Archive for Thrash Metal

Great Metal Albums of 1987: Dream Death- Journey Into Mystery

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , on May 15, 2022 by 80smetalman

Here’s another album my sister passed onto me, probably because she wasn’t impressed with it. After my Wrath post, she stated on Facebook that the album was given to her to review for her college newspaper and she disliked it so much that she said the band should have paid her to listen to it. Dawn was never into thrash so that is enough circumstantial evidence to suggest that she didn’t like Dream Death’s “Journey Into Mystery” album.

What I found was cool about the record when I took it out to play was that it was blue. I never saw a record coloured other than black before then so I really liked the light blue see through record. If it wasn’t so much trouble, I would go up into my attic and get it for all to see. In addition, when reading the credits on the album, it has the usual ‘Special Thanks’ part but it also has a ‘No Thanks’ section. Making that list was the band’s high school in Pennsylvania, trends and trendy people, conformists and other wankers. I could agree with the band on all of those. Now onto the album.

Doom metal wasn’t a term back in 1987 so Dream Death could be credited as being a pioneer of the sub-genre. “Journey Into Mystery” is a unique blend of doom and thrash. The album comes rocking out with the more thrash, “Back From the Dead” and then goes more doom with “The Elder Race.” The slower power chords are almost hypnotic in some places on that track.

Track three, “Bitterness and Hatred,” has a Suicidal Tendencies feel to it. It starts out doom metal and going mid tempo metal and then back to doom for the chorus but thrash speed in the middle before slowing down to the doom metal conclusion. This was something Suicidal Tendencies did with their first two albums and Dream Death do a good job on this track. The changes keep one interested. However, “Black Edifice” sounds like it wants to go off at 800 mph but the band manage to keep it reigned in and give you a more doom metal track. It does follow the formula set down by its predecessor where they speed it up in the middle. It’s the first song to have a really cool guitar solo.

Side two does start off with some powerful thrash only slowing down to catch its breath between verses and taking off again. “Divine In Agony” is a good way to kick off the second half of the album as the three remaining tracks are all strong tracks. “Hear My Screams” has a horror movie type intro before going more thrash. They go more thrash with this one but the doom metal returns on “Sealed in Blood.” This has a Black Sabbath type intro and then when it kicks up, it doesn’t go thrash. This track could be a blueprint for future doom metal merchants to take from. It has a cool guitar solo backed up by a cool rhythm section.

The album closes out with my favourite track on the album, “Dream Death.” This is a great thrash song and because I wasn’t sure about the record after the first few listens, it was this track that kept me coming back to it. It starts mid-paced but quickly increases its speed. The steady rhythm between the first and second verses and before the guitar solo make a good headbang. However, it does slow down to give a cool doom metal bridge. The track punctuates what the band was attempting to do throughout the rest of the album.

Track Listing:

  1. Back From the Dead
  2. The Elder Race
  3. Bitterness and Hatred
  4. Black Edifice
  5. Divine in Agony
  6. Hear My Screams
  7. Sealed in Blood
  8. Dream Death
Dream Death

Brian Lawrence- lead and backing vocals, guitar

Terry Weston- guitar, backing vocals

Ted Williams- bass, backing vocals

Mike Smail- drums, backing vocals

My sister might not have liked “Journey Into Mystery” but I do. The album demonstrates how a hungry band will just pull out all stops and go for it. These days, I will hold it up as a blueprint for doom metal.

Next post: Guns and Roses- Appetite for Destruction

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: Wrath- Nothing to Fear

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on May 11, 2022 by 80smetalman

By the end of the 1980s and well into the 90s, my sister Dawn was not only making heavy metal tapes and sending them to me, she was also offloading albums she was no longer interested in onto me. Actually, she sent me this album in 1989 but learning from past mistakes, I have learned to check the release dates and so I know that “Nothing to Fear” by Chicago based thrash metallers, Wrath, came out in 1987.

