Saturday, October 18, 2008


Okay, so what do we have for you tonight?
Three NWOBHM era releases from the UK, three from the US of A, and an interesting one for ya from Canada too. That's what.
For starters, Ace Lane were formed in SAXON's home town of Barnsley in 1982 by Stef Prokopczuk and Mick Clarke after they left the NWOBHM band GASKIN. Rehearsing through the summer of '82 with new members Chris Morris, Paul Brook and Roy Whyke, they played some demos to Rondelet Records and got the budget to record an album. This album, "See You In Heaven" was released by Rondolet/Expulsion Records in 1983. Radio One airplay by Tommy Vance followed and Kerrang did a good review, so the group expected the usual tour support and a budget for a second album. It never came. Unfortunately both Rondelet Records and Expulsion Records liquidated their respective companies at this time. Rights were sold to Roadrunner Records and Mausoleum USA Records and companies in Europe, Australia, Argentina and Japan, even China. But Ace Lane saw no money from these deals and the band split in 1983. "See You In Heaven", is chock full of great rock songs that were skilfully written and accessible. The production was on the thin side, but still decent enough to not hamper the listening experience. As part of the NWOBHM movement Ace Lane was definitely on the lighter side of the spectrum. But that's also what set them apart from most other bands. They existed alongside bands that were often simply trying to outdo each other with fast playing and macho riffing, but who at the same time often forgot to write real songs. Unfortunately, in a movement that for the most part catered to young rebellious males, there was little room for a band like Ace Lane. It even seems nobody really noticed them. The only consolation Ace Lane can take is that their sole release gradually became a classic Heavy rock album.

ACE LANE - See You In Heaven (1983) UK
To America now, where Ray Gunn were a traditional Heavy Metal four piece from Washington, formed in the mid 1980's. Their only release was to be this self titled album recorded in 1987,
and released by MY Records. The record has since become a bit of a collectors piece, and is a very enjoyable example of mid-'80's private press US Metal. Demand for the record has seen a
bootleg CD by Revenge of True Metal Records circulating. The band were to split up in 1988, after drummer Scott Vogel left to join REVEREND. Vogel features on Reverend's self titled 1989 EP on Caroline Records, but was gone by the time the band recorded their "World Won't Miss You" full length debut the following year. None of the other Ray Gunn members appear to have gone on to other bands.

RAY GUNN - Ray Gunn (1987) USA

Every true MANILLA ROAD fan knows about Roadster Records, the company of Manilla's main man, Mark Shelton. The hard to find original releases of "Metal", "Invasion" & "Crystal Logic" were issued on Roadster Records, and if you see copies of them on eBay, you should be prepared to pay way more than $100 for them. But there was another band in the Wichita, Kansas area around the same time, a band called STYGIAN SHORE. You can compare the band's sound to some of the older Manilla Road songs because of some of the basic guitar riffs. STYGIAN SHORE also played in a similar style to bands from the New Wave Of British Heavy Metal but also took on board influences from more well known bands such as BLACK SABBATH. This, their self titled 4 song EP was recorded in two days in March 1984 and was produced by Mark Shelton.
"Stygian Metal" and "Tidal Waves" are really good songs, true early metal with great guitar-riffs. "DonĀ“t Look Now" is a good rocker, while "Luv Ta Rock Ya" lets the side down a bit, the title of the song says it all. An album was recorded in 1989, but remained unreleased at the time. Their unreleased "The Shore Will Arise", album was finally issued in 2007 by Shadow Kingdom Records. Apparently the band still exists so keep an eye out for future releases.

