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Monday, December 12, 2011

NEWS: Devastracktor - Warhorsepowers And A Megaton Of Balls release at 14.12




Let me just first state out that there's a free legal pre-listen session available for whole album at Kaaoszine.fi set up in co-operation with the band members. Be sure to check it out at here:

Pre-Listen session at Kaaoszine.fi (with finnish buy-link): Devastracktor (FIN) - Warhorsepowers And A Megaton Of Balls

Mind you that the page is in finnish, just scroll down the site and you'll find the player with all the songs to be listened! Finnish customers can also order the album at bottom of the page.

English customers please check here about buying the album: Warhorsepowers And A Megaton Of Balls


Album introduction

Finnish thrash metallers Devastracktor are to release their debut album "Warhorsepowers And A Megaton Of Balls" day after tomorrow - 14.12.2011. It will be released by No Sign Of Life Records.

The lyrics are mainly about war, death, destruction and science-fiction. The band plays quite powerful and speedy straight-forward vivid thrash metal, though that's not to say there wouldn't be any cool leads to fill in though, making songs also sound pretty diverse. What I personally hear is definetely some mid-late 80's Slayer and Testament - which meets 80's euro thrashmetal bands like Destruction -- blend with some heavy metal/progressive influenced riffs into the mix also. Vocals are also typical rough Bay-Area style shouts and raspy singing - not forgetting powerful backing vocals on choruses. There's some quite technical leads thrown into the mix, bit progressive even at times. This is your speedy thrash metal massacre with fair amount of melody -- definetely nodding into the old school thrash metal waters..


(No Stories to Tell - one of more "experimental" songs in the album)

Songs in the album:
  • 1. Strike Force 2099 04:16
  • 2. Megasonic Boom 03:59
  • 3. Devastracktor Battalion 04:22 Show lyrics
  • 4. No Stories to Tell 04:48
  • 5. Bring Upon the Fire 04:03
  • 6. Brutallian 03:26 Show lyrics
  • 7. I.D.G.A.S. 04:54 Show lyrics
  • 8. Interlude 02:54
  • 9. Poser Disposer 04:29 Show lyrics
  • Total Running Time - 37:11

Band Line-Up:
  • Jaakko Riihimäki - Vocals
  • Aki Järvinen - Guitar
  • Petri Salmio - Guitar
  • Joni Meriläinen - Bass
  • Kalle Salminen - Drums


Album song by song (I took freedom to translate band's original descriptions into english please butcher me now!):
  • 1. Strike Force 2099:
    • Rock solid opener that kicks straight to the balls. Thrash-song influenced by B-Class Sci-Fi movies and thousands gallons of beer.
  • 2. Megasonic Boom:
    • Tsar Bomba disguised into thrash metal form -- ripping the flesh apart, breaking bones to dust and boiling the blood.
  • 3. Devastracktor Batallion:
    • Step aside for our engines ignite, Fuelled by a million posers blood. Nuff said
  • 4. No Stories To Tell:
    • Slightly more "experimental" and more slow paced tune, with a lengthy instrumental part towards the end. Lyrics are about the horrors of war - "the horror.. the horror..".
  • 5. Bring Upon The Fire:
    • Truely sensitive song about how trigger-happy politicians cover the earth on flames, after chaos swallows civilized World.
  • 6. The Brutallian:
    • Brutallian -- the most brutal man in the world along John Matrix.
  • 7. I.D.G.A.S.:
    • Another song with lyrics and atmosphere describing war, like in "No Stories To Tell", musically having bit more progressive edge. I just Don´t Give A Shit.
  • 8. Interlude:
    • Yngie Malmsteen meets old era Metallica in shadowy alley.
  • 9. Poser Disposer:
    • Needs no introduction what's this songs about!! I have my hacksaw and they know me by the name of…





Thursday, December 8, 2011

REVIEW: Sacrifice (SWE) - Street Fighter/Innocent Victim (Single, 1985)



Sacrifice was a truly obscure heavy metal band from Sweden, only releasing this particular two-track 7" single (Street Fighter/Innocent Victum), thus never gaining much commercial success, and man is that a shame. Sacrifice were originally formed as Metal Muthas in 1984, and they released one Demo before, changing name into Sacrifice. The band played classic old school heavy metal, with quite straight forward style, but with quite melodic approach, often featured by Swedish classic heavy metal bands from the eighties, especially on the vocal department, but also on the part of lead guitars. The music, that would nowadays standards be considered bordering hard rock, was surely heavy enough to be labeled as 'heavy metal' back in the day. Surely, the music had all necessary trademarks of heavy metal: palm-muted riffing, power chords, guitar solos, biting lead guitars.

The recordings for Street Fighter/Innocent Victim were a bizarre event, well, sort of. At the time of the recordings of the single, Sacrifice had not singer in the band, at all. They entered an unknown studio in Sweden, without a singer, to record the single purely as instrumental. The producer/engineer of the studio happened to be Anders Strengberg, who knew the band members previously, and asked them "is the singer showing up later?", and the band told him, that they didn't have one in the band. The guys then asked Anders, whether he would want to do the vocals for the single, and he agreed to do them, and thus, Anders Strengberg became the singer on the "Street Fighter/Innocent Victim" single, without being an actual member of the band, per se. He nailed the vocals on one take; then mixed the album (the similar kind of chain of events happened later on in 2003, when he did vocals on Mercy album 'Victory March'; and Mercy then, according to Anders, put out the album without asking him first, so, he first heard from "a friend", that he was featured on vocals in 'Victory March'). Anders is a singer, producer, and engineer both in studio and as live shows, but has primarily worked with demos - as a side-note) (source: e-mail chat with Anders Strengberg. Thu, Jan 16th of 2014).

The musical style of Sacrifice on this single blends together quite typical classic 80's Swedish heavy metal, that often was found to be quite melodic, with, perhaps, more than averagely powerful rhythm guitar section for a Swedish band of that era. Rhythm guitar section nods towards NWOBHM movement sound, even, with that rock n' roll attitude and stomping rhythms, which can be found on 'Streetfighter' song. Especially, recognizable "power chords" are robust, but typical Swedish vivid melodies by the lead guitars can be found as a layer on top of the rhythm section, with some great shredding and solos. The atmosphere is rather a bit more mellow than all-around-heavy, because rhythm guitars do not really dominate over lead melodies, but it's rather even split. The single contains quite perfect combination of strong in-your-face rhythm section with melodic lead guitars and screaming guitar solos.

