Archive for Germany

Great Metal Albums of 1987: Helloween- Keeper of the Seven Keys: Part I

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 6, 2021 by 80smetalman

Back in 1987, there weren’t so many subgenres of heavy metal. Sure, there was glam metal and there was thrash. Anything in between was considered simply to be mainstream metal. While all these subdivisions normally send my head into a spin, in the case of Helloween and their album “Keeper of the Seven Keys: Part I,” the term ‘power metal’ fits perfectly. Some called them thrash back then because they did play faster than mainstream metal bands such as Iron Maiden or Judas Priest. However, they weren’t in the same area as Slayer or Anthrax either. Plus, their image would have been more in line of what is considered the traditional heavy metal look. Therefore, I can say that this album was the first power metal album I listened to.

After short introductory opener in line with their previous album, “Walls of Jericho,” the album goes speeding through the next three tracks. The question of how new singer, Michael Kiske, would sound on the album is quickly answered. He was brought on board because Karl Hansen stepped away from vocal duties as he found it difficult to sing and play guitar at the same time. On a separate note, that explains why good shredders such as Dave Mustaine and Mille Petrozza demoted themselves to rhythm guitar. Anyway, those songs cast aside any worry that Kiske wouldn’t be up to the job as his vocals are just superb. Another positive from Karl stepping down from vocals is his being able to solely concentrate on guitar results in some great solos, especially on “Twilight of the Gods” where he and Michael Weikath do a cool guitar solo tradeoff.

Helloween must have recognized that we the listeners needed a short break after those opening songs as things slow right down for the ballad, “A Tale That Wasn’t Right.” It’s a decent power ballad but not totally mind blowing. The band do everything right here, vocals, bass line and a cool guitar solo but it doesn’t catapult it into greatness as far as great power ballads go. However, following “A Tale That Wasn’t Right” is the best song on the album, “Future World.” Lyrically, it sounds like a song for kid’s show and with some of the laser sound effects in the middle, it sounds like it even more. But with the great power chords and massive guitar solos, it is a phenomenal song.

What I hate about listening to the album on Youtube is the fact that the only the cut for video portion of “Halloween” is played. Therefore, eight minutes are cut from this thirteen minute long blockbuster. Fortunately, I have that full length version of this great song elsewhere, which makes up for it. Even though “Halloween” is so long in length, the constant changes in tempo and swirling guitar solos as well as the power chords make it no less interesting. The other good thing is that after such a long song, the album goes out very appropriately with a closer that is less than two minutes long.

Track Listing:

  1. Initiation
  2. I’m Alive
  3. A Little Time
  4. Twilight of the Gods
  5. A Tale That Wasn’t Right
  6. Future World
  7. Halloween
  8. Follow the Sign
Helloween

Michael Kiske- vocals

Karl Hansen- guitar, backing vocals

Michael Weikath- guitar, keyboards and backing vocals

Marcus Groskopf- bass, backing vocals

Ingo Schwichtenberg- drums

I figure that if “Keeper of the Seven Keys: Part I” was my introduction to power metal, then I have had a great introduction. Thank you Helloween.

Next post: Black n Blue- Nasty Nasty

To buy Rock and Roll Children, email me at: tobychainsaw@hotmail.com

Great Metal Albums of 1987: Destruction- Mad Butcher

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 31, 2021 by 80smetalman

Thrash bands seemed to be coming out of every corner in 1987 but it seemed even more the case they were coming from what was then West Germany. Historical note: East and West Germany didn’t reunify until 1990. In any case, we had the likes of Helloween and my favourites, Kreator, and touring with the latter in that year was another German band called Destruction. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to see them when they came to London, but I was treated to their 1987 EP, “Mad Butcher,” which offered some consolation.

Things begin with the title track which after a brief intro, goes full thrash. There are thrashing guitars and pounding bass and drums as Schmier sings or nearly screams, “The Butcher!” Then we have some guitar solos which sound like a trade off but according to Wikipedia, it is Harry Wilkens which does all the lead guitar work. It comes to an interesting end when the song appears cut off but then there is a little twist where the band plays the “Pink Panther” theme with a cool lead guitar accompanying it.

Next up is a cover of The Plasmatics classic, “The Damned.” While I am tempted here to do another “Original vs Cover” post with the song, I have to say that I still prefer the original over the cover. Saying that, Destruction don’t ruin the song, they pay Wendy and company fair homage with their version, especially with the solo from Wilkens and there is a nice little bass part before the song fades away.

Third is what has been called a thrash ballad with “Reject Emotions.” It starts with a ballad like acoustic intro but that doesn’t last long before it goes much heavier. Maybe another reason why it was dubbed a thrash ballad is that the song is slow enough for me to catch more of the lyrics, especially at the chorus. However, it also contains a rather long mosh part towards the middle of the song and opportunities for more lead guitar work. God, I am really beginning to appreciate Harry Wilkens as a lead guitarist. The song also makes up over one-third of the EP, clocking in at nearly seven minutes but those seven minutes do not drag.

