Archive for Thrash Metal

Great Metal Albums of 1984: Venom- At War With Satan

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 29, 2018 by 80smetalman

Everybody probably all knows the stereotypes of all heavy metal bands. They can only play four chords, they scream because they can’t sing, etc. Well, when I came upon the third album from British death metalers, Venom, I thought that they had a point. My first thoughts of “At War With Satan” was that it was loud, it was brash and it sounded like the whole album was recorded in somebody’s basement. Yes, the album ticked all the boxes of the opinions many non-metal people have about heavy metal. But guess what? I couldn’t have cared a monkey’s about what they thought. I liked this album on account of all that.

For those who have or listened to “At War With Satan” on either cassette or vinyl will know that the entire first side is comprised by the title track. Therefore, you get nineteen minutes of Venom viciousness in one song. The song itself is meant to tell the story of how Hell revolts against Heaven and God is thrown into hell, all centered around the keeper of the gates of Hell who shares his name with Venom’s drummer. While a very long concept song, it does keep you on your toes with the various changes throughout so you don’t get bored with it. Plus there’s some interesting guitar soloing from Mantas. Back in the day, if I had listened to the track on CD, I might have thought it was different songs as opposed to one long one.

Side two consists of the remaining six songs whose combined length equal that of the title track on the previous side. If anyone had problems with Venom stretching out like they did on side one, then they’d be rest assured that Venom return to their more traditional roots of short, sharp headbangers. “Rip Ride” starts things off well enough but is quickly superseded by “Genocide.” That is a cool track. “Cry Wolf” actually is slower than what was considered traditional Venom but the band pull it off. The joke at the time was that you could actually make out what Cronus was singing here. Maybe it was meant to be a single. Following, “Stand Up (And Be Counted),” another song whose lyrics you can understand after the initial growls, comes my all time favourite Venom song, “Women, Leather and Hell.” This song typifies what I have always liked about Venom. It’s loud, ferocious and about some of my favourite subjects. I was rather disappointed when they didn’t play it at Bloodstock, 2016. That leads to the very amusing closer, “Aaaaarrrghh.”

Track Listing:

  1. At War With Satan
  2. Rip Ride
  3. Genocide
  4. Cry Wolf
  5. Stand Up (And Be Counted)
  6. Women, Leather and Hell
  7. Aaaaaarrrghh

Venom

Cronus- bass, lead vocals

Mantas- guitar

Abaddon- drums

Critics back in 1984 mostly agreed that “At War With Satan” catapulted Venom into the world of mainstream metal. Maybe it did but those of us who liked this album didn’t care about that. What was good was the fact that the band was able to write more mature songs without losing any of their edge.

Next post: Loudness- Disillusion

It is also my displeasure to announce that due to the events of the past month and a half, I will not be going to the full Download Festival. The good news is that I will attend the Sunday where I intend to see, Kreator, Marilyn Manson and headlining will be Ozzy.

To get Rock and Roll Children, go to: https://crreadac.cf/current/ebooks-free-download-rock-and-roll-children-fb2-by-michael-d-lefevre.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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A New Metal Discovery- Slave to Sirens

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on April 10, 2018 by 80smetalman

“Oh my God,” you’re all probably thinking. Is 80smetalman on speed or has he lost one of his jobs? Neither, hwile I admit it is a rarity that I make three posts in as many days. Actually it will be four in four as I intend to write my Whitesnake post tomorrow but this is something I must post about. While originally created to take readers through the history of 1980’s heavy metal and sell “Rock and Roll Children,” I have expanded to reporting on festivals, concerts and to alert people of new metal acts that people might be interested in hearing about. Cue Black Emerald and Hannah Wicklund and the Steppin Stones but this morning I have, thanks to Google Alerts, been led to another cool metal band, Slave to Sirens.