The vocals by Anders Strengberg are quite typical, all clean and wailing in style, common for Swedish bands, with soaring touch and tons of melody; yet he packs fair amount of power behind his voice. His notes do hit bit above mid range most of the time, but never really go into high pitched territory such as Halford, nor deeper than upper middle range. However, his above average pitched melodic wailing, with quite much echo effect added in, do sound great! It gives dreamy and dramatic touch to the two melodic songs. Anders Strengberg reminds a bit of Sacrifice's country-mates', Axe Witch's singer Anders Wallentoft, with occasional slight resemble of Anvil's Lips Kudrow of his early career (the wailing), but in more controlled, more mellow manner. Lightly used soft keyboards added on top of Strengberg's longing vocals bring final "acidic" touch to the sound.

Title track 'Street Fighter' has that simple and effective main riff consisting of thick power chords, certain amount of gloom added by lead melodies, and lightly used keyboards, combined with certain amount of rebellious and rocking attitude. Twin guitar attack by Thomas Lundgren and Thomas Axelsson sounds thick and powerful. This atmosphere is supported with totally killer melodic chorus, showing magic of Strengberg's wailing vocals; the best of him. The chorus is made to be echoing in your head on and on, it's very dream-like, and almost hypnotic. The song in it's core is rather simple, but has magical atmosphere built by all the instruments taking part on that not-so-complex melody. Really catchy rebellious track. Street Fighter is one of the best eighties heavy metal tracks from album single releases, that I've heard for quite some time! This is melodic Swedish heavy metal from the eighties at it's prime.

Speedier 'Innocent Victim' is that more rock'n'roll flavored track, that truly nods more towards many NWOBHM bands, yet keeping the Swedish heavy metal feeling present on the vocal department, and with the "acidic" seventies-flavored keyboards, that are quite audible on this track than on the previous. Rhythm guitars play speedy chainsaw-riffs, but they're toned down to the background for only supporting role, keeping the atmosphere, yet again, rather mellow but definitely heavy enough to be 'heavy metal'. Pounding bass line fits perfectly the tone, as well. The track includes some nice lead melodies and short solo. It also features melodic sing-along chorus, that works like magic by Strengberg's vocals:

"I got a meeting with electric chair! 

Innocent Victim - Once again. 
Innocent Victim - Who's to blame?
Innocent Victim - Once again. 
Innocent Victim - Who's to blame?"

Sacrifice's only single is a top quality offering, and what I understand, very, very rare one. Not one of those physical copies, which you can find any day now. It contains one awesome top notch track (Street Fighter), which is god damn hypnotic one, and another good track (Innocent Victim). It succeeds to be mellow and yet heavy enough at the same time, and to have that necessary kick and heaviness to be considered heavy metal. The two tracks offer quite simple song structure at their core, yet all the instruments and vocals shine, making quite basic songs sound more 'full' and 'complex', if you get what I mean. The band really mastered professional way of adding instrumental layers on top of each others, creating that melodic wall of sound. Strengberg's vocal delivery combined with acidic keyboards used to back up the songs create unique dreamy and yearning melodies, mixed with some rebellious and hard rocking attitude. All I can say is, that this little two-track single has it's own exquisite sound, and it's truly worth listening! It's a hidden gem ranked up there along with Charger's 'Desperadoes' and Virtue's 'We Stand to Fight' - another cult classics of eighties heavy metal singles.

If you like medium-heavy, melodic eighties heavy metal, with clean wailing vocals, hard rocking rhythm guitars, and melodic leads, then don't pass this one! Damn good Swedish eighties heavy metal single.

88

-www.kultmetal.com | reviewer: Tane Norther





Line-up:
  • Anders Strengberg - Vocals (note: was producer/engineer of the studio that the single recordings took the place at, not an actual band member, did the vocals for the single in one take, as the band asked, since they didn't have a singer at the time!)
    • See also: featured in: Mercy('Victory March', 2003, not an actual band member)
  • Thomas Axelsson - Guitars
    • See also: ex-Metal Muthas, ex-CRIER
  • Thomas Lundgren - Guitars
    • See also: ex-Metal Muthas, ex-CRIER
  • Mats Svensson - Bass
    • See also: ex-Methal Muthas, CRIER
  • Mikael Gustavsson - Drums
    • See also: ex-Methal Muthas, ex-CRIER
Track list:
  • 1. Street Fighter 03:45
  • 2. Innocent Victim 03:34
    • 07:19

Note: There were plans to re-release Street Fighter as a standalone song on a limited and numbered, autographed 7" white vinyl by the original band; probably featuring photos of the band from the eighties and the current day, as well as liner notes of band's history, and other niceties. There were also plans for a new record, but with an updated sound, not the eighties style, according to Anders Strenberg (source: e-mail chat with Anders Strengberg. Thu, Jan 16th of 2014). However, we're not sure if anything has progressed with these plans since then. The autographed, numbered, and limited press of the original Street Fighter song on 7" vinyl surely would be a nice collector's item!


For Collectors:
(Following prices have raised since ’99 but will give you direction)
Used album price @ Martin Popoff’s Heavy Metal Record Price Guide (1999):

sorry - not included in the book

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

REVIEW: Attakk (US) - Attakk (EP, 1989)



Attakk was american traditional heavymetal / powermetal band hailing from California. They were mainly American with one Japanese member, guitarist Hideo Inakuma. None of the members were really known of any other previous bands, except the vocalist Dave Anthony, who sung in Shire previously releasing only one EP. It's a bit surprising really, since the band and guys here have very professional and polished sound, with sharp riffs, far from garage band dirtiness or sloppiness. Yet Attakk only released only this one EP and vanished soon after.

What we have here is late 80's EP considered as traditional heavy metal, mixed with late-eighties-early-nineties powermetal, with definite US powermetal sound. Dave Anthony has kind of a more commercial powermetal-like vocals, with that melodic soaring, from medium to high pitch, and he does occasional glass breaking high screams. Anthony has slightly rougher edge when using more medium than high pitch while singing, while turning pure melodic with higher screams. The latter one is what he uses majorly. He's actually quite good for what he does, and sounds like a professional, managing not to sound whiny while singing those high notes, unlike which happens to several less skilled singers, who attempt to sing power metal with high pitched soar. Nevertheless, Anthony's has perhaps a bit too commercial tone to it.