Last up is the instrumental, “The Last Judgement” where Harry gets to showcase all of his guitar talents. I like how he combines acoustic elements with guitar solos and backs it up with a strong metal rhythm guitar. According to the blurb, Harry does all the guitar work here. However, it would be amiss of me not to point out the rhythm guitar work by Mike Sifringer on the other tracks. He does lay down a good rhythm which helps Harry do this thing.

Track Listing:

  1. Mad Butcher
  2. The Damned
  3. Reject Emotions
  4. The Last Judgement
Destruction

Schmier- bass, vocals

Harry Wilkens- lead guitar

Mike Sifringer- rhythm guitar

Oliver ‘Olli’ Kaiser- drums

Some say that because of their composition, Destruction was the German Slayer. I won’t go that far and after listening to “Mad Butcher” again, while I regret not seeing them in 1987, I would have hoped that Kreator was the headliner with Destruction as support but that’s must my personal preference. “Mad Butcher” is still a cool EP.

Next post: Vow Wow- V

To buy Rock and Roll Children, email me at: tobychainsaw@hotmail.com

Great Metal Albums of 1987: Kreator- Terrible Uncertainty

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , on October 24, 2021 by 80smetalman

Everybody in the metal world has their own choices as to which bands should be added to make the Big 4 the Big 5 and beyond. Nuclear Assault was one suggestion I have heard as was Venom but for me, if there was one band I would add, I would choose German thrashers Kreator. By 1987, after three albums, including this 1987 “Terrible Uncertainty” album, and an EP, I was definitely a Kreator fan. Sure, there were those who didn’t take them seriously and I know of one guitarist who reckoned Mille Petrozza had only been playing guitar for six months, not true, but I never let any of that spoil my enjoyment of this band.

“Terrible Uncertainty” opens with the organized chaos which is “Blind Faith.” This song just goes for it and lets you, the listener, know that Kreator aren’t going to take prisoners. It’s just one big enjoyable thrash stew which has me wanting a most pit each time I hear it. But they weren’t simply going to rest on the laurels of their previous smash album, “Pleasure to Kill.” That continues through the next song as the intensity doesn’t not let up. To quote the song title, Kreator are definitely “Storming with Menace.” On the subject of “Pleasure to Kill,” there are similarities between the title track of that album and this one. Like the previous, they slow things down slightly and the melody is similar. Plus, Mille shreds away like a demon on it, after which, there is a great rhythm guitar mosh part. However, the song begins with a bass line from Rob Fioretti and it’s nice to hear his four string here.

Mille shares lead vocal duties with drummer Ventor on “As the World Burns” as well as Ventor delivering some cool drum fills in the middle of the song, which gives way to another Mille shred. The track is ‘slower’ than the previous song but no less ferocious. Pounding drums and bass backed up with some great thrash riffs introduce “Toxic Trace.” Again, the drum fills supplement my argument that Ventor is a very underrated drummer. The track also returns the album to more speedier territory in parts and is the longest song on the album clocking in at just over five and a half minutes. It is followed by the second longest track, “No Escape” which is just over five minutes. It keeps the album on boil before it overflows with the thrashing speed of “One of Us.” Mille produces an intriguing guitar solo here and it should dispel any thoughts that he was only playing guitar for six months.

For me, Kreator save the best for last with the closer, “Behind the Mirror.” Newly added guitarist Jorge Trzebiatowski makes his debut by playing the doom infested intro to the track and he shows here that he was a welcome addition. When his intro is over, Mille and co go total thrash metal nuts. If one is energy depleted from the rest of the album, this song provides the rejuvenation needed to carry through to the end. It’s a great way to end the album, especially with Mille’s guitar solo.

Track Listing:

  1. Blind Faith
  2. Storming With Menace
  3. Terrible Uncertainty
  4. As the World Burns
  5. Toxic Trace
  6. No Escape
  7. One of Us
  8. Behind the Mirror
Kreator

Mille Petrozza- lead vocals, guitars

Ventor- drums, co-lead vocal on “As the World Burns”

Rob Fioretti- bass

Jorge ‘Tritze’ Trzebiatowski- guitar on intro to “Behind the Mirror”

“Terrible Uncertainty” fully established Kreator as one of the greats of thrash metal, at least in my mind. They proved they could thrash with the best.

Next post: Sacrifice- Forward to Termination

To buy Rock and Roll Children, email me at: tobychainsaw@hotmail.com

Great Metal Albums of 1986: Warlock- True As Steel

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , on October 25, 2020 by 80smetalman

Another great thing about 1986 was that heavy metal was truly becoming international. In the case of Germany, although it was only West Germany at the time, The Scorpions had already been a worldwide hit and Accept was getting lots of attention. In addition, some great thrash bands were coming out of the country such as Kreator. All of this made it possible for an up and coming German band to step into the metal spotlight, that band was Warlock.

My introduction to Warlock came when I saw them at the 1986 Donington Festival and I was very impressed. It could have been partially down to the fact that fronting the band was this blonde bombshell named Doro Pesch who tingled my 25 year old hormones at the time. Okay, she still does it to my nearly 60 year old ones too but not only that, even then I knew she had a stupendous voice and a great band backing her. I was converted to Warlock that day.

