Archive for Kerrang

Great Metal Albums of 1987: Manowar- Fighting the World

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on October 1, 2021 by 80smetalman

With each album from Manowar I listen to, the more I think that Kerrang Magazine should apologize for calling them a joke band in a 1986 issue. Manowar are definitely not a joke band, they are as serious as any other metal band in the world. True, their image may be over the top but that doesn’t stop their music from being as good as it is. When I listened to the 1987 album, “Fighting the World,” I did so with these thoughts in mind. By the time the album finished, I was in no doubt that they were never a joke band.

According to sources, the single released from the album was “Blow Your Speakers” and I must say that it is a fantastic song. The true heavy metal power railing against commercial radio stations who refused to play heavy metal. It is my favourite track on the album and when I listen to it, I do want to blow my speakers with it. Here’s the weird thing, over a decade ago, I picked up a compilation album and the Manowar song on the album was the title track. So, you can see why I found this a little confusing. If anything, I’m surprised it wasn’t released as one because it is that good. It also was an inspiring song when I wrote “Rock and Roll Children,” because by 1987, it seemed that heavy metal was fighting the world.

Right after the two opening songs comes the hidden gem, “Carry On.” I think several bands who came later drew influence from this song. The intro is something right out of a Strativarius song and then after that acoustic intro, you get a song which could have inspired both The Darkness and the Black Veil Brides. It is a very enjoyable song which you can’t help to move your head along to. It also has a great guitar solo from Ross the Boss. Some might say that the repetition of the chorus “Carry on, carry on, forever carry on” might drag on a bit at the end but it doesn’t bother me.

Very interesting sound effects such as police sirens begin the track, “Violence and Bloodshed.” This is a very fast paced song with some more interesting sound effects at the guitar solo. “Defender” starts with a spoken word from a father to his son. The father isn’t there but he charges his son with the task of defending the helpless to the end. The background music is very suspenseful and sounds great with the words. Eric Adams sings the response of the son saying he will take up the task. The guitar and bass comes in harder but still has that gloomy feeling before going into what could be Ross’s best guitar solo on the album. After that, the spoken voice and Eric’s vocals join together with the chorus “Ride like the wind, fight on, you’re the defender.” It is a cool concept song.

Sandwiched between two minute and a half tracks, the first an instrumental, is “Holy War.” The track starts with the clapping thunder of where the instrumental left off. After a slow build up, it explodes into the fastest song on the album. It does slow down a little for the second verse but the energy cannot be held in and just explodes again. While we get another great guitar solo, my ears are more tuned into the rhythm section, especially Joey DeMaio’s bass. Closing the album is “Black Wind, Fire and Steel.” While it’s rather fast paced, the melody of the song makes it perfect for the closer. The background guitar during the verses gets my attention as does how it all comes together as it winds down to the end.

Track Listing:

  1. Fighting the World
  2. Blow Your Speakers
  3. Carry On
  4. Violence and Bloodshed
  5. Defender
  6. Drums of Doom
  7. Holy War
  8. Masters of Revenge
  9. Black Wind, Fire and Steel
Manowar

Eric Adams- vocals

Ross the Boss- guitar, keyboards

Joey DeMaio- bass

Scott Columbus- drums

Not that I ever thought it in the first place, but “Fighting the World” put to rest any thought that Manowar were a joke band. They play their metal as good as anyone else. Kerrang should be ashamed and it could be why it has basically sucked since the mid 1990s.

Next post: Nuclear Assault- Game Over

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

Great Albums of 1986: Tobruk- Wild On the Run

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , on December 17, 2020 by 80smetalman

During my first Christmas in Britain in 1986, my sister Dawn and her friend Stacy, (together known as ‘The Metal Sisters’), sent me a cassette full of metal songs. This tape will comprise the next several posts but I’m getting ahead of myself. Maybe they thought I was missing some good heavy metal, this couldn’t have been farther from the truth. The first two songs on the tape were from the band Tobruk and from the album, “Wild On the Run.” However, I had already heard of the band because a few weeks earlier, Kerrang Magazine, (long before it became Kerrap in the mid 90s), ran an article on them in their “Wimpwire” feature.