Guitar tone is very sharp and biting, yet melodic, not really hitting the heavier notes, but is very pleasant nevertheless. Everything is pretty crystal clear in sound-mix, which amazes me a bit from a band with no previous releases. Guitar work of Hideo Inakuma is very energetic and riffs are quite vivid with loads of hooks. Solos are flowing, leads have nice melody, and rhythm section bites when the band plays heavier songs.

Drumwork of Steve Pokory is solid good work, and I like Gary Lee's audible bassplay a lot. Philip Wolfe is credited for keyboards, which shine with their absence most of the time -- and appear just slightly on background with a few songs. This doesn't really bother me though, since the atmosphere might had been overly melodic and mellow, if the keyboards would had been bring too much to front.

What are the low-points of the album? I'd say it does perhaps pack up a few too many more "commercial" sounding songs and moments, so it all depends of the mood. Attakk EP is very vivid and soaring fine heavy / powermetal, but it's not very heavy nor very authentic by style. Well,  except of Inakuma's guitar work, which is almost comparable to something like early Crimson Glory at it's best: very melodic, very catchy, with good leads. As much as I think the singer sounds professional, perhaps more "heavier" vocals could had fit better, but who knows. I think that the EP's main low-point is that occasional over-the-top mellowness that's present in songs like "Not Your Man" and "Never Apart", of which the first mentioned features almost glam-metal-like groove and the latter sounds like overly cheesy Helloween drop-out-ballad. Still the band does very good job most of the time, and this EP generally manages to slightly surprise me by quality. The overall atmosphere is more uplifting and played in "major" scale than in "minor". The main problem with the EP is "inconsistency". Should they had blasted through the whole album, since this is where the band are at their strongest, instead watering down to glam / AOR -like lightweight waters from their medium-heavy sound.

Now that we got the worst songs out of the way...

...that leaves four more songs to it, of which Without A Word is your standard keyboard backed soaring mid-tempo heavy metal song, and, well, it's decently good one too. Luckily the rest three will impress more. Opening track "Thunder In The Night" is bit faster soaring track with those "galloping" rhythm-guitars, played in more mellow powermetal-fashion than in thrashmetal for example, and magical sounding guitar leads with some acoustic guitar fills are added to the background occasionally to spice wall of sound up. A bit like early Crimson Glory, but not quite as epic, or Witch Cross' Fit For Fiight (especially "Nightflight In Tokyo"), but not quite as memorable. Ride The Dragon is more speedy and rocking heavy metal number with chugging guitars leading on the track. Almost eighties Sinner (Ger)-like rhythm guitar riffs can be found here, combined with some more complex melodic leads and shredding by Inakuma. Great chorus and guitarwork! The closing track is titled simply "Attakk!", and has acoustic guitar lead-in, which turns into sort of melodic speed/power track, being speediest moment of the album. Third very good number, and may well be the best of the album with it's most energetic atmosphere.

Very good nice little EP with some inconsistency problems, but is well recommended for any classic soaring heavy/powermetal music fans. Slightly more commercial overall sound and few lackluster songs thin down the album quality a bit, but Attakk EP has some of quite memorable guitarwork and melodies. The band is at their best when they keep glam / AOR flavor down to the minimum and play at their heaviest, where they raise into a level of heaviness comparable to Witch Cross 'Fit For Fight', or something else that's almost medium-heavy, but not quite. If you're not afraid of the high pitched vocals then you're most certainly in safe zone. A pleasant surprise and worth getting for three great songs (and one decently fine).

Rating: 81/100




Sorry - not available through Amazon or Ebay at the moment


  • Gary Lee - Bass
  • Steve Pokory - Drums
  • Hideo Inakuma - Guitars
  • Phillip Wolfe - Keyboards
  • Dave Anthony - Vocals
    • See also: ex-Shire


  • 1. Thunder in the Night 03:54 
  • 2. Without A Word 04:13
  • 3. Not Your Man 03:38
  • 4. Never Apart 04:05
  • 5. Ride the Dragon 05:12
  • 6. Attakk 03:33
    • Total Running Time - 24:35


For Collectors:
(Following prices have raised since ’99 but will give you direction)
Used album price @ Martin Popoff’s Heavy Metal Record Price Guide (1999):

Sorry -.not presented in the book





Saturday, November 5, 2011

REVIEW: Rogue Male (UK) – Nail It (2009)


Today we’re going to review Rogue Male’s newest almost totally unknown album, “Nail It”, released in 2009 by Rm2k label, which I’ve personally never heard of. There’s hardly any information about this album to be found anywhere on internet – which is kind of weird, because Rogue Male should have at least decent underground following. For long time after there were rumors about this album to have been released, I actually thought it was a bad joke, since it was nowhere to be found. Or at least I could not find it. Advertising has truly been at minimum. Nail It was eventually released with minimal fuss available as CD and digital download. Personally only place I've ever seen it for sale as physical CD copy is at rm2kmusic.com music store (and the page seems to be vanished for now). It's also available as digital mp3 download in Amazon.

Rogue Male was foretold to be the "next big thing" by "Kerrang!" magazine in mid-eighties, one of the biggest British rock music magazines around at the time. It was around those days they released their debut "First Visit". Rogue Male played quite rough sounding British heavy metal with slight punk influences to be heard. The band then disbanded after their release called "Animal Man" (1986) and vanished. The band's return in 2009 wasn't actually expected after over two decades of silence and two full-length albums defining their past career.

After such short career and long break the they surely can't return with similar sound and aggression? Well, it's a pleasure to see Nail It following their old style quite well. While the second album Animal Man was slightly more experimental album, Nail It continues pretty in roots of the debut First Visit (1985). That album was bit similar to T.A.N.K's Filth Hounds Of Hades, Battleaxes' Burn This Town, and Motörhead.

