The Metal Files

My Life. My Music. Your Voyeurism.

Archive for June 2009

Thank You Metal Blade Records!

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For giving me a lifetime of enjoyment from your early selection of albums.

  1. metal massacre 1
  2. bitch – damnation alley
  3. demon flight – s/t
  4. metal massacre 2
  5. warlord – deliver us
  6. savage grace – the dominatress
  7. bitch – be my slave
  8. metal massacre 3
  9. armored saint – s/t ep
  10. obsession – marshall law ep
  11. witchkiller – day of the saxons
  12. metal massacre 4
  13. slayer – show no mercy
  14. pandemonium – heavy metal soldiers
  15. 3rd stage alert – s/t
  16. satan – court in the act
  17. silver mountain – shakin’ brains
  18. trouble – assassin 12″
  19. trouble – s/t
  20. lizzy borden – give ’em the axe ep
  21. metal massacre 5
  22. total destruction (compilation)
  23. warlord – aliens 12″
  24. slayer- haunting the chapel
  25. fates warning – night on brocken
  26. voivod – war and pain
  27. omen – battle cry
  28. hellhammer – apocalyptic raids
  29. warlord – and the cannons of destruction have begun
  30. mad max – rollin’ thunder
  31. dark heart – shadows of the night
  32. thrust – fist held high
  33. celtic frost – morbid tales
  34. attacker – battle at helms deep
  35. sye – turn on the fire
  36. metal massacre 6
  37. slayer – live undead
  38. tyrant – legions of the dead
  39. destruction – sentence of death
  40. slayer – hell awaits
  41. trouble – the skull
  42. hallow’s eve – tales of terror
  43. lizzy borden – love you to pieces
  44. sodom – in the sign of evil
  45. hirax – raging violence
  46. nasty savage – s/t
  47. destruction – infernal overkill
  48. celtic frost – emperor’s return
  49. mark edwards – code of honor
  50. omen – warning of danger
  51. fates warning – the spectre within
  52. pandemonium – hole in the sky
  53. cryptic slaughter – convicted
  54. metal massacre 7
  55. bloodlust – guilty as sin
  56. predator – easy prey
  57. sound barrier – speed of light
  58. juggernaut – baptism under fire
  59. sentinel beast – depths of death
  60. lizzy borden – murderess metal road show
  61. best of metal blade vol 1
  62. cirith ungol – one foot in hell
  63. flotsam and jetsam – doomsday for the deceiver
  64. unknown
  65. unknown
  66. deaf dealer – keeper of the flame
  67. sacrifice – torment in fire
  68. detente – recognize no authority
  69. krank – hideous
  70. hallow’s eve – death and insanity
  71. exxplorer – symphonies of steel
  72. warlord – thy kingdom come
  73. sodom – obsessed by cruelty
  74. destruction – eternal devastation
  75. savage grace – after the fall from grace
  76. hirax – hate, fear and power
  77. speed (compilation)
  78. tyrant – too late to pray
  79. cities – annihilation absolute
  80. heretic – torture knows no boundaries

Man, there are surely some heavy hitters. The ones listed in italics are ones that I never heard and/or owned. Best info I have as to why 64 and 65 were never released was that there were some contract disputes. When I worked as a distrubutor for Metal Blade years ago, I tried finding out what 2 LPs those were, but no one seemed to know, including Brian Slagel. The contract dispute explanation was the only thing they could provide.  At the height of my vinyl collecting I probably had 60/80.   Now I probably have 5 or 6 of them.  Sometimes I wish I had kept them.

metal-blade-records-logo

Written by The Metal Files

June 20, 2009 at 8:41 pm

My Life With Mercyful Fate

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I got into Mercyful Fate after my introduction to King Diamond’s solo work, Abigail specifically. His voice took some getting used to but coupled with the brilliant guitar work by Denner and Shermann, I grew to love them. As most know, Mercyful Fate flaunted the whole Satan worship thing. While that sort of thing never really bothered me, there are a few tracks of theirs here and there that still give me the willies.
Melissa – 1983
What a haunting album. The production is pretty thin but this album is absolutely incredible. The weakest track is Satan’s Fall and only because it’s a tad too lengthy. The title track is so very dark and just oozes evil. My favorites are definitely the title track, Curse of the Pharaohs and Black Funeral.
9/10