Wimps? Well quite possibly because there are spots on the album where they sound like they want to be the next Bon Jovi. The intro and the short keyboard solo on the second track, “Falling” definitely gives that impression. However, even on that track, there are some good hard rock portions to be heard. What Tobruk do successfully on this album is to blend the heavy metal with just the right amount of keyboards. The keys enhance the songs. One good example of this blend is “Running From the Night.” It’s basically a great hard rockin’ track with a cool guitar solo and I love the guitars at the intro. The keyboards can be heard but they compliment the song. Thinking about it, that particular track reminds me of Autograph.

Since I would only be repeating myself if I dissected each song individually, not that the songs all sound the same because they don’t, I will look at three songs. First, there is the opening title track which was also released as a single. It didn’t do anything as far as the singles charts but it doesn’t stop it from being a good song. On the other hand, I can see why this song would have been considered for single release, it has that commercial vibe and the keyboards are just a little more noticeable but the guitars still rule. Then comes the two tracks which were recorded on the tape sent by The Metal Sisters. “She’s Nobody’s Angel” is yet another song which gives the impression that musicians have a thing about writing songs about prostitutes. However, when I heard the song, it made me question why Kerrang would consider this wimp metal. Sure, it opens with a fantastic keyboard intro, I think it might have even influenced the likes of bands like Stratovarius. Maybe because of the keyboards or possibly because whoever wrote the article only heard the single.

Lyrics from “She’s Nobody’s Angel:”

She’s a streetwalker, got to make her living pay

He’s just a normal guy looking to get his evil way

Then with one kiss, he gets what he’s wishing for

She’ll do special things if pays a little more.

The second song on the tape is the hidden gem and that is “Going Down for the Third Time.” Again, some great keyboards work around the edges. I think that Jem Davis deserves more recognition for his mastery of the craft but the song simply kicks ass. While everything comes together on the songs on “Wild on the Run,” they come together a little more on this one. It’s also the closer for the album and it does that job magnificently.

Track Listing:

  1. Wild on the Run
  2. Falling
  3. Running From the Night
  4. Hotline
  5. Rebound
  6. Poor Girl
  7. She’s Nobody’s Angel
  8. Breakdown
  9. Going Down for the Third Time
  10. The Show Must Go On (Not on the album but appeared as a B-side on the single “Wild On the Run”
Tobruk

Snake- lead vocals

Mike Brown- bass, backing vocals

Nigel Evans- guitar, backing vocals

Mick Newman- guitar

Jem Davis- keyboards

Eddie Fincher- drums

I have a sneaking suspicion that this album might have passed a lot of people by. This could be on account of people like me were on the hunt for more and more power chords and that is not Tobruk. Still, if you like good melodic heavy metal, then I can recommend “Wild On the Run.”

Next post: Chastain- Rulers of the Wasteland

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

Great Metal Albums of 1984: AC/DC- 74 Jailbreak

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 7, 2017 by 80smetalman

Being predictable again! If you have been following me for some time, you have probably already guessed that I am posting about an AC/DC album because tribute band Hell’s Bells came to town. They did and unlike my post about the previous two AC/DC albums, I actually went to see them last night. You know, sort of for inspiration but I really don’t need any to see Hell’s Bells or post about AC/DC’s 1984 album, “74 Jailbreak.”

Pity the Foo

First the show, Hell’s Bells were supported by the Foo Fighters tribute band, Pity the Foo. Now, except for the videos I’ve seen on the Kerrang channel, I have no experience of the Foo Fighters. But if they are anything like the tribute band on stage, then maybe I should delve into some of their back catalogs. Pity the Foo honoured the band they were tributing on this evening. They were tight and if they weren’t playing Foo Fighters material, they could have played anything, even their own material and played it very well. The two Foo Fighters songs I know they played were “Monkey Wrench” and “A Long Road to Ruin” were good examples of how good this band was. When they left the stage, they had accomplished their mission of warming things up for the headliner. Pity not many people bothered to turn up and see them.

Hell’s Bells ascend the stage. God, I wish my hand was steadier.

