Sunday, March 16, 2008


Hello again, sorry for the delay in this post, but sometimes life has a habit of getting in the way of the things you want to do. I hope i make up for my tardiness by, as a certain Rob Halford is wont to say, "Delivering The Goods".
Up first tonight, another in our ongoing series of compilation album posts, this time a collection of American up'n'comers from the New York area from the very Metal year of 1984. This is the hard to find "New York Metal-84" album, on the short lived Rock City Records label. That's their label head on the cover of the record, he's the one on the left wearing handcuffs and a diaper!!! So, i hear you ask, who are the bands on this slab o' wax? The better known names are as follows, VIRGIN STEELE (2 tracks!), BLACKLACE, OVERKILL & CITIES, the remainder are more obscure, DEATHSLAYER, TAKASHI, WARHEAD, TEAZER and FRIGID BICH. As always with compilations, there's some not-so-good mixed in with the awesome, but it all comes down to a matter of taste. There's plenty of variety on here, from chest thumping Hard Rock to balls-out proto-Thrash, and it stops off at most points in between too. For my money, the standouts are the VIRGIN STEELE tracks, the excellent BLACKLACE song, the unusual DEATHSLAYER track and OVERKILL's early take on "Feel The Fire". Most of the tracks here were exclusive to the release or were different versions to those found on the bands individual albums & EPs, so this is a must-have for completists or anyone wanting a snapshot of "the scene"at that time.

VARIOUS ARTISTS - New York Metal-84 (1984) USA

Staying in the States for now, here's the sole self titled album by Missoula Minnesota Hard Rockin' Metal men Prophecy. The quartet released this 10 track monolith on the Metal Arc label in 1984, two years after their initial formation. For an idea of their sound, try to imagine the harder end of the early RIOT canon filtered through JUDAS PRIEST with a little early W.A.S.P. thrown in at the choruses. Nice stuff for sure, but they were sadly another of those blink-and-you'll-miss-'em groups and they split up by the end of '84. I believe this one's become quite a popular item to collectors nowadays, one listen and you'll understand why.

PROPHECY - Prophecy (1984) USA

On a different tack altogether, we now bring you "Gullible's Travels", the second album by progressively minded rockers Abel Ganz. The Glasgow based band self released this one in 1985, and it was the first to feature new vocalist Paul Kelly following Alan Reid's departure the previous year to the better known PALLAS. Now, if you like epic song structures, long instrumental passages and a little wry intellect present in the lyrical content, i believe you'll be in rock heaven with this one. Abel Ganz have a long history & discography to match, if they sound like they might be your "bag", i'd recommend this one or their debut, "Gratuitous Flash", as the ideal starting points. Some of you rivet heads may be unimpressed by the (mainly) subtle guitars, but this is a safe bet for the more open minded.

ABEL GANZ - Gullible's Travels (1985) UK

The following explanation is pilfered wholesale from (check out the site, it's awesome!), because i just simply couldn't put it any better myself.
"Writing a MANIMALS review without mentioning THE MISFITS would be original, yes, but really foolish. It doesn't take many seconds of listening or watching the sleeve to figure out these guys all-time favorite band. The main thing that set them apart is of course that MANIMALS are more metallic (and no, that does NOT make them sound like DANZIG!), with longer songs and more advanced song structures. Then again THE MISFITS always were the one punk band that even the most narrow-minded metal-fan could get off on."
Released on House Of Pain Records in 1985, this six tracker was their lone release, and it's an absolute peach! If you've enjoyed anything we've posted here ever, you'll dig it. Trust me. This thing rocks like a haunted house on a stormy night.

MANIMALS - Blood Is The Harvest Mini LP (1985) USA

Now here's another one which will rawk your foundations, this is the self titled 1984 EP by New York True Metal trio Steel Warriors. Fronted by vocalist/guitarist Steve Scott, this is a cracking little set, full of pomp, bombast, widdly guitars and Heavy Metal Thunder to the extreme. Played completely straight, Steve & his merry band were apparently unable to see any humour in tracks like "Steel Warriors", "Metal Forces" and "We're Gonna Rock All Night", which just makes them even more appealing & enjoyable. No post modernism here folks, these guys were the self deluded over the top kings of shoestring budget Valhalla Metal for about 20 minutes one day in early 1984. You need this.

STEEL WARRIORS - Steel Warriors EP (1984) USA

Some more of the ole NWOBHM stuff coming your way now. Up first, the little known "Don't Cry For The Innocent" 45, by the equally obscure NWOBHM band Iona. This one surfaced on the Loco Records label in 1981, and is a nice slice of traditional Hard Rock/Metal distinguished by a really memorable chorus. Anyone know any more about these guys?

IONA - Don't Cry For The Innocent 7" (1981) UK

Finally tonight, the extremely rare and much sought after 1982 "Too Much" 7" by Derby based NWOBHM-ers Omen Searcher. Formed in 1980, Omen Searcher released a nine song demo called "The 1981 Demo", the following year. This 7" was their only other release, and is now an expensive collectors item. Interested? You will be.

OMEN SEARCHER - Too Much 7" (1982) UK

Hope you enjoy tonight's selection folks, and keep them comments coming please.


Anonymous nightsblood said...

Fantastic set, even by your standards! That NY '84 comp looks VERY interesting! Apparently there are also 1-2 such comps from the Chicago scene from about the same time featuring Windy City legends such as Paradoxx and Hammeron. Manimals also sounds interesting; you can never have too much Misfits!
Omen Searcher is a solid single; i've always been curious about their demo but haven't tracked it down. Iona is also a killer; they operated under the name GBH for awhile. The band made an 'anthology' tape for friends and family that includes 15 songs from both their GBH and Iona days.

Monday, March 17, 2008 9:48:00 AM  
Blogger micksguitar said...

this blog has the best music of any blog i've found. the diversity of the metal is egual to the greatness of--- oh what the hell you have a awesome blog.thanx 4 shareing with us all. mick.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008 11:56:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How do you do it? More great stuff! Iona recorded a demo in 1980 (as GBH, I think) and followed it up with a a 1981 demo as Iona, and then the Don't Cry For The Innocent single in 82 ( which charted in the Melody Maker Heavy Metal Chart). The band gigged up to 1985 calling it a day a few months after the death of their drummer. Don't know much about Omen Searcher but they've got a great name! Thanks again, Blofeld

Wednesday, March 19, 2008 3:27:00 AM  
Blogger Conspiracy Theologian said...

abel ganz - never thought that I would see it. Superb blog!


Friday, March 21, 2008 8:50:00 PM  
Anonymous ogmonster said...

Hey Mister Big...Thanks for that New York Metal. I haven't heard that one in 24 years. It's just sitting on the shelf gathering dust, for shame. \m/

Saturday, March 22, 2008 1:08:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

nice mix, thanks

Saturday, March 22, 2008 10:14:00 PM  
Anonymous Mike said...

manimals rock! way better than the so-called "misfits" playing now.

Sunday, March 23, 2008 8:38:00 PM  

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