                                                Slave to Sirens

As you can see from the photo, Slave to Sirens are and all female band and that’s important in light of yesterday’s post. I am on a campaign to stamp out sexism in metal, there’s no need for it. However, being all female isn’t the most interesting part about this band, what is more interesting is the fact that they hail from Lebanon. This is a country that has been experiencing its an East-West clash for several decades and has had problems with Islamic Extremists. So, for these girls to play metal and even daring to wear Western style clothing is a testament to the guts these ladies possess. Furthermore, I think that they display these guts in their music. I’ve listened to their four song demo, which I will share at the bottom of the page.

Slave to Sirens is:

Shery Bachara- lead guitar

Tatyana Boughara- drums

Alma Douhmani- bass

Maya Khairallah- lead vocals

Lilas Mayassi- rhythm guitar

Don’t expect any love songs here, just straight forward fast, speed metal. They cement my belief that heavy metal is for all people regardless of race, gender or culture. I think these five ladies would agree with that.

Track Listing:

Terminal Leeches

Humanesticide

Slave to Sirens

Congenital Evil

 

Listen and enjoy!

 

WOMEN IN METAL: I SALUTE YOU

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on April 9, 2018 by 80smetalman

I think this writer hits the nail on the head here.

Atom Smasher Music

5877F79B-former-arch-enemy-singer-angela-gossow-i-want-to-do-a-new-extreme-metal-project-image “What’s a pretty girl like you doing making a horrible noise like that?” 

 “Are you the groupie or the merch girl?”

 “Watching with the sound off cos I don’t wanna listen to your music but I wanna fuck you so bad.”

“Angela Gossow would kick your ass and Simone Simmons is way hotter than you.” 

These are just a few of the comments I’ve received as a woman playing in a metal band. I think I despise the last one the most.

Firstly, Simone Simmons is the fantastic soprano singer in Epica. I play guitar in a post metal band. But, despite having very little in common musically, our appearances apparently *must* be rated against each other.

No one compares the handsomeness of our male guitarist against say, Bruce Dickinson, because they realize how ABSURD and IRRELEVANT that is. They manage to discuss the boys’ vastly different musical merits without…

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Great Metal Albums of 1984: Anthrax- Fistful of Metal

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 24, 2018 by 80smetalman

Normally, when I hear a band’s second album before their first one, I appreciate what a great album the debut was, even if I prefer the second one. That was the case with Twisted Sister, Van Halen and Molly Hatchet for sure. However, there’s always an exception and that comes in the form of Anthrax. My first experience with this band was the second album, “Spreading the Disease,” and you will hear me sing its praises to the heavens. Now, I in no way, shape or form, dislike Anthrax’s debut album, “Fistful of Metal,” it has some great songs which I will elaborate on in a minute. What I do think is that “Spreading the Disease” was a major improvement from this one.

The big improvement comes in the form of the lead singer. While I have nothing against the vocal ability of Neil Turbin, he does some great things on “Fistful of Metal,” it’s just I think Joey Belladonna is a far superior singer. That’s just my opinion. Therefore, I will cease the negative and go for the positive because I have always thought this was a brilliant, in your face, thrash album. In fact, I’ll change my personal history and pretend that I first heard “Fistful of Metal” when it first came out in 1984.

Power chords of Scott Ian and Dan Spitz, combined the shrieks of Neil begin the album in a totally mad metal mayhem. Even though I hadn’t yet heard the term ‘thrash,’ I would have thought that the opening song “Deathrider” comes out and grabs your attention. With the exception of Motorhead, I would have thought it was the most aggressive sound I ever heard back then. Following on immediately after is my favourite song on the album, “Metal Thrashing Mad.” It’s just as thrashy as its predecessor but there is a slight melody to the chorus and I do mean slight. Of all the tracks on the album, this one highlights Neil Turbin’s voice the best.