I feel a need to cut right to the chase here. Let me ask you all out there, have you ever started listening to a band and you are totally digging the music and then the lead singer starts singing and become turned off? This has been the case with this album. Let me be clear, I am in no way saying that Gary Golwitzer is a bad singer. In fact, he does have a decent voice. However, I do not think his vocals are suited to thrash metal. For me, he is too high pitched for thrash and there are times when I find the vocals a little annoying. He would have been better suited for a straight forward metal band. I’ll can close my eyes and even hear him singing prog metal but not thrash.

Admittedly, it is a big shame because the other four members of Wrath really know how to play. Guitarists Scott Nyquist and Mike Nyrkkanen make an excellent guitar duo. Their guitar solo tradeoffs on many of the tracks are just downright superb! The most notable being on “Painless,” where the tradeoff isn’t the normal one guitarist plays the first solo and the second one plays the other. No, these two trade back and forth throughout the solo and to me it just sounds fantastic! Plus, they play some great opening riffs on that track and on “R.I.P. (Ripped Into Pieces)” as well.

Naturally, we can’t forget the rhythm section either and I can honestly say that Gary Modica and Mike Fron make a very good one. Gary’s bass lines are great and he does a little solo on “Painless.” Hell, it just took over as my favourite track on the album. Because not only the musicianship is ace but Gary Golwitzer’s vocals aren’t annoying. Then again, this number goes a little slower almost blues like. Still, I should mention the song it replaces, “Hell is Full.” Again, Gary’s vocals do fit the song and I love the acoustic intro before it blasts off into the ionosphere and a great guitar solo. Oh yes, back to the rhythm section. Let me simply say that Mike Fron makes his mark all over this album. One notable effort is on “Fear Itself” but he is another reason why “Painless” goes to number one. I’ll go out on a limb and say in the category of thrash drummers, I put him up there with Lars Ulrich, Charlie Benante, Dave Lombardo and Ventor.

Track Listing:

  1. R.I.P. (Ripped Into Pieces)
  2. Mutants
  3. Hell is Full
  4. Painless
  5. Fear Itself
  6. Sudden Death
  7. Incineration/Caustic Sleep
  8. When Worlds Collide
  9. Victims of the Void

Note: I have discovered that “When Worlds Collide” was on the soundtrack of the 1990 film “Texas Chainsaw Massacre III (Leather Face).”

WRATH

Gary Golwitzer- vocals

Scott Nyquist- guitar

Mike Nyrkkanen- guitar

Gary Modica- bass

Mike Fron- drums

Here’s a better picture of how they looked back then

I honestly think that if Wrath had a singer with a voice more suited to thrash, then they would have gone a lot further because they sure as hell can play. “Nothing to Fear” proves it.

Next post: Dream Death- Journey Into Mystery

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: Bitch- The Bitch is Back

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

Talk about a snowball effect! Two posts ago, when I reviewed Lizzy Borden, it was pointed out to me that singer Betsy Bitch sang on one of the tracks of the “Terror Rising” album. Now, the name was known to me back in the 80s, (it’s hard to miss such a name), but I never got around to listening to any of her music. You know, the normal excuse of too much music and not enough time. Therefore, I decided to investigate Betsy and her band, Bitch, and I learned that they put out an album in 1987 called, “The Bitch is Back.” I’ve given it a few listens and I pretty much like what I’ve heard.

Betsy Bitch

The rest of the band kick off the album with a bass solo followed by a guitar solo on opening track, “Do You Want to Rock.” However, it’s only a few seconds later when Betsy comes in on the vocals and any idea that her memorable name is used to disguise a lack of vocal talent is smashed to bits straight away. Betsy has the voice! I give a definite “yes” to the question the opening track is asking. Things speed up on the next track, “Hot and Heavy,” almost to speed metal and this is the track which proves that the rest of the band is just as capable as their singer. It’s definitely one of the stronger tracks on the album.

As I listen to “The Bitch is Back,” the more impressed I become with guitarist David Carruth. His riffs and solos are top notch and I find it difficult to believe that his talents have been hidden for so long. He really shines on “Me and Boys.” He singlehandedly saves a song with predictable lyrics from being filler. Bitch goes doom metal on “Storm Raging Up.” There’s a really gloomy sounding intro before turning total metal and the musician to note on this one is drummer, Robby Settles.

