Thursday, September 04, 2014

Bootlegs-Bootlegs (2014 Re-Release)

Minotauro Records

Last month I covered "M.C. Monster" (Bootlegs' 1989 debut album and the first of two re-releases from this Icelandic metal band) so this month it's time to cover this self-titled follow-up. Originally released in 1990, with the Metal Archives suggesting that less then 50 vinyl copies were actually sold and are still floating around somewhere out there (whether it was a issue having to do with the LPs being pressed or a lack of proper distribution and/or promotion isn't exactly clear, but either way it in no way, shape or form takes away from the quality of this thrash product!), "Bootlegs" changed the tune of the band somewhat in that it was sung in the band's native language. And while "W.C. Monster" bore all the trademarks of a crossover album (speed/thrash moshing it up with punk/hardcore!) this self-titled album finds the band leaning closer to (pure) old-school thrash. Or for the most part. There's still some punk and hardcore here ("SOD II" as well as "Fuck Off") as well as some flat-out weirdness ("Vögguvísa"). But pound for pound this is thrash metal 101! For those who love the mid-late eighties and even the early nineties thrash era (specifically the more underground or raw thrash scene!) "Bootlegs" offers more then it's fair share of heavenly headbanging!  Remarkably though both "versions" of Bootlegs work. They easily compliment each other as both studio albums echo the same sentiment-Play It Loud and Play It Like It Means Something! For Bootlegs to have conquered their homeland so easily* speaks volumes about the talent and charisma that this thrash metal had back then and even now! These fine gentlemen played with passion and with a sincere purpose. Once you've thrashed your way through both of Bootlegs studio-albums you'll truly understand just who these Icelandic metalheads were and why, despite the hang-ups that were likely involved with being far away from the more rampaging metal scenes, they kept at it and continued to wave the banner of unfiltered, pure as the land that once spawned the group, thrash! Lead vocalist Junior provided the band a captivating front-man with the strength of this outfit lying in it's ability to write heavy material that is technical and pit-worthy. Despite the potential set-back of singing in their native tongue, Bootlegs utilizes the universal language of heavy metal thanks to the blistering lead work of guitarist Nonni! To their advantage, Nonni's playing taps into the thrash metal style of the day while also throwing in traditional and/or classic heavy metal passages. Bootlegs plows through the material at hand and, thanks to the additional feature that is bonus live material**, their sophomore album stands tall and proud! With Minotauro Records once more delivering a stupendous package, "Bootlegs" is front to back/top to bottom (and everywhere fucking in-between fiends!) a hell of a re-release and one that I'm laying my stamp of approval down on! 


*Between 1986 and 1991 the band was not only one of the bigger names in Iceland's metal scene, but one of the most respected!

**In addition to the actual album (one which is worth owning just by itself!) the re-release from Minotauro Records tacks on the following cuts:

"Gamli Nói"(bonus track Live 2006) 
"Street Lover" (bonus track Live 2006) 
"Augun" (bonus track Live 2006) 
"Fuck Off" (bonus track Live 2006) 
"Óljóslega Stjórnlaus" (bonus track Live 2006) 
"SOD" (bonus track live 1006) 
"Thrash Attack" (bonus track live 2006)!cds/cnec

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