Archive for the Uncategorized Category

Great Metal Albums of 1986: David Lee Roth- Eat’Em and Smile

Posted in Uncategorized on July 12, 2020 by 80smetalman


David Lee Roth’s “Eat’em and Smile” gets the 80smetalman award for the funnest album of 1986. This was an album that kick-started many a party and was just a great listen when driving in the car. Not the manic power chords I was normally getting my ears pounded by but all the ingredients of a good metal album are all there. Plus, the best thing about it was that, for me, it was a very uncomplicated album. Just listen and enjoy.

The smartest move Dave made when making this album was to get a magnificent band behind him, especially the strings section comprising of Billy Sheehan on bass and Steve Vai on guitar. Both of these men brought their impressive reputations and talents with them. I was already familiar with Vai’s guitar work with Frank Zappa and he produces the same great work for Dave. He does belt out more than a couple of great guitar solos. However, he  also provides guitar hooks galore on all the songs, which in themselves, make the album so brilliant. As for Billy, I had seen him plastered over many a rock magazine in the year leading up to this album and when I first listened to it, I did so with the idea of determining if his talents lived up to the hype. They most certainly do. Additionally, he and drummer Greg Bissonette make a formidable rhythm section.

Of course, it wouldn’t be a David Lee Roth album without Diamond Dave. His charisma and vocal talents are all over the album. Dave is the main reason why “Eat’em and Smile” is such a fine album. It’s almost as if he was taking full advantage of the freedom of being on his own.

As for the songs, normally, I tend not to pick the big single from any album as my favorite track but “Yankee Rose” is just too good to be anything else in my eyes. The zany video on MTV which first introduced me to the song had a lot to do with it. Furthermore, another track released as a single, “Goin’ Crazy” is another track which stands out. Maybe Dave or the record company was thinking of me when they released them as singles. But don’t worry, there is a hidden gem and for me, that is “Elephant Gun” with “Big Trouble” coming a close second. No matter what song you pick, there is not one here I would call filler on this fantastic album.

Track Listing:

  1. Yankee Rose
  2. Shy Boy
  3. I’m Easy
  4. Ladies Night in Buffalo
  5. Goin’ Crazy
  6. Tobacco Road
  7. Elephant Gun
  8. Big Trouble
  9. Bump and Grind
  10. That’s Life

David Lee Roth

dlr band

David Lee Roth and band

David Lee Roth- vocals

Steve Vai- guitar, horn arrangement on track 3

Billy Sheehan- bass, backing vocals

Greg Bissonett- drums, backing vocals on track 3

Additional Musicians

Jeff Bova- keyboards, track 1

Jesse Harms- keyboards, track 5

Sammy Figueroa- percussion, track 5

The Walters Family- backing vocals track 10

The Sydney Sharp Strings- strings on track 10

Jimmie Haskell- horn and strings arrangement, track 10

 Tempted to make another Steve Lukather joke here.

The biggest effect Dave’s “Eat’em and Smile” album had on the music world was to fan the flames of the Roth v Van Halen debate. Debates would take place all over the world in 1986 and beyond as to which was the better album between this one and Van Halen’s “5105.” From my perspective, it was advantage Roth.

Next post: King Kobra- Thrill of a Lifetime

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Great Metal Albums of 1986: Lizzy Borden- Menace to Society

Posted in Uncategorized on July 8, 2020 by 80smetalman


When metalheads could no longer rely on radio or MTV for news of new metal releases, even before 1986, they searched record stores and relied on discoveries by friends and acquaintances in order to learn of offerings from metal bands. Thinking about it, metal magazines such as “Hit Parader,” (I didn’t call it Motley Crue Magazine this time), also were a great source of information. However, it was through a friend of a friend as to how I learned of the album, “Menace to Society” from Lizzy Borden. I had heard of this band before then but never explored them to this point.

Lizzy Borden typified the LA metal scene at the time. Bands were coming out of that great metal city thick and fast and  Lizzy Borden was among them. There were many more never discovered but that’s a story for another time. The problem is that with so much metal albums around at the time, in order to get recognized, it had to be an album from a well known band, or an up and coming band had to open for such a band on tour or have a great, kick ass album. While, “Menace to Society” is a good solid metal album, it doesn’t stand out with some of the classics of the time.