You might have noticed the title of the album is an old Elton John song and there is a cover of it on the album. I don’t know how Elton might have felt about it but I like it. Betsy’s spin on the song is very cool and her father plays saxophone on it. Not the best song on the album though definitely not filler, it brings out another positive point, there is an air of humour to the album.

I can’t leave out the bass player as Ron Cordy puts down some good bass grooves. His turn to shine comes on “Head Banger.” His bassline while David hammers out his solo brings an extra dimension of cool to the song. Then the pace picks up on “Fist to Face.” This is one to get a mosh pit going as it nears the borderline of thrash metal. “Turns Me On” has a slower, bluesy feel to hit and David works his guitar magic on it. However, they step on the gas and go out at thrash metal speed on the closer “Skullcrusher.” It does end the album on the right note.

Track Listing:

  1. Do You Want to Rock
  2. Hot and Heavy
  3. Me and the Boys
  4. Storm Raging Up
  5. The Bitch is Back
  6. Head Banger
  7. Fist to Face
  8. Turns Me On
  9. Skullcrusher
Bitch

Betsy ‘Bitch’ Weiss- lead vocals

David Carruth- guitar

Ron Cordy- bass

Robby Settles- drums

Additional Musicians:

Mick Adrian- additional backing vocals

Joe Romersa- keyboards on “Hot and Heavy,” “Storm Raging Up” and “Skullcrusher,” additional backing vocals

Stanley ‘Dad of a Bitch’ Weiss- saxophone on “The Bitch is Back”

One reason I think Bitch didn’t become more well known is the already mentioned over saturated metal market at the time. However, if I was to find one fault it’s the song writing. The song subjects and lyrics are typical of the time. Saying that, if Bitch had been able to mature, then they could have been a force to be reckoned with in the metal world.

Next post: WASP- Live in the Raw

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

Sending the Love to Crawling Through Tartarus

Posted in Concerts, Death, Heavy Metal, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on April 28, 2022 by 80smetalman

I was very saddened to learn of this:


One Dead, Four Injured In Shooting at Death Metal Show

According to NBC Los Angeles, a shooting at a death metal show in San Bernadino this Saturday left one dead and four injured.

The shooting took place around 9:30pm at the Marquis Lounge at 1036 W. Highland Avenue in San Bernardino. When police arrived at the scene, they found one person already dead, and three other people suffering from gunshot-related injuries. A fourth victim with a gunshot wound drove to the hospital on his own (damn, hardcore), making for a total of five shooting victims overall.

As reported by Blabbermouth, the show at which the senseless act took place was that of Los Angeles death metallers Crawling Through Tartarus, whose vocalist Matt Holzboog was hit by two bullets and eventually had to undergo surgery. Meanwhile, CBS Los Angeles identified the deceased victim as 32-year-old James Vincent Dickson.

It has also been reported that as of Monday, all victims of the shooting are in stable condition.

The investigation of the shooting is underway, with no suspects of possible motives currently available.

Matt Berg, a friend of the band, posted the below images to Facebook, including as picture of Holzboog in the hospital, writing:

“Prayers for my boys in Crawling Through Tartarus after a violent shooting during their set last night in San Bernardino. Zander Dixon was a brother to Jack Berg and me growing up and it’s terrifying to see the video of somebody opening fire. Their vocalist Matt was hit by two rounds and is dealing with surgeries now. Make sure you send lots of love their way. Share their music with your friends, buy some merch, wish them well etc.”

That’s super fucking scary for all involved, and we wish Matt and his bandmates all the best. Check out the band below — while it doesn’t necessarily matter that their shit is cool as hell, it’s certainly nice to find out.

It now seems that you can’t even go to a metal gig in the US without the prospect of being shot. My genuine thoughts go out to the band, their families and those who were at the concert.

Let me add this song by Will Hoge.

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: 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

Great Metal Albums of 1987: Testament- Live at Eindhoven

Posted in 1980s, Concerts, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 16, 2022 by 80smetalman

Having conquered America with their debut album, “The Legacy,” Testament took their campaign to Europe. While playing the Dynamo Open Air Festival in Eindhoven, Holland, they recorded this live EP. From a historical standpoint, this was a great idea because in World War 2, Eindhoven was the first major Dutch city to be liberated by the combined force of British XXX Corps and the US 101st Airborne. From what I hear on the EP, the audience were ready for some great metal and Testament delivered.