Doro mesmerizes the crowd, Bloodstock 2018

Naturally, Warlock’s performance at Donington made me check out her 1986 “True As Steel” album and the magic they produced on stage shone through on the album. The two songs which still capture my attention all these years later are “Fight for the Rock” and “Love in the Danger Zone,” both were released as singles. I also remember “Fight for the Rock” getting played at the metal club in East London I would venture to on Friday nights.

The two mentioned tracks are among the first four on the album which go ripping through at a steady metal pace. If your attention isn’t grabbed after those four songs, then it never will be. Then they change things up a bit on “Midnight in China.” It goes for a more heavy blues sound and has a great guitar solo trade-off between guitarists Niko Arvanitis and Peter Szigeti. This song has an anthem type feel where if played live would be a good audience participation song. Unfortunately, I don’t recall it happening at Donington. It’s the hidden gem on this album.

Things go very fast after with “Vorwarts, All Right.” It accelerates to speed metal proportions and the band pull it off very well. Then after the powerful title track, another anthem type song, comes a song which really intrigues me. I used to wonder what Doro was actually singing about in “Lady in a Rock and Roll Hell.” Part of me was hoping that she was singing out against the sexism that was around in heavy metal at the time, it hasn’t totally gone away. No, it’s about needing a man. Still a good song though and right after comes a genuine power ballad in “Love Song.” Again, it’s done very well. It could be argued that it should be the album closer but after the rather amusing “Igloo on the Moon,” the album is closed out by the instrumental “T.O.L.,” which does close things out nicely.

Track Listing:

  1. Mr. Gold
  2. Fight for the Rock
  3. Love in the Danger Zone
  4. Speed of Sound
  5. Midnight in China
  6. Vorwarts, All Right
  7. True as Steel
  8. Lady in a Rock and Roll Hell
  9. Love Song
  10. Igloo on the Moon (Reckless)
  11. T.O.L.
Warlock

Doro Pesch- lead vocals

Niko Arvanitis- guitar

Peter Szigeti- guitar

Frank Rittel- bass

Michael Eurich- drums

I think that in 1986, Germany was welcomed as a full on contributor to the heavy metal world. With this album, Warlock would extend its conquests beyond Europe and get the recognition is so richly deserved.

Next post: Motorhead- Orgasmatron

To buy Rock and Roll Children, email me at: tobychainsaw@hotmail.com

Bloodstock 2018: The Saturday

Posted in Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 21, 2018 by 80smetalman

Saturday at Bloodstock was going to be an open day for me pretty much as the only band on my ‘must see’ list was the evening’s headliners, Gojira. While I was finishing my early morning tasks at a leisurely pace, a gentleman passed by and suggested that I check out Power Trip. His sales pitch was that if I liked Suicidal Tendencies, I would love this band. That was enough to sell me so I headed over to the arena.

Listening to American thrash/punk crossover band Power Trip, I could see what the gentleman meant by the comparison to Suicidal Tendencies. They even dedicated a song to Cannibal Corpse and even though they said some might thought it too early in the morning, orchestrated a wall of death. While I have to say they’re not quite like the band they have been compared to, Power Trip were a good band to have a great mosh to and quite an appropriate way to start the Saturday.

Power Trip- a great start to any day.

At this point of the weekend, I had seen several bands whom I had never heard of who had impressed the hell out of me and I was in the mind to award several bands the honour of “Band Whom I’d Never Heard of Who Impressed Me the Most.” That all went out the window when the next band after Power Trip ascended the Dio Stage. That band was German prog-metallers Orden Ogan. If you like Hammerfall, then you should like this band. They really impressed me a lot. One thing I noticed when they were on stage was the absence of a bass player. Lead singer Sebastian Levermann explained this was because he had broken his thumb and was unable to play guitar. Thus normal bassist Neils Loffler took up the rhythm guitar. Saying that, he did play a couple of solos along with lead guitarist Tobias Kersting who could really jam. Left to just sing, Levermann was good at engaging the crowd and at one point when he would sing, “All we are,” the audience would yell back, “Cold, fucking dead!” When they left, Orden Ogan were secure in the title of band who I’d never heard of who impressed me the most.

Orden Ogan come on stage. Too bad those horns got in my way.

Levermann and Kersting leading from the front.

Being wowed by Orden Ogan made me hungry so I headed back to the tent for some lunch. Returning afterwards, I happened to catch the last five minutes of Vola on the Sophie Lancaster Stage. They were a four piece band which included a keyboard. The best way to describe them is to say they’re industrial metal but they sounded all right to me and I might listen to them more.

Vola on the Sophie Stage

Heading back to the Ronnie James Dio Stage, I had no idea what to expect from the next band to take the stage, Combichrist. What I heard and saw took me completely by surprise. I thought that with a name like Combichrist, they would be a thrash or death metal band, especially with all the band’s faces painted white. Instead, their brand of industrial metal would be something that metalheads to dance to at parties. The audience jumped up and down in time with many of the songs, though I had to take it a bit easy with my weak knee. Still, the antics of the band were very entertaining. At one point, lead singer Andy LaPlegua had the audience say “Fuck off!” to each member of the band, which was followed by a song called “Fuck That Shit.” After a few more songs and “Fucks” from LePlegua, the band ended on a great high by bringing out three young ladies twirling flaming batons to the song, “I Don’t Give a Fuck About You.” Great way to end the show and I was very impressed.

