Friday, August 31, 2012

Loverboy-Rock 'n roll revival



The download for this one popped a few weeks ago and I stepped around it like a piece of gum on the sidewalk. Briefly I considered tackling it, but decided against. A few hours after that decision I was at a grocery store that I only go to maybe twice a year. I walk in and the DJs are yacking, I start shopping and the first song they play next is Loverboy's "Lovin' every minute of it:. I took as an omen to review it whether it was good, bad or indifferent. I like some AOR, but to me Canada's Loverboy were never up on the A list like Journey and Foreigner. They were far more hit and miss and seemed to get weaker as the 80's progressed. I put all that aside when approaching this album. So what we get here is three originals and nine re-recordings of their more popular tunes. The three new songs are on first. The title track begins with a solid riff and sounds like it could have been around 1983 and I mean that in a good way. It's extremely tight and catchy, color me shocked. "No tomorrow" slowly make it's way on and they are in full ballad mode, but wait don't gag because they step around the sap for the most part and follow a steady path. If they'd done this one thirty years ago it would have been a radio staple. The last new song is "Heartbreaker" sounds like Loverboy taking their 80's sound into a more modern time (not quite today's time though). They follow a bouncing pace and this song flows so smoothly. There's kind of Bon Jovi vibe and the lyrics lack a little, but they push it ahead well enough to make it enjoyable even if it's kind of fluffy. Okay, so they sounded good on three tracks. Now they must be taking the easy road to fill out an album with re-recordings. Re-recordings are usually always poor versions of the originals and only a few brave bands try to mix it up and different takes on their classics that actually work, Well throw Loverboy in that majority and color me shocked again. The new versions are not all perfect, but they make them faithful enough to the originals yet they change up some tempos, solos and other parts enough to make it worth hearing these recordings. They put a 2012 spin on "Turn me loose", "Working for the weekend",  "The kid is hot tonight" and others plus it's quite well done. I was firmly expecting this album to be a tired old act going through the motions, but Loverboy proved me wrong. A very decent effort.

Labor day reviewathon count-2 down 8 to go 
Time left- three days, two hours and around forty-five minutes
*I need to review ten albums by the end of Labor Day or I have to listen to Warrant's Cherry Pie. (Come on, Mark knock out those reviews to avoid this fate).

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Rabbits-Bites rites

Good to die

I admit it, I was staring at that cover for a while before playing this disc. That foaming, crazes and ferocious beast on the cover had me hoping the music would live up to the package. It certainly comes close. This Portland, Oregon trio are about volume and depth. You won't find tight knit strumming or technical noodling here. This is doom/stoner rock for fans who want who feel like they are being smashed on the head by multiple hammers. Precision was left outside the recording studio when these went in carve out these songs. They just flat beat and pound their way through these raw and brutal tracks. They use feedback, echoes, growls, rough pounding drums to their advantage. Despite the basic frequently plodding approach this album is anything but predictable and that where it really succeeds. On a number of tracks they use repetition, but that works when the tones they are repeating are as heavy and strange as what this band can summon up. They spare nothing here and chew up the songs as if they are putting all of their hate and power into every ounce of music and maybe they are. I don't really have a favorite track because each song has it's own sound and all of them are worth hearing over and over. Check this one out if you get a chance because it is certainly outstanding.

Labor day reviewathon count-1 down 9 to go 
Time left- three days, three hours and around twenty minutes
*I need to review ten albums by the end of Labor Day or I have to listen to Warrant's Cherry Pie. (Shudder, shudder)

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Magnum-On The 13th Day


It was Magnum's forth album, "The Eleventh Hour", that served as a means of introduction to yours truly in regards to this hugely influential British progressive/melodic hard rock band. From that point I did my fair share of jumping back and forth among albums and songs picking up what I liked while tossing aside the rest. Now I find myself staring down the barrel of Magnum's eighteenth studio album, "On The 13thDay" which, I've just got to say, is pretty solid front cover to back cover. Magnum fans should/will most likely buy this regardless of what anyone says. Fair enough. Magnum deserve such loyalty I figure. Those that don't know the band (which I figure is actually a pretty high percentage judging by informal polls I've run) imagine if you will high-class British hard rock with a strong epic vibe that doesn't ever quite cross over into the cheesy Euro-style that makes me want to stuff my ears with dynamite and then light the fuse! Overall this is a classy album from a classy band.

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Labor Day weekend reviewathon and the bet

I have sucked at reviewing this week. Just have not had time. However I will make up for it by attempting to do ten reviews between today and Monday. That's right ten in four days and here are the artists I will review: Ufomammut, Doro (2), Loverboy, Razorwyre, Gouge, Xibabla, Rabbits, Vision Divine, Eclipse and Muknal. Now two of these are singles however I will do two Doro CDs as one review and the Ufomammut is long and involved that it will be as challenging as reviewing two discs so it will all even out. So what if I don't get all ten done by the end of Labor Day? Well, then on my honor I will sit down and listen to Warrant's Cherry Pie from start to finish with no pauses, bathroom breaks just straight ahead torture. Let the games begin.

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Heavy Cross-Street Wolf (7" EP)

Hells Headbangers

When any promo states that a band is "
Heavily influenced by Scandinavian Metal like OZ, HEAVY LOAD, GOTHAM CITY and plenty of NWOBHM bands" chances are I'm going to like it. Sure enough this two-track EP is prime, old-school heavy metal with enough of a "I just found this dusty old single buried in the back of some record store and it looks as if there are only about a dozen copies that saw the light of day" appeal to make me feel like a giddy kid in a candy store! Gotham City meets Heavy Load meets any/every NWOBHM act that managed to release only one single is how I would describe this offering and I mean that with the greatest of respect. This one does not so much sound retro as it is retro. Somehow/someway this little beauty feels like 1981/1982 which is obviously odd since this it came out in 2012 and the "act" is only a few years old (2009). This Finnish sensation is sure to appeal to the old school crowd....and I mean REALLY OLD SCHOOL.

Available in Gray Vinyl or traditional Black Vinyl:

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Thursday, August 30, 2012

Current playlist

Here you go.

Listening To:
This week's play list was inspired by my recent trip to Tenn. to visit my girlfriend. As she has condensed her own music collection I was able to take home a ton of CDs for myself. I can't even begin to say how wonderful it is to have a girlfriend with as much of an eclectic taste in music as I have. Knowing that the one you love listens to everything from INXS to Anthrax is heartwarming! So, with that said here is my list for the week:
Slayer-Reign In Blood
Death-...For The Whole World To See
Janis Joplin's Greatest Hits
Anthrax-Attack of the Killer B's
The Doors-Legacy (The Absolute Best)
Andy J. Gallagher-Faster And Faster Single
On Top-Top Heavy
Stacy Mitchhart-Gotta Get The Feeling Back Again*
Stacy Mitchhart-Grown Ass Man*
AC/DC-High Voltage

*While in Tenn. I went to see this amazing blues act and was thoroughly impressed by the band.