What Lizzy Borden brought to the table with this album was a good core metal album and a typical glam metal image which was also getting lots of notoriety in 1986. I didn’t give two sh*ts about image, usually. Listening again after so many years, one can’t fault the musicianship and commitment of this band. Starting at the base, the rhythm section of Mike Davis (bass) and Joey Scott Harges (drums) is as good as any. Likewise, Gene Allen and Alex Nelson are very good guitarists. The rhythm guitars on “Menace to Society” make the rhythm section that much better but with the added bonus that both of them can shred when called on to do so. At the top of the pile is lead singer Lizzy Borden, yes that’s the name he goes by here. His vocals fit the sound really well. I’ll will say that he’s not quite a Gillan, Dio, Coverdale, Snider, Meine etc but he’s not far below them either.

Now you are wondering about the songs on the album. From my viewpoint, the best tracks all fall in between tracks two and six. While I won’t take anything away from the others, it is those five tracks which showcase the band’s talents the best. Of those tracks, while not too easy to choose, it wasn’t that tough to choose the best track on the album. That award goes to “Bloody Mary” with it’s slow, enticing intro before blowing into a solid burning song with some cool guitar solos. However, the band released “Ultra Violence” as the single which got nowhere. I don’t think it even got played on the late Saturday night radio show, “Metal Shop.” It was a good track too.

Track Listing:

  1. Generation Aliens
  2. Notorious
  3. Terror of the Town
  4. Bloody Mary
  5. Stiletto
  6. Ultra Violence
  7. Love Kills
  8. Brass Tactics
  9. Ursa Minor
  10. Menace to Society


Lizzy Borden

Lizzy Borden- vocals

Alex Nelson- guitars, backing vocals

Gene Allen- guitars

Mike Davis- bass

Joey Scott Harges- drums

The million dollar question here is: Was Lizzy Borden one of those many bands who were just not fortunate enough to catch a big break? Maybe if they had supported one of the ‘big boys’ on a tour in 1986 things might have worked out different. Judging from the “Menace to Society” album, they certainly had the potential.

Next post: David Lee Roth- Eat’em and Smile

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Rest in Peace Charlie Daniels

Posted in Uncategorized on July 7, 2020 by 80smetalman


Charlie Daniels

The first year of the new decade continues to suck as it is my sad duty to report the death of Charlie Daniels. Charlie was the lead singer of the Charlie Daniels band, whose most famous hit was “The Devil Went Down to Georgia.” However, he had a good many songs and albums, some of which were posted about here. What I loved about his music back in the late 1970s and early 80s was how he was able to so skillfully tread the tightrope between country and rock music and giving a unique sound to what was identified as Southern Rock. Therefore, without any further babbling, Rest in Peace Charlie!


Charlie Daniels Band

And here are two of my favourite Charlie Daniels songs:

The Devil has truly gone down to Georgia. R.I.P. Charlie!


















































Great Metal Albums of 1986: Accept- Russian Roulette

Posted in Uncategorized on July 5, 2020 by 80smetalman


Keeping with my newly established tradition of posting albums from bands I’ve seen live together in conjunction with each other is why this post is Accept’s “Russian Roulette” album. In 1986, I saw Accept open for Dio when Dio came back around to promote the “Intermission” album. Let me say that I was totally impressed with Accept and since this was the only time I’ve seen them live, I would love to see them live again. They were that good!

Have you ever listened to an album over the years and while you thought it was a good album, then you listened to it that one time and realized that the album is f*cking brilliant? I had that experience last year when I listened to this album last year while driving to a weekend away for one of my step-granddaughter’s birthdays. To be honest, it was the 2014 re-issue with three bonus live tracks but still, even without those tracks, “Russian Roulette” just kicks ass.

One reason why I love this album so much is that I struggle to pick out a favourite track on it. No matter what track I listen to, the next one is just as good and that’s what you want from any album. I can’t even pick out that many highlights on it because the songs hold their own so much, but I can try. Take for instance the title cut, if I didn’t have the album case by my side when I listened to it, I would have thought the title was “War Games.” That one, along with the opener are both anti-war songs and with Germany being the likely starting point for any armed confrontation between the US and USSR back in 1986, I can see why they might be a bit anti-war.

