Archive for Slayer

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.  Just 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.  Then 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.

Bloodstock! The Sunday

Posted in Concerts, Heavy Metal, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 15, 2013 by 80smetalman

Many of you have been waiting with baited breath for my account of the Bloodstock concert this past Sunday, well here it is. To start with, the drive there was quite uneventful in a good way and I was glad that most people in Britain decided to spend their Sunday morning in bed allowing me to make such good time. I mean, the two CD’s played for the journey (The Best of Seputura and Megadeth’s “Youthanasia”) weren’t finished by the time I pulled into the car park. It did foretell what a great day it was going to be.

First, I feel I must apologise for the poor quality of the photos, they were taken with my cell phone camera. Anyway, as I got there very early, I thought I would start handing out cards for “Rock And Roll Children.” Handing one to a man of my age, he returned the favour by giving me a CD and saying that I should check this band out on the New Blood Stage and that’s were things began in earnest.

Black Emerald

Black Emerald

 

The CD was for a band called Black Emerald from Reading. What a great opener to the day as this hungry, unsigned band kicked the ass of those who ventured into the tent to see them. I won’t go into great details about them here but these guys have everything needed to be big. Good vocals, a tight rhythm section and a guitarist who can shred as well as songs about heavy metal’s favourite topics, sex, drugs and Satan. I can’t think of a better way to open the show. I was so impressed with Black Emerald that the next post will be why if any label happened to be there while they were on stage and didn’t immediately sign them, well they’re insane.

Gamma Bomb

Gamma Bomb

 

From Black Emerald to the Emerald Isle as we made it in time to see the first band to ascend the Ronnie James Dio stage, Irish metallers Gamma Bomb. What a great way to start things on the main stage at Bloodstock! Their speed metal had me ferociously banging my head away from start to finish and I loved the lead singer’s comment that they had started drinking at 9 AM and would continue for the rest of the day. I guess that’s bound to happen when you mix the Irish and heavy metal. Trust me, I have met many Irishmen and the great majority of them love their drink. Still, I will be looking for their albums in the future.

States of Panic

States of Panic

 

One improvement that Bloodstock 2013 had over 2010 was that in 2010, whenever I an act finished on the one stage, I felt frustrated that when I went to one of the other stages, nothing was happening there either. This year that wasn’t a problem. We decided to take a break after Gamma Bomb and to my surprise, there was music coming out of the Sophie Lancaster tent. My stepson and I went inside and were both delighted by the music played by the band that was currently on the stage, States of Panic. I know you can’t see from this photo but their image might suggest that these guys are simply clones of The Black Veil Brides. However, they had a sound all their own and that sound was fine and I was glad that I was able to catch them on stage.

Music wasn't the only metal on Sunday

Music wasn’t the only metal on Sunday

 

The next hour and a half or so was spent going in between the three stages. I did catch part of both bands that played the main stage, Whitechapel and Sacred Mother Tongue who both kept the day rocking as well as a band from each of the other two stages. While, they were all enjoyable, I didn’t see enough of any of them to give an account here. When we decided to go for lunch, we happened to go past this display of knights in armour. The sword play was a vicious as any mosh pit as they really went at it.

Fozzy

Fozzy

 

I knew nothing of this band before they went on stage but there was something familiar about the lead singer. Then he got the crowd to chant “Y2J” and it all fell into place. I knew that WWE Superstar Chris Jerico was singing with a band, but I didn’t know it was this one. Had I known this before hand, I would have assumed that Fozzy were a joke band and not bothered with them. For once, I am grateful for my ignorance. Fozzy are not a joke band. True, I only rate Jerico’s vocals as passable but this is made up for by the fact that he has a great band behind him and that he has something that many singers of superior vocal ability lack, stage presence. Y2J owned the stage during the entire time he was on it and he was able to use his physical abilities as a wrestler to his advantage when he climbed up the stage rigging and sang from on top of that.

Y2J singing from the rafters

Y2J singing from the rafters

 

Fozzy made a believer out of me, I was impressed to the point that I will have to check out their recorded material.

Amorphis

Amorphis

 

Amorphis provided a much needed respite between what had been and what was to come. Their more melodic metal sound allowed me to catch my breath for a second while yet continuing to enjoy some fantastic sounds. Once again, they proved my theory that keyboards can work with metal if done properly. Seeing the keyboard player for Amorphis brought back memories of Claude Schnell and Jens Johanssen. This in no way takes anything from the rest of the band, especially the way the guitarists shredded.

Exodus

Exodus

 

One thing I pride myself on when I wrote Rock And Roll Children was my accuracy. When Exodus take the stage in the story, the characters are amazed that mortal men can play so fast. Seeing Exodus again after all these years, I am glad that they continue to prove me right. They were fast, furious and just mental and that effect went out to the entire crowd. They weren’t on stage five seconds when a huge mosh pit opened up at the front. I’m afraid to say that when he saw the pit, my step son lost his nerve and didn’t want to go in but I can’t really blame him. Instead, we stood to one side and enjoyed all the fast paced music delivered by those on the stage. The energy was indescribable as Exodus stamped their name on memory of Bloodstock forever. They only stopped briefly so the lead singer could organise one massive wall of death.

The Wall of Death

The Wall of Death

 

When that was over with surprising no casualties, Exodus went on to finish their slaughter of the ear drums to the point that it could be argued that they won the day.

Devil Driver

Devil Driver

 

While Devil Driver may not have matched the violence of Exodus, they continued to carry on the fast metal. Having never heard anything from them before, I can say that I did like them. Especially when the lead singer invited everyone out to California, the only place where weed is legal.