4 Film Favorites: Draculas
The Rum Diaries
Welcome Back Kotter Season 1


Metal Mark-

Listening to:
Silencer-The Great bear
Star Trek sound effects
Samhain-November coming fire
Demon-Night of the demon
Cervix-Life Fucker
Fast-Leather boys from the asphalt jungle
Exciter-Violence and force and Fell the knife
Rumble Militia-Fuck off commercial
Midnight-Complete and total hell

Bones season 1
Leprechaun 4

The last headbangers: NFL football in the rowdy, reckless '70s
The Encyclopedia of New Wave
The days are just packed
Vegan Cooking

 ***What are you checking out?

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Die Hard-Antichrist

Thought I'd pass this one on to everyone out there as it's just too good to keep to myself. This is some excellent raw thrash. Per the official promo:

Thanks to AGONIA RECORDS and Terrorizer Magazine, the new EP from Swedish thrash metal overlords DIE HARD is available for a free stream & download. To get the two-track Antichrist EP, head over to (the link will be active there until the 4th of September) or simply follow the direct Soundcloud link:

The EP will have its official premiere on a 7" vinyl on August 31st. The recording features two tracks: an alternate version of the band's original song entitled "Antichrist" and a cover of Venom's "Bloodlust."

Antichrist paves the way for DIE HARD's upcoming full-length album, Conjure The Legions, out on September 25th in Europe/UK and November 6th in North America. A video clip promoting the album can be viewed here:

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Forgotten Gems: Blood Farmers-Blood Farmers

Hellhound Records

Very few doom acts affect me like Blood Farmers. As I'm not the most vocal fan of doom to begin with (I usually leave that flag waving to Metal Mark) there has to be a really good sticking point if I'm to be sold on a band, Now, The Blood Farmers (or just Blood Farmers) were from New York City, New York and formed back in 1989. Are they back together now or broke up again? I'll get that point out of the way and say, for the record, I don't quite honestly know. Seeing as I haven't had my second cup of coffee yet (and I need at least two cups or else I'm likely to straggle random strangers who annoy me) my brain isn't quite running full-steam ahead and, frankly, it's a moot point in regards to the epic quality of this self-titled little gem. Influenced by the likes of Blue Cheer, Black Sabbath, St. Vitus and Blue Oyster Cult (as well as plenty of other 70’s influences) this (at the time) four-piece outfit released an album that is heavy on the doom metal while indulging in stoner rock and psychedelic rock. Words alone cannot describe the musical madness of this masterpiece (yes, that is a lot of "M" words), but one listen to this album and I'd wager that most doom fans would certainly drool with appreciation. Taking their name from the cult movie "Invasion Of The Blood Farmers" (which, believe it or not I have in my film collection) the band's debut album (and only album) featured cover-artwork taken from the Ed Gein movie "Deranged". One of the album's cuts, the excellent "Bullet in My Head", appeared on the soundtrack for Richard Anasky’s film "I am Vengeance", but every cut is equally impressive. After being exposed to tracks like "Orgy of the Rats", "General Urko" (which is the name of a gorilla General from the 1975 Planet Of The Apes TV series), "Twisted Brain (Part 2)" and the beautiful acoustic number "After the Harvest" (which almost sounds like a Led Zeppelin tune) my life has never been the same. Easily one of the best doom metal bands that you've never heard of and simply a head rush of an album, "Blood Farmers" fetches serious $$$ these days on CD so if your looking for this little nugget (and if you call yourself a doom metal fan then you need this one in your collection trust me!) just do a quick Google search. It's floating around the net waiting for it's next victim to have it's soul removed via the twisted doom groove that is Blood Farmers.

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Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Silencer-The Great Bear

Vanity Music Group

The Great Bear is a concept album from Silencer. The concept is a what if scenario where the band consider what would have happened had Soveit Russia gone past America's moon landing by travelling somewhere further. Concept albums can be a mixed bag. That's all well and good to tell a story with your album because good music writers should be able to tell a story, but of course not all musicians are good writers. All the press and reviews on this album are likely to going emphasize the concept element and that's fine plus the band obviously put in a great of effort to tell the story they wanted.  The important thing here to me is the music more than the concept and it's also the strongest part of this album as well. Silencer grab handfuls of stoner rock, prog metal, classic metal and more as they us on this journey.  "I am thunder" make think of what if Metallica had gotten heavier instead of going softer back in the 90's. The title track is like a train coming after you in slow motion. "The roar" combines power and precision and manages to perhaps be the most involved song on the album. The music is mostly basic, but the song structures are what really holds it up. The vocals were more melodic at times than I was expecting, but mostly they complemented the music. There are some dry moments where it felt like they were stretching the songs more than they had to and found myself waiting for something to happen. For the majority of the time they kept on top of the proceedings.

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Forgotten Gems-Shooting Gallery-s/t


The year 1992 was an odd for music. The musical landscape was changing as grunge was solidly in style and hair bands and other was on the way out of favor. So a lot metal hard rock acts were changing styles or scrambling to keep their careers going. It was a very good year for death metal but most metal sub genres were hit and miss. One album I was excited about was Shooting Gallery's self-titled release. Why? Well being a huge Hanoi Rocks fan I went after any post HR solo albums and other projects that any of the members churned out. They weren't all good, but I looked forward to them. Shooting Gallery was a new band founded by HR guitarist Andy McCoy and for some reason I had a feeling this project might be something worth checking out. I was right although practically no one else at the time agreed with me or even cared that this album came out. Rounding out the line-up was bassist Dave Tregunna (played with McCoy in the Cherry Bombz), vocalist Billy G. Bang and drummer Paul Garisto. Tregunna and Bang had previously played together in the Kill City Dragons. Out of the twelve tracks there are three covers with Van Morrison's "Brown eyed girl" being the only not from a band Andy McCoy was in. The others are Hanoi Rocks "Don't never leave me" and "House of ecstacy" which was orginally done by one of McCoy's other post HR bands -the Cherry Bombz. Normally that many covers on an album throws up a red flag for me, but all three are entertaining so no gripe there. Still it's the originals that grabbed me. Some of the best songs here are the hard puching force of opener "Restless", the slight quirkiness of "Teenage Breakdown" and the catchy "Little bit of magic". Shooting Gallery were closer to the Cherry Bombz than Hanoi Rocks, but they had some elements of both. Plus there was a touch of bringing some of the sound of those bands into the 90's. This isn't a perfect album because there were a couple of alright songs and many of the best tracks were in the first half. This kind of glam sure wasn't what bands like Poison and Warrant were churning out at the time. Which is great for me, but I can see why this album got overlooked back then. The band did get to open for KISS when that band embarked on a short clun tour around the time "Revenge" was released. That move should have provided them with a great deal of exposure, but unfortunately internal arguments lead to the band breaking up just a few months after the album had come out. I wore out my cassette version of this long ago, but picked it up for a buck on CD several years ago.