As much as I enjoyed Accept’s live performance, my friend wasn’t so impressed. He stated that they sounded too much like AC/DC. I do agree that there is an AC/DC influence in the songs on “Russian Roulette,” but I will not call Accept AC/DC clones. There is enough of a unique sound to say that they are truly their own band. Besides, I can detect a bit of Scorpions influence as well in the song, “Aiming High.” Maybe it was because lead singer Udo Dirkschneider has a high pitched vocal similar but not identical to Bon Scott and Brian Johnson. Still, the band behind Udo is superb in their playing. Love the guitar solo on “Heaven is Hell.”

Track Listing:

  1. TV War
  2. Monsterman
  3. Russian Roulette
  4. It’s Hard to Find a Way
  5. Aiming High
  6. Heaven is Hell
  7. Another Second To Be
  8. Waling in the Shadow
  9. Man Enough to Cry
  10. Stand Tight


Udo Dirkschneider- vocals

Wolf Hoffmann- guitars

Jorg Fischer- guitars

Peter Baltes- bass

Steffan Kaufmann- drums


If I were to re-make my top fifteen albums list, “Russian Roulette” by Accept would definitely be on it. This is a fantastic album, it’s just a shame it took me more than thirty years to realize it. I would love the opportunity to see them live again.

Next post: Lizzy Borden- Menace to Society

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Great Rock Albums of 1986: Dio- Intermission

Posted in Uncategorized on July 1, 2020 by 80smetalman


In an interview with Ronnie James Dio a year after this live album, “Intermission,” was released, he stated that he never wanted to put out a live album like this. Instead of the six song mini- album which is “Intermission,” he wanted to release a double live album. That’s what many fans, like me, were hoping for at the time and therefore, many were disappointed at this one.

While “Intermission” might have been a disappointment to many Dio fans, I must say that it’s not at all bad. It could be said that he chose the right six songs to feature on the album but with me, any Dio song could have been put here and I would have been thrilled, especially if was recorded live. Having seen Dio five times, (only four at the time of this album’s release), I can attest to how  absolutely dynamite they are live.

Because the album was recorded during the “Sacred Heart” tour, the opener of that album, “Kings of Rock and Roll” opens here. It is a decent song as far as openers go but I think that Dio knew that they already had a great opening song and that’s why when I saw them for the fifth time a year later on the “Dream Evil” tour, they went back to opening with “Stand Up and Shout.”

The next track represents one flaw with “Intermission.” It doesn’t have the continuity of their live performances from the tour. I have firm memories of the classic, “Rainbow in the Dark” being played at the encore. While the song is great no matter what position it’s played in, it does contradict my concert memories. If fact, the third track here, “Sacred Heart,”was played before the band’s first exit from the stage and subsequent encore. In other words, at concerts, “Sacred Heart” came before “Rainbow in the Dark.”

In an effort to introduce new guitarist, Craig Goldy, who replaced the fired Vivian Campbell on the tour, the band recorded, “Time to Burn.” You know, because I hadn’t listened to “Intermission” for a couple of decades, I had completely forgotten about this track. I couldn’t even remember if they played it live when I saw them in live when they came around on tour for this album. Thankfully, modern technology allows me to go back into history and I found that they did. That’s the thing, “Time to Burn” is an all right song and it does showcase Craig’s talents on the guitar, but it pales in comparison with many of the other Dio classics. This particular live show was recorded and it took place in June, 1986 at the Philadelphia Spectrum and I was there! The concert appears in “Rock and Roll Children.”

Also played live before “Rainbow in the Dark” but appearing as the penultimate track on the album was the medley of “Rock and Roll Children,” “Long Live Rock and Roll” and “Man on the Silver Mountain.” It sounds good on the album but I remember it sounding much better live.

Both the album and live performances end with the classic, “We Rock” from “The Last in Line” album. This particular song was used as the show closer on three tours, so that tells you all you need to know about what a great song “We Rock” is.

