Archive for hard rock

Great Metal Albums of 1987: Lizzy Borden- Terror Rising

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , on April 24, 2022 by 80smetalman

Before I even began to listen to “Terror Rising” by American band, Lizzy Borden, I had a question about it thanks to Wikipedia. They call this album an EP owing to the fact that it only has seven songs for a total combined length of twenty-seven minutes. I know of LPs which only have that many songs and aren’t much longer in length. That put the question in my mind, should “Terror Rising” be considered an EP or an LP? After mentally debating this question for about 1.2 seconds, I began listening to the album and after a few notes, I didn’t really care.

The album begins with the melodic metal riffs which Lizzy Borden was known for back in the day. Opening track, “Give Them the Axe,” was the supposed single for the album and I can hear why. It’s hard rocking but melodic rhythm is ideal for commercial radio at the time. Lizzy Borden’s vocals are straight forward without going over the top falsetto and the rhythm is very catchy. Plus it has a short but to the point guitar solo. Single or not, it was a great way to open the album.

Up next is a very very interesting cover of the Jefferson Airplane classic, “White Rabbit.” You could easily say that Lizzy Borden put their own spin on it. Being a big fan of the Airplane back in the day, I am not offended by this cover, in fact, I like it very much. Since, I’ve been singing the praises of bass players lately, I will continue to do so and say that Mike Davis puts down a really groovy bass line on it. There are also a couple of cool guitar solos.

Next is a live recording of “Rod of Iron.” Now I am not sure if it’s the same recording as on the 1986 live album, “The Murderous Metal Road Show” but it sounds good here. In any case, it is played very well and remembering back to when I posted about the live album, I remember why I regret not seeing Lizzy Borden live. The same goes for the next track, “American Metal.” It is also on the previous live album but in this case, you get a studio recording of it. It’s a good straight forward metal tune and Lizzy goes a little more over the top on the falsetto vocals at times but the backing vocals are done well. If played live, this would be a good song to encourage audience participation to.

Then we get to the hidden gem, “Don’t Touch Me There.” Here’s another mystery which my normal online resources haven’t been forth coming to provide the information. I am offering 1,000 80smetalman points to who can tell me the lady who accompanies Lizzy on the vocals. Together, they make a fantastic duet. All of the cliched innuendos are present but backed up with some great heavy guitar. For anyone who says that humour doesn’t belong in heavy metal, then I highly recommend they listen to this one. It’s a great fusion of humour and metal.

“Catch Your Death” is another straight forward faster paced metal song with an intro that leads you into believing it’s going to be a power ballad. It’s the fastest song on the album which keeps the album ticking over very well to the title track closer. It does have a great guitar solo trade off and it might be a good time to point out that Lizzy Borden added a third guitarist, Tony Matuzak, to the line up. It does bring an extra sense of power to things.

Title cut, “Terror Rising” is a horror movie type song where Lizzy is trying to dismiss the demon he made a deal with but the demon refuses to leave. I get the feeling that the demon takes over at the end before the repeated lines, “It’s terror rising, I’m terrorizing.” end the album on an amusing note.

Track Listing:

  1. Give ‘Em the Axe
  2. White Rabbit
  3. Rod of Iron
  4. American Metal
  5. Don’t Touch Me There
  6. Catch Your Death
  7. Terror Rising
Lizzy Borden

Lizzy Borden- Vocals

Gene Allen- guitars

Tony Matuzak- guitar

Alex Nelson- guitar

Mike Davis- bass

Joey Scott- drums

Forget about the EP or LP debate, “Terror Rising” stands on its own as a cool album from an great but amusing metal band. Since the 1980s, I had forgotten about Lizzy Borden but I am enjoying my personal renaissance with the band, which is why….

Next post: Lizzy Borden- Visual Lies

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

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Great Metal Albums of 1987: Great White- Once Bitten

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , on April 20, 2022 by 80smetalman

After being dropped by their label after their commercially disappointing debut album, (I thought it was good), Great White went for a more bluesier sound with their next album, “Shot in the Dark.” That was a great album and I just went back into the archives and reread how much I gushed over it. With that said, that album was simply a warm up for what I consider Great White’s best album, “Once Bitten.” On this album, they took the more metal debut album and their more blues second album and combined them to make this one their greatest album.