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Monument-Rock The Night

Transcend Music

After almost a month away from Heavy Metal Time Machine I figured what better way to get back into the swing of things full-time then with some classic heavy metal? Sure, I did manage to squeak out one review during the past few weeks (Miss May I), but true heavy metal is more my thing. So, with that said, I jump back into the game with Monument. Ex-White Wizzard/The More I See vocalist Peter Ellis leads this five-piece British classic heavy metal band. Rounded out by guitarists Lewis Stephens and David del Cid, bassist Jim Ramses and drummer Matt C the band don't exactly hide their influences. Rather it seems as if the band says "Yeah, we love the NWOBHM movement and decided to form a band with the sole purpose of reliving those glory days so what of it?". Without drawing too much of a line between Peter's new band and his one previous band this does come off a little like White Wizzard part 2. Iron Maiden being the most obvious choice of snack for these metal loving Londoners. Does that make this less of an enjoyable 5-track EP? Well, it isn't brilliant. Monument do recycle a lot of old Iron Maiden riffs as well as a few choice Judas Priest and Saxon ones. It's done in such a fashion though as to offer a loving tribute to the movement that one can't help but smile while enjoying some very basic traditional heavy metal. "Rock the Night", for example, is classic Iron Maiden done up with a smile and a wink as if saying "Here, treat yourself to some fine classic heavy metal/British metal on us" and, for whatever reason, you gladly accept it without making too much of a deal out of the fact that it's all been done before. This short EP (my counter says 23 minutes) is not an album that will light the world on fire. It isn't going to make Monument the next big thing. In fact it almost seems as if the band are aware of that and just play with a sense of "Let' just see where this takes us" which, without downplaying what the band is after, is somewhat refreshing in a day and age in which to many of these retro-loving bands are trying way to hard to impress the listener.

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Monday, August 27, 2012

The future of metal


 There's a reason that many metal fans refer to the 80's as the glory days. Yes, I am not everyone thinks that was the best decade for the music, but many people do. Why shouldn't they? The NWOBHM, NWOSHMN, thrash, early death metal, early doom acts and crossover all popped up in that decade. Yes, so did hair metal but hey decade can be perfect. Anyways despite being a strong decade for metal a number of styles became watered down as the 90's came. The 90's was tough for metal when other sounds became popular but there was still a healthy metal underground and death and black metal bands flourished. Also during the 90's there were some other sub-genres taking shape and pushing on like stoner rock, European power metal and prog-metal. In the previous decade the 00's and it feels like many of the styles from previous decades were floating around being represented by both old and new acts. We seem to have gotten retro-everything from thrash to hair metal to NWOBHM complete with all those fashions being sported by guys who were either in diapers or not even born when those styles were in their hey day. There has been an increase in post-metal and expereimental acts that touch on element on metal to certain degrees as well. Today metal is around and doing well popularity wise although creativity wise depends on the style or bands in question. Speaking of questions here are some for you.

***What do you think about the metal scene these days?

***What do you think metal will be like ten years from now?

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Sunday, August 26, 2012

Obsessor-Mental Hell


Oh, look it's another seven inch from one man band Obsessor. My scorecard says that's four seven inch releases from this act since the start of 2011. I'm still hoping for a full length or even an EP, but I'm not holding my breath on that as it looks like this two songs at a time is what we'll always get from Obsessor. What really matters is quality and that has never been an issue here and the new release is no different on that count. The title track starts out almost like a straight up 80's metal track for a few seconds before getting into the 80's hardcore with metal touches that this act excels at. The production is clearer than normal, but that doesn't at all diminish the heavy edges that surround this tight-fisted angry attack. Track two "Evil supremacy" clocks in at just over three minutes which might make it be Obsessor's verision of an epic since none of their other songs on their singles have crosses past the three minute mark. Seriously, this song creeps at first before exploding into a Discharge/The Exploited/Broken Bones inspired track that will beat your sense bloody and you begging for more. Unfortunately there isn't any more since this is a single. The only downside to the band (as a I say with every one of their releases) is that just a s I get into the music it's all over. Oh, well I'll take what I can get from Obsessor. The style is what they have always been doing, but these two tracks are even tighter and there is definitely more of a push to squeeze in even more tempo changes. Another great single from this outfit.

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Ghoul-Kids in America (single)



I have not gotten to write much this week because of so much else going on. The best way to get back into writing reviews for me is to tackle a single. Hey look here's one from those wackos in Ghoul. Actually I always look forward to getting a chance to review release from Tankcrimes since they specialize in old style hardcore and thrash acts. So this time we get  Creepsylvania's natives covering Kim Wilde's "Kids in America". At first this might seem like an odd selection but they put their own spin on it and have fun with it as they growl and tear into it. I never pictured this song as being able to hit like a meat grinder, but Ghoul make a decent at attempt at getting the song near that level. My only complaint is that like their last album "Transmission Zero" the guitar tone on this song seems a little in the mix. Overall this is a likable enough version to tide you over a little until their next full length appears.

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Thursday, August 23, 2012

Current playlist



Life On Another Planet Compilation
Rainbow-Catch The Rainbow
Pandemonium-Heavy Metal Soldiers
Magnum-On the 13th Day
Forrest Gump Soundtrack
Belinda Carlisle-Her Greatest Hits
Killer-Broken Silence
Blood Farmers-Blood Farmers
Femme Fatale-Femme Fatale
Rigor Mortis-Rigor Mortis

Harry Potter And The Deathly Hollows, Part 2

Monsters In The Movies

Metal Mark-

MSG-Assault Attack
The Kinks-s/t
Guns and Roses-Live at the Ritz 1987
Twisted Sister live at Hammersmith
Megadeth-Peace sells but who's buying?
Devo-Something for everybody
Silencer-The great bear
Terror-Evil of terror
Big trouble in little China soundtrack

Bones season one
Land of the lost the entire series

various dinosaur books with the kids

***What are you listening to, reading and watching?

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Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Miss May I-At Heart

Rise Records

I'm showing up fashionably late to the Miss May I party. This Troy, Ohio act may have been around since 2006, but in all honesty it was only a few months back that I first heard this band. Time has erased the actual song I heard from my memory, but the name stuck so I searched out this album. As I have been listening to my fair share of hardcore, metal and thus the combo package (crossover which is now metalcore you could say) I was anxious to hear this as the sound certainly does seem to have evolved from the same common gene pool. Before I go to far into this though I must say that after hearing this album I went back and listened to the group's 2010 album, "Monument", and my overall impression was that of a group that has gone slightly down the path instead of taking a logical step forward. Is it a bad album then? Well, given that it pumps out the same familiar metalcore/thrash that has been making the scene for the past 10+ years. Of the 13 tracks not one really stands out above the rest. Listening to one song by this group made me take notice, but as the album unfolded I tried to grasp hold of something original and was left sorely disappointed. "At Heart" sounds like a band trying too hard to stand above the crowd so instead they get trampled by it. Clean vocals, harsh vocals, breakdowns, etc etc etc...When it's hitting all the right dance moves it's beyond epic, but when it strolls along whistling a all too familiar tune...well, you get a band like Miss May I. Hopefully these guys get back on track and evolve some as this field is way too crowded already.

