Archive for Slayer

1984: The Golden Year of the Golden Decade

Posted in 1980s, Concerts, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , on March 8, 2017 by 80smetalman

The 1980s was the golden decade of heavy metal but if there was any one year that stood out above all others in that decade, it was 1984. Why did this particular year stand out? Well let me answer this by quoting Dee Snider when I saw Twisted Sister in concert in the August of this year. “They’re even playing heavy metal on the radio.” I’m not sure if Dee used an expletive when he said it. He was known for using them quite liberally when he was on stage but I don’t recall him using it when he said that. I digress but he was right. Heavy metal did get played on the radio quite a lot in 1984 and even more so on MTV. That alone makes 1984 the golden year of heavy metal.

Twisted Sister come out and play, taken at Bloodstock 2016

Obviously not every metal band got airplay on radio or MTV but you might be surprised at some of the ones who did. They didn’t play any Slayer. That didn’t stop these bands from unleashing some kick ass albums onto our delicate ears. This is also the reason why I begin “Rock And Roll Children” in this same year. Warning, I will make even more references to the book in future posts. However, one can’t avoid the fact that there was so much great metal and some cool rock as well and I hope that my journey through the golden year will do the albums justice.

Next post: Van Halen- 1984

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 Albums That Were Lost in the Cassette Player

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

For those who have been following me for awhile, you will know that back in the early 198os, I owned a lot of cassettes due to my very limited living space when I was in the marines. Even after I got out, while I began buying vinyl again, I still bought a good amount of cassettes. My logic at the time was you couldn’t play records in the car and I need my travelling music. While cassettes had the advantage of being very compact, you could fit one in your shirt pocket, they had the disadvantage of being susceptible of destructing. They could easily get mangled in the player and often times brake. I found this extremely frustrating. While the percentage of cassettes lost was small compared to the number I owned, it still upset me when I lost one to the machine. So, as an in between the years post, I will play homage to all the great albums that were mangled by a tape player.

The famous ammo cans . I thought this would be a good excuse to put this picture in the post.

Others that succumbed but I don’t have pictures for

Slayer- South of Heaven

The Dreggs- Unsung Heroes

The Who- recorded from the radio

Copperhead

There could be more but these are the ones I definitely remember. However, other cassettes weren’t mangled in the machine but wore out another way. When played they began to have a hiss sound on them. Eventually, this hiss got louder and present on more of the tape until it was unplayable. There was the odd tape where that started but it stopped and played normal again. Unfortunately, others didn’t so here is a tribute to those cassettes that were lost in this manner.

As you can see, many a great album fell victim to the dreaded tape player one way or the other. Thank God for CDs and more modern means of listening to music as I don’t have that problem anymore.

Next post: 1984

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

Bloodstock 2016: The Sunday

Posted in 1980s, Concerts, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 28, 2016 by 80smetalman

Sunday, the final day of Bloodstock and while that meant packing up to go home, (I couldn’t stay the Sunday night as I had to be in work for 7:40 the Monday morning), I was determined to make the most of the final day. The two bands at the top of the bill on this day was incentive enough. Therefore, while I didn’t rush things, I still went into the arena fairly early.

Let me declare to the world that I have found the perfect cure for the Sunday morning hangover! It comes in the form of the first band of the day, Ghost Bath. Their brand of what I would call stoner metal definitely soothes the soul and the melody of their music makes it very easy to sway back and forth to with little effort. The vocals basically consisted of the lead singer, he was the one dressed in black, screaming the occasional “Yeah!” down the microphone. Strangely, it went very well with the music. Furthermore, I was intrigued by Ghost Bath’s appearance. Except for the singer, the rest of the band was all in white, sort of like ghosts. Like I said, a great way to get over your hangover on Sunday morning.

Ghost Bath soothing the afflicted

Ghost Bath soothing the afflicted

Going from one extreme to the other, while Ghost Bath were more soothing on the ears, loud vicious wails coming from the New Blood Stage beckoned me in that direction. Needing to investigate, I went into the tent and found the perpetrators, a band by the name of Pteroglyph. They were a well put together quartet of thrash metal mania. Again, like with Witch Tripper, I hope any scouts viewing them this day didn’t pass on a great opportunity. Furthermore, I hoped the older looking appearance of the rhythm guitarist wasn’t a further excuse to ignore this band. He looked close to my age but that could have been the lighting. I was impressed.

