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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: (movies) | (games) | (era) | (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 - 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

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Metal Warning IV Festival in Finland 11.11-12.11.2011

2.11.2011 Updated info
Ticket link was broken so it's fixed. Get Your tickets here.
Some new bands added to Saturday line-up that were not listed on this post before:

  • Minotaur (GER) 66,6min set
  • Santa Lucia (FIN) 60min set
  • Solitaire (FIN) 50min set

Check the newest poster here for more info.

This festival is worth advertising since these guys get usually cool bands to play in Finland. If history repeats itself there will be nice collection of old and newer heavy metal records for sale also before the gig! Last time I found pretty much cool stuff - Manilla Road, Living Death, Blitzkrieg, Halloween for example. This metal festival is nod to the old school more than for newer heavy metal.

So, METAL WARNING IV-heavy metal festival will be held at Friday 11.11.2011 - Saturday 12.11.2011 in Gloria club, located at Finland's capitol city Helsinki. The price for two day ticket is 30euros (one day tickets will be coming for sale later on) and age restriction is 18+. The doors will open at 19.00 both days. Finnish cult band OZ have recently reformed and will be the headliner for the festival!

Get your tickets at for Metal Warning Festival IV at
More info about additional band changes etc. at:

The bands already confirmed are following:


FRIDAY 11.11.2011

OZ (Headliner)





EVIL-LÿN (Fin)


SATURDAY 12.11.2011




+ "heavy metal records - fair" held earlier on day

There's still possibility of new band additions to join in the lineup for either day.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Few new Armored Saint live shots on Youtube

A couple of new Armored Saint live shots have magically appeared to Youtube. These clips are from 1991 Symbol Of Salvation Tour after Dave had already gone - with Jeff Duncan playing other guitars.. Enjoy!

PS. To make the site less heavier I included only 1/5 clips in this post. If you want to see the rest just go to Youtube through the video below and watch the clip there - the rest of the songs should appear at the right side in youtube where you see the list of other related/recommended video clips!

Lineup at the time:

John Bush - Vocals
Jeff Duncan - Guitars
Phil Sandoval - Guitars
Joey Vera - Bass
Gonzo Sandoval - Drums

Armored Saint - For the sake of heaviness (Live, 1991, Los Angeles, CA)

Gonzo hosting Armored Saint Magazine 2001 (Bloopers)

Monday, August 1, 2011

NEWS: Jag Panzer (US) disbands (1981-2011)

Sadly it's not long back since we saw german heavy metallers Running Wild - one of my favourite bands - to disband and leave the heavy metal scene. Just when I had reviewed Jag Panzer's best and worst albums in my opinion, and stated ironically they had been releasing albums regularly ever since reforming in 1993 untill today I heard they have disbanded and are calling it quits.

(Early Jag Panzer lineup - most likely around '84 Ample Destruction era)

Jag Panzer were american traditional heavy metal band formed at 1981 (actually they were formed under name Tyrant as early as 1978 - however after legal issues with the name they changed it at '81 to what what we know today as Jag Panzer). Their style had alot of melodic edge on riffs and most albums were done with great vocalist Harry Conklin (also known from Titan Force and Satan's Host) and guitarists Mark Briody & Joey Tafolla/Chris Broderick. Their earliest stuff was a bit rougher and aggressive traditional heavy metal than what their later releases represent, where the sound is a bit softer and melodic yet enjoyable. Dissident alliance in between these styles made exception to the rule with touch of groove laden metal - modern metal influenced sound and almost metalcore vocals. This phase lasted only one album and is considered often as "a stain in otherwise good discography of the band".

(Ample Destruction (1984) remains highly regarded record untill today)

Jag Panzer for old school heavy metal fan was mostly known of their great debut Ample Destruction (1984) and rather disasterous (at least in eyes of many original fans) Dissident Alliance (1994). After the last mentioned album they managed to release quite a few decently good albums - though never reaching Ample Destructions glory again - still putting out quality heavy metal. If you manage to find original pressing of Ample Destruction as LP, well it's worth of alot of money today.

(The Scourge of The Light - lineup at 2011)

The journey however has now come to end at July 2011: "We are proud of every album we released and the support we've received from the heavy metal community. We've played so many places around the world and enjoyed every minute of it but the time has come where we just cannot move forward as a band." Says one of the former band members guitarist Mark Briody.

"Christian did an amazing job on 'The Scourge Of The Light' and it was a pleasure working with him. We wished Christian well but kept this quiet until we found a replacement". Continues Briody.

Drummer Rikard Stjernquist says, "Several guitar players applied for the job. It was a pleasant surprise to see so many young guitarists with advanced chops. One player, 19-year-old Jake Dreyer, submitted videos of him nailing solos from both Chris Broderick and Christian Lasegue. We were ready to welcome Jake into the band, but, unfortunately, that will not happen. There is no doubt in any of our minds that Jake will go on to be a household name in his own right."

Bassist John Tetley adds a final line: "In closing, we’d like to send out a huge heartfelt THANK YOU to metal fans throughout the world. You all rule!"

(Their last album The Scourge Of The Light (2011))

Released on February 28 of 2011 - Scourge of The Light will remain the last release of Jag Panzer setting their record at nine full lenghts, one DVD, three singles, one EP and five demos between the years 1981-2011. Harry Conklin currently handles vocal duties for a black/thrash metal band called Satan's Host. A full discography of Jag Panzer can be seen below:

Death RowSingle1983
Ample Destruction Full-length 1984
Demo 1985Demo1985
Demo 1986Demo 1986
Shadow ThiefDemo1986
Dissident AllianceDemo1993
Dissident AllianceFull-length1994
Jeffrey Behind the Gate Single1994
The ReturnDemo1996
The Fourth JudgementFull-length 1997
The Age of MasteryFull-length 1998
Thane to the Throne Full-length 2000
Mechanized WarfareFull-length 2001
The Era of Kings and ConflictDVD 2002
Decade of the Nail-Spiked Bat Compilation2003
Chain of CommandFull-length 2004
Casting the StonesFull-length 2004
The Wreck of the Edmund FitzgeraldSingle 2005
The Scourge of the LightFull-length 2011