The same rough and rebellious rocking attitude with punk influences remains within Nail It, than how they sounded in First Visit. Trademarks on the album are pounding bass, quite rough mid-ranged half-shouted  vocals of Jim Lyttle with certain “insane vibe”, and totally dirty, crisp and dry sounding guitars. Those elements give Nail It quite raw vibe. This album certainly doesn’t sound over-produced like the many do this day, yet it’s not a mess either. It's got, let's say, fleshed out garage sound. I instantly liked sound mix on Nail It since the first song. Hard rock / punk flavored garage-sounding drumming fits well, being quite hectic and storming, and not overly accurate or polished, yet not sloppy either. It also features nicely much bass-drumming, adding some spark into otherwise mid-tempo material. Nail it style-wise settles somewhere between Motörhead influenced debut album First Visit and rather experimental mid-tempo roller Animal Man.

So the sound mix is very pleasant, how are the actual material? Nail It has ten songs altogether and material is bit varying by it's quality. I mean, as whole, the album doesn’t quite live up to glory of First Visit, although the sound honors the band’s roots. Some songs feel slightly less furious and watered down, than in First Visit – but still do pretty good job. Compositions themselves might not be the most furious ever by the band, but guitar playing and drumming are at least slightly delightful and energetic. Punk attitude and influence is still present and lives especially through Jim Lyttle's vocals – who used to be one of my favorite singers along Algy Ward, Rock’n’Rolf, Halford, Udo Dirkschneider and several others. Lyttle is not the most technically skilled singer out there, but he has tons of charisma and his voice is quite unique in heavy metal. He has lost some of his initial power and roughness over the years it seems, two decades is long time, but the man still sounds pretty good. Lyttle's vocals are still fitting into the music very well and he definitely does more good than bad on Nail It. Lyttle uses bit more clean shout vocals than what I’m used to from previous albums.

My favorite songs raising from this album are: Filth Hounds Of Hades-era (T.A.N.K.) influenced 'Cold Blooded Man' which opens up the album in classic Rogue Male manner with fast beat and dirty punk’ish groove in it. Pretty crushing opener. Third track, 'Up In The Smoke', is a rebellious track with mean attitude. Jim Lyttle’s shouts fit perfectly, merging in with simple but effective chugging guitar riffs and striking chorus: “do ya wanna see the world go up in smoke – do ya think life is, but a joke -- I don’t think so!”. Rebellious as punk rock, heavy as.. well, heavy metal. Uplifting 'Forever Wild' follows the same lines as Cold Blooded Man with thundering drumming and crunchy power chords, sounding a bit like Crazy Motorcycle from First Visit. This track is just very energetic with powerful drumming, and Lyttle's rough shouts once again create the insane and crazy trademark atmosphere of Rogue Male. 'Dangerzone' is the most hard rock flavored jumpy headbanger of the bunch, with tight palm-muted chugging rhythm guitar riffing dominating the track. The song really reminds of German band Sinner with it’s attitude – not only due by the name.

Rest of decent tracks consist of very groovy and rocking number 'Street Credibility', more laid back bluesy moment 'Stars ‘n’ Stripes' which could well be one of the more experimental songs in newer Armored Saint album like La Raza, groovy instrumental number called 'Meteorite', a straight forward rocker 'Never' which feels like a bit of a filler. Acoustic and thoughtful mellow piece 'Time' feels bit out of place, and acidic keyboard-flavored 'Bless My Soul' with it’s blues rock style is not bad – but doesn’t impress either. The last two mentioned songs would've better been fit into totally different album.

Nail it is overall quite entertaining return of the long silent band Rogue Male, and it's nice to see the lads putting out rather good album after this long time. The heavier songs in the album do truly follow along the same lines than the debut First Visit, containing rough and dirty attitude and sound, with slight punk and hard rock influences. Sadly the band's rebellious fury does not quite reach the same level of efficiency than in the eighties, but the album isn't still letdown either. It's better than expected after such silence. Nail It is not too technical album but good straightforward dirty rocking heavy metal. While Jim Lyttle's vocals are not as strong as before, his voice he still fits in perfectly in the music. This album is like blending of the debut album First Visit and the second Animal Man, with generally slightly more relaxed atmosphere, and a few totally new kind of experimental songs added. Sadly, experimental ones do not deliver, but there's enough fine songs to raise this above average level quality of an album. The reason that this album is totally unknown and hard to get (as digital copy) is mystery to me. Maybe Rogue Male did not find proper record deal or publisher for their album? Regardless, I keep my hopes up for another album in future – if you’re fan of bands like T.A.N.K,   Motörhead, Battleaxe, or even new-millennium-Armored Saint you’ll most likely enjoy Nail It one quite much.



77

-www.kultmetal.com | reviewer: dungeoncrawler



Buy digital mp3 copy of the album from Amazon
Buy Rogue Male’s Nail It from rm2kmusic store (25.8.2013, Status: down)

  • 1. Cold Blooded Man 04:09
  • 2. Street Credibility 05:00
  • 3. Up in Smoke 05:42
  • 4. Stars N Stripes 03:56
  • 5. Time 03:34
  • 6. Never 03:10
  • 7. Meteorite 02:19
  • 8. Forever Wild 05:32
  • 9. Dangerzone 07:04
  • 10. Bless My Soul 04:53
    • Total Running time - 45:19



    

Horror movie titled "Metal Maniac" will feature classic heavy metal music

This goes more on the movie sector than music but nevertheless I found this news quite funny. Horror movie titled "Metal Maniac" is currently in filming yet without official released date set. Producer of the film Susan Kapostasy says that Metal Maniac is tribute her personal tribute to heavy metal music and horror movies.

Metal Maniac's soundtrack will include bands like Axemaster with their song "Slave to The Blade", Manilla Road, Nasty Savage, Deceased, Oz, Hobbs' Angel of Death, Black Death, Borrowed Time and more.

Whether this will be brainless horror flick or B-Class low budget movie I'll be seeing it just because of the great roster of bands included in a movie which is kinda rare. Movie with bands like this included in soundtrack cannot not be fun..


    

Friday, October 28, 2011

New Aria (Ария) album is out - in case you missed it!

This comes as news to me.
In case you missed it too, russian heavy metal veterans Aria have came out with a new album earlier at this month (5th of October, 2011)! This is their first album since 5 years of silence (well in case of long play releases anyway - I hear they have toured) and is called simply - Phoenix (Феникс).