Track Listing:

  1. Kings of Rock and Roll
  2. Rainbow in the Dark
  3. Sacred Heart
  4. Time to Burn
  5. Rock and Roll Children/Long Live Rock and Roll/Man on the Silver Mountain
  6. We Rock


Ronnie James Dio- vocals

Vivian Campbell- guitar solos

Jimmy Bain- bass

Claude Schnell- keyboards

Vinnie Appice- drums

Craig Goldy- guitar on “Time to Burn” rhythm guitar overdubs on the live tracks

I put this video in because it shows the famous mechanical dragon.

“Intermission” isn’t a bad album, it’s not even a bad live album. However, with so much great material from three studio albums and Dio’s stints with Rainbow and Black Sabbath, it didn’t satisfy the pubic’s desires. A double live album would have been much better.

Next post: Accept- Russian Roulette

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Great Metal Albums of 1986: Exodus- Bonded by Blood

Posted in Uncategorized on June 28, 2020 by 80smetalman


My first experience of Exodus was seeing them live in support of Anthrax in 1986. I quoted my reaction to them through the characters in “Rock and Roll Children” because like them, I was “amazed that mortal men could play so fast.” The speed and ferocity which they played took thrash to a whole new plane in my view. Therefore, for me, it was a no brainer that I get their debut album, “Bonded by Blood.”

If I were to break down each song individually, I would simply be repeating myself each time. Though in this case, that’s not a bad thing. Each song is one big mosh party in it’s own right. One could pick out any song on the album and it would have me bouncing around the room at 250 mph trying to put holes in the wall.

However, to quell one myth many non-metal people believe about metal in general, no two songs sound exactly the same. There are some points that I notice in individual songs which are noteworthy. First one is the way guitarists Gary Holt and Rick Hunolt trade off guitar solos on the song which bears the band’s name. They do this quite a bit throughout the album, but it’s the most noticeable on this track. The ‘slowest’ song, (it’s played at Metallica speed), is “And Then There Were None.” Slowest it may be, bit it’s still capable of making your eardrums bleed if played at the right volume.

What really surprised me with the song, “A Lesson In Violence” was that it doesn’t seem to have come onto the radar of the PMRC back in the day. You might have thought that there would be a major outcry over lyrics which went:

I’ll teach a lesson in violence you won’t soon forget

The pleasure of watching you die is what I will get.

There are also lyrics about stabbing someone in the throat further along in “A Lesson in Violence,” so I am very surprised that it didn’t make it onto the PMRC’s hit list. It is probably a good reason why it’s my pick for best track on “Bonded by Blood.”

Like I said, I would just be repeating myself if I went through each song but there are some great highlights. For one, “Metal Command” has a cool guitar solo and “Piranha” has a good drum and rhythm guitar intro on it. It also ends with a cool mosh part after another cool guitar solo trade off. One trick which many a thrash band did on their albums was to have a song which lures you into thinking it’s going to be a gentler song on account of an acoustic intro before blasting your ears. “No Love” gets that treatment on this album. Again, in this case, it’s a good little change up on the album that sets the album up for the remaining ear blasting tracks to close this album.

Track Listing:

  1. Bonded By Blood
  2. Exodus
  3. And Then There Were None
  4. A Lesson in Violence
  5. Metal Command
  6. Piranha
  7. No Love
  8. Deliver Us to Evil
  9. Strike of the Beast


Paul Baloff- vocals

Gary Holt- guitar

Rick Hunolt- guitar

Rob McKillop- bass

Tom Hunting- drums


Exodus, Bloodstock 2013

I got the chance to see Exodus again at Bloodstock in 2013 and I can say, if anything, they were even more fearsome than when I had seen them 27 years earlier. “Bonded By Blood” is the album that started it for them and it made Exodus a force to be reckoned with in the thrash metal world.

Next post: Dio- Intermission

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Great Metal Albums of 1986: Vow Wow- III

Posted in Uncategorized on June 24, 2020 by 80smetalman


One thing I will never do is to get into any debates or comparisons between Loudness and Vow Wow. True, both bands are Japanese and both play heavy metal but both bands do so in totally different styles and they do it in those styles very well. Another difference is that it appears that while Loudness made it bigger in the US, Vow Wow had better success in the UK. I had never heard of them before I got to these shores and when I did, I was very grateful for doing so.