Combichrist with no bass and two drummers

A good shot of them

In this shot, the drummer was bouncing his sticks off his drum.

The baton twirlers come out.

The band plays “Fuck That Shit.”

The twirlers in their full glory

After being totally amused by Combichrist, I headed over to the New Blood Stage where I caught the last few minutes of a band called Aeonia. The featured two female lead singers who both possessed operatic style voices. I was sorry I couldn’t have seen more of them.

Aeonia on the New Blood Stage.

Heading back to the Dio Stage, I was in for another surprise. On the recommendation of Teal, I decided to check out Alestorm. I had a feeling that this was going to be different when I saw the huge rubber duck at the back of the stage. This would be my first introduction to the genre known as pirate metal. The songs all sounded like heavy metal sea ditties and I liked it. I found the songs, “Drink,” “Captain Morgan’s Revenge” and “Shipwrecked” among others all to be very amusing. Instead of a mosh pit, lead singer, Christopher Bowes organized a rowing pit where everyone sat on the ground rowing in unison to the song, great fun. Bowes also stated that instead of a wall of death, everyone meet in the middle, take off their clothes and have a big orgy. We all saw the humour in that. Alestorm’s set ended with him leading the crowd in singing:

Fuck you, you’re a fucking wanker

We’re gonna punch you right in the balls.

Fuck you with a fucking anchor

You’re all cunts so fuck you all.” 

A great time was had by all during the forty-five minutes Alestorm was on stage.

The big rubber duck awaits Alestorm

Alestorm on stage with a lot of flying inflatable objects.

An even bigger rowing pit

Alestorm leave with an explosion of confetti

With nearly two hours to go before Gojira, we decided to head back to the tent. The heavens had opened up so we stayed in the tent eating and drinking. That might have been a mistake because we all nodded off. I woke up at one point, heard the rain pelting down and thought, “I’m not going out in this.” Maybe I should have because when I awoke after nodding off again, I discovered it had stopped raining but Gojira had been on stage for 20 minutes! Immediately waking Teal and Joe, we raced like mad back to the arena and to the Dio Stage.

If any band in the history of Bloodstock had paid their dues and earned the right to headline, it was definitely Gojira. I had seen them play second from the top spot in 2010 and just below it in 2016 and both times they were better than the band who went on after them. This time, they were simply better than ever! Being the headliner, they had a really cool light show, just as good as Judas Priest’s light show the night before. I definitely remember them playing “Stranded” and Joe Duplantier was very good at engaging the crowd. Plus there was a cool drum solo from Mario. Overall, Gojira put on a great display of heavy metal and proved they can headline along with the best of them.

Managed to get a good shot of Gojira here.

Another attempt at photographing them.

Different lights made this shot possible

Bright lights

More bright lights

Having had that nap, I wasn’t tired so I headed to the Sophie Lancaster Stage to check out that headliner, Orphaned Land. This turned out to be another great decision because Orphaned Land where nothing short of absolutely brilliant! They blend folk and death metal together to make one great but unique sound. Coming from Israel, they also blend Middle Eastern and Western influences and again, it sounds just great. I loved the use of the Bouzouki in place of guitar solos in some of the songs. Plus they do go ultra heavy at times. Before, they got on stage, the announcer told the crowd to listen to the message of this band. Lead singer, Kobi Farhi, explained how fucked up things in the Middle East are with everyone trying to kill each other be it Jews, Arabs or homosexuals. However, he stated that everybody hates heavy metal because it’s considered Satanic. This got me thinking but I won’t talk about that now, I just want to say how great a band Orphaned Land are.

Orphaned Land come out under the lights.

A great shot of them.

A great show!

Still not tired, I went to the metal disco at the Sophie tent after the show. They played a good variety of songs which included some 1970s rock and even a Michael Jackson and a Coolio song. Eventually, I went back to the tent and had one last beer before bedtime. Sometime later, Teal came in and woke me up, I had fallen asleep in the chair with the beer in my hand. At least I didn’t spill any. Still it was a great second day.

Next post: Sunday

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bloodstock 2018: The Friday

Posted in 1980s, Concerts, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 17, 2018 by 80smetalman

Even having a crap night’s sleep the previous evening didn’t dent my enthusiasm for the first full day at Bloodstock. We started with a hardy bbq breakfast because we couldn’t have one the evening before on account of the waiting to get in and the brief rain. Therefore, we had it in the morning. After a breakfast of champions like that, which was washed down with beer, we decided to head for the arena.

Keeping with my established tradition, I made it a point to be present for the very first band out on the Ronnie James Dio Stage. That band happened be British punk band Feed The Rhino. If there is a textbook on how the opening band of a festival should act, then Feed The Rhino followed it to the letter. They exploded on stage at 300 mph with a song that grabs you by the throat and makes you listen to it nor did any of that energy dissipate after the first song. However, some purists may argue that the band broke protocol by organizing a mosh pit and then a wall of death. Whoever said opening bands weren’t allowed to do that? Especially when the lead singer, Lee Tobin, did a little crowd surf towards the wall. It was amazing and when they left, which was too soon, Feed The Rhino had set the mood not just for the day but for the entire weekend!