One thing I like about “Once Bitten” is that all of the tracks here, bar one, seem to have brilliant guitar intros. Whether it’s the riffing of rhythm guitarist Michael Lardie or solos from lead guitarist Mark Kendall, they bring each song in on a very high note before the rest of the band join in and carry that song to the end. Jack Russell’s vocals are superb but I stick by what I wrote when I visited “Shot in the Dark” what seems ages ago, Lorne Black is a totally underrated bass player! I love his basslines on practically every song and a good reason why none of the songs on this album can be considered filler.

Let me now go straight to not only the best song on the album but my favourite Great White song of all time, “Rock Me.” After the first two tracks deliver a great build up, this third track just blows me away. It describes exactly what I mean with Great White finding the metal and blues combination and creating something phenomenal with it because that’s what they do with “Rock Me.” Everything I said about the band in the above paragraph comes through many fold on this song. Plus, I should be gushing over what a great guitarist Mark Kendall is because he definitely earns that title here.

I know it’s a tired 80smetalman cliche which I’ve said many times but in the case of “Once Bitten,” one song doesn’t make an album. After being blown away by “Rock Me,” “All Over Now” comes in as a straight forward metal jam with that cool intro and some great guitar work and vocals held together by a strong as steel rhythm section. I haven’t mentioned him yet so I will now because Audie Desbrow lets us know what a great drummer he is as he puts in some great fills on this one.

An acoustic blues riff starts “Mistreater” before things just go total metal nuts but if you listen carefully, you can hear the honky tonk piano in the background. This is another effective blues-metal combination which is a great one to bang along to with some great soloing from Mark before the acoustic close out. More acoustic intros follow on “Never Change Heart.” It starts out as a potential ballad before morphing into a mid-tempo metal tune. Once again, Lorne’s bassline is prominent.

While there aren’t any filler tracks on the album, “Fast Road” for me is the least strongest. Maybe it’s me but this one seems, except for Audie’s drumroll intro, to come and go without much notice. It’s simply a good but unspectacular metal song and that’s okay. Probably because it is the fastest song on the album. Penultimate track, “On the Edge,” for some reason keeps confusing me with the Hurricane hit, “Take Me In Your Arms.” Don’t ask me why, it’s probably down to my insane mind but they do sound similar to me.

Finally we get to the closer and I ask myself: “How in the hell didn’t ‘Save Your Love’ make it on my top 30 power ballads list?” Perhaps I do need my head examined because this is a blinder of of a power ballad. Great White do everything they have done on previous tracks but just take it a little more slower. Believe me, it’s one hell of a power ballad! Passionate vocals, acoustic guitar and a great guitar solo, it’s all there. Thinking back to “Shot in the Dark” where they conclude that album with a power ballad, it could be that power ballad closers is the band’s trademark.

Track Listing:

  1. Lady Red Light
  2. Gonna Getcha
  3. Rock Me
  4. All Over Now
  5. Mistreater
  6. Never Change Heart
  7. Fast Road
  8. On the Edge
  9. Save Your Love

Note: The UK version omits four of these tracks and replaces them with four tracks from “Shot in the Dark.”

Great White

Jack Russell- lead and backing vocals

Mark Kendall- lead guitar, backing vocals

Michael Lardie- rhythm guitar, keyboards, harmonica, backing vocals

Lorne Black- bass, backing vocals

Audie Desbrow- drums

For me, “Once Bitten” is the best album from Great White. They do everything well here and it shows!

Next post: Lizzy Borden- Terror Rising

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

To sign the petition for a knighthood for Bruce Dickinson, click the link: https://www.change.org/p/special-honours-committees-for-knighthoods-a-knighthood-for-bruce-dickinson

Great Metal Albums of 1987: Helix- Wild in the Streets

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 17, 2022 by 80smetalman

In 1987, Helix came out with “Wild in the Streets,” which, judging from what I’ve read, didn’t do too well for the band. It did go Gold in Canada but barely charted in the US. Being in England, I didn’t know this album even existed until recently and only heard of it thanks to my Canadian readers. Still, whatever the history or so-called critics say, I think the album was pretty good.