For some bizarre reason, I never paid notice to their first two albums but I made up for it with their third, simply titled, “III.” It is here where the different styles between the two Japanese giants come into play. Vow Wow use keyboards in their sound and use the keyboards very well. After the belter of an opener in “Go Insane,” the keyboards make themselves known on the second track, “Shot in the Dark.” (It’s nothing like the Ozzy song of the same name.) They keyboards provide a nice little melody before the guitar, bass and drums coming blasting in. Though the chorus of the song is quite melodic and Kyoji Yamamoto lays down a wicked guitar solo.

One song where all the instruments and vocals all come together in unison very well is “Running Wild.” Everyone seems to shine through on this song and I really take notice of the vocals of Genki Hitomi. He proves here just how good of a singer he really is. “Shock Waves” has a really cool piano intro and is the first power ballad on the album. But one song which really stands out is “Nightless City.” It could be said that it’s ten years too late because when I listen to it, I am sure that it could have been a 70s Yes or Emerson, Lake and Palmer progressive rock tune, only much harder rock. It’s scary but in a good way.

“Nightless City” isn’t the only song that has me thinking retro.  The penultimate track, “You Got It Made” could have been a Deep Purple song in their more progressive rock mode. It reminds me a little of “Burn.” However, if you want more hard rocking Deep Purple, then I would suggest, “Doncha Wanna Cum (Hangar 15).” This song reminds me of the DP classic, “Black Knight.” Even Yamamoto’s guitar solo on it smacks of Ritchie Blackmore.

Now before anyone says that Vow Wow were simply Deep Purple wannabees, the rest of the album proves otherwise. “Stay Close Tonight” is a great, in your face, metal tune. Still, the best track on the album is saved for the end. Second power ballad,”Pains of Love” for me is a belter of one. If my Swiss cheese memory hadn’t failed me, it would have made my top 30 power ballads list a few years back. It is the best way to end this album.

Track Listing:

  1. Go Insane
  2. Shot in the Dark
  3. Running Wild
  4. Shock Waves
  5. Doncha Wanna Cum (Hangar 15)
  6. Nightless City
  7. Signs of the Times
  8. Stay Close Tonight
  9. You Go It Made


Vow Wow

Genki Hitomi- vocals

Kyoji- Yamamoto- guitars

Kenji Sano- bass

Rei Atsumi- keyboards

Toshihiro Niimi- drums

Vow Wow proved that Japanese metal wasn’t a token one band nation and that island could contribute some great metal to the world. The album “III” cements it.

Next post: Exodus- Bonded by Blood

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Great Metal Albums of 1986: Corrosion of Conformity- Animosity

Posted in Uncategorized on June 20, 2020 by 80smetalman


It’s amazing how bands can change over the years. I didn’t get the chance to see North Carolina based Corrosion of Conformity until Bloodstock, 2016. If I was never to have listened to their second album, “Animosity,” until after I had seen them live, I would not have thought that this was the same band. Reason being, was that this album was pure thrash metal.


Corrosion of Conformity establishing their dominance- Bloodstock, 2016

“Animosity” assaults your ear drums in a pleasant way from the very start. Opening song, “Loss for Words,” would get a mosh pit started anywhere in the world. The second track, “Mad World,” which is one of my favourite tracks on the album, would keep that mosh pit going and there would be casualties galore from it. On a sad note, if the powers the be get their way, mosh pits could become a thing of the past.

What I like about track three, “Consumed,” is that the band show that they could play. I love how the song starts with the guitar/bass trade off, but that doesn’t take away any of the ferocity which features in the music. There’s a cool guitar solo on it as well.  “Holier” is a mosh pit worthy song which at the same time, pokes fun at fundamentalist religion. Anything that does that gets three thumbs up from me.

When I listen to “Positive Outlook,” I get a hint of Suicidal Tendencies influence in the song with the way it changes tempo back and forth and the vocals of Mike Dean do sound a little like Mr Muir, whom he shares his first name with. I don’t know if “Prayer” is meant to be another piss take of religion because the song goes at 750 mph. This song might be good to put on a personal stereo of any sprinter because I think it would make them win gold at the Olympics if they were to hear listen to it while running.