Feed The Rhino welcome everybody to Bloodstock

Lee Tobin carried by the crowd

In spite of the fact that I had seen and heard three bands I had never heard of previously who totally blew me away, I still went to the New Blood Stage to seek out more. Playing at my arrival was the band Garshkott. While they weren’t bad, their sound was in the vein of Feed The Rhino and Bloodshot Dawn, and I wouldn’t be surprised if they were ever signed, in my mind, they didn’t measure up to the two bands I have just mentioned. Then again, those two bands set the bar astronomically high.

Garshkott giving it their all

Heading back to the RJD Stage, I thought I should see Onslaught. I had seen them at my first Bloodstock in 2010 but I didn’t remember anything about them. Seeing them again, I remember why I didn’t remember them, there’s really nothing about them to remember. While their music was okay and I have since discovered from Youtube that their recorded material sounds pretty good, they just didn’t do anything for me when I’ve seen them live.

Onslaught coming out to play

Another shot of them

The uneventfulness of Onslaught meant that when the rains came down in the final minutes of their set, I fled for cover. The closest was the New Blood Stage. Providing the entertainment in my new found refuge was Democratus. They weren’t thrash but good solid metal. The singer did a great job in getting those in the tent to sing along. He would sing out, “Is this what you call?” and the audience, me included, would shout back, “Democracy!” Very relevant at the moment and I thought they were pretty good. If I was a scout, I would have signed them before the previous unsigned band on the day.

Democratus

Still raining down in buckets outside, I decided to stay in the New Blood Tent to remain dry. It turned out to be the will of the metal gods because coming on stage next was Vulgore. Of the three unsigned bands I had seen so far, these guys were the best. Their music was loud and brash but the guitarist could shred a little too. Still, their music is not for the faint hearted. They announced they have an EP coming out titled “Bliss.” I might have to hunt this one down.

The guitarist from Vulgore

More Vulgore

Vulgore made the rain stop, so after their departure, I headed outside. On the Dio Stage at the time was Memoriam. I only caught the last two songs from their set but they sounded all right. Plus, I noticed that the lead singer’s hair probably made many ladies jealous.

Memoriam, but this photo doesn’t show the singer’s hair properly.

Still looking for the music, I headed for the Sophie Lancaster Stage where I was treated to the doom metal sounds of Godthrymm. This trio was doom metal in the true sense of the word, even more than Black Sabbath. Most of the songs were about death. I remember one lyric, “Oh God, you lost your only son,” I think that explains a lot. Guitarist hammered out some good solos and he shared the lead vocal duties with the bassist. Godthrymm proved a great change of pace on the day.

Godthrymm playing doom

I’m not sure what this picture was. I think it was this person dressed up going through the crowd during Godthrymm

After a brief but necessary break, I returned to the Ronnie James Dio Stage for the first band I truly wanted to see. Before that band came out, I caught the last few minutes of Swedish death metal band Bloodbath. They sounded okay and I was amused at the shirtless guitar player whose torso was covered in fake blood.

Bloodbath, not sure if you can see the guitarist covered in blood

Then came the big bombshell. It was announced that Suicidal Tendencies were running late and wouldn’t be up next. They were re-scheduled to play at the Sophie Lancaster Stage two hours later. I had caught up with Teal and Joe and we decided to get some dinner. I kind of regret this in hindsight because swapping places with ST was the all female death metal Japanese band Love Bites. I heard they were really good and I’m liking what I’m hearing thus far. Oh well, I’ll put a song of theirs in tribute.

Returning from our late afternoon bbq, I followed Teal’s suggestion that I go with him to check out prog metal band, Kamelot. Full marks to his wisdom here because I thoroughly enjoyed them. I was duly impressed with the guitar work of Thomas Youngblood but I won’t take anything away from the rest of this band, they’re that good. They brought a female singer on for a few songs as well which made them more diverse. Let’s say I was very impressed.

Kamelot

A better shot of them

Thomas Youngblood jamming

I tried to get the female singer in this one

Instead of Kamelot following Suicidal Tendencies, we had Suicidal Tendencies following Kamelot. Which way around didn’t matter as we joined the throng heading for the Sophie Lancaster Stage. There was talk that the sheer weight of numbers in ST fans would knock the Sophie Tent off its foundations. Suicidal Tendencies exploded onto the stage with “Don’t Bring Me Down.” Almost immediately, Mike Muir had the crowd in his hand with everyone singing the chorus. The band darted around stage and Mike did his little dance. It seemed that the opening song might go for the entire set because every time it sounded like it would end, the band would pick it up again. When the song did end, the audience was screaming their appreciation. Afterwards, they played songs “I Shot the Devil,” The War in My Head” and “Subliminal.” When they played the “Skater’s Song,” Mike announced that the band had been inducted into the Skater’s Hall of Fame. A young boy was brought up to play drums along side of Dave Lombardo for one song and they also let a man in a wheelchair onto the stage. ST are definitely a class act! In between songs, Mike talked about not letting things get you down. His advice was to “Get up, stand up for yourself and you will be the person you want to be.” Great words of wisdom. When they left, the crowd was on a major high and it was also announced that it had been the largest crowd the Sophie Lancaster Stage ever had. They were phenomenal and like Teal converting me to Kamelot, I converted him to ST. It didn’t even matter that they didn’t play my two favourite songs again nor the fact that they pretty much played the same set they had at Download last year.