An AC/DC vibe opens the album with the title cut. The guitars remind me of “For Those About to Rock, We Salute” and the opening vocal salvo from Brian Volmer does sound a little like Brian Johnson. Still the track gives the album a promising start. This is quickly followed by the boogie woogie sounding “Never Gonna Stop the Rock.” The song has an unmissable swagger to it which makes you want to bob along to it and some good guitar solos as well.

Oh what a great power ballad “Dream On” could have been! Not to be confused with the Aerosmith classic, this song was originally recorded by 1970s Scottish legends, Nazareth. Being a sucker for a great power ballad, Helix’s “Dream On” had great potential but unfortunately, the production doesn’t seem to be up to scratch as compared to the rest of the album. Shame, because everything needed to be a great power ballad is there. Acoustic guitars backed up by piano chops before the power chords kick in. Brian’s vocals sound extremely passionate and there’s a killer guitar solo. It’s just too bad the production is off putting.

Don’t worry, Helix get back to rocking out with “What Ya Bringing to the Party.” My answer is a couple of six packs and a bottle of Jack but this is a great party tune. One for sticking into the car stereo and going for a cruise on a Saturday night. But the party doesn’t end because right after comes my favourite track on the album, “High Voltage Kicks.” I’m not quite sure what high voltage kicks are but what I do know is that this track totally kicks ass. It starts out as a Southern blues number with some cool intricate guitar licks before the song goes total rock out. Even with the faster pace of the song, the backing vocals stay melodic. It’s the fastest song on the album.

Things continue to rock on “Give ‘Em Hell,” another great rocking song with some cool guitar riffs and brilliant solo. It’s proof of how good Helix are when they just let loose and go for it. “Shot Full of Love” is also a fast paced song and though it sounds like it’s all over the place at times, it comes together and makes a good song. It definitely has the best guitar solo on the album.

Now you would think a song called “Love Hungry Eyes” would be another power ballad but comes nowhere close to that! It’s a mid-paced song while not spectacular, keeps the album ticking over nicely. Then we come to the penultimate track, “She’s Too Tough.” This song was written by Def Leppard’s Joe Elliot and was meant to be on their “Hysteria” album but instead, it went to Helix and they do a good job on it. I do love the guitar riffs on the intro. However, with the benefit of historical hindsight, if Def Leppard’s intended version of the song was anything like what Helix do here, then it would have been too hard rock for “Hysteria.” Helix close out the album with a song which seems to incorporate everything they’ve done on the rest of the album. It has a progressive intro and there’s that blues party swagger to it and some great guitar work and drum fills. It’s a great way to end the album, even without the cheesy explosion at the very end.

Track Listing:

  1. Wild in the Streets
  2. Never Gonna Stop the Rock
  3. Dream On
  4. What Ya Bringing to the Party
  5. High Voltage Kicks
  6. Give ‘Em Hell
  7. Shot Full of Love
  8. Love Hungry Eyes
  9. She’s Too Tough
  10. Kiss It Goodbye
Helix and their friends

Brian Volmer- lead vocals

Brent ‘Doctor’ Doener- guitar, backing vocals

Paul Hackman- guitar, backing vocal

Daryl Gray- bass, keyboards, piano, backing vocals

Greg ‘Fritz’ Hinz- drums, backing vocals

Additional musicians:

Don Airey, Sam Reid- additional keyboards

Mickey Curry, Brian Doener, Matthew Fernette- additional drums

My theory is that on “Wild in the Streets,” Helix tried to be all things to all people and while the album sounds great, it didn’t work out for them commercially. Capitol Records would drop them from the label after this, which was a shame but the sign of the times of how one commercially unsuccessful album could be the death knell for a band.

Next post: Great White- Once Bitten

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

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Great Metal Albums of 1987: Alice Cooper- Raise Your Fist and Yell

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Humour, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on April 14, 2022 by 80smetalman

You know what? The more I reflect back on the music of the 1980s, the more I am convinced of the similarities in the careers of Aerosmith and Alice Cooper. Both were 1970s icons with great albums. Then by the end of the decade and into the early 1980s, they were both nearly destroyed by the excesses enjoyed by many great rock and roll musicians. Aerosmith had become druggies dabbling in music Alice describes the early 1980s as his ‘drunk period.’ Then in the middle of the decade both dried up enough to cut albums which got them back on the rock map. Aerosmith released “Done With Mirrors” and Alice gave us “Constrictor.” But in 1987, both came out with defining albums which stamped their comeback as the real deal. I have already covered Aerosmith’s “Permanent Vacation” and Alice hit us all with this album, “Raise Your Fist and Yell.”