Pteroglyph releasing their carnage

Pteroglyph releasing their carnage

Leaving the New Blood Stage, I returned to the Ronnie James Dio Stage in time for the second band of the day, Heart of a Coward. I had seen a picture of this band before and they reminded of the typical English men who go out on a Saturday night, get drunk and then engage in a good punch up. However, from the sounds they were creating on the stage, I get the impression that they put all of their aggression into their music and the sound resulting from that is fantastic. In between the power notes, there was some good intricate guitar work to be heard as well. This leaves me to conclude that the band’s name is a good catchy hook because there is nothing cowardly about this band. Thinking about it, Heart of a Coward with Pteroglyph in support would make a cool concert on its own.

Heart of a Coward proving they weren't

Heart of a Coward proving they weren’t

Having fully been metalized for the Sunday morning, duty called so I had to return to tear down the tent and pack away. Fortunately, tearing down the tent wasn’t nearly as difficult as putting it up. Even though, we had less to carry back the car as we did when we arrived three days earlier, it wasn’t an easy task. That was probably down to my determination to get it all done in one trip. I did use a bit of ingenuity when we got to the edge of the car park. We grounded our gear and went and brought the car around to load it, thus saving a lot of effort. It allowed us to get back in plenty of time to see Dragonforce, who Teal and Joe were raving about.

At first, I was going to give Dragonforce a miss because Anthrax had arrived in the signing tent and getting their autograph would have been a dream come true. Fortunately or unfortunately, depending how you view it, I had to wait in a mile long queue to get an autograph. That line wound in view of the main stage, so when Dragonforce appeared, I got the best of both worlds. Dragonforce’s brand of progressive metal, (they reminded me of Stratovarius), was quite enjoyable. It calmed my frustration brought on by standing in a line that wasn’t moving. If I had known that I would never even get close to seeing my heroes Anthrax, I would have ventured closer to the stage because they seemed to have a good presence. Dragonforce eased the disappointment ten-fold.

Closest I got to Dragonforce

Closest I got to Dragonforce

I should have gotten closer

I should have gotten closer

I figured that I should go see one last band on the Sophie Lancaster Stage before I went home and Dragonforce’s departure from the stage provided that opportunity. Ditty bopping over into the tent, I was treated to the powerful music coming from Vecktor. Here was another band that had some great guitar and progressive interludes in between lashings of pure power. They definitely had me head banging away to them along with most of those who were in the Sophie Lancaster tent at the time. I could feel the powerful climax to the night rapidly building up.

Vecktor putting on a cool performance

Vecktor putting on a cool performance

With the two bands most of Bloodstock I was waiting to see, I thought I would get close to the main stage in preparation. I’m glad I did. Not because I was going to be in a good position for Anthrax but also because I got to see the predecessors, Symphony X. While I only saw about twenty minutes of their time on stage, I thought it was well worth it. They were a natural progression from Dragonforce and Vecktor and would prove to be a good bridge for what was to come after. Power chords melded with some good melody backed by competent keyboards always makes a good listen and Symphony X ticked all of those boxes. By the time they had left the stage, I was a volcano waiting to erupt.

Symphony X

Symphony X

With Symphony X departed from the stage, I maneuvered my way down to the front of the stage, this time removing my glasses first and waited. Time flew by it seemed but watching the crew carry out the final checks only served to heighten the tension. Then it happened, Anthrax were on stage. I don’t know what song they opened with but I didn’t care, especially as they followed up with “Caught in a Mosh” and predictably, a huge pit opened nearby. Now, my only complaint when I saw them in 2013 was that they didn’t play any songs from the “Spreading the Disease” album. This time, they rectified it with the fourth song. Predictably, it was “Madhouse” but that didn’t stop me from singing along. Also, the first time I saw Anthrax was 30 years ago, but they, especially Frank Bello and Scott Ian, moved about the stage as if they hadn’t aged at all. In fact, I never saw Frank quite so animated. He was all over the place. “Indians” proved to be the perfect climax to the show as all those in the pit started a war dance. They were on stage for a little more than an hour but the energy they showed, it seemed like only twenty minutes. Time does fly when you’re having fun.

Anthrax assert their dominance

Anthrax assert their dominance

Ian and Bello proving that age has little effect on metal.

Ian and Bello proving that age has little effect on metal.