The crowd heading to the Sophie Stage to see Suicidal Tendencies

ST comes on stage

Guitarist Dean Pleasants can still jam.

Another shot of Dean

Mike leading the charge

After feeding my face some more, we all headed back to the Ronnie James Dio Stage for the main even, Judas Priest. They had a massive stage set up with what looked like cacti which lit up on the wall behind. When the band came out, Rob Halford looked like a bent over old man but he quickly straightened up when they started playing. They opened with “Fire Power” and played two more songs from the album. It was the fourth song that was the big thrill for me when they revealed their all time hidden gem, “The Ripper.” I think I was the only one in the crowd who went absolutely nuts at it. Both Teal and some young lady in front of me both stated, “You’re excited about this song.” Next, they revealed that it was the 40th anniversary of their “Stained Glass” album where they played “Saints in Hell” as a tribute. Other Priest greats included “Turbo Lover” and “Freewheel Burning.” While Rob was the great show man he has always been for more than four decades, I was impressed with guitarists Richie Faulkner. He seems to have learned from his mentors and if the band was to continue, he is more than capable to carry them on. Scott Travis was pretty cool too and I loved how he and Richie traded solos. Things seemed to end with an extended version of “You Got Another Thing Comin'” and “Painkiller,” both drawing large cheers from the crowd. But Judas Priest weren’t done. Obviously, there would be an encore and that’s when they sprung a surprise. Glenn Tipton came out to play with them for the four encore songs. He did look a little frail and Rob kept coming over to him but he stayed the course. He even played a solo on the closing song, “Living After Midnight” which followed on from “Breaking the Law.” When the mighty Priest did leave, it was to much adulation and a brief but cool fireworks display.

Blasted light show kept me from getting decent pictures of Priest

See again!

A little better

Even taking a photo of the big screen didn’t work.

I kept trying though

Teal and Joe called it a night but I had one more act to watch. As soon as Judas Priest was finished, I high tailed it over to the Sophie Lancaster Stage to catch Doro. My timing was perfect because as I entered the tent, she was performing one of my favourites, “I Rule the Ruins.” That wasn’t the only one she treated me to, a few songs later, I got to hear “East Meets West,” where she brought out a former guitarist Tommy Bowen. Therefore, for the rest of her show, she had a three guitar attack behind her. Sounded real good when she played “Burning the Witches.” Doro engaged the audience really well throughout and while her light show was nothing like Priest, it was still pretty cool. “All We Are” got the crowd really going and it carried on until she left the stage. When she came back out, Doro asked the audience what song they would like. I was too far away so she couldn’t hear me calling out for “I’ll Make It On My Own,” so she said, since nobody came forth with a song, she’d pick one, which she did. A second song was asked for and she picked one from a young lady in the front and that’s how the night ended, with loads of bows and “thank yous” before leaving. It was a great way to end the first day!

Doro on the Sophie Stage

Better pics with Doro

Tommy Bowen on guitar

Doro mesmerizes the crowd

Note: You may have noticed that I haven’t posted songs from every band I saw. I thought to do it with the ones I had never heard of before and now you have.

Next post: Saturday

To download Rock and Roll Children, go to: http://mediahubb.net/14510967/rock-and-roll-children.html

 

 

 

Great Metal Albums of 1985: Warlock- Hellbound

Posted in 1980s, Concerts, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on August 8, 2018 by 80smetalman

Keeping with 80smetalman tradition, I am posting an album from an artist I’m about to see live in the imminent future. Tomorrow, I shall be heading to Bloodstock and on Friday, I fully intend to see Doro Pesch headlining the Sophie Lancaster Stage that night. Now, some might call this cheating but Doro didn’t have an album out in 1985. Back then, she was with her band Warlock and it’s their second album, “Hellbound,” that gets the posting this time.

This was another album I listened to following the event. My first experience of Warlock came when I saw them open the Donington Festival in 1986. Even then, I thought there was something about this band and more so about the lead singer. Therefore, it was a no brainer that I check out the works of this band and for me, their output on vinyl, (actually it was cassette,) matched what they had shown me on stage on that historic day in August of 1986.

“Hellbound” starts very fast paced, in fact, I was convinced they were more speed metal when I first heard the opening and third tracks on the album. Both of those songs just get stuck into ripping your eardrums to pieces and the track in between, “All Night,” while not as fast is still a ferocious tune to head bang away to. I’ve always thought it surprising that it was released as a single because it trendies would consider it too metal for mainstream radio. Still, I like the song.

With the fourth track, “Wrathchild,” the pace is set for the rest of the album. It’s more like the second track beginning with a great guitar solo. It’s killer, not losing any of the edge set by the first three tracks. It definitely gets a vote for hidden gem on the album and if I had anything to say, that one would have been the single, especially with the cool guitar soloing throughout the song. “Down and Out” is ideal for heavy metal purists because it is pure metal. Some more great soloing begins “Out of Control” and that grabs you by the ears and makes you enjoy the rest of the song, which is why it too can be called a hidden gem. “Time to Die” goes more back in the speed direction but with this song, that’s only natural. Normally, a song called “Shout It Out” opens an album and it could have on “Hellbound,” but it sounds just as good in the eighth position. That leads to the closer which lures you into a false security by pretending it’s a power ballad but not long in, the mask comes off and it blows you away. Still a great song to end the album on.