Alice tells us all to “raise our fists and yell” with the opening track and my favourite on the album, “Freedom.” The song is a totally undisguised dig at the PMRC when Alice says, “You want to rule us with an iron hand, change the lyrics and become big brother. This ain’t Russia! You’re not my dad or mother.” Whenever I hear the song, I want to raise my fist and yell. It also helps that with the exception of a new drummer, Alice keeps the same band he had from the last album.

New drummer Ken K. Mary introduces himself with a thundering drumroll on the second track, “Lock Me Up.” That’s followed by spoken word from Freddy Kruger actor Robert Englund accusing Alice of mass mental cruelty. As always with Alice, his sense of humour comes through here when he sings that he’s a criminal and if you don’t like it you can lock him up. Not me, Alice, not me. Guitarist Kane Roberts takes his turn to shine on “Give the Radio Back” as he solos his way all throughout the song. The lyrics have me thinking here. Did someone take Alice’s radio and he wants it back or is he singing out against how crap commercial radio had become by then? Yes, commercial radio did suck back then.

Was Alice at a thrash gig when he came up with “Step on You?” He does sing about sharpening his spikes and strapping up his boots. Anyway, on this track, it’s bassist Kip Winger’s turn to shine as the bass line here is just outstanding. The drumming and guitar get an assist though. More Alice humour closes out side one with “Not That Kind of Love.” He doesn’t favour romantic love on this one but wants to get down and dirty. If there is any song that would have riled the PMRC on this album, it would have definitely been this one. Once again, the band is really tight here.

Side two of the album has a death related theme starting out with my vote for hidden gem, “Prince of Darkness.” This is a song which takes me back to his shock, horror rock days of the 1970s. This is a great metal track with some great changes and no one can make this sound this good like Alice does. The eerie acoustic part at the tail end says it all.

Some great guitar work backs up Alice telling us that it’s time to kill. He’s going to take his fist and make them understand is augmented with some more magnificent guitar work from Kane, possibly his best solo on the album. Once he realizes he only has time to kill, Alice tells us how he’s going to do it with “Chop Chop Chop.” There is some great musicianship all around on this one. I love the intro. Afterwards, we get to know who his victim is, it’s “Gail.” The knife wound on her chest and her blood served time in its skeletal jail lets us know in this slow acoustic ballad. At the end of the album, we learn that Alice loves what he has done because he tells us that blood drops look like roses on white lace. It’s a great closer and with more great metal musicianship, (it’s almost a speed metal song), you definitely don’t forget this album.

Track Listing:

  1. Freedom
  2. Lock Me Up
  3. Give the Radio Back
  4. Step On You
  5. Not That Kind of Love
  6. Prince of Darkness
  7. Time to Kill
  8. Chop Chop Chop
  9. Gail
  10. Roses on White Lace
Alice Cooper

Alice Cooper- lead vocals

Kane Roberts- guitar, backing vocals

Kip Winger- bass, backing vocals, keyboards on “Gail”

Paul Taylor- keyboards

Ken K. Mary- drums

Robert Englund- Freddy Kruger on “Lock Me Up”

For all the similarities between Alice Cooper and Aerosmith, there will be one difference. Aerosmith will go onto make a greater album in 1989 with “Pump.” As for Alice and I have already put up the screen to defend against all the rotten vegetables about to be thrown at me, I prefer “Raise Your Fist and Yell” to his next album, “Trash.” Nothing wrong with “Trash,” I know I’ll sing its praises when I get to1989, but “Raise Your Fist and Yell” will be my favourite 80s Alice Cooper album. It could be down to the fact that I finally got to see him live on tour for the album but who’s to say? I just love this album.

Next post: Helix- Wild in the Streets

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

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Great Rock Albums of 1987: Glass Tiger- The Thin Red Line

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on April 10, 2022 by 80smetalman

Glass Tiger was a band I had heard of back in the day but never got around listening to them. When I first heard the name, I thought they were going to be a glam metal band and looking at pictures of the band cemented that belief in my eyes. However, when I finally got to listen to the debut album, “The Thin Red Line,” I quickly discovered that Glass Tiger was indeed not a heavy metal band! If anything, I should have paid more attention to the genre labels on the websites I do my research on. They list the band as pop rock or light AOR and I can agree wholeheartedly with that.