Don’t Break the Oath – 1984
Easily one of the most evil album covers ever…at least to me. To be honest, I keep the CD cover facing inwards. Yes, I know, silly. But whatever. This album has some better production than Melissa and while the songs are very strong on this one, I generally still listen to the debut first. Standout tracks are certainly Come To the Sabbath, Welcome Princes of Hell (album was misprinted to read Princess of Hell), Night of the Unborn and Desecration of Souls. Gypsy sort of annoys me and The Oath still creeps me out. Mission accomplished, King!
8.5/10

In the Shadows – 1993
This was a reunion album of sorts sans Kim Ruzz on drums. While I like this album a lot, I rarely listen to it. Egypt is a badass tune. There are no real stinkers in the bunch but the new version of Return of the Vampire annoys me, mainly because I detest Lars Ulrich (who played on this track) so much.
7/10

Time – 1994
Enter Sharlee D’Angelo and Snowy Shaw on bass and drums, respectively. Sharlee is a Ric player and even though I wasn’t a Ric fan at the time, I remember him using one on the tour. It was a great show and I got to hang out with Sharlee and Snowy before and after the show. I like this album a tad better than In the Shadows. I love Snowy’s drum style. Nightmare Be Thy Name is a great tune and was the opening video I played when I had my own little local cable access metal show in 98 or 99. One of the ladies I worked with at the time saw the show (late nights) and confronted me at work with, “Are you a Satanist?” I replied with “I don’t know, Marianne, do YOU think I am?” I let off an evil laugh and walked away. She didn’t speak to me again for the new few years she worked there. Hilarious.
6.5/10

Into the Unknown – 1996
Ugh. This album just wasn’t necessary. It’s boring. Under The Spell and Holy Water are pretty decent, but in general the album is weak.
3/10

Dead again – 1998
I’m glad I was working for Metal Blade Records at the time because I got this one for free as a promo. Mike Wead (Candlemass, Hexenhaus, memento Mori etc) was brought on to replace Michael Denner. I really don’t remember much of the album if any at all.
0/10

9 – 1999
This album was a little bit better than Dead Again. I can certainly hear Wead’s guitar influence much more which is a good thing. I saw this tour at the 930 Club in DC with nevermore opening. It was a fun show and I got to spend some time with Mike Wead before and after. Great guy, badass guitarist. Last Rites, Sold My Soul and Kiss the demon are my faves.
3/10

Written by The Metal Files

June 20, 2009 at 4:41 pm

Renee Reviews stuff.

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So way back in 1987 when my first real band first got together, this beautiful girl with big hair (no offense Renee) Renee Roland small_57049_2009-06-16 10-22-42.671and her gorgeous friend Carla used to come over to our house on the farm and hang out during band practice. Realize that my band practiced in my bedroom…9pc Pearl drum set, 2 guitars, bass and sometimes a singer, a bed, a desk and a dresser in a roughly 12×12 room. It was pretty cramped in there. It was always fun having them over there because they were a lot prettier than us sausage heads.

A few years later I started working for VDOT as a surveyor. I had met him a time or 2 back in the band days when we would either go to Renee’s house to pick her up or drop her off. It was never a pleasurable experience but we won’t discuss that any further. Renee’s dad was one of the survey chiefs and ultimately the big boss of the survey department during my tenure as one of the “grubs”. He was always a cool guy. He ultimately moved into a position in the design section and I moved to utilities shortly after. It was cool because I got to work with him more closely. I knew that Renee had moved to LA some years before and had lost touch with her, but her Dad gave me her number when I decided to make a trip to LA to do some business with a few record labels there (Century Media and Metal Blade). Renee graciously invited me to come over and I went there the evening after we landed in LA. We ultimately went to the Hard Rock to see Wayne Kramer (MC5) do a spoken word thing with some poet dude. It was a weird show but fun to meet Wayne and hang out. Before the show, we hung out at Renee’s for a bit and I got to speak to James Hong JamesHongon the phone for a minute as he was friends with Renee. One of the folks hanging out with us that night was John Skipp who wrote Fright Night! The dude was super cool. Anyway, that night and next morning were the only times I got to see Renee when I was there as my schedule was pretty tight with the record labels, but she made my trip that much better.