Before the thrash gets underway, the album begins with Chuck Billy asking the audience why they don’t have any beers in their hands. “Let’s see some fuckin’ beers!” he shouts to the crowd and only when they oblige, does the true fireworks begin. Boy do the fireworks begin! They come out firing on all cylinders with “Over the Wall.” If this song doesn’t get the crowd going, then nothing was going to. I get the impression that it did, at least it got me going.

Alex Skolnick begins the second song with a guitar solo bringing in the King Diamond-ish “Burnt Offerings.” Like it does on the studio album, it lures you in as if it’s going to be a slower song before exploding into space at 900 mph. Alex delivers another great guitar solo. Then in the middle of the order comes the best known song, “Do or Die.” Chuck introduces the song by saying “You got to do what you got to do to survive. You got to do or die.” Listening to the song, I regret they didn’t play it when I saw them live in 2009 because they kill it here. It’s just one big thrash party where the crowd is chanting “Testament” at the end .

Following “Do or Die” is my choice for hidden gem, “Apocalyptic City.” It closed out “The Legacy” perfectly but here it does just as well as the penultimate track. While I was prepared for it coming in like a ballad before going full nuts, it still sounds fresh with some great guitars. Alex and rhythm guitarist Eric Peterson just nail it here. It shows what an underrated combo these two are and as far as lead/rhythm guitar combos go, I will put Alex and Eric right up there with Hammet/Hetfield, Jabs/Schenker and the Brothers Young.

“Reign of Terror” is the closer and it comes in with a pounding drum and more guitar work from the above mentioned combo. I love how the speed of the intro just keeps accelerating before Chuck’s vocals come in and take over. I can’t help thinking that there must have been a mosh pit going when this song was being played. Unfortunately, it’s over too soon. Five tracks, no matter how amazing, isn’t enough and when it’s over, I find myself wishing it was a proper LP.

Track Listing:

  1. Over the Wall
  2. Burnt Offering
  3. Do or Die
  4. Apocalyptic City
  5. Reign of Terror
Testament

Chuck Billy- vocals

Alex Skolnick- lead guitar

Eric Petersen- rhythm guitar

Greg Christian- bass

Louie Clemente- drums

What “Live at Eindhoven” demonstrated was that Testament were a kick ass live band and this album helped them make their mark in Europe. It’s also another reason why they should be considered making the Big Four into the Big Five.

Next post: Warlock- Triumph and Agony

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: Napalm Death- Scum

Posted in 1980s, Death, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 12, 2022 by 80smetalman

When listening to the debut album, “Scum,” from British metal band, Napalm Death, the first question which arises is: Is Napalm Death the British version of the Stormtroopers of Death? Like the S.0.D., whose album “Speak English or Die” had twenty-one tracks in under thirty minutes, “Scum” has twenty-eight tracks in little over thirty-five minutes. Also like their American predecessor, the album is full of ear-bashing short, sharp, in your face tracks. Many of the tracks on “Scum” are under one minute in length but when you listen to them, the interesting thing is that it feels like a full three minute song crammed into that little amount of time.

What is just as interesting is that the band had a complete lineup change while making the album. The first half of the album has a different singer, guitar and bass than the second half with drummer Mick Harris being the only permanent fixture. However, I don’t hear any real change when I listen to the album. It’s still an all speed ahead assault on your eardrums. Some will even raise the criticism that you can’t understand the lyrics being sung but guess what? I don’t really care. This is just a great album to thrash out and create lots of mayhem to. My only regret resulting from listening to the album is that I have never seen them live. I think that would be an experience.

One challenge I had when listening to “Scum” was identifying stand out tracks. It is a challenge when songs are over just as you are getting into them. Although, there are tracks like “Born On Your Knees” which has a cool intro as well an instrumental portion to mosh along to. Another song which I think stands out is “Polluted Minds.” While only a minute long, it packs a very powerful punch. “Prison Without Walls” is another memorable one, not that any of these songs aren’t. However, what you do get here is twenty-eight tracks to have a great mosh to.

