UNDERGROUND REISSUES XIII
War Hammer, Treponem
Pal, Blind Fury, Destroyers & More.
RETRO METAL SQUARE
Havok, Whote Wizzard,
Cauldron & More.
A JOLLY NIGHT WITH NAPALM
Monks, Hatesphere, Fairyland & More.
THE GOOD THE BAD THE
Ethereal Dirge, Old Timer & More.
METAL REISSUES GALORE XII
Brutality, Mortification, Diamond Head & More.
A JOYFUL NIGHT WITH
Dodsferd, I Shalt
Become, Horna, Azaghal, Necronoclast & More.
TALES FROM THE
The Hidden Hand,
Wurdulak, Gobblehoof, Insult II Injury, Master & More.
Mortification, Rigor Mortis, Chronical Diarrhoea & More.
Illapa, Necrosis, Mystifier & More.
RICH HOAK - TFD
Scene: Awesome Bands From
Leviathan, Defecation, Tusk, etc.
Unseen Force, Impulse Mansluaghter, Slaughter, etc.
Arizona: Desert Oasis or
An Ideological Autopsy
New York City Report
UNDERGROUND REISSUES IX
Jetsam, Control Denied, Disgust, Acrophet, etc.
THE DEVIL AND THE SEA
Relationship W/ Their Van and Tour Diary.
Today Is The
Day Tour Highlights & Lowlights.
UNDERGROUND REISSUES VIII
Abomination, Winter, Macabre, etc.
Industry May Be in
Shambles But We Feel No Guilt.
TAMPA: A VERY VERY
Current State of Our
Underground Reissues Galore XIV!!!
time around I am only bringing in some of the newest
reissues from Metal Mind. I got tons more in storage but
is hard to keep up with this label's frenetic output.
This Polish label keeps churning reissues out as
if it was easy. On the downside, most of these
reissues no longer
feature the extensive liner notes of the Nuclear Blast
and Roadrunner reissues, but the bonus tracks alone
justify their price. Read on and spread the word.
Daniel Ekeroth makes frequent mention of Silver Mountain
in his brilliant book Swedish Death Metal. So when I
first heard their third full-length Roses & Champagne
(Hex, 1988) a couple of weeks back and was bathed by
the dated sounds of 80ís cock rock I was more
disappointed than the time my dog Chu Chu got run over
by a semi. No kidding. That album sounds like it was
recorded by Britny Fox. Or even worse, it comes off as a
less flashy Pretty Boy Floyd. I sure as hell wasnít
expecting that type of glam crap. Whatever happened
between 1988 and 2001 is beyond me, because on Silver
Mountainís last opus Breakiní Chains (Hex, 2001)
these Swedes sound like Rainbow worshippers. And it
ainít half bad. Sure, vocalist / guitarist Jonas Hansson
had his hands full trying to emulate Ritchie Blackmore
and Dio all at once and the strain shows. But this is
quality classic metal with all the neo classical
influences they could muster. Sadly, after this brief
return to the European metal scene, Silver Mountain
would disband after the recording of this album.
Polish people are known for their kielbasas and their
indiscriminate intake of astonishing quantities of
alcoholic beverages. So it is no surprise that one of
Polandís best known thrash metal bands is called Acid
Drinkers. I mean, had they called themselves Beer
Drinkers they would have come off as pussies, right? In
a way Acid Drinkers is to Poland as Tankard is to
Germany. In the same sense that Tankard is fairly
unknown in the US, Acid Drinkers are less recognizable
than a Prada handbag from Canal Street. Anyway, Acid
Drinkers have been in the game of thrash since 1986 and
Dirty Money, Dirty Tricks (Under One Flag, 1991)
is their second full-length. With the whole intent of
sounding like a funny bunch but not being a joke band
the songs this quartet writes come off as subpar
leftovers from a horrible Crumbsuckers album. The Acid
Drinkers even have the nerve of turning Deep Purpleís
ďSmoke On the WaterĒ into an unfunny thrash metal
number. Iíve seen funnier moments in that movie Bio
Dome, and that was like the worst movie ever.