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Monday, August 20, 2012

Coven-Worship new gods

Shadow Kingdom

Not to be confused with the Seattle based thrash act or any of the other Covens this Michigan based act (AKA as Coven 13) self-released this album back in 1987. This is the first time it has been issued on CD. It's certainly a product of it's time or even earlier as incorporate sounds from bands from the ealry 70's un through the mid-80's. Tracks like "Riddle of steel" and "General's Eye" remind me of bands like Cirith Ungol and Manilla Road with a dash of Mercyful Fate."Wicked Day" is far more mellow affair with a slight NWOBHM influence."Ruler" is as close as Coven get to a classic metal anthem. "Burial Ground" calls upon early Candlemass only not quite as tight. "General's Eye" comes charging on and has an early Mercyful Fate feel. "Jail house" goes back even further sounding like very early NWOBHM with some early doom elements mixed in. "Threshold of the new" is rough and unfortunately a bit clunky with the music not quite on track and much of the vocals seem like the singer was trying to squeeze in as many words as he could. "Loki" kind of has odd off beat feel sort of like Brocas Helm, but towards the end it's like they just seem to be out of ideas and just let it fall apart. These guys had some real potential and I loved that they chose to follow bands they liked even if it wasn't in fashion at the time. At times they really capture a spontaneous feel in their sound that I love. However at other times like towards the end of this album they don't quite have their ideas fleshed out and they just come across as being sloppy. Mostly this is a decent outing even if it's not a real treasure. glad Shadow Kingdom gave us a chance to hear it.

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Sunday, August 19, 2012

Pagan Altar-The time lord


Cruz Del Sur/Shadow Kingdom

This is a re-issue of a release that originally came out in 2004, but the material goes back much further than that as two of these songs were recorded in 1978 and the other three were done in late 1980 or early 1981. This band gets thrown in with the NWOBHM scene. That's well enough due to the time and place they came from, but Pagan Altar were initially into early 70's proto-metal and then early doom. "Highway Cavalier" has a massive yet amazingly simple approach as it launches on sounding like Steppenwolf colliding with very early Motorhead. "The time lord" has the band following more of a winding path not far off from early Judas Priest as they stretch out the passages and the punchy rhythm section sets the pace. The sound still reflects a style that was done a number of years before this was recorded. However they do it justice and serve it up fresh. After this the next three tracks have the band settling into the doom sound that they were most known for. "Judgement of the dead" is a dark march that stays along one main tempo but the thumping bass and swirling guitar notes add depth to it. "The black mass" takes a few pages from early Black Sabbath's playbook, but Pagan Altar take it, twist and make it theirs. This song has a spontaneous feel to it like they were knocking out for the first time. Closing out the album is "Reincarnation" which is the longest most complex track offered up here. They step up the pace a notch and ride with it. Again they stick with a raw feel and excel at it. Pagan Altar created a powerful chapter in the book of doom metal, but they don't always get the notice they deserved. This re-issue has a different cover from the previous release. Even though I have heard some of these tracks before I was again in awe at how good this band could be.

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Saturday, August 18, 2012

The record store-Once upon a time

If you are of a certain age you probably spent some time at some point at your local record store. Whether that was an independent store or a chain store probably depends on your area although most areas probably some of both once upon a time. Now I am old, but I am not some old crotchety geezer that scowls at the digital format and says everything was better in my day. There are good things about both periods. My intention today is just to remember my local record store. I lived out in the country and the mall didn't pop up until 1987. Before that the big record in the county was a Sound Waves that wasn't that close, but I got to go there on occasion. They were typical of a non-mall chain store of the time. Everything very organized and tidy with posters of the latest pop releases on the walls, but they did have a pretty good metal selection on vinyl. In 1985 Curry's Music popped up closer to me This was an independent store in the true sense of the term. There were no uniforms and neatness in the store was relative. There weren't posters announcing the upcoming Moody Blues album, but instead there collage posters of Maiden, Dio and others as well as tapestries of Judas Priest and Black Sabbath tacked up on the walls. They burnt incense and played music regularly. On occasion it may be to promote a new release, but more often than not they put in 70's ZZ top, Motorhead or whoever they wanted to hear at the time. For workers it was one guy and a few occasional other workers. The owner was a thirty something guy who was into classic rock and metal. He was always quick with recommendations and everything he suggested that I bought was good. Between 1985 and 1986 he recommended albums by Loudness, King Kobra, Executioner, Grim Reaper and others to me and I loved all of them. He once ranted on about how good this band from Detroit called Halloween was and he even played me some of their cassette on the player he kept behind the counter. I was interested and asked him if he had a copy for sale and he said "no, the only copy I ordered was this one for me". Even at 15 I was able to realize at that moment that despite having a cool store maybe his priorities were not in  order for him to be a great businessman. That may be because he was indeed a fan of the music more than a businessman and that may be why the store only lasted a couple of years. However his interest in music and his willingness to have conversations about Slayer, Whiplash, Black n' Blue, Warrior, Armored Saint or whoever was the main reason I liked going there. Later there were some other stores where a conversation about the new Exodus album could be struck up with the guy working at the counter, but it was hit and miss. Curry's eventually couldn't compete when the mall stores popped up with their big selection and occasional sales so the little local record store went out. I enjoyed it while it was around and on occasion I like to remember the times I spent there.

**Did you have a local record store that you grew up going to?

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Forgotten Gems-Mystic Force-The Eternal Quest


Every state had and have their own hard rock and metal bands. I grew up in Maryland in the 80's and didn't really go to that many shows but knew of some local bands. KIX are likely the hard rock band most associated with my state from that time which is a shame because they really weren't that great, but people know them because they were on a major label and the local radio stations played them to death. I Child's Play were another mediocre hard rock band from the area that got some press. Far better than those two was metal act Wrathchild America (formerly Wrathchild) who knocked out two decent albums on Atlantic records before getting dropped and changing their name to Souls at zero. Twenty some years ago Wratchchild America would have been my favorite local metal act from back in the day. However there albums have not aged so well. They are still good, but flawed. Another band I heard back then who I like better know is Baltimore's Mystic Force. They formed back in 1983 and eventually knocked out a few demos, EPs and full length albums. Instead of following the  more popular trends of thrash or hair metal these guys went for the early progressive sound. Think early Queensryche, Mercyful Fate, Fates Warning, Iron Maiden and Crimson Glory. Now  "The Eternal Quest" includes a number of songs that appeared on previous demos, but it's a quite a few songs and it's a good representation of what this band was capable of. It shows a good variation of what they could do. "Shipwrecked with the wicked" is a flat out amazing tune that goes this way and that with more riffs than you can shake a stick at. "Temples of exiles" twists back and forth with vocals leading the way. "Another world" eases on with a late 80's Maiden vibe before gliding into a smooth flow. Mystic Force were tight in all areas and there is never a moment here where I felt like they missed and opportunity. They fill every second with sounds that make their songs more powerful and complete. Now they may be called progressive metal, but since they played the style year ago their brand of progressive metal pulled more on being heavy and less on trying to flash technical prowess. That last part is something that Mystic Force excelled out. These guys are back again these days playing shows in the area. It's a shame they never got discovered by a label that could give them the exposure they deserved, but if you never heard them that shouldn't stop you from tracking down some of their material and checking them out.