Woody Weatherman gets to show his guitar talents off on “Intervention.” His lead intro on the song is rather interesting and just when you expect him to rip other speeding guitar solo, he slows it down. If you blink too much, you will miss the tracks, “Kiss of Death” and “Hungry Child” as both songs are a minute and a half or less. However, that’s long enough for both songs to kick your ass. “Animosity” ends with the title track, which is also the longest song on the album, coming in at four minutes and sixteen seconds. Except for the scream at the beginning, the song is pretty much and instrumental with some good individual musicianship and some changes which keep you on your toes while listening. Overall, the album is only twenty-six minutes long but you it is twenty-six minutes of hard ass kicking thrash metal.

Track Listing:

  1. Loss for Words
  2. Mad World
  3. Consumed
  4. Holier
  5. Positive Outlook
  6. Prayer
  7. Intervention
  8. Kiss of Death
  9. Hungry Child
  10. Animosity


Mike Dean- bass, vocals

Woody Weatherman- guitars

Reed Mullin- drums, backing vocals

With bands like Corrosion of Conformity around in 1986, one didn’t have to look hard to find thrash metal. It was the growing phenomenon of the year and albums like “Animosity,” made it so.

Next post: Vow Wow- III

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Great Metal Albums of 1986: Armoured Saint- Delirious Nomad

Posted in Uncategorized on June 17, 2020 by 80smetalman


Technically, I should have not so fond memories of the second album from Armoured Saint, “Delirious Nomad.” I went to see them live, when touring for the album, in New York at a metal club called L’Amour, which is no longer there. First, while having a pre-concert party with my famous jungle juice, (Bacardi Light, Peach Schnapps and cranberry juice), New York’s finest stopped us and wanted to know what was inside the jug. I was honest and they left us alone after that. Maybe they should have confiscated it because I got very drunk as a result. So drunk that I only vaguely remember the opening band, Hades, and have no recollection of the second band, Sneak Attack. Then, in between Sneak Attack and Armoured Saint, one of the bouncers busted us for smoking a joint and threatened to kick us out if he caught us again. I did sober up enough to remember quite a bit of Armoured Saint’s show and it was good. However, after the gig, some skinhead tried to pick a fight with me and when I didn’t oblige, attacked me. He should have kicked my ass but he must have been drunk too. I do remember him hitting me and me laughing at him. Therefore, with all of these not so good memories, one might never listen to an Armoured Saint album ever again, but “Delirious Nomad” is too good an album to let some unfortunate events keep me from enjoying it.

The best way to sum the album up is to say that it’s a classic, straight forward heavy metal album. Everything one wants from a metal album is present here. The first two tracks set the pace of great things to come. Both songs are straight ahead metal songs but while good, not stand out. It is the third song where things take a turn. “Over the Edge” has a very bluesy vibe to it, while at the same time no less of a metal song. I think it’s here that the band finally relax and just crank, especially the guitar solo. It’s what Eric Clapton would sound like if he went heavy metal and it’s also my pick for hidden gem.

Things speed up with the almost speed metal sounding “The Laugh.” This would be a good song in a mosh pit as would its successor, “Conqueror.” They are the two fastest songs and they make their stamp on the album. Plus, I really dig that guitar solo on “Conqueror.” While not as fast, “For the Sake of Heaviness” is indeed heavy. There are crunching guitars galore and a screeching solo on this one. “Aftermath” has an Metallica/Anthrax sounding intro before going nearly ballad like. While the vocals of John Bush are good on every track, they stand out the most on this song. But the ballad like part soon disappears and gives way to some great forceful metal with yet another great guitar solo. It makes me lament the fact that Phil Sandoval left the band. The metal party carries on with “In the Hole,” another good metal tune where power and melody make a lethal combination and on this one, Dave Pritchard shows that he can bend the six string to his will.

Now normally, a song titled “You’re Never Alone” gives visions of a ballad. This is far from that. Starting with a cool drum tirade from Gonzo Sandoval, the band waste no time getting down to business and it’s on this song where I think Joey Vera has his standout moment on the bass. And if you think that the band were going out easy, then you’d be far wrong. The closer, “Reckless,” is just one massive mosh party, probably as fast as “The Laugh” and “Conqueror.” One thing I can say is that it takes the album out while giving you one last earache and if you headbang to it, you will be sore.