Birminghamís Cerebral Fix (pictured above) released a
great second album titled Tower of Spite
(Roadrunner) back in 1990. Somehow its follow up,
Bastards (Roadrunner, 1991) failed to keep the
interest of their fanbase. 1992 would bring Death
Erotica, their fourth and last recording of the
millennium. By then, it was sure that people stopped
paying attention. The thing with Death Erotica
is that it is packed with solid mid tempo songs, but
their joke has no punchline, their aural beating is void
of a lethal blow. As a result, there is no memorability
to any of the tunes. They are a good listen but thatís
about it. That said, this album is not without its
duds, ďToo Drunk To FunkĒ proves its title right. At the
time of this recording these dudes were probably too
drunk to metal too. Death Erotica officially ends
with a totally pathetic cover of Judas Priestís ďLiviní
After MidnightĒ. Why is it that all thrash metal bands
have to include the audience in their stupid attempts at
humor?. This Metal Mind reissue includes nine bonus
tracks which feature appearances by members of Napalm
Death, Marshall Law and Pop Will Eat Itself.
been over a decade since the last time I listened to
Satanís classic Court in the Act. Checking Metal
Mindís remastered reissue brings me right back to my
brotherís room, where I used to go digging for metal.
Court in the Act (Roadrunner, 1983) was one of the
few tapes that I could listen to time and time again and
never get sick of. Satan were a heavy metal band of the
first order and Court in the Act is one of the
most criminally overlooked highlights of the NWOBHM.
Then again, some metalheads will argue that Satanís
prominence is good enough. Hear me loud and clear; this
is a lesson in metal. Few albums capture this genre in
the 80ís so clearly and gloriously. The guitars of Russ
Tippins and Steve Ramsey provide musical lessons that
would inform the work of more extreme musicians.
Listening to the furious instrumental ďDark Side of
InnocenceĒ is like listening to a clearer vocal-free
version of Possessed; albeit as helmed by Yngwie
Malmsteen and produced by someone who knew the
difference between tone and mud. After the release of
this album Satan would change its name to Blind Fury
only to claim it back for a 1986 effort titled
Suspended Sentence. Unfortunately, that release
fails to capture the brilliance so clearly recorded in
Court in the Act.
standard middle of the road death metal albums go,
Serpent Temptation (Brutal, 1988) by Louisianaís
Opprobrium gets the whole fucking bakery. This sounds
like melodic death metal minus the chops. Initially
released in the 80ís when the band was still going under
the Incubus moniker and subsequently reissued by Nuclear
Blast in 1996 after the band changed its moniker to
Opprobrium, this album sounds just like death metal
sounded back in the day; simple, straight forward,
primitive and kind of dull. The artwork of this MM
reissue is much better than the artwork of the original
release. Metal Mindís digipack includes the artwork from
the original release and I got to say that you must see
it to believe it. Itís a leaf-less tree with two
skeletons by its sides and a stupid looking asymmetrical
snake Ďtempting aroundí, get it? Opprobrium is a
Christian band, but letís not hold that anything against
them. Even if this album is as important as the
may be sinning of nostalgia, but listening to Tankís
1982 debut Filth Hounds of Hades (Kamaflage,
1982) I can only wonder why is it that no matter how
nostalgic and revival-ready the current generation is
they canít produce music that sounds quite as authentic
as this. Is it the production? Perhaps partly. Filth
Hounds of Hades was produced by no other than
Motorheadís ĎFastí Eddie Clarke, a man not strange to
creating a steamrolling sound. And Tankís first foray
into the rock and roll world is a no frills in your face
rock and metal affair. This still active London based
band (by then a trio) is usually lumped with the NWOBHM,
and though not entirely inaccurate, one could say that
Tank were more primitive kind of new wavers. Their tough
musical attack does not feature the tandem guitar
acrobatics of say Iron Maiden nor the levels of
pussiness of Def Leppard. What itís got is some fist
pumping blood boiling metal tunes about nothing else but
alcohol, violence and women. This Metal Mind reissue
does not include liner notes, but it adds eight bonus
tracks, among them live cuts and alternate versions of
tracks from the same album.
Twenty years later and Tank is still a band. Now a
quartet, they sound trapped in time, freezing a style
that came of age over a decade ago. But thatís not
necessarily a bad thing. Still at War (Spiritual
Beast) was released in 2002 and even though it is
laudable that the band is battling not to become a
nostalgia act, listening to Still at War kinda
makes you wish they had. Say what you will, but there is
something about protecting someoneís legacy by leaving
it intact. Itís not that Still at War is
terrible. Some of the songs indeed rock by way of the
incendiary leads of Cliff Evans and Mick Trucker but the
songwriting itself is so geared towards an audience that
the last time it had a boner was when Rick Allen still
had two arms is not even funny. Still, this album gets
extra points for its raw, gritty and crude sound. A wise
move on the part of former Tank bassist Algy Ward.