What I have always liked about the cover of the Alice Cooper classic, “I’m Eighteen,” is the fact that they don’t thrash it up and they pretty much stick to Alice’s formula. Hell, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. The next three tracks go back to more mad thrash. It is on the tracks, “Panic” and especially “Subjugator” that I fully hear the brilliant guitar work from Dan Spitz. Also on “Subjugator,” rhythm guitarist Scott Ian has a cool guitar bit on it. It’s certainly the best song of the three and I’ve always questioned why “Soldiers of Metal” was released as a single as there are better tracks to choose from. It still gives you a good mosh. Oops, that word didn’t come out til 1985.

Scott Ian- Anthrax

“Death From Above” is my second favourite song on here. I can’t explain the semantics as to why but I really love this song. Maybe it’s how the song starts with a cool guitar solo from Dan but it just does it for me. The album concludes with “Anthrax,” followed by a very cool instrumental, “Across the River” and probably the best song for the closer, “Howling Furies.” Now there’s a song that lets you know you’ve just had year ears bashed by a cool album.

Track Listing:

  1. Deathrider
  2. Metal Thrashing Mad
  3. I’m Eighteen
  4. Panic
  5. Subjugator
  6. Soldiers of Metal
  7. Death From Above
  8. Anthrax
  9. Across the River
  10. Howling Furies

Anthrax

Neil Turbin- vocals

Scott Ian- rhythm guitar

Dan Spitz- lead guitar

Dan Lilker- bass

Charlie Benante- drums

Looking back at history, I now realize how important “Fistful of Metal” was in establishing Anthrax in the metal world and laying down a foundation for them to go onto to better things. The band is certainly hungry on this album, no doubt. The weird thing is that shortly after the album’s released, Dan Lilker would be forced out of the band by the same two band members whom he’d join up with a year later to make my all time favourite album. Still, that’s something to worry about in the future but if you want a thrashing good mosh, then “Fistful of Metal” is one to have.

Next post: Lee Aaron- Metal Queen

To get Rock and Roll Children, go to: https://book-fm.cf/print/free-download-rock-and-roll-children-by-michael-d-lefevre-pdf.html

 

 

 

 

Great Metal Albums of 1984: Metallica- Ride the Lightning

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 22, 2018 by 80smetalman

I have said many times throughout the journey through 1984, it was the golden year of the golden decade for heavy metal. Many metal bands got mainstream exposure on radio and MTV. Not only that, the exposure gave many metalheads a look into bands that were up and coming or just out of the limelight. One of these up and coming bands was Metallica with their second album, “Ride the Lightning.”

Thinking back to that year, I don’t ever recall Metallica getting any airplay on the radio or MTV. As I listen to the album, I have to conclude that while mainstream media gave many metal bands some great exposure, I don’t think they were quite ready for a band like Metallica, even if metalheads were. After spending the year listening to all the great bands, Metallica was something different but interesting. It definitely had my attention. When I heard this album, I was blown away by the sheer power and hunger of this band.

While their debut album, “Kill’Em All,” just wants to pound the crap out of you, “Ride the Lightning” does offer some, I stress some, melodic moments. One gets that impression on the opening notes of the first track, “Fight Fire With Fire,” because it starts out with a full acoustic intro. However, it goes right into some very hard chords which lasts for three songs. In fact, all the times I’ve listened to the album, I seem to miss where “Fight Fire With Fire” ends and the title track begins. The comes the great “For Whom the Bell Tolls,” a loud pounding but at the same time rhythmic tune. I really like this track but I was disappointed when they played it at Donington 1987. It just didn’t grab me the way that it always does on vinyl.

Afterwards comes what I mean about melodic moments, my favourite track on the album, “Fade to Black.” The first half of this song is a near power ballad and while it would be another seven years before we got to hear their most famous ballad, “Nothing Else Matters,” I do hear some resemblances on “Fade to Black.” But it doesn’t stay melodic as the second half of the song goes back to more traditional Metallica soundings. An added bonus is the way that Kirk Hamett rips his guitar solo at the end.

