomb and youthful exuberance. Sounding kinda like a punky EXCITER, I guarantee that New York's LADY KILLER laid waste to every other pimply faced Metal band in the boroughs. Unfortunately this was the only release they were able to squeeze out before disbanding... but maybe this is enough.
DOWNLOAD: LadyKiller-LadyKiller.rar (70.76 MB)
Bellaphon Records 1982
When you see a band photo like this, you might be tempted to think: leather, studs, big medallions, too cool for shirts... these guys have gotta be heavy, but look closer... there's one too many dudes in this band! 6 guys is always bad news. It means that there's at least one superfluous member who more than likely plays keyboards. I suppose there's a chance that the extra guy is a second drummer or percussionist (also an indicator of diminished heaviosity), or a third guitarist (in the case of MAIDEN, a guy who's probably unplugged and just prances about), or worst of all a horn player (thankfully DJs aren't something you have to worry about with a record of this vintage), but generally the sixth man is stuck behind a keyboard. Such is the case with BLACK ANGELS. In this scenario, the best you can hope for is a DEEP PURPLE sorta thing, and I suppose that's the best comparison I can make for BLACK ANGELS' brand of keyboard laden, 70s Rock. Unfortunately I've yet to hear a band that could match the hugeness and aggression of Lord's keyboard sound and playing ('cept for URIAH HEEP maybe). So despite the low rent album cover and misleading band photo, Hellmachine really ain't heavy at all. It's pretty cool, and the band is more than able, but it's nothing to write home about.
DOWNLOAD: BlackAngels-Hellmachine.rar (74.04 MB)
Steamhammer Records 1985
Fuck yeah! This is what I hope every record I buy is gonna sound like: bad-ass Speed Metal that's aggressive yet still somewhat melodic with memorable riffs that aren't sacrificed for the sake of speed. The vocals are raspy and at times approach LIVING DEATH abrasiveness, but never become quite that annoying, and like most German Speed Metal there's no mistaking the ACCEPT influence. Total bummer that I'm just hearing HARDWARE now, but it's better late than never. Top notch German Speed... you can't go wrong.
DOWNLOAD: Hardware-InColdBlood.rar (36.38 MB)
A.K.A. Records 1982
I seriously questioned myself after picking this one up. I probably paid twice what it's worth (thank you Ric's Recollections), but was intrigued by a few things: a) the title grabbed me cuz of the THIN LIZZY connection, b) I'm a sucker for band photos on album covers (don't ask me why), and c) what the fuck were THE COCKNEY REJECTS thinking!?! As a kid I loved those Greatest Hits records, and still sorta regret selling 'em in order to purchase Metal records, but this is clearly not the same band. I wasn't sure if they were taking the piss, or if this was for real... 3 of the songs have Rock in the title, it's produced by Pete Way, no boots or braces anywhere in sight. Clearly the boys were influenced by the NWOBHM and it works for them. They crank out 9 tracks of pure knuckleheaded Rock, that's at times reminiscent of TANK, AC/DC, AEROSMITH, and THE KINKS even, but never shows any hint of the band's not so distant past. This ain't no "Flares And Slippers"! There's no denying it - I love this record, which means I can no longer turn my nose up at Quiet Storm or The Power And The Glory when I come across 'em in the dollar bins.
(For a good time) DOWNLOAD: CockneyRejects-TheWildOnes.rar (68.17 MB)
Rave-On Records 1984
The most awkward band name of all time! It was really bothering me, and so I had to find out just what the hell Gilgamesj meant - thank you Wikipedia. Gilgamesj (or Gilgamesh) was an ancient Sumerian king rumoured to be two thirds god and one third man. The ancient Dutch band GILGAMESJ, on the other hand, are two thirds deriviative and one third adequate. Take One isn't likely to knock you on your ass, but it's got some decent hard rockin' moments along with some blatant rip-offs (that opening riff is way too close to something - not sure if it's ACCEPT, or TANK, or what). Not nearly as killer as other early Rave-On releases (MERCYFUL FATE, SORTILEGE) but still cool, and the album cover rules.
DOWNLOAD: Gilgamesj-TakeOne.rar (32.37 MB)
Fallout Records 1984
Maybe my expectations were a bit too high for this record, but can you blame me? Knox from THE VIBRATORS backed up by HANOI ROCKS' rhythm section... sounds perfect right? But perfect it ain't. When I ripped this I thought it was awful, but subsequent listens show that it's not terrible, just lacklustre. It reminds me of those late JOHNNY THUNDERS records, you know the ones, where he's just going through the motions in a stupor and the results are completely uninspired and kinda depressing. THUNDERS fans eat that shit up regardless of quality, and I'm sure HANOI ROCKS and VIBRATORS fans will do the same with Fallen Angels. As an added bonus, I'm pretty sure that Michael Monroe and Andy McCoy make guest appearances billed as The Cosmic Ted and The Flashing Psychedelic Kid. And here's something I never thought I'd state: the sax solos are the highlight of the record (courtesy of Monroe).
DOWNLOAD: FallenAngels-FallenAngels.rar (72.94 MB)