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Friday, August 17, 2012

Eldorado-Antigravity sound machine


I have enjoyed this band in the past and what I liked about them was their mix of influences and the ease with which they blended those influences. Their new album follows that approach. As with most every other album that's been sent to me over the last two weeks this one again still took me numerous spins before I could totally figure out what I felt about this album. "Maybe Forever" comes on sounding like early 90's hard rock with all attitude and grooves of that style, but the solo and the intensity towards the end of the track goes beyond the limitations of that style. "Mr. Saturn comes sliding on merging together some late 70's riffs that sound like they've been dragged through the 90's and into present day yet maintain some of the best elements of all those decades. "Like a lost child" emerges slowly with the rhythm section gradually leading the way. This song is minimal at times given the spread out beats and notes, but it really shows the power of this band's writing. "Another bright Sunday" has the band standing tall and spreading their energy around for all to witness.The rest continues on with Eldorado pulling from different sources and riding hard over all  they have to give. They mix grit, grooves and incorporate strong elements from numerous time periods into this tight little capsule of an album. Another job well done by Eldorado.

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Thursday, August 16, 2012

Current playlist

Listening to:
Mystic Force- The Eternal Quest (Forgotten Gems on this one coming soon. A good non-doom metal band from Maryland-that's rare.)
Powermad-Demo 1985 (I liked them better before they signed to a major label.)
Grand Magus-Iron Will ( I still go back and forth on these guys. Very hit and miss.)
High Tide-Sea Shanties (So very 60's.)
Lizzy Borden-Demo 1983 (Been a huge fan of theirs since Give 'em the axe and this demo rocks too.)
Viper-Soldiers of sunrise (Had not heard this in a while and it's way better than I remember it being.)
White Sister-s/t (I always go back and forth on this one too. I wished they'd picked either AOR or hard rock and gone all in one direction. Still decent enough.)
Fallen Angels-s/t (It kind of has a Hanoi Rocks sound so of course I like it a lot.)
Admiral Sir Cloudesley Shovell-Don't hear it...fear it! (Review posted the other day.)
Logan's Run soundtrack (It's always time for 70's sci-fi music.)

Welcome back Kotter season one (R.I.P-Ron Palillo)
The creature walks among us (as requested by my son)
Bones season one

various cookbooks and books on storage

***I'd like to extend prayers to the members, staff and families of Baroness who were in a bad bus crash in the UK yesterday.

****What are you listening to, reading  and or watching?

Blood of the black owl-Light the fires


Blood of the black owl are certainly one of those bands where I have to be in a certain mood to listen to them. I have enjoyed their work in the past, but firmly acknowledge that I have to be patient when sitting down to listen to them. The new album is no different because I have to sit back and let it soak in before passing judgement. This isn't straight forward at all. Blood of the black owl create vast landscapes of sound. They tend to get the progressive rock label slapped on them and that's totally off. Blood of the black owl don't just mix in nature sounds with the music, but instead the nature sounds guide much of their music. However this isn't just blowing a few flutes and shaking a couple of rattles, but instead they use numerous sounds and instruments to created the layers and textures of their creations.The sounds tend to be sparse and frequently trickle or drag along. The vocals are few in comparison with the total run time of the album, but when they happen it's done in a gruff manner and still stay secondary to the music. There are moments where I hope for the band to do more, but eventually they do. It's just that they get to where they are going at their pace and through their own route. That's where patience from the listener comes in. This album has it's share of tedious moments, but it has has more than it's share brilliant parts as well. The good far outweighs anything else on "Light the fires". This is an album where I wish I can turn down the lights, sit back and feel like I am far out in the woods looking up at the stars in the sky. However there is certainly a sinister undertone to much of the music as well. Not for everyone, but always a band whose albums I look forward to.

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Wednesday, August 15, 2012

All hail the yeti



So given the band name I was expecting something large, shaggy and mean. Does this band's music live up to those expectations? Well, yes and no. This LA based band have been around since 2006 and knocked out an EP a few years ago. The band has played around opening for a number of national acts including Fear Factory, Soulfly and others. The style here is thick and mostly leans towards metalcore with the vocals and simple yet heavy music being typical of that sound. They do touch on some slower moments as well. What I do like about this band is they mostly take a direct approach and aim to stomp you down early on. I can appreciate that. They take a few chances with mixing in some different tempos and make their music less predictable than it could have been. Okay, now there is a flipside to this. Although most of the songs have the coming out swinging they frequently settle in after that to more basic formulas and that's where they get dull at times. They do take some chances and show some hints of some diverse ideas yet they don't stick with these ideas very long. I am sure they uncertain about using them or they just prefer the safer approach. Either way I kept hoping for them to surprise and run with some different ideas and it didn't happen enough for my liking. There is some definite potential here and hopefully they keep exploring their sound and pushing forward.

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Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Admiral Sir Cloudesley Shovell-Don't hear it...fear it!


Metal Blade/Rise Above

This band decided to name themselves after a British Naval officer who lived in the 17th and 18th centuries. Their band name had me thinking of Sir Lord Baltimore. The sound isn't exactly the same as that, but it's in the ballpark or at least the right era. Think fuzzy, psychedelic tinged proto-metal is the sound that's at the core of Admiral Sir Cloudesley Shovell's madness. Think the usual suspects like Sabbath and Deep Purple, but also Budgie (that may explain the cover too), Dust, Buffalo and others from that late 60's-to early 70's period when playing heavy music was still in it's early stages and these bands were pioneers still figuring out hold to mold and control these sounds. This band captures that raw spirit and despite having definite influences they still channel their msuic in such a way that you feel like you exeperiencing this style for the first time. "Devil's Island" creeps on and stays below the surface for a while riding on a fuzz driven wave  before leaping up and running on the power of some immense grooves. "Red Admiral Black Sunrise" digs in a bit deeper than some of their other songs and shows how adventurous the band can be with both their writing and playing.
"The last run" hits like a storm yet still retains a great degree of flair as well. "Scratchin and sniffin'" assaults  your ears with a heavy attack yet the band shows their quirky side as well. Playing  heavy music inspired by great bands from forty some years ago isn't new.Those kind of releases come out frequently, but not everyone can put their stamp on this sound lik Admiral Sir Cloudesley Shovell do on "Don't hear it...fear it!". Even more than that they make it exciting because they are obviously having the time of their lives making this music and that feeling shows through in their sound. Well worth checking out.

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Sacred Oath-World on fire

Sacred Oath

Angel Thorne

Even though Sacred Oath have recorded more album since their reunion than they did in their first run in the 80's it seems like their debut is the point that I measure all of their other work by. That's because their debut really was that good. However "World on fire" is certainly my favorite album after the debut. The style isn't that far off from any of their other albums. They still like Maiden, early Queensyrche, 80's Crimson Glory and others. However they have expanded their writing a bit and tried to open up their playing even more. The production is slick, but not so much that it robs them of any heaviness. Many of the songs here manage to incoporate more pace changes than they have in the past. That is the main reason why this album stands out above some of their others. The standout tracks for me were "Sweet Agony", "Front Line" and "Drums of war". Sacred Oath are  band that for me have never missed on an album and that's considering the almost two decade gap between the first two albums and several line-up changes. Definitely a band that others could take some lessons from.