There is absolutely no argument in my mind that the main reason for why this album is so good is the vocal talents of Doro. She has always had a great singing voice and here’s where it started. However, I must also sing the praises of her guitarists who both play very well on the album. They go a long way in making her sound that much better and makes this album great.

Track Listing:

  1. Hellbound
  2. All Night
  3. Earthshaker Rock
  4. Wrathchild
  5. Down and Out
  6. Out of Control
  7. Time to Die
  8. Shout it Out
  9. Catch My Heart

Warlock

Doro Pesch- lead vocals

Rudy Graf- guitar

Peter Szigeti- guitar

Frank Rittel- bass

Michael Eurich- drums

The big question is, Will Doro play any songs from “Hellbound” when she ascends the stage at Bloodstock? I hope so and I’ll be particularly over the moon if she plays “Wrathchild.” But if she doesn’t, this is still a great album to headbang away to.

Next post: Bloodstock- The Thursday

To buy Rock and Roll Children, go to: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Rock-Roll-Children-Michael-Lefevre/dp/1609763556/ref=sr_1_11?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1533755796&sr=1-11&keywords=rock+and+roll+children

 

 

 

 

 

 

Great Metal Albums of 1985: Kreator- Endless Pain

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , on June 7, 2018 by 80smetalman

Maybe I should do a list of bands whose second albums I bought before their first one. It would be a long list, that’s for sure. This hold true for German thrashers, Kreator. My first experience of them was their better known second album, “Pleasure To Kill.” I really loved it and played it to one of my friends who first introduced me to thrash. It was good to tell him about a cool album for a change. He was so impressed with that album that he bought the debut album, “Endless Pain.”

I know I shouldn’t compare an album to one I haven’t reviewed yet but I’m going to anyway. The only contrast is that “Pleasure to Kill” is more polished than its predecessor, that’s it. What both albums have in common is the intense ferocity of all the songs on them. “Endless Pain” is one total thrash fest from beginning to end. Each and every song pounds your head in every way. Only some brief melodic moments, actually I should say seconds, in “Storm of the Beast” and “Flag of Hate” give you any rest from the onslaught on your ears and it’s always been hard to pick a favourite track. After listening to it again, maybe “Flag of Hate” just edges it out.

Early Kreator was never a band for those with sensitive ears. Those are the people who say that thrash metallers can’t really play or sing. Yes, sometimes it’s difficult to tell Mille and Ventor apart on the vocals but that’s part of the fun. Definitely not the most tuneful voices in music but their guttural barks fit very well with the frenzy of the music. Someone also once remarked that all the members could only play three chords fast. He reckoned that guitarist Mille Petrozza had only been playing six months. I thought he was brilliant on the closing track, “Dying Victim.” Having never seen any Kreator music sheets, I can’t debate it. However, if that is the case, then it’s certainly the right three chords because the album sounds fantastic.

Track Listing:

  1. Endless Pain
  2. Total Death
  3. Storm of the Beast
  4. Tormentor
  5. Son of Evil
  6. Flag of Hate
  7. Cry War
  8. Bonebreaker
  9. Living in Fear
  10. Dying Victim

Kreator

Mille Petrozza- guitars, vocals on even numbered tracks

Rob Fioretti- bass

Jurgen ‘Ventor’ Reill- drums, vocals on odd numbered tracks

Thrash metal was in its early infancy in 1985 although it would grow astronomically over the year. There were many great bands just waiting to burst out onto the thrash scene, grab the world by the throat and shout, “We are here!” Kreator was one of those bands as “Endless Pain” shows. I am frothing at the mouth at seeing them at Download on Sunday.

Next post: Download, the Sunday

To download Rock and Roll Children for free, go to: https://maxreading.cf/olddocs/free-download-online-rock-and-roll-children-pdf-1609763556-by-michael-d-lefevre.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

Great Metal Albums of 1984: The Scorpions- Love At First Sting

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , on November 6, 2017 by 80smetalman

After posting albums by two bands who came and went virtually unnoticed by the world, except for me, I noticed them, I thought it would be a good idea to go totally the opposite direction and post about a band whose album took the world by storm in 1984. That is exactly what The Scorpions “Love at First Sting” album did, it took the metal world (and in some cases, the non-metal world) by storm. The first single got played a lot on MTV, not that I minded that at all.

Even after more than three decades, when I hear the opening riffs to “Rock You Like a Hurricane,” I jump up and want to start headbanging away to it. Being a little older and slightly more wiser these days, I have come to realize that it was a gutsy move to release it as a single. Those opening riffs are not something you’d expect to hear on commercial radio but one did then. Normally, metal bands would release the more commercial friendly song, not one that blows people away. Then again, 1984 was the golden year of heavy metal so I shouldn’t be surprised that such songs got airplay.

