Rogue MaleAn overlooked London band, in my opinion. They formed in '83, and dropped their first full length album "First Visit" in '85. I remember first hearing this track thinking it was great, and really liked how the vocals stood out from other stuff I was hearing at the time (mainly thrash and NWOBHM... I was a snob). This song below intrigued me, and so I listened to the full album, as it was still on youtube at the time... probably a little while after youtube came into being, actually. I liked them so much I went and found the record for dirt cheap because... well... read the title of the article.
There are some videos of interviews with them floating around on the internet alongside live clips, which is where I realized that the guy on the cover was supposed to be the dude singing and playing guitar in the band- Jim Lyttle. I was slightly confused at what I was seeing, but also amused. It was sort of a gimmick, the way they looked and dressed, but their music was up to par, and as long as that is the case, then for me it's all good. They released another LP after that entitled "Animal Man", much like their first release in keeping with the musical feel of it. Pretty enjoyable, but I think "First Visit" has a place in my heart it can't take, as I had heard it years later.
They reformed in 2008, and released "Nail It" in 2009. Did they? I wouldn't know, because I'm a scared little girl when it comes to giving old bands with new albums chances. Except Carcass. Good god, Surgical Steel is amazing. But, I digress- If you haven't heard Rogue Male before, you should give them a listen and consider dressing and acting like them....
StormwitchI don't even feel like this is bargain bin stuff, here. Stormwitch (which I just accidentally spelled "stormwich"... yum?) is definitely A+ stuff for me. Germany pumps out another amazing metal band from the apparent factory that seems to be deep underground there. These guys formed in '81, and released their first big'n in '84 called "Walpurgis Night", which is the more well known compared to the album I've embedded below, but I did put that album down there for a reason, but I'll get to that later. They went on to record 9 studio albums- Tales of Terror being their second studio album in '85. They ranged from '84-'15.
Now, again, I will be honest in saying that I haven't heard their most recent releases, but they had solid releases up until '89 to my knowledge. Everything I heard I liked, and maybe I shouldn't be so scared and go give them a listen along with Rogue Male, if not for the music, at least to satisfy my curiosity. Anyhow, these guys are some traditional- OR WHATEVER GENRE CALM DOWN- metal good for a go through if you'd like to hear some solid tunes for a few hours. They have a very Steve Harris bassline and tone in this album, as well. Enjoy! And if you already have.... Well then.... They're good, aren't they?
SabbatAh, one of my favorite bands! Most people seem to really like the Japanese Sabbat. They're pretty good, just not quite my cup of tea, i suppose. If you do like them more than this one, that's cool, but man, I love this band. They have a constant lyrical theme it seems of mythical mischief, Paganism, and history- Three of my favorite topics! They execute each song so well in the story telling and in the music itself. The vocals were what got my me hooked after the first thrashy riff blew my mind, because sometimes with bands it can be that they have great riffs, but vocals that just lack that something special you're looking to pair with them. Not this band, oh no, Andy Sneap's singing and guitar playing go hand in hand with vocals like no other (In my opinion) and riffs to match- dark, beckoning, and almost hypnotizing.
I listened to this album so many times, and then I eventually moved on to their following release to "History Of A Time To Come" (1988), called "Dreamweaver", and let me tell you, I was NOT disappointed. They kept up the high expectations I had after hearing HOATTC. More stories, more insane riffage, more true thrash! If you're up for a wicked ride, and a sure fire way to get you in a thrashy mood (I've got a "thrash" count going now...), then look no further! Hit that play button, and treat your ears!
Also- I need this on vinyl. If anyone would like to gift it to me my name is Olivia Franks. Thank in advance.
Another band that it is a no-brainer to spew out my feeling for! Another in the line-up of bands that got me into metal- Sword of Canada! The first video I saw of them was actually the video for 'The Trouble Is". I was instantly wanting to hear more and proceeded, as I often did, to listen to the whole album, and went on to listen to their second and final release "Metalized". Now, most people I've noticed seem to like that release far more than "Sweet Dreams", grant it, the title ain't the best, but come on, it's what's inside it that counts!