Tracks Listing:

  1. Multinational Corporations
  2. Instinct for Survival
  3. The Kill
  4. Scum
  5. Caught…in a Dream
  6. Polluted Minds
  7. Sacrificed
  8. Siege of Power
  9. Control
  10. Born On Your Knees
  11. Human Garbage
  12. You Suffer
  13. Life?
  14. Prison Without Walls
  15. Point of No Return
  16. Negative Approach
  17. Success
  18. Deceiver
  19. C.S.
  20. Parasites
  21. Pseudo Youth
  22. Devine Death
  23. As the Machine Rolls On
  24. Common Enemy
  25. Moral Crusade
  26. Stigmatized
  27. M.A.D.
  28. Dragnet
Napalm Death

Tracks 1-12

Nik Napalm- vocals, bass

Justin Broaderick- guitar, vocals

Mick Harris- drums

Tracks 13-28

Lee Dorrian- vocals

Jim Whitely- bass

Bill Steer- guitar

Mick Harris- drums, vocals

History has determined that “Scum” marked the official initiation of the sub-genre now known as grindcore and Napalm Death have been attributed as its pioneers. I won’t debate that fact but all I know is that I have come to love having my ears cleaned out by the album.

Next post: Testament- Live at Eindhoven

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

To have Bruce Dickinson receive 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: Motorhead- Rock ‘n’ Roll

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , on March 9, 2022 by 80smetalman

“Rock ‘n’ Roll” is Motorhead’s worst performing album chartwise of all time. It was slammed by so-called critics and even Lemmy admitted that it wasn’t their best album. He sites some of the reasons such as having the wrong producer and the personal problems that guitarist Wurzel was experiencing at the time. Taking all into account, while I won’t equate “Rock ‘n’ Roll” with the classics, it is far from a bad album.

The first two tracks are the best ones on the album. Both prove that Motorhead hadn’t lost their touch and were capable of kicking your ass at 120 miles an hour. “Eat the Rich” was used in a film of the same title where Lemmy appears in the film in the role of Spider. Reflecting back to Gene Simmons’s role in a film a few years prior, maybe there is a correlation to bass players acting in films and the effect it has on their next album. I haven’t seen the film in ages but I wasn’t that impressed, especially coming from the Comic Strip group which made “Bad News.” But I remember Lemmy was pretty good in the film.

While the first two tracks are the best ones, I don’t think the album downturns that drastically afterwards. If there is any criticism to be aimed at the album is that Motorhead rely on the same formula that had made them so great over the years. Some people might have got tired of what they perceived as the same sound again and again. However, I say that true, there are similarities to classic Motorhead material, they do it with the same passion as well. You still get thrashing guitars, Lemmy’s unmistakable vocals, some great guitar solos, my favourite is on “Stone Deaf in the USA,” which is also my pick for the hidden gem.

If listeners wanted something different on a Motorhead album, then “Blessing” provides it. The band doesn’t play on it but instead it’s a prayer offered by Monty Python star Michael Palin who asks God to bless Motorhead. Michael says his prayer in the same fashion as his character in the Python film, “The Meaning of Life.” Being both a Motorhead and a Monty Python fan, I found it all very funny. Even if you don’t find it funny, the tracks “Traitor” and “Dogs” go back to traditional kick ass Motorhead sound. “Dogs” is especially a great song to bang your head along to.

The album saw one change in personnel as drummer Pete Gill was out and Phil “Philthy Animal” Taylor was brought back in. While no one debates Phil’s efforts on the album, to some, it wasn’t enough to save it but what do they know? I like this album.

Track Listing:

  1. Rock ‘ n’ Roll
  2. Eat the Rich
  3. Blackheart
  4. Stone Deaf in the USA
  5. Blessing
  6. The Wolf
  7. Traitor
  8. Dogs
  9. All For You
  10. Boogeyman
Motorhead

Lemmy Kilmister- bass, lead vocals

Wurzel- lead guitar, slide guitar on “Stone Deaf in the USA”

Phil ‘Wizzo’ Campbell- rhythm guitar, slide guitar on “Eat the Rich”

Phil ‘Philthy Animal’ Taylor- drums

Michael Palin- Speech on “Blessing”

British fans might have been getting tired of Motorhead, but it wasn’t the case in the USA. The lack of chart success for “Rock ‘n’ Roll” made Lemmy relocate to America where fans were wanting to see Motorhead live and buy their albums.