The current lineup goes as follows:


Vladimir Holstinin - Guitars (1985-present)
Vitaliy Dubinin - Bass (1987-present)
Maxim Udalov - Drums (1987-1988, 2002-present), Drums (live) (1998)
See also: ex-Valkyria, ex-Чёрный Кофе
Sergey Popov - Guitars (2002-present)
See also: ex-Мастер
Mikhail Zhitnyakov - Vocals (2011-present)
See also: ex-КуражЪ, ex-Гран-КуражЪ

The vocalist is brand new and I don't want to comment more on this album yet since I'vent heard it as whole, but it will be pretty much one of the top albums on my "must listen"-list. So as we can see vocalist is new and another of the guitarists have been on the band since 2002 - while the rest three have longer career with Aria. You can see the cover below along with the tracklist (song names are converted with "internet languange translator" so might not be perfectly correct - sorry 'bout that):




ARIA-Phoenix (Феникс, 2011)

1. Black Square (Чёрный Квадрат) 05:20
2. Balance (Равновесие Сил)04:12
3. History of One Murderer (История Одного Убийцы) 06:22
4. Black Legend (Чёрная Легенда) 08:02
5. Fights without Rules (Бои без Правил) 06:53
6. Phoenix (Феникс) 06:34
7. The symphony of Fire (Симфония Огня) 05:30
8. Attila (Аттила) 07:56
9. The Headlight (Дальний Свет) 04:55
10. Requiem (Реквием) 04:25

No downloads for new releases!





    

Friday, October 21, 2011

Running Wild is back - new album "Shadowmaker" at 2012



Pre-Order Shadowmaker from Amazon.com:

Thats right! Main man of german heavy metallers Running Wild - Rolf Kasparek - has decided to bring Running Wild back in business. Rolf had stated earlier at 2009 that Running Wild would be officially disbanded due the 2009 Farewell Show at Wacken Open Air Festival. This show was filmed and released as CD and DVD under title "The Final Jolly Roger" as late as June 2011 by label called Golden Core/XYZ. Rolf stated that:

"my comments in spring of 2009 about Running Wild calling it's quits were serious at the time - I really needed time out and to be honest, couldn't imagine even in Jan 2011 that I would ever feel like recording new album again. But when I had the inspiration for a best-of-album, to which I wanted to contribute four new numbers, I rediscovered how much I enjoy composing. From then on it was only a small step to record a full new studio album."

Rolf has written ten new songs for upcoming album - which will be called Shadowmaker - and is to be released in April 2012 via SPV/Steamhammer under the banner of Running Wild. Some of the songs include midtempo opener "Piece of The Action", the uptempo number "Shadowmaker" (which according to Rolf will be roughly same pace as "Angel of Mercy") and more epic eight-minute long "Dracula" which will be based on Bram Stoker's novel and Christopher Lee movies.

Rolf states that the new deal with Steamhammer/SPV is "a real stroke of luck and ideal partnership - the label is a long-established with an experienced team, so I know that Running Wild are in good hands. Besides, my band and the record company are based in the same German city (Hannover), which can't be a disadvantage for a smooth cooperation."

Olly Hahn (The A&R representative at SPV/Steamhammer) states that "Style-defining act such as Running Wild signed with us comes close to an accolade - band leader Rock'n'Rolf is one of the metal scene's last originals, and we at SPV are unbelievably proud that his choice fell on us."

More thoughts about the new Running Wild album and band's past can be seen on a video attached to below.






    

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

New section - SINGLES release year archives 1970-1989

This section covers all SINGLES releases firstly in origin country order and then chronologic order by release year. I used metal-archives.com as an information source to make this list. Idea of the list is for anyone to browse through Single releases between 1970-1989 to see how many albums in each country was released and what bands these countries had. This list is also for my own personal use.

Singles section is interesting especially on N.W.O.B.H.M scene part as many bands of the genre only ever released single(s) - but never made it far enough to release EP or Full Length album. Enjoy browsing the archive!


PS.I might still do the Demo archives later on but since there's more of those than EP/LP/Singles it's more work.






    

Sunday, September 18, 2011

New Releases section updated

The left side section with "new releases" has been updated with some of the bigger releases between 06/2011 - 09/2011 that are available through Amazon.com. Check them out! Particularly album by The Gate interests me, being a huge Running Wild fan the band has ex-Running Wild guitarist Preacher in it. There are also new releases from Anthrax (with Belladonna again) and Vader which did not fit into the widget - you can search them with right hand "Search from Amazon.com" search-field if you like.

Meanwhile also band called Arkham Witch from U.K has debuted with their first ever full length. I liked what I listened so I'm going to share this clip here:



This album is not available through Amazon.com and as I understood it would be quite limited pressing (pressing limited to 666 copies). You can get it from Doomanoid Records at here with only 8 pounds.







Weekly Metal Videos updated - Week 38



The section is finally updated with five new videos. No time updating every week but I'll keep updating it once in a while. "Vote for your favorite video"-poll won't be anymore since it did not get votes last time - but may return in case this blog gets more daily readers where it could make sense. This time we have some Pariah, Razor, Raven, Heavy Load and Metal Church - check the new heavy metal videos out right here.. :-)






Saturday, September 17, 2011

REVIEW: MP (aka Metal Priests) (GER) - Bursting out (1986)




MP aka Metal Priests were an obscure heavy metal band formed in Germany at 1986. Later on same year they released their first full length album Bursting Out – eventually releasing three more albums after the debut at 1987 (Get It Now), 1988 (Showdown) and 1992 (Melting Point under changed band name “Melting Point”).

What we have here is quite damn straightforward set of heavy rocking songs, with a good dose of energy. Perhaps a record not to be taken too seriously. Bursting Out is cheesy, simple, dirty and yet kind of a record that is fun to listen to, occasionally. MP sound a bit like their country mates Noisehunter but being more rocking and dirtier – perhaps being even closer to their other country mates Tyrant featuring similar just-for-fun-roughness. There is similar snottiness and roughness in their sound than featured with Tyrant as well as similar streed-ready rocking attitude. Even the singer is almost same caliber with over-the-top striking hoarse vocal delivery, similar to Tyrant’s singer Kerrmit, but with occasional higher pitch in the voice. This makes vocals tend to sound a bit whiny even (slight complaint) time to time, and I could well understand some people getting ear-bleeds of the singer. Crossfire from Belgium also comes quite close style wise. Take the most straight forward riffs from Judas Priest and Accept, and add over-the-top German hoarse voiced vocalist on top of it, and you get pretty close to the end result what Metal Priests sound like. Even though the album has very hard rock'ish edge, it has certain level of heaviness in it's sound and manages to sound quite strong and raw. Sadly, instrument playing skills and average-but-tolerable vocalist don't manage to raise MP into the higher level.