I really enjoy both releases and feel they still hold up as strong as they did back then to me as they do now. I'm not sure why "Sweet Dreams' gets crapped on from some reviews I've seen, but it is actually my favorite out of the two, probably because I heard that one first, and later heard Metalized. I had/have a bad habit of giving one specific album/artist a listen to one too many times to the point of potentially annoying my husband. That aside, if you like some heavy metal with high octane, and high spirits, then give these guys a listen, you won't regret it!
HexxThis band was introduced to me by my husband Aaron Franks. There was no question about it, they rule! Those vocals- damn! "Under The Spell" was the album Aaron showed me first, so I knew the vocals of Dan Bryant before that of Dennis Manzo on their first release "No Escape". I think that Dennis has a great voice, but nowhere near as notable as Dan's. Dennis' voice reminds me more of Jon Arch formerly of Fates Warning, while Dan's voice sounds like no other to me. That coupled with the pounding metal and evil songwriting made for a definite lasting impression left on me. I've found myself going back time and time again to listen to those two albums.
After those two, it went downhill for me. It seemed like they turned what was a volatile pulsing pile of metal talent into a volatile pulsing pile a dog poo... I had such high hopes when i turned on that album and immediately after turning it on, I promptly turned it off. Now do NOT get me wrong- I love me some classic death metal like Devastation, Morgoth, Cancer, Entombed, Bolt Thrower, Carcass, Dismembered, Nocturnus- you get it, but that.... That sounded like a bunch of nonsense to me, like they saw where they thought the 90s were probably going and thought- Yep! Let's pack it in, guys, let's just suck.
I might be being a bit harsh, and they were just trying something new, but after those first two albums, it was just a disappointment to me. Back to my main point here, this video below will blow you away if you haven't heard it before, and if you have, then you know what I'm talking about.
WarriorThis band is a bit iffy for me, but made the cut because their first album I thought was pretty unique in a way, and had some good tunes on it. They're supposed to be future based, and NO, I would not make up a whole other sub genre called "future metal" for this.... most sub genres to me are a waste of time. Metal is metal. Anyway, this band has some class and inventiveness in their craft, and no, I'm not saying futuristic stuff was unique for the time. In fact, I'd even say it was extremely overused in the 80s- but there was a certain charm and cheesiness about it that kept me sticking around wanting more. The perception of the future from then is funny to most people, I'd assume.
Warrior writes about alien attacks and fighting for earth, so if sci-fi themed metal is your thing- then this album is for you. The releases following this seem to fall short of me recommending them, to put it nicely. It seemed like they went from exploring the sci-fi future themed stuff to watching too many documentaries on the discovery channel on how farmer Jeb saw aliens land on his farm and tell him how the pyramids were built... I was not into "Ancient Future", which was their follow up release to the one I put Below "Fighting For Earth". I still feel the album stands out enough to mention here, despite the following releases not peaking my interest.
DementiaHere's a slice of thrash from the past, for me. I had saw this album on sale on discogs for dirt cheap and thought "I guess... Album art is questionable, but I really like that logo". I don't know where the album was actually shipped from... I think Greece or somewhere like that, but whoever shipped it did not give a shit, because I remember it came in pretty much two pieces of one ply cardboard tapped together. Luckily it was intact, so I went up to my room and gave 'er a spin. I liked it a lot! I listened to it again recently, and realized I liked it a hell of a lot more back then. I mean, I still really liked it, but I remember telling people about them like I had just heard Metallica for the first time or something.
Some of the riffs are a bit repetitive, but it has history with me, and I still enjoy it for what it is- a decent thrash release from the 80s. If you've gotten this far in the article and haven't insulted my writing 60 times yet, then thank you. Even if you just skimmed it, thanks all the same, and let me know what you think of the bands and any thoughts you have on what my next installment should be in this series.