Rob Craggiano managed to get close enough for me to take a picture of him

Rob Craggiano managed to get close enough for me to take a picture of him

With Anthrax done and dusted, the only ones left for the festival was headliners Slayer. Not wanting a repeat of Saturday, I drifted to the back but made sure I had a good viewing point. Slayer came out and wowed the crowd with great lights and music. The problem with so many lights, it hampers good photos but nonetheless, I tried. Anyway, Slayer granted my request and played not one but two songs from the “Show No Mercy” album, the title track and “Die by the Sword.” While the played a good mix of material, they played the same two songs from “South of Heaven” they played three years earlier, “Mandatory Suicide” and that title track. However, I didn’t care that much about trivial things like that as Slayer clobbered everyone in the crowd with what they do best. They did disappear on two occasions for a few brief minutes and I never could figure out why. When they returned, their absence was quickly forgotten. However, I wonder if that’s why they never came out for an encore. At least it seemed that way. Nevertheless, when Slayer left the stage, I was completely satisfied with them, the Sunday and the whole weekend!

Slayer come out to fire and light

Slayer come out to fire and light

Slayer, a class headline act

Slayer, a class headline act

Best shot of Slayer on the night

Best shot of Slayer on the night

This photo wasn't too bad

This photo wasn’t too bad

Explosion of light

Explosion of light

On the journey home, I discovered a conspiracy. For the third time in a row, when coming home from Bloodstock, I hit road detours on the motorways and had to go all around the houses. While it lengthened my trip time, I had the musical delights of Megadeath and “Twisted Forever,” a tribute album to Twisted Sister to make the ride home enjoyable and allowed me to rejoice in the history that I had witnessed over the weekend.

Next post: A Surprise Gig

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Clarifications and Corrections

Posted in 1980s, Books, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , on August 9, 2016 by 80smetalman

It has come to my attention via Facebook, that in my previous post “Great Metal Albums of 1983: Slayer- Show No Mercy,” that I may have stated something that wasn’t entirely accurate. In that post, I said that the mentioned debut album from Slayer may have paved the way for bands like Metallica. I have been informed and I have checked and found it to be so that Metallica’s debut album “Kill ‘Em All” actually came out before the Slayer album. Therefore, if anything, Metallica would have paved the way for Slayer.

Slayer

Slayer

Metallica

Metallica

There is absolutely no excuse for not checking my metal facts! I know that this is no explanation nor is it any attempt to be but I remember reading an issue of “Hit Parader” magazine, (I used to call it Motley Crue magazine) in December 1985. That magazine had an article on Metallica and their album “Ride the Lightning” and it being so late in the year, I assumed that this album was released in 1985 and subsequently the debut album “Kill ‘Em All” in 1984. Why I never checked to be sure is beyond me but it is no excuse.

One thing I have always prided myself was unlike Hollywood, I always got my facts right. It was the same way when I wrote “Rock And Roll Children.” The one thing I can take pride in from that book was that it was historically accurate. Therefore, I must humbly apologize to Metallica and Slayer fans for my error and promise to be more diligent in the future.

Great Metal Albums of 1983: Slayer- Show No Mercy

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , on August 7, 2016 by 80smetalman

220px-Slayer_-_Show_No_Mercy

Excitement and anticipation has me fully in its grasp. In just four days, I’ll heading to Bloodstock for three and a half days of headbanging fun. Don’t worry, I’ll give you a full account of the festival, over several posts, when I get back. With that in mind, I thought it would be fitting to post about two bands playing there who had albums out in 1983 and what better way to start than with the band who will be closing out the festival, Slayer.

One has to bear in mind that in 1983, things were a lot different for Slayer when they released their debut album, “Show No Mercy.” They were unheard of back then, hell, it would be another two years before my knowledge of their existence came into being. On account of that, these guys were hungry and that hunger is reflected all throughout the album. Note: I will probably repeat that fact with many bands in future posts but it is unarguably true here.

“Show No Mercy” is an unbridled explosion of hunger, anger and attitude. Hard crunching guitars, thundering bass, cool guitar solos, maniac drumming and the raw vocals of Tom Araya flow through each and every song. Furthermore, I think that Jeff Hanneman and Kerry King raised the bar for bands with two guitarists trading off solos, phenomenal, although I still think they learned it watching Don Felder and Joe Walsh on “Hotel California.” The songs themselves may seem stereotypical to heavy metal nowadays but then, it was groundbreaking. ┬áJust look at the titles. Satanism, violence and the occult are covered all through the album. If the PMRC existed then, this album would have been at the top of their hit list. ┬áThen when you think you’ve heard everything, they surprise you like the semi melodic riff that begins, “Fight Till Death.” However, because of the fierce power in every song, I find it impossible to pick stand outs. Every song does that in its own right. What can be said about “Show No Mercy” is that the title of the album is perfectly accurate. Slayer show no mercy here as each song is all killer and no filler.