Next post: Napalm Death- Scum

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

To sign the petition for Bruce Dickinson to receive 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: Overkill- Taking Over

Posted in 1980s, Concerts, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , on February 15, 2022 by 80smetalman

In recent months, there has been a lot of talk as to which thrash band should join the big four to make the big five. Exodus is the most likely favourite, especially as it got a nod from Anthrax’s Scott Ian. Testament is another strong choice and I will keep plugging Kreator. However, I suspect that there are a good number of metal fans from Northern New Jersey who might speak out for Overkill. I’d be the first to say that they’d be a long shot, even though they were brilliant at Bloodstock 2015. However, after listening to their 1987 album, “Taking Over,” those odds might have got a little shorter.

Overkill establishing their dominance, Bloodstock 2015

The first two songs on “Taking Over” are a one massive thrash party. The sheer ferocity of those songs convince me that Overkill are a genuine thrash band as opposed to some of the pretenders that were coming out at the time. Then we get to the third track, “Fear His Name,” where Overkill prove that they are far more capable of just hammering out power chords at 500 mph. They slow down for the track and Bobby ‘Blitz’ Ellsworth shows he does have some good melody to his vocals and then there’s the shredding of Bobby Gustafson and boy can he shred!

“Use Your Head” doesn’t quite go back to the speed of tracks one and two but it has it’s moments. It’s definitely faster than the preceding track and there is a good power chord mosh part in the middle of the song. While the two Bobbys do what they do best on the song, I have to point out the contribution of the rhythm section on this one, which is very good. Furthermore, I am amused by the lyrics, “You’ve got a lot to learn. You got your head up your ass.”

Is there such a thing as progressive thrash? Because that’s what it seems like Overkill are trying to do on “Fatal If Swallowed.” The intro to this is really way out there before going into some fast thrash chords, which carry on for the remainder of the song only slowing down slightly for the guitar solo. But even though I have sung the praises of the first five songs, the second half of the album is even better. The title of the track “Powersurge” explains it all. Instead of slowing down, the band get their second wind and go even more thrashing mad nuts. All starting with a brilliant bass line from D. D. Verni.

It only gets better after that as the two best tracks on the album come in. Now, if I was thirty-five years younger and “In Union We Stand” was put on an infinite loop on a personal stereo, I could have won gold in the 10k walk at the Olympics. Whenever I hear the song, I just want to get up and move about really fast as the song has that effect. I love how the thrash guitars carry the verse before going full power chords at the chorus. It’s not only my favourite song on the album, but my favourite Overkill song of all time! You can imagine how absolutely nuts I went when the played it at Bloodstock.

A peaceful coexistence is dropping out of sight

So band together, together we will fight

Blasting the resistance, marching to the top

They started this, we say when it stops.

It’s another great song calling metalheads to unite but it doesn’t end there as “Electro-Violence” is also another great thrash track. If they had played this at Bloodstock, I would have been blown out of Earth’s atmosphere. This fast and furious song makes it perfectly understandable as to why the album ends with a more progressive song which is over seven minutes long. Saying that, there’s some great power chords on that one as well. Still, it ends the album on the right note.

Track Listing:

  1. Deny the Cross
  2. Wrecking Crew
  3. Fear His Name
  4. Use Your Head
  5. Fatal If Swallowed
  6. Powersurge
  7. In Union We Stand
  8. Electro-Violence
  9. Overkill II (The Nightmare Continues)
Overkill

Bobby ‘Blitz’ Ellsworth- vocals

Bobby Gustafson- guitars

D. D. Verni- bass

Rat Skates- drums

“Taking Over” presents a good argument as to why Overkill should be considered as a candidate for making the Big Four the Big Five. But the question is whether their other albums measure up. Their previous one, “Feel the Fire,” also makes a good case. However, whether you think Overkill are a contender or not, this album is definitely a great one.

Next post: Whitesnake- 1987

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

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