With “Trapped Under Ice” and “Escape,” you get more great Metallica mashing and like the first two songs on the album, you have to listen carefully or you’ll miss where the one ends and the other begins. Then, if you thought your eardrums might get some relief, you’d would be sorely disappointed because “Creeping Death” comes along to kick your ass. This is a power song only slowing down slightly to deliver a more melodic chorus but then goes back to ear bashing. “Creeping Death” is decidedly my second favourite track on “Ride the Lightning.” It may not have the melodic approach of my number one but it lets you know it’s there and says you will like this song. Kirk’s solo on here is very cool too. The album ends with the very interesting instrumental “The Call of Ktulu.” All in all, this is a fantastic album and it reminds me of when Metallica were hard and hungry. The music on “Ride the Lightning” bears witness.

Track Listing:

  1. Fight Fire With Fire
  2. Ride the Lightning
  3. For Whom the Bell Tolls
  4. Fade to Black
  5. Trapped Under Ice
  6. Escape
  7. Creeping Death
  8. The Call of Ktulu

Metallica

James Hetfield- lead vocals, rhythm guitar

Kirk Hammett- lead guitar

Cliff Burton- bass

Lars Ulrich- drums, backing vocals on “Ride the Lightning”

In the opening pages of “Rock and Roll Children,” while the main characters are driving to the first concert in the book, one of them introduces the others to a new band called Metallica. It was the “Kill’Em All” album. Yes, back then, they were still making their way in the world and “Ride the Lightning” provided a springboard that would help launch them to greater things.

On another note, this album has been labelled thrash and speed metal. These were terms which I wouldn’t hear for another year. I just considered Metallica great metal at the time. Furthermore, this trip down memory lane makes me sad that I missed the Metallica, WASP and Armoured Saint show. That must have been fantastic.

Next post: Anthrax- Fistful of Metal

To get Rock and Roll Children, go to: https://book-fm.cf/print/free-download-rock-and-roll-children-by-michael-d-lefevre-pdf.html

 

Metal Madness in Reading

Posted in Concerts, Heavy Metal, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 11, 2018 by 80smetalman

Not long returned from my short break in Reading with Mrs 80smetalman. We spent the Saturday afternoon at The Oracle, which is Reading’s big shopping precinct. While there were many eating places along the Thames River, which runs right through the precinct, we wanted to get out of the rain and went straight for the mall. With her ability to sense out these places, my wife found the Lush shop and added to her collection of bath stuff. We can also say that Lush staff are super friendly wherever you go. After that, we hit a few places in the mall, had dinner and then returned to the hotel where I prepared for big night at the Face Bar, where I was invited to attend the launch party for Black Emerald’s debut album, “Hell Can’t Handle All of Us.”

After a couple of detours down some dead end side roads, I found the Face Bar without any real trouble. On the outside, it looks like any other rock club I’ve been to and probably on the inside too. However, the first honour done to me on the evening was when I announced who I was on the guest list, the people at the door seemed to be expecting me. Once inside, I met Sharon, the mother of Black Emerald’s drummer as well as the bassist/lead vocalist’s father, who incidentally, was the one who gave me the Black Emerald demo CD at Bloodstock 2013 and told me to go check them out at the New Blood Stage. A recommendation I will forever be grateful for.

Sharon and me. Sharon worked her socks off to make sure the evening was top notch. Full marks to her!

Four bands were on the card this night and the first one on stage was Remnant. Here’s one band you can’t pigeon hole in any way. Remnant are a mix of thrash, groove and a few more genres of metal. They have dual male/female vocalists who share the duties but unlike say Amy Lee of Evanescence or Live Christine of Leaves Eyes whose vocals are very melodic, Tori Walter’s vocals are just as gritty as her male colleague Lee Gordine. Another gender stereotype broken here resulting in a one-two vocal punch that doesn’t let up. Both do a great job but what impressed me the most about this band was the lead guitar work of Andy Gunn. When you weren’t getting pounded by the two vocalists, he shredded in spectacular fashion. All of the combinations worked well together to make one great sound. It was a great way to begin the night!

