Great Metal Albums of 1986: 3rd Stage Alert

One cool think about Metal Sister Stacy when I knew her back in the 1980s was that she could always find new metal bands which few people had heard of. It’s her I have to thank for introducing me to Virgin Steele and Kreator to name just the ones that come to mind. Plus, it was her albums which the Metal Sisters Compilation Tape was made from. As you know, one of those songs was “The Stranger” by 3rd Stage Alert. While their EP came out in late 1984, I didn’t hear of them until I was sent that tape two years later and now, I’ve finally got around to listening to the six song EP.

First of all, there is absolutely nothing wrong with the album, all songs are played very competently. Dave Drury is a decent enough singer and the rhythm section is as good as any. Furthermore, I am very impressed with the lead guitar work of Al Morris as he lays down some cool solos. The songs are good enough as well, the problem is that there is no ‘blow me away’ factor on the album. If I owned this album on cassette back then or CD now, it would go into my rotation but it wouldn’t be one that I would play, say on the way to a concert for extra motivation.

I think the reason why the Metal Sisters recorded “The Stranger” on the tape because it was the first one on the EP. While all the songs are good, there isn’t a stand out, track until track four, “Take That Jump.” That is the best song on the EP, with some good riffing and good backing vocals to accompany Dave and a cool guitar solo from Al. Yes, definitely, ” Take That Jump” is the hidden gem here.

Track Listing:

  1. The Stranger
  2. Steppin’ Out
  3. Superstar
  4. Take That Jump
  5. Adagio (For a Dead Soldier)
3rd Stage Alert

80sMetalman Theory: If Metal Blade Records had taken the time to grow the band, then 3rd Stage Alert would have gone on to achieve greater glories. The potential certainly was there as shown in this EP and if given the chance, could have matured into a great band. Unfortunately, they got lost in the ‘also rans’ of the many metal bands in the 1980s.

Next post: Another great save from Boppinsblog. The reason I couldn’t find the Ded Engine songs from the tape to put on the last post was because I had spelled their first name correctly. The above is how the band actually spelled their name. Therefore, the next post will be their debut album and we’ll get to see if they actually do sound like Judas Priest with a head cold.

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3 Responses to “Great Metal Albums of 1986: 3rd Stage Alert”

  1. Sounds period-perfect to me! Looking forward to stuff Priest lol

    Liked by 1 person

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