Forgotten Gems: Carrie-Secrets
For this Forgotten Gem piece we have more female-fronted metal love with Germany's own Carrie. This album was originally released in 1985 on Earthshaker Records and, other than an appearance on the 1985 split release, "Metallic Bunnys" (with such acts as Holy Moses and Fact), this seems to be the only material the band ever managed to release. The band was formed in 1983 (hailing from North Rhine-Westphalia) and featured in their ranks two former members of Mad Max (drummer Uwe Stark and guitarist Wilfried Schneider) Carrie was lead by the very talented Annelen Middendorf who, believe it or not, reminds me of a more metallic Pat Benatar!. Melodic heavy metal/power metal is the name of the game with fellow female Steffi Melz keyboard playing only adding to the excellent nature of this release. The rest of the band is filled out by bassist Jürgen Slavin and second guitarist Oliver Hermanns. What I really like about Carrie is how they could pull in influences as different as the NWOBHM sound and classic hard rock/traditional heavy metal. Think along the lines of a band that mixes parts of Warlock/Doro, Acid, Bitch, Vixen, Mad Max, Childhood's End, Original Sin, Scorpions and Chastain with original ideas and your close to what is in store for you with Carrie. The downside though is two things. First off the production is only so-so. It seems flat to these ears. Now, the copy I have is the original one which consisted of 10 songs. Its reissue on CD by Keltic Records (which includes nine more songs-instrumental/alternative versions of the original songs) might have corrected that but I cannot be completely certain of that. The second downside to Carrie is that some of the material (just some mind you) starts off well enough before it just kind of wanders off and loses focus. Thankfully the bulk of the album is well-written and makes up for these weaker moments. Overall despite the average production and some filler material this is just a nice traditional heavy metal release that should really appeal to female-fronted metal fans as well as those out there into acts like Warlock and Acid. CD copies (and even though my copy came by way of a trade and was originally bought off of Ebay with the assurance that it was an "official" release from what my tape-trader friend tells me it looks like a bootleg) are reasonable on the wallet and online you can find download links for "Secrets" so there shouldn't be anything stopping interested parties from getting this little gem.