The material varies between safe mid-fast tempo rockers and a few speedier moments. Overall the album is perhaps sailing on a bit too “safe waters” with no much surprises on it's sleeve – just regular German in your face eighties heavy metal with hard rocking edge. The choruses are basic and made to shout along with. Strong and crispy power chord riffage is all over the place and lead guitar melodies are kept to minimum – however guitar solos are decently good and fluent and stand out when played. Stomping mid-fast drumming and audible bass are also trademarks throughout the album.

As a highlights I’d pick the title track 'Bursting Out' which is totally in your face speed metal song with nice lead guitar shredding and strong palm muted riffing. It’s just full of energy and chorus makes you want to shout out loud simple chorus “Bursting, bursting! (Bursting Out!)”. MP (Metal Priests) is another one with mid-fast tempo, smashing drums and very simple but working power chord mania driving it forward. There’s just irresistible dirty groove in this song. Heavy slower stompers with massive drum pound – Startide Rising and Out For Love – work out well enough to keep the album decently good. The rest of the songs are pretty much more of the same but not as great as these tracks.

This album is nice to crank up while driving on highway and would as well to fit to some beer-party. There’s quite strong uplifting general feeling in the album. It's generic with it's riffs and lyrics (especially simple shout-along choruses) but some songs are just irresistible - you can not be without headbanging to them. Quite enjoyable in-your-face rocking heavy metal album from massive German touch on it's sound – recommended for anyone who like bands like Tyrant (GER) and Crossfire (BEL) and dirty rocking German sound in general. In my opinion Bursting Out is very well up to par with best releases from those two bands, but that's not to say that Germany and Belgium didn't feature tons of bands sounding a bit like MP on this album, delivering their material on the similar level of quality: Tyrant, Crossfire, Noisehunter, Vampyr, Railway, Cutty Sark... the list goes on.

Not mind blowing but enjoyable album from a band with rather average playing talent and quite good sound quality. Their playing style is seriously not reinventing the wheel, but MP does have their own touch in their sound which makes them easily recognizable. This album is easy to get into (unless you dislike the hoarse high pitched vocals featured in the album, that may make some ears bleed, depending of what you prefer), but it's also rather easy to forget as it's really 'even' delivery though and trough, on rather average level. That being said, it's uplifting features, fine sound quality, and songs such as "Bursting Out", "Out For Love", and "MP (Metal Priests)" are good songs, raising the album just slight above average level release. There's something called little magic in this rather bit generic album, however, that brings me back time to time to listen it...


70

-www.kultmetal.com | reviewer: dungeoncrawler




(Not available through Amazon.com - you can however get the Live CD instead featuring many songs from Bursting Out)

  • Thomas Zeller - Vocals, Bass
  • Thomas Schneider - Drums, Backing Vocals
  • Andy Wolk - Guitars, Backing Vocals

  • 1. Bursting Out 03:29
  • 2. MP (Metal Priests) 02:44
  • 3. Startide Rising 03:54
  • 4. Pyromania 03:11
  • 5. Out for Love 04:17
  • 6. On the Loose Again 03:39
  • 7. Fight For Your Life 04:22
  • 8. Hellglow 02:00
  • 9. No More Heroes 02:36
  • 10. World of Tears 04:36
    • Total running time 34:48





For Collectors:
(Following prices have raised since ’99 but will give you direction - my bet is you can double them up)
Used album price @ Martin Popoff’s Heavy Metal Record Price Guide (1999):

-Sorry, not listed in the book-








Thursday, September 15, 2011

Winner of the poll "Best heavy metal in 80s came from?"

The poll has ended and the results for top 3 go as follows:

1.Germany - 10 votes
2.America / United Kingdom (Split) - 9 votes
3. Sweden - 6 votes

1. Germany - rough edged traditional heavy metal and thrash scene

There's no denying that Germany had a great bunch of bands at the time. They had their thrash scene with strong contenders like Sodom and Kreator among the more known ones of the scene. Then there was german traditional heavy metal with likes of Running Wild, Accept, Warlock, Scanner, Sinner, Rage (the list goes on). Not forgetting some unknown bands like Cutty Sark, Black Fate, Samain, Noisehunter.. some of the best heavy metal in the 80's certainly came from Germany.


2.1 America (United States) - Bay Area thrash and heavy metal

Slightly badly described in the poll, I should had set this as U.S and not America. Not surprised that America and U.K were high on the list also. America had their bay area thrash scene competing with the german counterparts. Exodus, Slayer, Testament, Megadeth, Metallica (who back in time released some good albums pre-90's!) - with perhaps more large thrash following than in Germany with several bit more obscure thrash bands like Nuclear Assault, Rigor Mortis, Death Angel, Dark Angel, Heathen, Vio-Lence and so on. Although german scene is quality - the U.S scene of the 80's is just so large that it cannot be but holding a great deal of awesome bands. Traditional heavy metal gems would be remembered such as Jag Panzer with their Ample Destruction, the horror themed Halloween with Don't Metal With Evil album, speedy and vicious Savage Grace, great high pitched vocals of singer "Midnight" in Crimson Glory.. not forgetting Vicious Rumors, Omen, the epic Manilla Road and many more.

