Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Four underrated bands

The year 1986 was a pretty good one for metal, quite likely the second best year in the 1980's for metal (1984 was the golden year). A lot of really good albums from veterans like Iron Maiden and Motorhead plus breakout albums for bands like Metallica, Slayer and Megadeth. Yet down below the cover story bands were the others. I wanted to talk briefly about four bands who had really good debuts in 1986, but you may not have heard of any of these bands.

At War- These guys were from Virginia Beach, Virginia and their debut was "Ordered to kill". It was a straight forward speed metal effort, a little like Motorhead, but faster and edgier. They were on tiny New Renaissance records so they didn't receive a lot of notice. This is available on cd.

Cyclone-These guys were from Belgium and the debut was "Brutal Destruction". Think Exodus "Bonded by blood" with stronger vocals and perhaps even better hooks. They received some press, but they never toured much and they seemed to disappear. Not available on cd.

Executioner-Boston three piece released their debut "In the name of metal". The production on all three of their albums was poor, but that doesn't matter because their raw enthusiasm and NWOBHM meets early speed metal sound shines through. Another New Renaissance band and they toured with At War in 1986. Not available on cd although there has been some mention from New Renaissance that it may someday get released.

Whiplash-More than likely the most known of these four bands, but more for their connections to other bands. This New Jersey based band's debut was called "Power and pain" and they had a fairly original thrash sound. Very heavy with some cool underlying riffs and some very angry vocals. Drummer Tony Scaglioni left the band to take a three month stint in Slayer in late 1986 while Dave Lombardo took some time off. These guys were on Roadrunner and did three albums in the 80's before breaking up. They did reform in the mid-90's and put out a few more albums. This is available on cd.


Blogger David Amulet said...

I've never even heard of Cyclone or Executioner. I am a wiser man today.

-- david

3:22 AM  
Anonymous Fred Charles said...

At War is a name that I haven't heard in a long time. My friend used to be into them big time. It was always fun to find some obscure bands.

6:22 AM  
Blogger Volkher Hofmann said...


although I like your move to a different design a lot, I have problems reading what you are posting. For people with (temporary or reduced) vison problems, like me, red on black is deadly. Could you up the contrast somehow?

Executioner? Man, I haven't heard that name for a looooong while, but your assessment is spot on: they had that NWoBHM touch but managed to push the envelope quite a bit. I thought that refreshing at a time when everyone was cloning the "name" bands. I liked some of their stuff a lot, but to be brutally honest - and I did do some research when I read your post here - I have no idea what I had of their stuff, in which format and how they ended up on my plate. I just remember the name and a few tunes. Good stuff at the time.

Now, if I could only find the time to turn my collection upside down (some of it is stored away) to find out what I have ... your post was at least the motivational kick to dust off some of my stored hard rock and heavy metal. Maybe some of the totally obscure stuff is valuable? ;)


7:08 AM  
Blogger Metal Mark said...

David-I spent a lot of my life listening to this stuff, so I always feel the need to share.

Fred-At War received good reviews on their debut. Their second album was far more predictable.

Volkher-Welcome back. I actually had someone else do my new template so I am completely sure how to change the colors, but I will try to find out. Executioner were very cool despite the production values or lack of. Their drummer released limited quantities of their third recording on cd like five years ago and it is the only one of theirs on cd. It was recorded in '90, but sat on the shelf until the drummer got enough money to release in 2001. I bought a copy from him on eBay.

7:39 PM  

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