We spoke a few times since 1997 but not at all in the last 5-6 years. Thanks to social networking we’re in touch again and I’m happy about it. She was/is always the coolest. Now she’s doing movie reviews for The Examiner website. Renee has a very creative mind and I highly recommend that you check out her stuff.

Click here for Renee’s movie reviews, old and new.

Iron Maiden – Flight 666

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It’s no secret that Iron Maiden is my all-time favorite band and has been since Flight_666___The_49e6eea3d4247Powerslave came out in 1984.  They always possessed a certain kind of power in their music that stuck with me.  I’m not a total fanboy and have been vocally critical of them, as I am with any band that graces my ears, positive criticism or negative.  Maiden’s put out some stinkers: Fear of the Dark, Dance of Death, the 2 with Bayley on vox…But generally they always right themselves.  They really did a great album with A Matter of Life and Death.  To me that was their best album since Somewhere In Time.

Now here we are in 2009.  They finished an ambitious leg of the Somewhere Back In Time Tour by having Bruce Bruce fly the band and all of its crew and equipment all over tarnation while being filmed.  The result of this being the Flight 666 documentary.

I received my copy Friday and watched some of it before going out and finished it over the weekend.  What a power presentation.  I am always blown away by a band’s fans of this magnitude.  worldwide I think that Iron Maiden may be more popular than Metallica.  Since I don’t pay much attention to Metallica I really shouldn’t make such claims, but whatever.  This is my party.

The behind the scenes footage of the band going from city to city, country to country is pretty amazing.  It’s amazing that no one got hurt.   There is one particular scene in the Colombian section where a guy apparently caught one of Nicko’s sticks and he’s standing there in tears after the show with a female friend.  You can just see how much the show in general meant to him and even that much more to being home a piece of it from a supposed hero of his.  I get it.  I really do.  I’ve been to a few shows over the years that were really emotional for me, religious experiences even.  This last tour was one of those experiences.

One of my best friends came to town from Arkansas to attend the show with me and it made it that much more special.  The band was amazing.  Bruce sounded great. Nicko seems to have gotten better over the years.  Dave and Adrian and Steve and the consistent rocks in the band.  I’d never seen them play at such a high level?

…and there’s Jannick Gers.

Since day 1 I have not been a fan.  I never will be.  It pains me to see him playing some of Adrian’s solos with “H” standing right beside him.  I should add how poorly he plays them.  He’s completely sloppy, always.  He was in 1991 when I saw him and he was last year when I saw him.  This video is even more proof of it.  Sure Dave and Adrian aren’t perfect, but their playing is fine.  VH-1 has been running the concert footage from this regularly so I have been able to see it several times now.

But back to Iron Maiden and this great documentary.  My friend Jeff made a great observation about Maiden and it’s best that I quote it instead of paraphrasing it:

And what is the essential element that makes them so successful? Without regard to anyone in the band’s personal politics, the band itself is VERY socially conservative. They don’t have lyrics about getting wasted, f****ng chicks, teenage rebellion, rebellion against society, songs promoting social change, none of that tot. And they’re very healthy, non-destructive, and constructive in their own individual lives.

Up the Irons!

Amen.  Up the Irons!
Flight 666 get 5/5 Stars

Written by The Metal Files

June 16, 2009 at 2:55 pm

Riot – Fight or Fall & Outlaw videos from 6/2/09 in San Antonio

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I filmed these in San Antonio.  My camera sucks.  Read the show review here.

Turn your audio down a bit as the sound is a bit distorted.

Written by The Metal Files

June 11, 2009 at 9:32 pm

Appetite for Defecation – I do not like Guns ‘n’ Roses…really

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So there we were, my band and I, at Robert’s house in Portsmouth, VA toaxl_4 watch Headbanger’s Ball as we always did every weekend. This was summer or late spring of 1988(?). It was the usual gamut of hard rock and metal videos…then there it was.