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Sunday, August 12, 2012

Fen-Of losing interest


Fen's new album isn't totally what I was expecting from them given their past. This album isn't quite as dark and leans towards more of a hard rock direction than their previous work. However it may be even more dynamic and engaging. Again they plunge into every track with plenty of confidence and ideas. The style still isn't easy to pin down nor are they predictable, but that's quite alright with me. They pull together elements of hard rock, metal, grunge and prog-rock. The best part of this album is that they integrate the above frequently and yet somehow it always works out. I could pick almost any song as a good example of their approach, but I suppose "The Glove" would be a prime example of their skills. At just three and a half minutes it's one of the shorter tracks here, but it feels like a ton of music pushed into that time frame without seeming bloated. I am amazed at the fluid motion in which they lead the various sounds forward without flinching. This approach also made for every song to seem very fresh even after multiple plays. Taking on different styles like this can be an ambitious undertaking, but pulling it off can be tough because you have to have the playing skills and really be comfortable with the styles. Fen do all that and more plus make it look easy and sound spectacular.

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Saturday, August 11, 2012

Worst hard rock/heavy metal band ever


I actually started this post off intending to talk about the worst hard rock/metal album of all time. When thinking along those lines some self-produced albums from inexperienced bands of recent years came to mind. As I started on that topic I thought about how one bad album from a band trying to scrape together to record it wasn't as big of a crime as a band with no talent who signed to major label or large independent and made a career out of recording crap.  A recent post on Facebook about Poison had me thinking about this topic. Who you think is the worst band ever likely depends on what genres of metal/hard rock you like the least. Maybe it's 80's hair metal fluff like Poison or Warrant or maybe it's  noisy death or black metal that sounds like the songs were written as the band played them or maybe it's some self-involved guitar wanker like Yngwie Malmsteen.

***Who do you think is the worst hard rock/metal band ever and why?

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Thursday, August 09, 2012

Gypsyhawk-Revelry and Resilience

Metal Blade

Seems like the everything I have tried to review lately has taken me a week or so to pin down what I think and get fingers over to the keyboard and hammer out my thoughts. This album is no exception to that recent trend. We have here the second album from Pasadena, California based classic metal/retro metal act Gypsyhawk. These guys combine a heavy dose of Thin Lizzy with a NWOBHM sound. The result is a sound that mixes the song grooves of prime mid-70's Thin Lizzy with a heavier drive. Bands like Slough Feg have been mixing those influences for years and to a lesser extent so have Bible of the devil. Despite all the influence Gypsyhawk manage to shine and put their own spin on this sound. Songs like the choppy yet heavy "Galaxy Rise", the deep cutting "Red Wedding", the ultra-smooth "Frostwyrm" and the boogie driven "Hedgeking" are all examples of what this band can do. Now when I saw the final track was a cover of "Rock and roll hoochie koo" I was afraid, very afraid. Yet they made it not just tolerable, but likable. Now remember back to the start of this review that coming with these thoughts took me a while so there is more here than just the kind of blind praise that some reviewers seem to be throwing at this band's feet. I like what they are doing, but this mix isn't anything new. The biggest flaw I found was they do get so caught up in the influences that they don't always make or take time to establish enough of their own sound. Some times they take hold and get some pieces in there that let me know who they are, but that didn't always happen. Normally they excel the most in say the final third of the songs. That's where they mix in some decent solos and instead of riding the song out they throw in some various blasts to let us know they are thinking about making these songs as complete as they can. It's that last factor that finally sold me on these guys after about dozen spins of this album. It's not perfect than some other bands doing the 70's vibe better, but Gypsyhawk are well on their way to being

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Current playlist

Listening to:


D.A.D.-No Fuel Left For The Pilgrims
Sledgehammer-Blood On Their Hands
Halestorm-The Strange Case Of....
Dead End-Dead End
Motörhead-Best Of Motörhead
Lion-Trouble In Angel City
Chelsea-Urban Kids: Punk Anthology
Lily Allen-It's Not Me It's You
Cro-Mags-Age Of Quarrel/Best Wishes
Depeche Mode-The Singles 86-98

The Humanoid

Latest issue of Outburst magazine

Metal Mark-

DOA-Something better change
Alien Force -Hell and high water
Anthrax-Fistful of metal and Demo 82
Gypsyhawk-Revelry and Resilience
The Aqua Velvets-Surf Mania
Firefly soundtrack
Overkill-Rotten to the core demo
Diamond Head-Borrowed Time
The Police-Synchronicity
Sentinel Beast-Depths of death

Laverne and Shirley season two
Logans Run the entire series

Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter

***What are you listening to, watching and reading?

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Tuesday, August 07, 2012

Reviews for suckas-White Lion:Big Game


white lion

Mr. T hasn't done one of these in a while partially because he has been recovering from the pain caused by listening to Operation Mindcrime 2 and Priest's Nostradamus. He's a tough guy so he was ready to get at it again. The earlier segments of this feature were hair metal and that's an easy target, but it's been a while since T tackled one of those albums so it was overdue. So this time he's taking on White Lion's third album the 1989 release "Big Game".

"Some times I miss the 80's. Then I remember worthless bands like White Lion and realize that there was a down side to that decade too. No talent fools with cotton candy hair got record contracts and their garbage was played on the radio. Look at some of the songs on "Big Game". "Goin' home tonight"? These guys are going to go home with lumps on their heads if I get a hold of them. "If my mind is evil"? Their minds were evil for writing this stupid junk and leaving it around for people to suffer from. "Let's get crazy"? These pathetic clowns are crazy if they think this sorry song counts as real music. "Don't say it's over"? It better be over because I can't take much more of these suckas and their boring jibba-jabba. There are probably people who work at Food Lion who could write better songs than White Lion did on this album. I pity the 80's fools who bought this worthless album."

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What if?

I remember as a kid enjoying the Marvel comic What if? because each issue examined a world where some element changed and it altered the whole story line and universe we knew. So on occasion I think about what if within the hard rock/metal world and wonder how a band would have been had something not happened the way it did. Here are a few I thought about.

What if Neil Turbin had stayed in Anthrax? History tells us Turbin was out after "Fistful of metal". Joey Belladonna came in, the musical style changed and they became very popular. I prefer Joey Belladonna to Neil Turbin. However "Fistful of metal" was a solid early thrash album and Turbin had a solid screaming style. I wonder what had Anthrax had been like had Turbin stayed and they followed the musical style of their debut. I am not sure they would have become has popular but I still think they would have been a major player in the thrash scene.

What if Fast Eddie Clark had stayed in Motorhead? Ah, those early Motorhead albums are respected and Fast Eddie was a huge part of that sound. Lemmy doesn't like talking about Fast Eddie leaving. I remember when that was a recent event, but now it's three decades ago, Motorhead are still going and Phil Campbell has been the band around five times longer than Clark was yet Clark's is still held in high regard. What if Clark had decided Motorhead was where he always wanted to be and he was content playing that style. The band has often received admiration and jokes about playing the same album over and over. Would that have still been the case had Clark stayed or he have pushed make some changes along the ways? We'll never know, but interesting to think of.