Track Listing:

  1. Evil Has No Boundaries
  2. The Antichrist
  3. Die By the Sword
  4. Fight Till Death
  5. Metalstorm/Face the Slayer
  6. Black Magic
  7. Tormentor
  8. The Final Command
  9. Crionics
  10. Show No Mercy

slayer

Tom Araya- bass, vocals

Kerry King- guitar

Jeff Hanneman- guitar

Dave Lombardo- drums

It has been said that “Show No Mercy” by Slayer paved the way for bands like Metallica. I tend to agree with that analysis. They might not have realised it at the time but “Show No Mercy” introduced thrash metal to an unsuspecting populace although it would take another two years before I would come to know it. No wonder the album was the Metal Blade label’s best selling record by far at the time. Today, the album has got me all psyched to see Slayer at Bloodstock this year and unlike 2013, my stepson promises not to get tired before they finish. I hope they play at least one song from this album, that would be so cool.

Next post: Twisted Sister- You Can’t Stop Rock and Roll

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 Rock Albums of 1983: Peter Gabriel- Security

Posted in 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on March 17, 2016 by 80smetalman

Security_-_Peter_Gabriel

To be perfectly honest, Peter Gabriel pretty much escaped my listening ears throughout most of the 1980s. The reason was that by 1983, I was a full fledged metalhead and he was too soft for me. Sure, I heard some of his stuff compliments of radio, including, “Shock the Monkey,” the big hit from this album, “Security” and his 1980 hit, “Games Without Frontiers” continues to be my favourite song of his. It wasn’t until 1990, when my then wife, asked for his “Greatest Hits” album for Christmas, that I really started listening to him and that is the reason why I am posting about the “Security” album now.

This album is further proof that I might be mellowing with age a bit. I stress, a bit, just play a Slayer album and that will reinforce it. “Security” is a good progressive rock/new wave album. Note: I only call it new wave because to ignorant American record executives, anything that didn’t sound mainstream was branded such in 1983. Anyway, “Security” opens very mysteriously with “The Rhythm of the Heat,” where a subtle keyboard intro grabs your attention and fortunately, the song is strong enough to keep it. I especially like what they do with the drums at the end of the song. Those heavy drums appear again in the third track, “I Have the Touch” and are done just as nicely. Sandwiched between those two songs is the rather interesting “San Jacinto.” Listening to it, especially with the repeated lyric, “Hold the Line,” I ask myself if this song is about the battle in 1836 that gave Texas its independence from Mexico. I wonder because I’ve just finished watching the series of “Texas Rising.” Still, it’s probably the hardest song on the album, I do hear guitars on it.

Things seem to slow down after “Shock the Monkey.” The remaining songs aren’t as catchy as their predecessors but still worth listening to. “Lay Your Hands on Me” has some good moments with the chorus and what becomes the trademark heavy drums. The two combine to close out the song very memorably.

One label you can not give to this album is synth pop. Sure, keyboards dominate the album but they’re done very well. Peter Gabriel shows that he is a true talent with the songs on it, both as a singer and as a writer, leaving me to agree with several people who claim that the true talent went when he left Genesis. Having been given the “And Then There Were Three” album in 1983, I would be inclined to agree.

Track Listing:

  1. The Rhythm of the Heat
  2. San Jacinto
  3. I Have the Touch
  4. The Family and the Fishing Net
  5. Shock the Monkey
  6. Lay Your Hands on Me
  7. Wallflower
  8. Kiss of Life
Peter Gabriel

Peter Gabriel

Peter Gabriel- vocals, electric piano, programming

Tony Levin- bass, stick

David Rhodes- guitar

Jerry Marotta- drums, percussion

Larry Fast- synthesizers

I won’t say that I’m fully converted to Peter Gabriel, but I do like this album. With what was to pass as mainstream in the golden decade, I am glad to discover that there were some artists who played true progressive rock without selling out, unlike Gabriel’s previous band.

Next post: The Police- Synchronicity

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

You Can Sign the Petition to Free Confess

Posted in Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on February 13, 2016 by 80smetalman

A few days ago, I posted about the Iranian band Confess, imprisoned for playing heavy metal. I have found an online petition that will get Amnesty International to call for their release.

https://www.change.org/p/president-of-iran-hassan-rouhani-free-iranian-metal-band-confess-from-jail

I hope you all enjoy me in helping to get our Iranian metal brethren out of prison.