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)
Noise Records 1984
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)