This begs the question: Is the album terrible? Admittedly, if I had heard this album back in 1987, I would have never wanted to listen to it again. This is because I was totally into my metal, (not that I’m not these days), but this album would be too commercial for my liking back then. Fortunately, I am much older and wiser (pause for laughter) and am able to approach “The Thin Red Line” with a much more open mind.

Here’s the real shocker. The album starts with the title cut and the intro sounds like we’re going to be treated to some good Dio like metal. I waited for the crunching guitars to kick in but instead we get heavy synthesizers. Even with my open mind, it’s a bit of a let down. Saying that, one cannot fault the keyboard skills of Sam Reid. He leaves his trademark on every song of the album and fair dues, he doesn’t play in a bubblegum synth pop fashion which was so popular at the time. I really appreciate his skills on “Closer to You.”

Being the metalhead I am, I always have an ear out for the guitar and unlike so many synth pop bands of the era, Al Connelly’s guitar isn’t smothered in the mix. I accept the fact that he’s not crunching the power chords on each and every song but it works here. He lays down his first solo on “Closer to You” and his lead guitar intro combined with the backing keyboards of Sam, creates a haunting effect on “Looking at a Picture.” It took me several listens to realize this but the combination works well on this particular track. In fact, let me say that all five players in the band are very talented. Alan Frew is a good singer and there are some cool bass lines from Wayne Parker and Michael Hanson is a more than capable drummer.

Of course, there has to be one track which I prefer over the rest and in this case, it’s “Ecstasy.” This is the closest Glass Tiger comes to being hard rock and you get to hear more of Al’s guitar on it. Plus, he lays down a rather cool solo. “Ancient Evenings” does come second but not a very close one. The best way to describe “The Thin Red Line” is that they are Marillion, Mr. Mister and Duran Duran all rolled into one. I hear a little of all three throughout the album.

Track Listing:

  1. The Thin Red Line
  2. Don’t Forget Me (When I’m Gone)
  3. Closer to You
  4. Vanishing Tribe
  5. Looking at the Picture
  6. The Secret
  7. Ancient Evenings
  8. Ecstasy
  9. Someday
  10. I Will Be There
  11. You’re What I Look For
Glass Tiger

Alan Frew- vocals

Al Connelly- guitar

Sam Reid- keyboards

Wayne Parker- bass

Michael Hanson- drums

Additional Musicians:

Jim Vallence- additional keyboards, backing vocals

Mark Lafrance, Paul Janz, Dalbello and Sharon Lee Williams- backing vocals

Bryan Adams- backing vocals on “Don’t Forget Me” and “I Will Be There”

Keith Scott- additional guitar

Doug Edwards- additional bass on “Don’t Forget Me”

David Pickell- harmonica

Chase Sanborn, Charles Gray, Russ Little- horns

I have to admit, the album has grown on me. It took a few listens but it has. It could because my musical tastes have gone a little more melodic in my advancing years, though I still enjoy a good thrashing mosh like with Agnostic Front.

Next post: Alice Cooper- Raise Your Fist and Yell

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

To sign the petition to give Bruce Dickinson a knighthood, click the link: https://www.change.org/p/special-honours-committees-for-knighthoods-a-knighthood-for-bruce-dickinson

Great Metal Albums of 1987: Agnostic Front- Liberty and Justice For…

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 7, 2022 by 80smetalman

One year after their controversial “Cause for Alarm” album, Agnostic Front were back with “Liberty and Justice For….” Like with the previous album, the band went through various line up changes and by the time the new album was recorded, the only remaining member from that previous album was rhythm guitarist Vinnie Stigma.

With “Liberty and Justice For…” Agnostic Front continued their crossover from hardcore punk into thrash metal. While I can’t say for 100%, it also seems that they also steered themselves away from right wing lyrics. The album kicks off with “Liberty and Justice” and begins with a classroom full of school children reciting the pledge of allegiance. However, the pledge stops right after “One nation under God” and goes into a massive thrash-out. The children say the final line at the end of the song, “With liberty and justice for all.” Lyrically, the song isn’t right wing but laments how the US is destroying itself while politicians don’t seem to care. Doesn’t sound right wing to me, just a fact.