Now anyone who got into Metallica prior to 1988 probably wonders about various scenarios with this band.
What if Mustaine had stayed in the band? What if Cliff had lived? What if their forth LP picked up on the direction of Master of puppets?
Which ever question you go after they all kind of focus the fact that Metallica were hot early on and seem destined to be the next great metal act. However they with And justice for all the style went a direction that was more mellow than their previous albums. It opened them up to more fans and they became even more popular but many fans of their previous work had to wonder what might have been had they not changed so much and stayed heavier. Would Mustaine staying in the band altered this course? Not that Megadeth did everything right, but Mustaine contributed heavily to Metallica's early sound and he may have kept them on that course had he been in the band longer. Some fans think the band may have stayed with the MOP sound had Cliff not died. That probably depends on how great you think Burton's influence was on their sound.

***Feel free to comment on any of the above scenarios or add in your own what if situations.

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August Announcement

With August being a very busy month for me (more on that in a second) Metal Mark will be carrying the bulk of load like he used to. I will still try to pop in every now and then with a review or article, but family priorities must come first. With my younger brother and his family in town for two weeks it is important for me to have plenty of time with them. As they live on the west coast we only get together every now and then and considering the fact that my nine year old niece is here as well....well, let's just say a house with three kids does not leave a lot of free time! With my girlfriend flying in to town at the tail end of their visit for a few days and then the fact that I will be flying down there (Tenn.) to visit her a week later it is a crazy busy month! Don't even get me started on school starting back up! Being a single parent is hard enough as I'm sure many of you know. So, being that I carry the responsibility with little to no help even "normal" times in my life require a lot of give and take/balancing. As I said though I do hope to review an album or two in my spare time as music is life and life is music.

Saturday, August 04, 2012

Forgotten Gems-Blood Feast -Face Fate

blood feast

Despite some negative things I have said about 80's record label New Renaissance records I still end up picking quite a few of their acts to do on this feature. Many of the albums on that label suffered from poor production and limited distribution. It seemed to a black hole for bands in that they went in and signed for that label but no ever got very far after inking their names to a contract with New Renaissance. However they had some real talent including Medieval, Executioner, At War, Post Mortem, Holocross and Blood Feast. New Jersey's Blood Feast might be the most typical of that batch. Originally known as Blood Lust this band formed in 1985 but soon switched band names. After signing to New Renaissance they would release their debut "Kill for pleasure" in 1987.  They were on occasion referred to as an "East Coast Slayer". I wouldn't totally agree with that label since there is really only one Slayer, but Blood Feast certainly liked that style. "Kill for pleasure" was a decent album comprised to straight ahead thrash, but is suffered some from let's say not the greatest production job in the world. That same year they would release an EP. The EP includes one new track, a re-worked demo track and two re-worked songs from the debut. Even though it's only four songs and I had already heard two of them this is still the Blood Feast album that impressed me the most. The title track is perhaps the most aggressive song they ever took on. It's messy in spots, but it shows how this band could just go straight out and create a crushing attack. "Blood Lust" benefits from a strong, crisp riff and some insane vocals. "R.I.P" follows a manic pace and includes some sore throat style vocals that actually suit the music very well. The closer "Vampire" is a punchy, semi-fast thrasher that shows the bands ability to switch up the tempo but maintain a solid level of heaviness. This album is raw as were all of Blood Feast's albums, but this one definitely demonstrates the potential they had.

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Dog Days-Via Dolorosa

Downpour Creative

This was one of those weird suggestions that Facebook throws out every now and then to me. Or rather the band's CD release show was. Given that I had never heard of this Kent, Ohio band I did a quick google search and found out that A)They were listed as "metal" in more then one spot on the web and B)They are most certainly not "metal", but rather street hardcore. The band's own Facebook page had a link to bandcamp (see below) where you could get a download of this album for free. Why not I figured? The band looks to be a five piece (from their Facebook page) and this 11-track album (that is just over 36 minutes in length) seems to be their debut album. If I'm mistaken then....well, I'm mistaken. No hard no foul. Seems as if this was laid to tape at Engine Room Recording and, as stated, this is so street-level hardcore. It's raw, real and nice and gritty. The band throws in little bits of punk and metal, but on the whole this is good old fashioned punch you in the nose hardcore. Certainly worth downloading if your looking for something a bit more mean and angry then what's being served to us in the name of "hardcore" these days.

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Friday, August 03, 2012

Forgotten Gems: Assault-Survival In The Street

Scratch Records

Who says Annihilator is the only game in town when it comes to epic speed metal/thrash? That "town" being Canada as it were. Sure, you did have Annihilator (formed in 1984) and of course Anvil (formed in 1981 although they have always been more power metal to me), but there was another "A" band. The year was 1985 and this four piece band (from Vancouver, British Columbia to be exact) hit the scene running with their debut demo called (of all things) "Demo". After another demo, "Heavy Justice" (1986), the band would release this album in 1987. Other then one more demo ("Slow Painful Death" in 1988) this is what the listening public had to go by and boy, is it ever an album to go by! Speed metal 101. Just by looking at that sweet album art you know your in for a glorious treat, but who could even imagine just how good this album is for speed metal fanatics? Let's get the obvious out of the way first. This one is rare are right. People kill to get copies. Is it worth causing bodily harm for? Well, no. It is not perfect. There are few slight flaws. Some of it sounds a bit to alike for it's own good. However, this is not a bad thing if the similar sound is good like this. Also, this is speed metal that has only a hair's worth of thrash in it. Instead it features an almost classic hard rock/metal influx. Let me explain. The one track, "Shuffle Of To Buffalo", sounds like a bluesier Motörhead if Motörhead had been influenced by Thin Lizzy. It's odd alright. Also, there are two "alright" tracks in "I.C.U.C." and "Misery". These two tracks seem to lack a bit of that extra punch that the other album cuts have. Does it make a word of difference to the overall feel of the album? Not in the least. When you open with the killer "Survival In The Street " and end up wrapping this bad boy up with the insane "Let The Beast Run Wild" it is most certainly easy to overlook two decent tracks and one off-kilter number. Best things about Assault were vocalist Russel Dunaway (nice high vocals that just screamed "metal!"), drummer Ray Hartmann (who has played in a who's who list of bands) and guitarist Jeff Zgaljic (this guy can shred!). Honestly though even bass maniac Ams Prasad handles himself well. The band in general has their act down and plays with this wonderful sense of controlled reckless abandon (if that makes sense) and urgency while also understand that it all comes from (or started out as) rock. Hear a little Van Halen in a few of the songs? Some Thin Lizzy? A little Judas Priest/Iron Maiden appreciation? Yeah, it is there and that makes things all the more interesting. This is one of those albums where you listen to it and then think "man, I can't wait to hear how they evolved on their next album" only to find out they were a one and done deal. What happened to them? Well, after their drummer left to join Annihilator (after this album) maybe they lost a little of the magic? Maybe they just couldn't keep it together? I'd love to find out for sure if anyone knows any of the band members send me a note. Also, not positive but I believe this was never issued on CD. You can find the download online though. Speed metal fans would do well to hunt this down if even just for mp3 files. Assault were a good band who could have been great if they could have just held on a bit longer. Too bad, but at least we have this little diamond in the rough.