2.2 United Kingdom - NWOBHM and then some

U.K on the other hand had very memorable early 80's and biggest thing remembered of the scene over there would be NWOBHM (New Wave of British Heavy Metal) - which is considered as a form of "(early) heavy metal". It was born from the rock, blues and punk rock music of the 70's when musicians took step to more aggressive and heavier form we know as NWOBHM. Some of the more known bands from that scene were Black Sabbath, Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Saxon, Diamond Head, Venom and Motörhead - the last two representing the most rough and heaviest form of the bunch. Some great semi-obscure bands were Angel Witch, TANK, Grim Reaper, Demon, Cloven Hoof, Satan, Tygers Of Pan Tang, Blitzkrieg, Witchfinder General, Jaguar, Witchfynde, Savage, Hell and Tokyo Blade. This was a great scene and one of my favorites. While not most aggressive form of heavy metal in general, it has great melodies (usually not overly happy) and soul in it. However my favorite obscure band so far would be perhaps rocking Battleaxe with a bit AC/DC'ish style combined to NWOBHM - with dirtier sound. That's not to say that after mid-80's U.K hadn't have anything good to offer which wasn't from NWOBHM genre. Some great obscure offerings were released like great speed metal effort Tröjan-Chasing The Storm at 1985 and for example two aggressive trash metal offerings from Deathwish at 1987 (At The Edge of Damnation) and 1989 (Demon Preacher), not forgetting bottom heavy as hell History Of A Time To Come (1988) by Sabbat and The Force by Onslaught among many others.

3. Sweden - mecca of melodic traditional heavy metal

Sweden on third place is a slight surprise because in a small country like that, the scene cannot be as huge as anything above. However Sweden bands pretty much pioneered in traditional melodic heavy metal and did it great. While Sweden didn't have many well known bands, they had great deal of melodic underground heavy metal scene going: Heavy Load, 220 Volt, Overdrive, Axe Witch, Gotham City, Six Feet Under, Keen Hue, Universe, Mercy, Silver Mountain and more hard rocking Torch. However the most known band coming from Sweden at 80's might very well be doom metal pioneers Candlemass - one of the very first bands in that genre. Either that or early black metallers of Bathory.

This remained quite little poll with not too many votes, however thanks for all who casted their votes! This means that out of next six reviews with full pre-listen available there will be three albums from Germany and one out of each: America, U.K and Sweden. Stay tuned!







Tuesday, August 23, 2011

REVIEW: Halloween (US) - Don't Metal With Evil (1984)




Halloween was formed in United States at 1984 and play quite in-your-face heavy metal. Their themes often were about Halloween and horror specific. The band released their debut at the year of their creation – 1984 – called Don’t Metal With Evil. After this they released one live called Live From The Crypt and several demos.. they recorded their second full-length at 1986 called Victims Of The Night – but they didn’t have nor did get record deal at the time so record faded into “unreleased material” category for a decade. At 1997 however Victims Of The Night saw the light as it was finally released by Molten Metal Label and later on also reissued at 2002 and 2010 (with bonus tracks).

Halloween’s sound is kind of a funny, because it manages to be same time energetic, insane and “lazy” in cool way. Guitars are quite straight forward and vicious while vocals of Brian Thomas are wailing (bit whiny also – not in a bad meaning though this time) and haunting – clean mid range with occasional high screams. Very cool and totally 80’s. There’s certain wickedness in their melodies and lyrics although they are not totally evil or satanic. The songs make you kinda sense the insanity/madness but are still definitely headbangable for not being overly complex or anything.

Melodies in the album are mostly played in “minor” and slightly depressive – with few “neutral” moments but not much happy melodies. Halloween plays quite melodic heavy metal in a “minor” scale here. Compared to something like Accept for instance, Accept tends to play straight forward quite rhythm guitar based heavy metal with occasional great solos and melodies thrown in – while Halloween, being also quite straight forward, bases their hooks to shredding and melody parts and focuses a bit less to rhythm guitars. However melodies and solos are still quite easy side in complexity, there’s just quite plenty of shredding to be found here. Those parts sound often quite improvised - yet they work very well.

Don’t Metal With Evil is energetic piece of melodic horror heavy metal – with traditional 80’s US heavy metal having a touch of insane and haunting melodies. There’s plenty of good numbers: Album opens with with blasting speedy Busted with strong rhythm riffs dominating the song. There’s also some humor to be sensed in the lyrics:

“You, got caught, with your panties down
Tried to tell, your dad, you weren´t foolin´ around
He´s, no fool (yes he knows) where you´ve been
Yes, he caught you one, he just caught you again”

The high pitched wailing screams sound here quite insane and improvised. It’s just good for the atmosphere and makes it sound quite wild! Definetely one of the highlights here. More straight forward blasting and riffage is to be found in Trick Or Treat with a similar approach. These two are definitely speediest, most energetic moments of the album. To Fight The Beast is also speedy but cannot hold up to the two previous songs. Justice For All is is half acoustic depressive and anxious rocker which is good on its own right. Bit more groovy mid paced greatness is to be found in Scared To Death and The Wicked Witch with good support from the bassist. Title track Don’t Metal With Evil is one of the better tracks along the speediest ones. It’s mid fast madness with haunting base melody, pounding basslines and shout-along chorus.

Vocals are probably the barrier for many to either dislike/like this band. Personally I like them and feel they fit well to the music but I can see they’re not for everyone. Riffs here might be a slightly generic at times but energy of the band makes up for slight repetitiveness and complexity. Innovation on this album is the overall sound which succeeds to mix traditional heavy metal to haunting and horror themes – as much musically as lyrically – with certain sense of humor and cheesiness that is actually quite cool on this album. The improvised sounding high wailing vocals and guitar shreds seem to fit the music well and just adding certain “insane” and “wicked” vibe to the music. Overall this album is strong - only few songs of the latter ones don't live up to the A-side - which is the reason im going to rate this more to 80+ than less. Good traditional in-your-face heavy metal album with fair amount of melody – making exception to the rule – with more evil and “minor” scale approach to the music than many other traditional heavy metal bands tend to use.

Borderline "minor classic" - 80/100 (Great)



  • George Neal - Bass
  • Brian Thomas - Vocals
  • Billy Whyte - Drums
  • Rick Craig - Guitars

  • 1. Busted 03:11
  • 2. Scared to Death 02:37
  • 3. Justice for All 03:08
  • 4. Trick or Treat 03:11
  • 5. The Wicked Witch 02:52
  • 6. Don't Metal with Evil 03:02
  • 7. What a Nice Place 02:59
  • 8. Haunted 03:51
  • 9. She's a Teazer 03:52
  • 10. Tales from the Crypt 03:19
  • 11. Fight the Beast 03:30
    • Total Running time 35:32

(One of the more speedy moments in the album)



For Collectors:
(Following prices have raised since ’99 but will give you direction . my bet is you can double them up)
Used album price @ Martin Popoff’s Heavy Metal Record Price Guide (1999):

Label – MCM
Type – LP/US/85
Near Mint – $95
Very Good+ - $50








Friday, August 19, 2011

What's going on?