If I went into great details of Hell’s Bells performance, then all I would need to do is copy and paste previous posts about them. What I can say is that last night was their best performance ever in the five times I’ve seen them. Like always, they were note perfect in regards to AC/DC and played an array of AC/DC classics that everyone in the audience will have heard at least their favourites. For me, it was “You Shook Me All Night Long,” “Highway to Hell” and they ended with “Whole Lotta Rosie.” One thing they did different was play “Ace of Spades” in dedication to Lemmy. When they left the stage at the end of an hour and a half, which flew by too quickly, there wasn’t one disappointed person in the room.

Another thing I noted was the huge age range in attendance. I’ll be turning 56 next month and I can happily say that I wasn’t the oldest person in the room, not by a long shot. However, there were second and third generation AC/DC fans there as well. Many bands who last for over four decades aren’t as able to pick up followers from the younger generations. I remember the generation just below me regarding the Rolling Stones as golden oldies. They don’t say that about AC/DC.

Angus’s double does his strip act.

Hell’s Bells taking it home.

Unfortunately, Hell’s Bells didn’t play any songs off the “74 Jailbreak” album. Yes, I know in reality that it’s and EP but talk about five grab you by the throat songs. These were tracks that were only previously released in Australia and made available to the rest of the world as part of this EP. My question here is why they waited so long before treating us to them. With the benefit of hindsight, one might have thought that they might have released this in 1980 after Bon Scott’s tragic death. After all, his vocals are simply fantastic on the album. “Jailbreak” did feature on the “Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap” album but it’s a good opener. Likewise, “Baby, Please Don’t Go” is a good closer. Many an AC/DC album has those so nothing new in that department. However, it’s the three songs in the middle that make the album for me. All of them feature some pretty nifty guitar work compliments of Angus Young but my favourite of all is the middle track, the very bluesy sounding “Show Business.” Angus just cooks on this one and I now put him on the same shelf as some other great blues guitarists. So my question here is why isn’t this album or EP talked about more in AC/DC circles?

Track Listing:

  1. Jailbreak
  2. You Ain’t Got a Hold on Me
  3. Show Business
  4. Soul Stripper
  5. Baby, Please Don’t Go

AC/DC

Bon Scott- vocals

Angus Young- lead guitar, backing vocals

Malcolm Young- rhythm guitar, backing vocals

George Young- bass, backing vocals, drums

Rob Bailey- bass

Mark Evans- bass on “Jailbreak”

Phil Rudd- drums, percussion on “Jailbreak”

Tony Currenti- drums, percussion on tracks 2-4

Peter Clack- drums, percussion on “Baby Please Don’t Go”

Whenever people talk about AC/DC albums, it seems that “74 Jailbreak” doesn’t get mentioned. My guess is it’s because it’s considered an EP. EP or album, there are five great songs on here and that’s more great songs that many other bands have on one entire album. Maybe Hell’s Bells will play some songs from it next time they come to town.

Next post: Queen- The Works

To buy Rock and Roll Children. go to http://www.strategicpublishinggroup.com/title/RockAndRollChildren.html

Also available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Froogle and on sale at Foyles Book Shop in London

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Great Metal Albums of 1983: Manowar- Into Glory Ride

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on November 16, 2016 by 80smetalman

220px-manowarintogloryride

The more I listen to any album by Manowar, the more perplexed I become at the fact that Kerrang Magazine called them a joke band. Maybe it was because they appeared to have fun when they made their music or possibly it was down to the fact that in the magazine’s view, the world wasn’t quite ready for Viking metal. I’ve never considered Manowar a joke then or now and the funny things is that I can listen and enjoy them after all the these years while in my opinion, Kerrang has basically sucked since the mid 1990s and I no longer read it. Saying that, I shouldn’t slag them off too much because Kerrang Radio did interview me about “Rock and Roll Children” in 2011.

One of Manowar’s albums I still enjoy listening to is their 1983 offering, “Into Glory Ride.” While it’s a small fraction below their debut album, “Battle Hyms” it’s a whale of an album nonetheless. Nearly all of the songs have the melodic high notes sung by Eric Adams accompanied by some very inventive guitar playing by Ross the Boss. Listening to the album today, I can’t help thinking that bands like Hammerfall and Gloryhammer listened to “Into Glory Ride” and thought to themselves, “Hey, these guys have something here.” Because I am convinced that both of those bands were influenced by Manowar and this album particularly.