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Thursday, August 02, 2012

Altar Of Oblivion-Salvation

Shadow Kingdom Records

Say what you will about me (and trust me, plenty has been said about me already folks!), but I am truly a sucker when it comes to the dollar CD boxes at my local used record/CD store. No names please (why should they get a free plug when they don't carry any CDs by my girlfriend's favorite band, Cowboy Mouth?), but said store does do me a solid every now and then. On today's outing (to trade in a little of this and a little of that-mostly misc. items that my kids wanted to trade really) I was able to pick up this 30 minute EP from Danish epic/doom metal band Altar Of Oblivion. Getting this (relative speaking) new EP (as well as "Hardcore Hooligan" by The Business) for $1.00 was a nice surprise. Granted I had no idea what exactly as I was getting as the name was somewhat familiar, but I couldn't quite place it. Given that it was on Shadow Kingdom Records well, right there the fact is maybe it an easier selling point to me. I have a great deal of respect for Shadow Kingdom Records. So, I paid the $1.00 for this (along with the dollar for The Business and a few extra dollars spent on some AC/DC and Mother Love Bone CDs) and walked on out to my car. Of course having the kids with me meant no "real" heavy metal until I got home. So, instead of checking this little nugget out it was some AC/DC for the ride home. Slipping this into my CD player then (while I cleaned up my bedroom) my first thought was "well, isn't this some nice Candlemass worship going on" followed by the thought "Mik Mentor is one inconsistent lead singer". The thing is neither point really kept me from turning the EP off or thinking that my dollar bill had been wasted. Instead, I felt like my dollar had been well spent. I also realized that I had heard the band before at some point in time. One of the songs on this EP really struck a cord. Weird. Besides an obvious love for bands like Candlemass (and Black Sabbath and St. Vitus) the band does dip their collective toes into traditional heavy metal which means this doom isn't 100% pure doom. That is fine by me as pure doom is well....kind of a doom downer sometimes. Not all the times mind you, but now and then even I get a little depressed from the constant onslaught of post-Sabbath riffs that these sort of bands like to unleash. While this is not the group's latest release (that honor falls upon "Grand Gesture Of Defiance") it does seem to be a fairly good representation of the group's overall skill from most accounts. While this Danish epic/doom band does not yet possess all the needed skills to take that extra step forward there is enough about the band to enjoy if your into this sort of thing. Certainly worth the price I paid!

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Current Playlist

Here you go.


Listening to:

Shellshock-Screaming For Metal
Chainsaw-Hell's Burnin' Up
Proud-Fire Breaks The Dawn
Young Blood-Transfusion
Moody Blues-Legend Of A Band
The Stooges-Raw Power
Desperate Oates- Burning Alive, 7"
Century Media-Century Family Summer Sampler
Heart-The Essential Heart
Holocaust-Spirits Fly
Truffle-The Bacon Slicer Strikes Again
Doro-Under My Skin

Silver Hawk
The Dark Knight Rises
Inspector Lewis Series

Mystery Cats

Metal Mark-

Listening to:
Hanoi Rocks-some or all of every album
Shooting Gallery-s/t
Michael Monroe-Not fakin' it
Baroness-Yellow and green
Doro-Under my skin
Blood Feast-Face fate
Dragon-Scream of death
Kublai Khan-Rape, pillage and destroy
Mystic Force-Take command

Laverne and Shirley season one
Blood from the mummy's tomb

various cookbooks and Superman comic books

****What are you listening to, reading and watching?

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Baroness-Yellow and Green



This is the album I have given the most spins during the last week or two. Yet I still struggle to pin down how I felt about it up until recently. Over the last couple of years Baroness have gotten a lot of credit and a fair amount of hype. Some of that was deserved and other times I felt they hadn't quite done enough to deserve the status that others felt they deserved so early in the game. The descriptions of their music has varied some. The reason behind that is likely that they dove into various styles including stoner-rock, progressive and various metal elements. On this album they touch on all of the above plus they bring in more psychedelic elements as well. This album was a lot to digest as it clocks in around 75 minutes. Not just the length of the album that required consideration but the amount of sounds that are brought into play on this album as a unit. My first thoughts are that is album is their most adventurous and varied to date, but it's also the least metal of their releases. That last part may scare some people and it initially had me hesitant about where they were going here, but don't let that be the case. This album is not exactly where I thought they'd go with this album, but eventually I appreciated what they are doing here. The extra length to the album is due to there being a yellow half and a green half. I really don't feel like the two have widely different sounds on personalities. Instead they just blend together and feel like part of the same album and some of the songs even sound more than a little similar. Yet it never really gets old because the majority of the songs are easy to get into. Some people may see this album as accessible to an extent. I wouldn't argue that statement, but it's actually a plus in this case. Mellow is a term that may get attached to their work here at least in comparison to their other work. Yet as I here tracks like "March to the sea", "Sea lungs", "Collaps" and "Stretchmarker" I can only admire how tight these guys have become. What amazes me the most on this album is their skill at putting so many parts and tempo changes into relatively short songs. This wasn't the album I expected, but I am not going to argue with the results because "Yellow and green" is an album that has dominated my CD player the past couple of weeks. I can't argue that and even though this wasn't the style I figured they would follow it's still an overwhelmingly stellar album that eventually had me hooked..

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Wednesday, August 01, 2012


Formed in 1979, More (an interesting if unspectacular name) were a fairly straight-forward hard rock/heavy metal outfit that released two full-length albums and a few singles before calling it a day. Nothing remarkable can be said about the band other then perhaps the fact that the band featured the original lead vocalist of Iron Maiden, Paul Mario Day, on their debut album "Warhead". In fact the band is hardly mentioned at all when discussions turn to the NWOBHM era and what it meant. The sad part about that is the fact that I, like many before me and many now I fear, waited far too long to do a proper search of the group with the end result being that I missed out on what just might be one of the best NWOBHM albums that most people have never heard. "Blood & Thunder" (Atlantic Records, 1982) saw the addition of a new vocalist, Mick Stratto, and a more mature sound. Trying to describe that sound is a bit of a complication. More, more then anything, sound like a fine mixture of classic rock and hard rock/heavy metal. AC/DC comes to mind as does a heavier Kiss (if Kiss had been influenced by Judas Priest) and even classic bands like maybe Cream, but being a NWOBHM act there are obviously those trademarks as well (shredding guitars for one thing) that made the movement so fun to begin with. Before I actually heard the band I had read some reviews online where Raven was brought up. Connecting More and Raven is a bit of a stretch although both do have that very basic, no-frills hard and heavy undertone to their music. More though are not as frantic and sound more rooted in the hard rock/classic rock of the seventies (UFO maybe?) without ever sounding dated. "Blood & Thunder" is a rocker of an album and overall just an enjoyable LP for when your looking for foot-stomping hard rock like AC/DC. It's a shame the band's career was so short and that more people don't know about this cult little band. Hopefully this article will inspire some of you to check the band out. Both albums have been re-released with improved sound and are worth adding to a NWOBHM collection.

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