There's been lack up update speed there was while back - too much personal shit has been going on in life lately. I'll keep writing time to time though in future - meanwhile feel free to browse old posts and please report broken links in case you find any!

Meanwhile my Running Wild shirts arrived, haven't bough much band shirts or merchandise lately due lack of money but now it was time. They're really cool! Finally good re-prints of RuWi shirts. I've listened bit of a new albums also - The Black Riders-Chosen Few has especially impressed me. It's kinda mixture of NWOBHM and Europe/Van Halen but certainly not as commercial - and not overly happy either - melodies are more in "minor" than "major".

I also listened the new Manilla Road album Playground Of The Damned and I've to say the band continues released good album after another. They have been like Saxon at 2000 century - releasing rock solid album after another. Safe and secure following bands present lines of style, but enjoyable, who could complain? I will review those albums later on when I have the time.

Stay tuned!

Also, feel free to check any of the other hobby blogs which I've worked with:
www.crimeandactionmovies.com (movies) | www.thegamersdungeon.com (games) | www.the80srules.com (era) | www.griffintower.com (games)





Thursday, August 4, 2011

REVIEW: Fisc (FRA) - Tracker (1984)



Fisc is french heavy metal band formed in 1981. They put out their first demo at 1982 and after that released four full lengths in 80s along with one EP and one single. Tracker is their debut from 1984.

Fisc play quite melodic and straight forward euro-metal with hard rocking edge in their music, but definetely falling more in heavy metal field at least with the debut album. Tracker was released under Mausoleum label which had loads of a bit similar standard rocking euro heavy metal bands under their wings like Ostrogoth, Crossfire and Wildfire. Fisc is stylistically bit similar to all of those. The sound is quite unpolished (but not really rough at all) and riffing is straight forward bit like Accept's rhythm guitars.

What differentiates this from for example Crossfire and Ostrogoth is more laid back, relaxed and lighter musical approach. Standard rocking heavy metal bands from 80's era especially under Mausoleum Records wings were quite rough sounding and dirty. Especially many bands from Belgium and Germany. Tracker sounds quite much lighter (partly because of the mix) and poppier even. This is kind of a band you could imagine drifting into glam metal scene from their original sound late 80's as it sounds somewhat natural transition when listening the album.

Despite even poppy heavy metal influences and overall bit more commercial approach than their label mates Ostrogoth and Crossfire - this album is not sucker. This album borrows elements from melodic NWOBHM - especially the leads while rhythm section is more straight forward biting Accept-Ostrogoth style but not as aggressive – there’s also fair amount of shredding in the mix which is the key here to bring these songs more alive. Vocals are decently good, not as snotty or rough like most Mausoleum label bands tend to have. Singer uses more clean voice from mid to mid-high pitched - with fair amount of soul. Reminds me of something like Omen's J.D. Kimball when he sings with more deep clean voice but less powerful - mixed with slightly hard rock ready roughness in his voice (but nodding more towards clean than rough).

Album opens quite fantastically with Accept’laden track Tracker with its simple yet powerful main rhythm riff. Pre-chorus/chorus is just really damn catchy with melodic lead guitar riff just nailing it in the background and shredding parts are skillful. Danger is more NWOBHM influenced track with it’s rock’n’roll’ish riffs - the damn chorus sounds it would fit into Angel Witch’s debut. Running With The Devil sounds a bit like Priest meets Maiden with rhythm section very much in favor of Priest while while lead melodies nod more to Maiden – definite true heavy metal track here. Don’t Dream Too Much is then bursting out totally straight forward pounding hard rock. A few catchy lead riffs to be found here although bit generic as the whole song is pretty much based on one simple rhythm riff. Rock’n’Roll follows with pretty much along the same lines with a more laid back rocking track focused around one simple rhythm riff with some leads added. Nothing spectacular but works nicely. More partylike upbeat moment on the album is Sad Girl with happier melodies and rock-heavy edge. Hungry For Blood allows a bit more space for creativity. It includes a lot of shredding and NWOBHM meets Priest style rhythm section. Bass lines are very audible and sound fine – actually bass dominates some parts here like the slowdown part where guitars silence for only vocals and bass to take the stage. The track brings somewhat Satanic Rites debut into my mind especially on the part of bass.

Problems with this album arise perhaps mediocrity of some things. On the other hand rhythm guitar riffs are bit too generic at times as are songs overall – but then again lead guitar riffs and shredding brings songs more alive, it’s certainly one of the strong points in this record. The band definitely has something going on here, but lack some aggression and power in my opinion. Record is too laid back overall and while sounds “nice” it just lacks the final “bite”. Especially the sound mix could be so much stronger. Singer is decent but could better. When he uses his more deep soulful voice he sounds great, bit like J.D.Kimball, but most of the times just fading into mediocrity. He has good voice but needs to learn use it better. Bass stands out and is definitely better areas in the record alongside the shredding and lead guitar melodies. Quite enjoyable combination of more commercial and laid back – yet straight forward Accept meets NWOBHM 80’s heavy metal – with more hard rock and poppy (but not too poppy) edge.. Worth of checking out although won’t blow your mind - especially for the first three songs - "Tracker" being my absolute favorite!
76/100 (Good)

(Unfortunately unavailable from Amazon.com - but why don't you get their second album Break Out from 1985 instead - click below)

  • Jean-Michel Mauffray - Guitar
  • Alain Aimé - Guitar
  • Pierre Bechet - Bass, Vocals
  • Dominique Henry - Drums

  • 1. Tracker 03:19
  • 2. Danger 03:16
  • 3. Running With The Devil 04:15
  • 4. Don't Dream Too Much 04:23
  • 5. Sad Girl 03:29
  • 6. Midnight Killer 02:56
  • 7. Hungry For Blood 04:35
  • 8. Rock'n'Roll 05:07
  • 9. Teaser Woman 03:55
    • Total running time: 35:15






For Collectors:
(Following prices have raised since ’99 but will give you direction - my bet is you can double them up)
Used album price @ Martin Popoff’s Heavy Metal Record Price Guide (1999):

Label – Mausoleum/8352
Type – LP/B/84
Near Mint – $8.50
Very Good+ - $4.50