Friday, November 04, 2011

Forgotten Gems: Rising Metal

K-tel International
1988


Chances are if you were born after 1990 then you have no idea what K-tel International is or what they were all about. The king of compilation albums they ruled the "As-Seen-On-TV" market with their various genre collections. Everything was fair game for K-tel from disco to rock to country. Somewhere in my huge collection of vinyl I still have numerous compilations that the company put out. If you ever wondered where the idea for collections like "Now" came from look no further. Anyway, getting to the point of all of this is the fact that in the late 80's I was a teenage heavy metal fan from a small town. K-mart and Fischer's Bigwheel were the only game in town to score albums. Having been turned onto thrash metal thanks to Z-Rock (another long lost treasure of my youth!) I hunted down anything that would satisfy my cravings. K-tel International was considered a joke by any self-respecting metalhead. So, how surprised was I to stumble upon a compilation from them called "Rising Metal"? I was stunned! Boosting the tag "The Best Of Today's Rising Metal Bands" I snatched up the tape and was on my way to discovering a host of bands I still love to this day. The album starts off with "Mistress Of Pain" by Death Angel. Raw and primitive thrash it simple blew me away and left me hungry for the rest of the compilation. With Slayer on board with "Hell Awaits" and "Powersurge" by Overkill following how could you go wrong? I actually believe that someone at K-tel International was a real heavy metal freak because the bands chosen cover a wide selection from hardcore thrash (Nuclear Assault's "Justice") to doom (Trouble's "The Assassin"). Along the way you get Megadeth with "Skull Beneath The Skin", Exodus with "Chemi-Kill" and Testament's excellent "Over The Wall". Rounding out the compilation is "Hammerhead" by Flotsam And Jetsam and Heathen's insane cover of "Set Me Free". This superb look into thrash metal had a lasting impact on me and I wore this tape out over time. While most of these songs had made their way into my collection it was "Set Me Free" that I still needed. As the album is out of print it took me over 20 years to snag another copy. I was finally able to upgrade to a well loved CD copy only last year. While having a compilation as a Forgotten Gem might seem odd I add it because of the impact it had on me. For being such a silly "As- Seen -On -TV" company they struck gold with this collection of heavy metal acts.

3 Comments:

OpenID themetalfiles.com said...

nice. i had this on cassette

10:43 AM  
Blogger Andy said...

Great comp eh?

12:44 PM  
Blogger Patrick said...

Killer comp! I still have my copy of Axe Attack Volume 2 on K-Tel from 1981 that featured Iron Maiden, Motorhead, Samson, Gillan, and Rush (The Trees!) - Another awesome comp!

9:28 PM  

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