The “World Premier” of Guns ‘n’ Roses’ Welcome to the Jungle video.

W

T

F

?

All 4 of us sat quietly and watched it. I had assumed that they felt exactly the way that I did. I think I was the first one to speak at the end and said, “That sucked ass.” The rest of them completely disagreed. “Whaaaaat?!?! You’re crazy! That was the greatest thing I have ever heard!” etc…Then the words that burned my ears came next…”That’s the sound we need to go for.”

My soul died.

Granted, we weren’t the greatest band in town and we were playing some music that I didn’t care for, mainly the hair band stuff, but it didn’t matter because I was in a band with some of my closest friends. Our setlist included stuff from Cinderella, Def Leppard (from Hysteria), Whitesnake, Anthrax, Megadeth, Metallica, Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Dokken, Overkill, KISS, AC/DC, TSOL and I really don’t remember who else. We only had one original called Skeletons. I wanted to play more originals but we never got to it. There were always disagreements between our 2 guitarists. J. Rob was definitely into playing heavier music and Robert was more about the radio friendly stuff. Personally I wanted to play stuff like King Diamond, Fates Warning, Anthrax, Slayer etc…just soemthing much heavier than what we were doing.

But they all agreed about the GnR thing. Whereas I was sickened by what I heard and what I saw in that video, they were enthralled by it. Needless to say about a week or 2 later I was out of the band. “The band is breaking up” is what I was told. OK, no problem. But within a week or 2 after that I stopped over at the bassist’s house and heard music from the shed out back. I open the door and there’s J Rob, Robert and Don with another drummer. They all had a look of shock and guilt on their faces. I said, “Wow. OK. I get it.” I think it was J Rob that said, “Sorry man, you know how it goes.” I think I said something like, “Yeah man, I sure do. S’cool.” So I walked out, a little butt-hurt, ego deflated, sad and even felt a little betrayed.

Then they started playing as I walked across the yard to my truck and I think I heard the riff to either Sweet Child of Mine or Welcome To the Jungle…and a slight smile came across my face. I was a little relieved. In the end they did me a favor as I wasn’t cut out for wearing spandex and teasing up my already bad hair. There were no hard feelings and I’m still in touch with those guys, one of them is a very close friend of mine still…Don.

But to this day I still want to throw up when I hear GnR. It wasn’t so much the music that turned me off, it was that voice. That nasty terrible screech. I will admit that I saw them in 1991 (for free) with my friend Bronwyn. Skid Row opened up and they were GREAT. I have to say that GnR put on a good show and Axl is a good front man, but his voice is still one of the worst I have ever heard in rock.

I know people who knew them in their early days and most had the same opinion about them…”losers” and “one of the luckiest bands in LA”. Their words, not mine. But I can’t say I would disagree with their assertion. The mere sight of Axl Rose gets me a little aggro.

I’ve said since day 1 that they are my most hated rock band and I still feel that way after all these years. People call me a bandwagon GnR hater, but the truth is that I was the one driving that wagon since 1988.  To me the only good thing that came out of that band is Izzy Stradlin. I love his solo albums.

But whatever. Screw GnR. They suck. There. I said it. I feel much better.

Written by The Metal Files

June 11, 2009 at 12:42 pm

Stratovarius – Visions

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So at the time that this album came out in 1997 I had already started my littleStratovarius-Visions1997 online  record store called Acacia Music that mostly sold stuff on eBay and on my old website.  I was buying most of my stuff from metal Blade and Century Media directly as they were able to get good priced metal imports to me at wholesale prices.  I got to know these guys pretty well and went to LA in Sept/97 to visit with both companies.  It was a wonderful experience and I got turned on to a lot of newer bands via that business.

Stratovarius was one of those bands.

While all of their albums are pretty consistent, Visions is the one for me.  I really don’t need anything else by them except maybe the corresponding live album which is also pretty awesome.

There’s nothing that I can really sad negative about Visions.  It’s powerful.  It’s emotional.  It’s heavy.  It’s tasteful.  I would rank this the best euro-power metal album of the 90s easily with Helloween being the best of the 80s.