Like the Stormtroopers of Death and Napalm Death, Agnostic Front launch a short but fatal attack on delicate eardrums with eleven songs in just over twenty-five minutes with no quarter asked for or given. Each and every song is just one massive thrash frenzy. The slowest song on the album is “Another Side,” at least it starts at 1990s Metallica speed before jettisoning into normal Agnostic Front speed. It does slow down in the middle before lead guitarist Steve Martin, no not the comedy actor, plays his best solo on the album. There is a similar vibe on the next track, “Happened Yesterday,” though that doesn’t slow down as much. But like with everything about this album, it’s short and to the point. The only possible exception might be the penultimate track, which is slow enough to hear the lyrics. There’s a definite Suicidal Tendencies vibe on this one. In this case, it works perfectly.

Track Listing:

  1. Liberty and Justice
  2. Crucial Moment
  3. Strength
  4. Genesis
  5. Anthem
  6. Another Side
  7. Happened Yesterday
  8. Lost
  9. Hypocrisy
  10. Crucified
  11. Censored
Agnostic Front

Roger Miret- vocals

Steve Martin- lead guitar

Vinnie Stigma- rhythm guitar

Alan Peters- bass

Will Shepler- drums

Thrash bands came and went in the late 1980s but Agnostic Front kept going. I must warn people, “Liberty and Justice For…” is not for the feint hearted. It’s one speed frenzy almost from start to finish but it’s one thrash party I will attend every time.

Next post: Glass Tiger- The Thin Red Line

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

To sign the petition to have Bruce Dickinson knighted, click the link: https://www.change.org/p/special-honours-committees-for-knighthoods-a-knighthood-for-bruce-dickinson

Great Metal Albums of 1987: Battlezone- Children of Madness

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , on April 2, 2022 by 80smetalman

After his departure from Iron Maiden, lead singer Paul Di’Anno, tried to make a go of things by forming his own band but that was short-lived. In 1985, he formed Battlezone (also known as Paul Di’Anno’s Battlezone) and after their debut album, “Fighting Back,” came and went without much notice, at least from me or anyone I knew, they released their second album in 1987, “Children of Madness.”

For the most part, this is a good straightforward heavy metal album, with several good tracks. There is some good riffing on many of the intros by guitarists John Wiggins and Graham Bath and I’m going to put my head on the chopping block here but except for the track, “Nuclear Breakdown,” I think that Paul’s vocals are better than when he was in Iron Maiden. This is not a knock against the mighty Maiden, it’s more a case that Paul’s vocal abilities matured.

With “Children of Madness,” the second half of the album is better than the first. Sure, “Rip It Up” is a good opener and there is a great lead guitar solo on “Torch of Hate,” which is the fastest song on the album but there is better on the second half of the album. The two songs which really shine for me are “I Don’t Wanna Know” which is about a dying relationship and “Metal Tears” which is the closest to a ballad they come with it’s soft intro. The amusing fact about “Metal Tears” is that it’s about a man who falls for a female robot. Both of these tracks have some great guitar work and Paul’s vocals are the smoothest on the album.

If I was to pick a candidate for hidden gem, it would have to be the closer, “Whispered Rage.” The band bring it all together here with some cool guitar solos and more good vocals from Paul and don’t forget the rhythm section. On the other hand, most of the tracks start promising and carry on maybe for the first or second verses but seem to tail off before the guitar solo. The original oomph which attracts you to the song at the beginning is lacking as the song ends. Maybe that’s just me. The title track is one good example. But for the most part, it’s still a good album.

Track Listing:

  1. Rip It Up
  2. Overloaded
  3. Nuclear Breakdown
  4. Torch of Hate
  5. Children of Madness
  6. I Don’t Wanna Know
  7. The Promise
  8. It’s Love
  9. Metal Tears
  10. Whispered Rage
Battlezone

Paul Di’Anno- lead vocals

John Wiggins- guitar

Graham Bell- guitar

Pete West- bass

Steve Hopgood- drums

Like what caused Paul’s exit from Iron Maiden, Battlezone would release one more studio album and then a compilation album before drink, drugs and infighting would cause the band to break up. When I listen to “Children of Madness,” I hear a band with potential. It’s too bad that potential was never recognized.