The great thing about “Love At First Sting” is that the above single was just one of the great songs that appear on it. The two songs either side of “Rock You Like a Hurricane” are just as kick you in the head metal. In fact, I have come to believe that those songs could have been arranged in any order and it would have had the same effect on my enjoyment of it. I still would have loved it. After the three opening songs, “Coming Home” starts like a total ballad but after a minute and a half in, the band just goes nuts and the power of the first three songs comes through. Maybe writers Meine and Schenker thought the listener needed a break so, they wrote it that way. But whatever their motives, it worked!

Things go almost to speed metal levels with the next track, “The Same Thrill” but again, it’s done very well. They just let themselves go here and it sounds great. It would be nearly another year before “Big City Nights” was released as a single but I’m glad I didn’t have to wait that long to hear it. It’s a powerful song with a catchy melody and some cool guitar hooks. Some very interesting opening riffs on “As Soon As the Good Times Roll” and “Crossfire” keep things ticking over and leads nicely to what some might consider another gutsy move. The album ends with the second single, the power ballad, “Still Loving You.” As some of you might have guessed, I’m a sucker for a good power ballad and this one is right up there with the best. Note: I’ve already sung the praises of the musicians who comprise this band on previous posts about The Scorpions, so I won’t repeat it.

Track Listing:

  1. Bad Boys Running Wild
  2. Rock You Like a Hurricane
  3. I’m Leaving You
  4. Coming Home
  5. The Same Thrill
  6. Big City Nights
  7. As Soon As the Good Times Roll
  8. Crossfire
  9. Still Loving You

The Scorpions

Klaus Meine- lead vocals

Rudy Schenker- rhythm guitar, backing vocals

Mathias- Jabs- lead guitar

Francis Bucholz- bass

Herman Rarebell- drums

If any one album, established metal as a dominant musical force in early 1984, it was “Love at First Sting” by the Scorpions. Looking back, it’s only right that they be part of the golden year of metal. Especially as they put out such a cool album. My regret is not giving it enough mention in “Rock and Roll Children.”

Next post: Slade- Keep Your Hands Off My Power Supply

To buy Rock and Roll Children, go to: https://www.amazon.com/Rock-Roll-Children-Michael-Lefevre/dp/1609763556/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1509995239&sr=8-3&keywords=michael+d+lefevre

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Great Metal Albums of 1984: Accept- Balls to the Wall

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , on October 26, 2017 by 80smetalman

If ever the saying, “never judge a book (or an album) by its cover” was relevant, it was certainly the case with Accept’s album “Balls to the Wall.” Ever since it’s launch, the cover of the album has brought criticisms of homo-erotica and this debate continues even today. For me, while I never or will ever enter into that debate, I must admit that I was rather homophobic in 1984 and used to have the album face down whenever I listened to it. But homo-erotic album cover or not, it never stopped me from enjoying the content the album contains.

The title track is probably the best known Accept song ever. I remember it getting a considerable amount of airplay on the radio, though I don’t recall ever seeing the video for it on MTV. That song totally blew me away at first listen. That catchy chorus just gets you banging your head away and singing along to it with all your heart and soul. It does the same for me even after all these years. Even if the song had homo-erotic overtones, which the band has always denied, I wouldn’t have cared then or now.

As was the case in 80s Reagan America, the fact that the cover of the album was thought to entertain homosexual contents, meant the rest of the album must do so as well. Songs like “London Leatherboys” and “Love Child” also were accused of the same. Let me tell you that it was all a load of nonsense. The great track, “London Leatherboys” was about bikers and even if it wasn’t, it’s such a cool metal jam. “Love Child” is about gays but it’s also about all people who are oppressed, which back in that time, was any non-conformist group or individual. It still doesn’t stop it from being a great song. I have to agree with the words of guitarist Wolf Hoffmann who said, “You Americans are so uptight about this.” He was totally correct.

In addition to the tracks I’ve already mentioned, the rest of the album is of the same greatness. Except for the acoustic closer, which in itself, isn’t a bad song, each one of these tracks totally kicks ass. Then as now, I can’t really pick a favorite apart from the famous title track. Power and melody are fused so well it’s amazing. There is something to like about each and every one here whether it’s hard riffs, catchy choruses or blistering guitar solos. “Balls to the Wall” was my metal introduction to the year 1984 and what a great one it was.

Track Listing:

  1. Balls to the Wall
  2. London Leatherboys
  3. Fight Back
  4. Head Over Heels
  5. Losing More Than You Ever Had
  6. Love Child
  7. Turn Me On
  8. Losers and Winners
  9. Guardians of the Night
  10. Winter Dreams

Accept

Do Dirkscheider- lead vocals

Wolf Hoffmann- guitar

Herman Frank- guitar

Peter Baltes- bass

Stefan Kaufmann- drums

Like I said, “Balls to the Wall” was my metal introduction to 1984 as I first heard it in early February of that year. I don’t think I could have asked for a better one than this.

Next post: Rock Goddess- Hell Hath No Fury

To buy Rock And Roll Children, go to: https://www.amazon.com/Rock-Roll-Children-Michael-Lefevre/dp/1609763556/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1509050330&sr=8-3&keywords=michael+d+lefevre