Remnant begin the festivities

Tori and Leigh on the vocals

Andy Gunn shredding away

FFI on Remnant, go to: http://www.remnantuk.co.uk/

The next band up was Thirty Giants, however, I never saw 30 giants go onto the stage. What I saw was four men who knew how to play heavy metal. Thirty Giants have a style I’ve become quite fond of in my waning years. They come out with some powerful metal during the verses only to go slightly more melodic while singing the choruses to their songs. Luca Cossu handles most of the vocals and does a great job with it but he has some good support from bassist Sam Yard. Meanwhile, Dave Gilburt does most of the lead guitar duties and solos very well but Luca does lend a hand at times on the guitar. They did do a solo trade-off on one of the songs and I always am impressed when that’s done well, which it was. My biggest impression of Thirty Giants was that I am convinced I heard a little Asphalt Ballet influence in a couple of their songs and that made me like them even more.

You can hear some of their offerings here: https://thirtygiants.bandcamp.com/releases

Luca and Sam begin things for Thirty Giants

Guitarists Luca and Dave wailing.

Luca on the vox

Dave plays a solo

Anyone thinking that after the first two bands, they might have a reprieve, they were completely wrong. Up next was Gutlocker, who set out to pound the ears of everyone in the Face Bar with their brand of sludge metal. Lead singer Craig McBrearty has the power and range in his voice as well as the charisma of a good front-man, while the other three members did a great job in supporting his vocal efforts with power chords, thumping bass and drums. They might have only been on stage about thirty minutes by they let you know they were up there that entire time.

To hear more, go to: https://soundcloud.com/gutlocker1

Craig with guitarist Peter Tucker

Peter and drummer Dean Walker

Bassist Ben Rollinson

Three bands had come and gone. Three different styles of metal, all of which were completely enjoyable. Now, you might have noticed that I didn’t say anything about the rhythm sections of any of the bands. That’s because I would have been repeating myself three times. I can safely say that the rhythm sections for all three bands were spot on. All three bands also did a great job warming things up for the main event. After all, this was Black Emerald’s evening.

The atmosphere was almost electric by the time Black Emerald took the stage. I could have been back at the old Philadelphia Spectrum in the 1980s seeing such greats as Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Twisted Sister or Dio. It was like that. The first thing I noticed when they took the stage was that while I said how good they were in 2013, they were miles better four and a half years later! Edd Higgs’s shredding had come on leaps and bounds and the vocals of Simon Hall sounded even better. Plus Simon and Connor Shortt had become an even more tighter rhythm section and I was very impressed with Connor’s drumming. They played their entire album, including the song “Dr Stein,” which I uploaded from  Youtube when I announced they were cutting an album. Plus, they played the songs from their demo, all of which I liked. During the set, Craig from Gutlocker came on for a guest vocal slot and it proves the versatility of this band, that they were able to fit their sound to his vocals. Just as good was when Andy Gunn from Remnant came up to play guitar on “Voodoo Princess.” It was a treat hearing Andy and Edd shred together on this song. When they announced their last song, the nearly ten minute long, “Jonestown,” I couldn’t believe that more than an hour had passed. Black Emerald were fab!

Edd shredding

Simon on bass and vocals

Connor on the drums

Craig on stage with Black Emerald

Simon working some more magic

Andy shredding with the band

Another shot of Edd

Simon has the pipes

Don’t forget Connor

Here’s an interesting observation. You hear all the time of parents disapproving of their children’s interest in playing music. Hell, even John Lennon’s mother told him that playing guitar was a nice hobby but it wouldn’t get him anywhere. Boy, was she wrong! Therefore, it was great to see the parents of the members of Black Emerald, truly supporting their sons. Special kudos goes to Sarah, (Connor’s mum), who worked tirelessly throughout the evening, helping to make it so good.