Anthrax

Anthrax

 

This was my fourth time seeing Anthrax live, the last time was Donnington in 1987. Let me say that they haven’t lost any of that intensity they had back then. They took me with old favourites like “I Am the Law,” “Indians,” and the song they opened with, “Caught In a Mosh” to that magical time nearly 30 years ago when I was a pure Anthraxian and it made me renew my vows to follow them always. They also proceeded to convert my fifteen year old step son, although that didn’t take much. I was so impressed with the performance of Anthrax that I can even forgive them for not playing one single song from the “Spreading the Disease” album. I used to think that there were few better songs to open a concert than A.I.R.” but now I’m not so sure. Not many bands can boast to having two great show opening songs. As for the band themselves, they all proved they still have it.

Slayer

Slayer

 

The problem with the headline act is that they have all the lights and this makes it difficult to get a good photo. After several attempts, this was the best I could get. Slayer fulfilled their duties as a headline act. Taking the energy provided by all the bands on the day to an even higher level. The played a good mix of their material throughout the ages and had the crowd at their mercy. I had never seen them live before this day and I must say that all the good things I heard are all true. This was just one speed paced set going from one song to the next in wildfire succession. It proved to be the perfect end to a magnificent day of heavy metal.

Unfortunately, my stepson had the case of the spirit being strong but the flesh was weak. After an hour and ten minutes of Slayer, he was too tired to continue so I had to leave missing the final half hour. Still, “South of Heaven” was probably the best song to walk back to the car to. In the end, we both enjoyed an historical day of heavy metal, one that will match or supersede any of my previous and will dwell in the mind of my young stepson for a long time. Even getting home, at one in the morning following detours due to the motorway being closed and having to get up at 6:30 the next morning to drive to the in laws didn’t lessen the day. In the end, nothing could as it was a great piece of metal history.

Next post: Why Black Emerald should be signed to a record deal

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 Lonon

 

Just A Couple of Announcements

Posted in 1980s, Concerts, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , on July 7, 2013 by 80smetalman
My Bloodstock Tickets

My Bloodstock Tickets

First, let me announce that I have purchased and received my tickets for this year’s Bloodstock Festival next month. I will only be going for the Sunday because my fifteen year old step son would not be able to handle three days there. Not a major disappointment though. Sure, I would have loved to see Accept and King Diamond on the Friday night, but it won’t be the case. Still I get to see such great acts like Slayer and Anthrax who are number one and two on the bill. Two below Anthrax is Exodus who, if you’ve read Rock And Roll Children, when the characters are watching them live are astounded that mortal men can play so fast. Of course there are other great metal acts on the day on the Ronnie James Dio Stage and the Sophie Lancaster stage. I will also check out the New Blood stage as well, so I’m going to have a very busy day on August 11.

Slayer

Slayer

Anthrax

Anthrax

Exodus

Exodus

The other announcement is my new book “He Was Weird” is now available on Amazon and I have started a new blog called Peaceful Rampage to promote it. The link is: http://peacefulrampage.wordpress.com I will admit now that it’s not about heavy metal although when the big climax occurs, some people try to blame metal for it. I will also say that for those who have read “Rock And Roll Children” and weren’t too impressed, my biggest critic, my sister, says that this time I have really upped my game as a writer. So those who did enjoy “Rock And Roll Children” should definitely enjoy this one.

IMG0031A

 

Next Post: The Eagles- Live

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 1980: Billy Joel- Glass Houses

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , on May 5, 2013 by 80smetalman

Billy_Joel_-_Glass_Houses

Back in the late 1970s, Billy Joel was known as the singer who sat behind a piano and sang such ballads as “Just The Way You Are” or more pop oriented tunes like “Piano Man” or “My Life.” I admit that I liked these very songs back then, after all, they weren’t disco. However, I knew that he had the potential to be a little harder with his sound. Evidence of this can be sighted with songs like “Only the Good Die Young,” (I always thought the song would have been perfect if they used a fuzz box with the guitar) the guitar in “Big Shot” and my all time favourite song of his, “Captain Jack.” In 1980, Billy Joel finally realised this potential with the “Glass Houses” album.

If you asked any hard rocker and many metalheads back in the 80s about Billy Joel, they would probably say they liked “Glass Houses” or at the very least, it was an okay album. It helps a great deal that the album begins with that famous glass breaking sound followed by my all time second favourite Billy Joel song, “You May Be Right.” The rest of the album follows on with catchy rock tunes like, “Sometimes a Fantasy” and the big top forty hit “It’s Still Rock and Roll To Me” which as far as hit singles go, is not that bad. I won’t say that this album ranks with any of the monster metal albums but I have to give Billy Joel and “A” for effort in trying to go harder here.

Track Listing:

1. You May Be Right

2. Sometimes a Fantasy

3. Don’t Ask Me Why

4. It’s Still Rock And Roll To Me

5. All For Leyna

6. I Don’t Want To Be Alone

7. Sleeping With The Television On

8. C’etait Toi (You Are The One)

9. Close To The Borderline

10. Through The Long Night

Billy Joel

Billy Joel

Billy Joel- vocals, piano, synthesisers, harmonica, accordion

Dave Brown- guitars

Richie Cannata- organ, flute, saxophone

Liberty DeVitto- drums, percussion

Russell Javors- guitars

Doug Stegmeyer- bass

“Glass Houses” will go down in history as the one Billy Joel album found acceptable by many metalheads. Unfortunately, his later albums would go down the trail of 1980s commercial rock; although he did play piano on the Twisted Sister song “Be Cruel To Your School.” Even the thought of “Uptown Girl” still makes me want to put on some Venom or Slayer and smash things up. As a rock album, this one is all right with me.

Next post: The Clash- London Calling

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