Track Listing:

  1. Long Before I Die
  2. Nervous Man
  3. Over the Edge
  4. The Laugh
  5. Conqueror
  6. For the Sake of Heaviness
  7. Aftermath
  8. In the Hole
  9. You’re Never Alone
  10. Released

Armoured Saint

John Bush- vocals

Dave Pritchard- guitars

Joey Vera- bass, backing vocals

Gonzo Sandoval- drums

Phil Sandoval- guitar on “Over the Edge” and “Aftermath”

Note: Phil Sandoval left the band during the recording of the album.

If you were to call it good, one positive I took away from that night I saw Armoured Saint in New York was not to get so drunk at concerts. I never did after that, well there was a slip at Van Halen but that’s the only one. Still, it didn’t put me off getting this album because, “Delirious Nomad” does deliver. Besides, I would eventually see Armoured Saint again at Bloodstock 2015, putting to rest any bad memories. Sadly, I can’t remember if they played anything from this album.


Phil Sandoval shredding away, Armoured Saint at Bloodstock 2015

Next post: Corrosion of Conformity- Animosity

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Great Metal Albums of 1986: King Diamond- Fatal Portrait

Posted in Uncategorized on June 14, 2020 by 80smetalman


Religion’s offensive against heavy metal and rock music in general in 1986 had the polar opposite reaction with me. As a result of people like Jimmy Swaggart and Jesus freaks showing up at concerts to condemn us to hell, I actively went out and sought ‘Satanic’ music or what is known as ‘black metal.’ It wasn’t a difficult task as it finally motivated me to get off my rear end and buy Mercyful Fate’s “Melissa” album. Afterwards, having known that Mercyful Fate had gone their separate ways, I discovered former lead singer King Diamond’s 1985 EP, “No Presents for Christmas” and his 1986 album, “Fatal Portrait.”

My first reaction to “Fatal Portrait” was that it could have been a Mercyful Fate album. Everything about this album from the guitar solos to the melody of the songs and of course, King Diamond’s unmistakable vocals, screams “Mercyful Fate.” Not that it’s a bad thing, but it does show who was the principal song writer in King’s previous band. But what you do get is nine really good songs.

What I didn’t know until recently was that half of “Fatal Portrait” tells a story. The first four songs and the closer tell the story. In a basic retelling, the Narrator sees a face every time he burns a candle. He speaks one word, the title of the second track, into the candle and frees the spirit of a girl named Molly who tells him of how her mother, Mrs Jane, kept her locked in the attic until she died. Mrs Jane paints a portrait of Molly and hangs it above the fire place, once freed, Molly tells her mother of her pain. The mother burns the portrait, thus freeing Molly’s spirit who haunts her until she goes insane. Once I knew this story, it gave those songs new meaning and made me appreciate the album more. It goes without saying, the great metal music behind the story helps as well.

The three songs which aren’t connected to the story are all good as well. One to note in particular is the instrumental, “Voices from the Past,” where King Diamond plays all the guitars on it.  He doesn’t crank any solos but does a good job and it does set up the closer well. But to satisfy my need for a favourite track or hidden gem, it has to be “Halloween.” While I can’t explain exactly why I think it’s the standout track, it is. Maybe because the guitars and King’s vocals seem to really come together on it more than the other tracks and that’s saying something with this great album. However, if they put the track, “The Lake,” which is featured on the reissue, that would be the best track.

Track Listing:

  1. The Candle
  2. Jonah
  3. The Portrait
  4. Dressed in White
  5. Charon
  6. Lurking in the Dark
  7. Halloween
  8. Voice From the Past
  9. Haunted


King Diamond

King Diamond- lead and backing vocals, guitars on “Voices From the Past”

Andy LaRocque- lead guitars

Michael Denner- lead guitars

Timi Hansen- bass

Mikkey Dee- drums

I’m sure that the God Squad had this album on its hit list and probably the PMRC too. Even if you’re not into black metal, this album is still a great listen.

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