Next Post: Agnostic Front- Liberty and Justice For..

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

To sign the petition for a knighthood for Bruce Dickinson, click the link: https://www.change.org/p/special-honours-committees-for-knighthoods-a-knighthood-for-bruce-dickinson

Great Metal Albums of 1987: Savatage- Hall of the Mountain King

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , on March 30, 2022 by 80smetalman

“Hall of the Mountain King” is the album which thrust Savatage into the spotlight of the heavy metal world. It is definitely a redeeming album for the band after the misstep that was “Fight for the Rock.” While, that album wasn’t as bad as many might say, it is nothing in comparison to the 1987 “Hall of the Mountain King.” This is a fantastic album hands down and the only album from the 1980s to make it into the top five of my favourite Savatage albums list.

My thought as to why this album was so successful is that they went back to what they did on the 1985 “Power of the Night” album. When I posted about that album, I stated that it was a blueprint for the iconic album I am posting about right now.

Savatage comes roaring out of the starting blocks with “24 Hours Ago” and it is clear that they aren’t going to take any prisoners. They are definitely firing on all cylinders here. That carries on with “Beyond the Doors of the Dark,” a no nonsense what we would call these days, power metal tune. Jon Oliva shrieks his way through the song but it sounds right with it. The shredding of brother Criss takes this track to even more dizzier heights. But better is yet to come!

All the things I wrote about Johnny Lee Middleton’s bass playing on the previous album goes even further here. He starts out “Legions of the Night” with a great bass line and combined with Criss’s six-string magic, make a lethal cocktail of cool heavy metal. Jon keeps his vocals shriek free but sings in a more raspier way and it works very well. Oh, did I mention how well Criss shreds on it?

That party is kept well and truly going on the following track “Strange Wings.” This goes more in the vein of what some would consider ‘traditional’ Savatage. This song would have been at home on any Savatage album and the best track on at least one. It’s a very strong melodic metal tune with all the key elements I have been writing about on the other tracks thus far.

Things take a breather on “Prelude to Madness.” It’s an instrumental and if those who want to categorize heavy metal into subgenres, then this is one of the first songs I would classify as progressive metal. Keyboards are brought in and they complement the track, especially as Criss does what Criss does best on it. Now, I’m not sure if the band meant it to happen but I think “Prelude to Madness” is the perfect intro to the title track and in my opinion, the best track on the album. It takes power metal and progressive metal, (okay, I’m using terms unheard of back in 1987), and blend them together to make one hell of a great song. Not only does Criss shred away here but his rhythm guitar spot in the middle of the song is just mind blowing. Jon’s shrieks are accompanied by a sinister laugh and the rhythm section is especially tight. Definitely a brilliant song, though I might be biased. Here’s the funny thing, even though it’s the best song on the album, it only comes in fourth in my favourite Savatage songs of all time list.

While the title track might be the best track, the remaining four tracks don’t take the album down in any way. “The Price You Pay” is a good solid song which keeps things ticking along nicely. Again, the band does everything right on it. However, things take an upturn, if that’s possible, on “White Witch.” This is the fastest track on the album with some great riffing from guess who? The bass and drums keep a pounding pace and I sometimes think that maybe Jon’s voice was more suited to songs like this. This is the one Savatage song which could get a mosh pit going. Following on is a short instrumental in which we get to hear Criss at his best before a very apt closer in “Devastation.” To quote song: “We should have listened to what Christ had to say.” There’s nothing new I can say about the track except it just ends the album extremely well.

Track Listing:

  1. 24 Hours Ago
  2. Beyond the Doors of the Dark
  3. Legions
  4. Strange Wings
  5. Prelude to Madness
  6. Hall of the Mountain King
  7. The Price You Pay
  8. White Witch
  9. Last Dawn
  10. Devastation

Jon Oliva- ‘The Grit’ vocals, piano

Criss Oliva- ‘The Crunch’ guitars

Johnny Lee Middleton- ‘The Thunder’ bass, backing vocals

Steve Wacholz- ‘Doctor Killdrums’ drums, percussion

There’s no denying I am a huge Savatage fan. Though I had heard of the band, it was “Hall of the Mountain King” which made me the big fan I am today. Of course, their other great albums help as well.

