A WORLD OF SOUND
I look forward to reading your comments positive & negative.
Right, i'll climb down off my soapbox now, and get on with tonight's nonsense.
A rare one to start us off with tonight, this is the sole unreleased album from 1999, by Canada's Union Made. This band was Denis "Snake" Belanger's outfit during his hiatus from VOIVOD, but they only released one 7" during their lifetime. This album was recorded for the Anti-Trust label, but the band folded before it could be released, so with no band to promote the album, the label shelved it. This here, is a bootleg (or possibly VOIVOD fanclub) release of the album on Iron Gang Records, and it's a really nice record from start to finish. Regardless of whether you enjoy "Snake"'s main bands work, you should find much here to make you smile if you enjoy driving hard edged Rock music. There are traces of the VOIVOD sound, obviously in the vocals, but for the most part this is less complicated, more freeflowing and more succinct. A special mention must go to the closing track, their interpretation of "Ave Maria", astounding stuff. Get it while it's hot!
UNION MADE - Union Made (1999) Canada
Nextly, courtesy of srom, here's some STARZ related fun from ex-guitarist Richie Ranno, this is his self-titled solo mini LP from 1984 which came out on his own Violation Records. This is long out of print so should not provoke the "cease & desist" mail we got after posting some STARZ/HELLCATS stuff previously. This is pretty different from his ex-bands, despite featuring ex- bandmate Peter Scance on bass and Joe X. Dube on the drums, being slightly new-wave influenced (come back, it's okay!), Ranno's voice lending itself well to the stylistic shift. That guitar sound is still present & correct, so old time fans still have plenty to latch onto, it's an interesting listen with much to recommend it.
RICHIE RANNO - Richie Ranno Mini LP (1984) USA
To Blighty now, where the band formerly known as APOCALYPSE ("Stormchild"), had, by 1985 metamorphosed into the band known as Omega in time for their sole album, "The Prophet". This is great epic NWOBHM with a slightly doomy edged and nicely proggy touches. Long complex songs with fantastical lyrics abound, file beside LEGEND (the Jersey band), this one's a keeper.
OMEGA - The Prophet (1985) UK
Back to Canada now for Mystique's "Black Rider" Mini LP, which originally appeared to widespread disinterest back in 1985, on the Torch label. The corosseum review describes them as "DEEP PURPLE meets CIRITH UNGOL on a broken mixing desk", which is an amusing, though not entirely inaccurate description. The bargain basement production does tend to scupper the more grandiose aspirations of some of the tracks, but in doing so creates a weird atmosphere all of its own. I'm finding it hard to describe it any better than that, take a chance & give it a try, you'll see why i'm struggling, but you'll get sucked into their mad world too.
MYSTIQUE - Black Rider Mini LP (1985) Canada
Next up, here's another obscure heavy treat, this is the "Midnight Fantasy" Mini LP by LA's Cassle. This one originally surfaced as a square one-sided picture disc on the collectable Azra label in 1983, but i believe this rip is from the limited reissue which Iron Works produced in 1997. Again this is excellent Heavy Metal, with ideas above it's budget, lots of complex time and key changes, and that lovely epic feel. All killer no filler.
CASSLE - Midnight Fantasy Mini LP (1983) USA
The following year is when Chicago's Amethyst recorded & released their sole mini LP, "Outside Of Nowhere", apparently in a run of 100 copies only. Most of these were sent out to labels & booking agencies with the remainder given to friends & sold at gigs. As you'd expect, these don't crop up for sale too often. It's the quality of the riffing & songwriting that sets Amethyst apart from the crowd, stylistically, they're not doing much outside of their Maiden/Priest influence, but it's so well done, you can't help but rock out to them. Oh, and vocalist Ron Reyes may or may not be the same guy who sang on BLACK FLAG's "Jealous Again" EP, under the pseudonym of "Chavo Pederast".
AMETHYST - Outside Of Nowhere Mini LP (1984) USA
Finally then, one of the greatest negative retarded Punk Rock singles of all time, "Little Billy's Burning" by The Nubs. This could almost be seen as some kind of post-modern spoof of the genre from our late noughties perspective, but rest assured in 1980, when this came out, they meant it, maaaaaaaan. The smartest thing they do on this record is to make the guitars go "Nee-Naw" like police sirens. Which is awesome.
THE NUBS - Little Billy's Burning /Job 7" (1980) USA
That's yer lot for now, love them!