When I left the Face Bar, I began to ask myself: “Is Reading an unknown mecca for metal?” True, the other bands weren’t from Reading but close enough. Thirty Giants were the furthest away coming from Brighton. If it is, I must go there more. There was one more surprise in store for me. I went to purchase “Hell Can’t Handle All of Us” before I left but Sarah told me to hold on. Moments later, she returned with a goody bag which featured the CD, a flier signed by the band, a Black Emerald coaster and a Black Emerald mug! That was a nice surprise and I thank the band for it and all the bands for a great night of heavy metal in Reading.

My goody bag. Note: when I didn’t need to buy the Black Emerald CD, I bought Remnant’s one.

 

Next post: Black Emerald- Hell Can’t Handle All of Us

To buy Rock and Roll Children, go to: https://book-fm.cf/print/free-download-rock-and-roll-children-by-michael-d-lefevre-pdf.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Great Metal Albums of 1984: Metal Church

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , on January 27, 2018 by 80smetalman

Constant vigilance in perusing the heavy metal and imports sections at the local record shops as well as word of mouth from like minded friends played a major role in severing my reliance on commercial radio and MTV for all of my musical needs. Besides, by my calculations, it was in the Autumn of 1984 that both started down that slippery slope into totally sucking. If I had totally relied on that, I might not have ever discovered the debut album from Metal Church. Fortunately, I had a friend, the late ‘Wild Swinging’ Stacy Kroger, (may she rest in peace), who introduced me to the album.

For a young metalhead in the 1980s, Metal Church is a brilliant album to listen to. This is a pure metal album to say the least. In fact, I think there are some features that would influence other metal artists, some of whom would be more successful than Metal Church. King Diamond, you’re one of the ones I’m looking at here. Take the opening track, “Beyond the Black.” It starts with a soft intro where a hoarse whispering introduces things. You know, after all these times, I still can’t fully grasp what the voice is saying. However, you can’t contemplate it more because before you know it, some great guitar work comes in and the song then proceeds to pulverize the crap out of you. Just when you think, you’ve got it under control, there comes a tempo change or two. The fact that the song is over six minutes long has one wondering if it’s the same song, but it is.

Things evolve nicely into the title track which is another metalhead’s dream song. Then comes an instrumental where guitarist Kurdt Vanderhoof gets to show off what he can do with a guitar and it’s quite good. However, he’s even more impressive on “Gods of Wrath,” which is in similar style to the opener. A slow start before going into a mad frenzy.  Only this time, he shares the spotlight with the versatile vocals of David Wayne. On this album, Wayne can do it all. Sing almost ballad like and then screams the house down without straining his voice.

The second half of the album carries things over very well while at the same time, surprising you a little. All of the next four songs are why some future fans would call Metal Church thrash or speed metal. They are all very fast songs but the band shows they’re truly up to the task. Then, keeping with unpredictability, the albums ends with a cover of the Deep Purple classic, “Highway Star,” which is done very well at a blistering speed metal pace, or so I thought back in 1984.

Track Listing:

  1. Beyond the Black
  2. Metal Church
  3. Merciless Onslaught
  4. Gods of Wrath
  5. Hitman
  6. In the Blood
  7. (My Favourite) Nightmare
  8. Battalions
  9. Highway Star

Metal Church

David Wayne- vocals

Kurdt Vanderhoof- guitar

Craig Wells- guitar

Duke Erickson- bass

Kirk Arrington- drums

With the success of this debut album from Metal Church, they would be signed by the larger Electra Records and the rest would be history. Still, if you want to hear a band when they were at there lean, mean and hungriest, then I recommend this one.

Next post: Billy Squier- Signs of Life

To buy Rock and Roll Children, go to: https://book-fm.cf/print/free-download-rock-and-roll-children-by-michael-d-lefevre-pdf.html