Next post: Battlezone- Children of Madness

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

To sign the petition for a knighthood for Bruce Dickinson, click the link: https://www.change.org/p/special-honours-committees-for-knighthoods-a-knighthood-for-bruce-dickinson

Great Metal Albums of 1987: The Great Kat- Worship Me or Die!

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , on March 27, 2022 by 80smetalman

Could this be a case of looks being deceiving? When you look past the guitar, leather and spikes, you might be inclined to think that this innocent looking young lady sang Taylor Swift type songs. After all, it seems that these days, some female pop singers dress in a neo-metal fashion in an attempt to lure younger metal males into checking out their music. However, metalheads aren’t as stupid as they think. They listen to what’s inside the album and not judge by the cover. With The Great Kat, on the other hand, she is the real deal. What you get from her debut album, “Worship Me or Die!” is a half hour of great thrash metal.

After a great shredding introduction, Kat, (real name Katherine Thomas), declares that she is the “Metal Messiah.” Her declaration is short and to the point with some great power riffs to back her up. After, she lets you know that she is possessed by the devil and you are her little slaves. Her shredding backs up her claim. If that’s not enough to convince you, she power chords and shreds her point in declaring “Death to You.”

Once you are convinced she the possessed metal messiah, you get my favourite track of the album, “Satan Goes to Church.” My amusement for television evangelists is satisfied when the song is introduced by a television evangelist telling us to repent. That is quickly sidelined by a thrash frenzy telling us that Satan is coming into the church and writing his name in blood before burning it down. It’s all tongue and cheek but I bet the Jesus freaks back then got their knickers all in a twist over it.

Now that Satan has burned down the church, you have no other choice do what Kat says in the title track, “Worship Me or Die!” Kat declares her omnipotence by letting you know that Kat rules, once again backed up by serious thrash chords and more shredding. From there, she goes on a four song death to all march, first summoning demons, then a speed death, a song which seems to go at 900mph. It carries on with killing the Muthers, (I don’t think she’s talking about actual mothers here), before laying it all to rest with “Ashes to Dust,” complete with a funeral service at the beginning. It’s all one big thrash-fest and I must give full credit to the rhythm section for being able to keep up with her.

Kat gets the children involved by playing a sweet little game called, “Satan Says.” Backed by foreboding, slower riffs, she kindly warns the children what might happen if they don’t play. “Satan goes follow me, Satan says ‘Go to Hell!'” The album then closes out with a total metal massacre, with the great shredding in which the album was first brought in.

Track Listing:

  1. Metal Messiah
  2. Kat Possessed
  3. Death to You
  4. Satan Goes to Church
  5. Worship Me or Die
  6. Demons
  7. Speed Death
  8. Kill the Muthers
  9. Ashes to Dust
  10. Satan Says
  11. Metal Massacre
The Great Kat (she doesn’t look so innocent here)

The Great Kat- guitar, lead vocals, violin

Tom Von Doom- bass

Adam Killa- drums

“Worship Me or Die” proves a point I have been making recently here and on other blogs; Back in the 1980s, female shredders didn’t get the respect they so deserved. The Great Kat, I emphasize the great because she was just as good as many of her male counterparts at the time and she should have been taken more seriously.

Next post: Savatage- Hall of the Mountain King

To buy Rock and Roll Children, email me at: tobychainsaw@80smetalman

To sign the petition to give Bruce Dickinson a knighthood, click the link: https://www.change.org/p/special-honours-committees-for-knighthoods-a-knighthood-for-bruce-dickinson

Rest in Peace Taylor Hawkins

Posted in Death, Heavy Metal, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on March 26, 2022 by 80smetalman
Taylor Hawkins

I’m sure this sad news is all around the world by now. When I turned on the TV news this morning, I was very saddened to learn of the death of Foo Fighters drummer Taylor Hawkins. While details surrounding Taylor’s death haven’t been released, his band was on tour of South America at the time. Tributes from all around the rock world and beyond have been pouring in. Therefore, I can only add my condolences to Taylor’s wife and children and to the Foo Fighters as well.

Rest in peace Taylor