“Warlord,” the opener is the only more straightforward metal song on here, well as straightforward as Manowar can get but it’s still a good way to start out the album. The rest of the album, all six other songs are well over five minutes and sound more progressive or viking like. The best example of this is on my favourite track, “Gates of Vahalla.” This song is rife with great vocals and Ross the Boss fingering his guitar all the way through, all seven minutes and eleven seconds of it. We can’t take anything away from the rhythm section though because Joey DeMaio and the newly acquired Scott Columbus do a brilliant job here as they do on all the songs. Only “Hatred” is longer by twenty seven seconds and while it’s a cool song, I think Adams screams a bit too much on it. Also I love the intro on “Revelation (Death’s Angel.) This one is power metal at its best.

Track Listing;

  1. Warlord
  2. Secrets of Steel
  3. Gloves of Metal
  4. Gates of Valhalla
  5. Hatred
  6. Revelation (Death’s Angel)
  7. March for Revenge (By the Soldiers of Death)

Manowar

Manowar

Eric Adams- vocals

Ross the Boss- guitar, keyboards

Joey DeMaio- bass

Scott Columbus- drums

Maybe the mainstream world wasn’t ready for viking metal or power metal in 1983. I know I would have been but sadly, it would be nearly three more years before I actually listened to any Manowar. I’ve more than made up for that since, this album and “Battle Hyms” especially.

Next post: Diamond Head- Canterbury

To buy Rock And Roll Children, go to http://www.strategicpublishinggroup.com/title/RockAndRollChildren.html

Also available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Froogle and on sale at Foyles Book Shop in London.

 

Great Metal Albums of 1982: Manowar- Battle Hyms

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on September 13, 2015 by 80smetalman

ManowarBattlehymns

Who says that heavy metal can’t be fun? Manowar would definitely disagree with anyone who said it couldn’t be. I discovered Manowar in 1985 and the weird thing about that discovery was that even though they are an American metal band, their albums were in the “import” section of my record store. Their first album, “Battle Hyms” was also recorded in America, so why would I find it in imports? Maybe my good Canadian metal buddy Mike, who used to work at a record store, can shed some light on this.

Even then, I didn’t buy any Manowar albums, they had three by this time. My reason was down to the fact that I had never heard of them before. That all changed when I saw them live in early 1986. They blew me away that much I made a promise to buy their records. One of my fellow concert goers that night suggested their debut album, “Battle Hyms.” After listening to it, I am in no doubt as to why.

“Battle Hyms” is just a total kick ass album, period. I get the distinct impression that when Manowar recorded the album, they did so with the “we got nothing to lose” attitude and just had a good time making the album. If that is the case, they should have recorded all of their albums with the same attitude. Each track is a true metal anthem, led by the stand out voice of Eric Adams singing along to some very amusing lyrics with some crazy guitar work by Ross the Boss. Joey DeMaio and Donnie Hamzik provide a tight rhythm section as well. The tracks that get make want to raise the horns and scream along to are “Manowar,” “Death Tone” and “Battle Hyms” but “Metal Daze” is even above that as I would be singing that one long after the song, album or concert ended. “Dark Avenger” is different, sort of a metal “Thriller” but done a heck of a lot better. My verdict on “Battle Hyms” is that it’s one of those albums that would bring a dying party back to life.

          Track Listing

  1. Death Tone
  2. Metal Daze
  3. Fast Taker
  4. Shell Shock
  5. Manowar
  6. Dark Avenger
  7. William’s Tale
  8. Battle Hyms

Manowar

Manowar

Eric Adams-vocals

Ross the Boss- guitars, keyboards

Joey DeMaio- bass

Donnie Hamzik- drums

I just realised something, I saw Ross the Boss at Bloodstock 2010. He was the third or fourth act on the Friday and while I don’t remember any great details from his set, I do remember thinking he was good. Another issue arising from Manowar and an issue I will address as I visit future albums is that in 1986, Kerrang magazine called them a joke band. While “Battle Hyms” is a fun album, I wouldn’t say that it made them a joke band in any way. To me, it’s just a cool album.

Next post: Van Halen- Diver Down

To buy Rock and Roll Children, go to http://www.strategicpublishinggroup.com/title/RockAndRollChildren.html

Also available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Froogle and on sale at Foyles Book Shop in London