STYGIAN SHORE - Stygian Shore EP (1984) USA

WAR CRY were a Chicago Illinois based doomy Heavy Metal band formed in 1982. At this time, the NWOBHM movement was in full swing, and War Cry found inspiration in acts from that movement, such as WITCHFINDER GENERAL and ANGEL WITCH. Their approach became ever more doomy, as a result of listening to those SABBATH inspired acts. In mid-83, War Cry entered Open Reel Studios in Lynwood, Illinois to record this, the legendary four song "Trilogy Of Terror" demo. War Cry had no clue how to promote the demo at the time, but copies of it rapidly spread through the tape trading network, and War Cry achieved a degree of cult fame in the metal underground. By now, War Cry were opening for big acts such as JOE PERRY PROJECT and MOUNTAIN, and the opportunity to appear on vinyl came calling, in the form of Brian Slagel's Metal Blade Records. Their Metal Massacre compilation series had featured many promising acts, and had helped to launch the careers of METALLICA, RATT and SLAYER, among many others. War Cry were offered the chance to appear on "Metal Massacre 4", alongside fellow Chicago acts TROUBLE, WITCHSLAYER, ZOETROPE and THRUST.
"Forbidden Evil" was chosen to appear on the compilation. War Cry recieved a good response to their contribution, and the disc helped them become noticed on the international scene. Future thrash act FORBIDDEN even took their name from the War Cry song, "Forbidden Evil". Despite this taste of success, drummer Joe Laccino quit in mid '83, and bassist Paul Speckmann also left late that same year to form DEATH STRIKE then MASTER. The group tried to keep going, drafting in replacements and recording further material, but it was all to no avail. In 2006, a compilation of their early material "Forbidden Evil", was issued by S.I.N. Records.

WAR CRY - Trilogy Of Terror Demo (1983) USA

Denigh were a first class NWOBHM heavy rock band that should have made it into the higher echelons of Heavy Metal. Either supporting top acts or on their own, they had and still have a large loyal group of followers who continue to remember the dynamic performance and great songs written by the band. This is their "No Way" 7" from 1980 on Canterbury Ace Records. The txt file for this one contains an excellent in depth band history which i found online somewhere, so no need for me to further elaborate here.

DENIGH - No Way 7" (1980) UK

Hard working Northeastern rock band BLACK ROSE was formed in Middlesborough from the ashes of school band ICE. This act was carried along by typical schoolboy enthusiasm in the late 70's, but although ICE managed to last a couple of years, nothing much progressed, beyond the odd DEEP PURPLE cover. Three musicians from this act eager to play their own material were vocalist Steve Bardsley, guitarist Kenny Nicholson and bassist Martin Rajn forged BLACK ROSE in 1980 together with drummer Charlie McKenzie. The band first appeared on the Neat Records 'One Take No Dubs' EP with the track 'Knocked Out' and then cut this 7" single at the local Teesbeat studios, 'No Point Runnin'', a rarity as only 500 were pressed. In 1981 the band brought in guitarist Chris Watson, who plugged the gap made by a departing Nicholson. Nicholson would go on to successive acts HOLLAND, HAMMER and FAST KUTZ releasing albums with each. Shortly afterward, McKenzie upped and left, and after a stint with EMERSON, surfacing in London in NWoBHM stalwarts SAMSON. His replacement was Malla Smith. The Stoke on Trent based Bullet label signed the band for an album deal which also spawned the singles 'We're Gonna Rock You' in 1983 and 'Boys Will Be Boys' the following year. An album, also titled 'Boys Will Be Boys' was recorded and appeared in 1984, which showed BLACK ROSE to be a cut above the other local acts, a stature bolstered by constant gigging as the band supported the likes of VARDIS, SPIDER, ATOMIC ROOSTER, RAVEN, TERRAPLANE and THUNDERSTICK. For the second album, 'Walk It Like You Talk It', which emerged through Neat in 1987, Watson had been ousted in favour of sixteen year old Pat O'Neill and added ex HOT BLOODED keyboard player Gary Todd, BLACK ROSE also enrolled a new bassist with Mick Thompson. A deal was struck in America with K-Tel Records for the 'Walk It Like You Talk It' album and a projected tour finalised. Fate was to deal a cruel blow though, as the band learned of a New York based BLACK ROSE (not connected to the US outfit once fronted by CHER in 1980) who, through their lawyers, threatened to sue their British namesakes for $500,000 if the Middlesborough rockers set foot on American soil! The disheartened band set about writing a third album, but sadly fell apart in the process.

BLACK ROSE - No Point Runnin' 7" (1982) UK

Banshee were a four piece Canadian Heavy Metal act formed in 1981. Heavily influenced by the UK's NWOBHM scene, this, their lone release, 1983's "Breakdown" 45, was comparable with the best that sub genre had to offer. Because of this, and the records scarcity, it has become something of a collectors item amongst serious Metal fans of a certain age.

BANSHEE - Breakdown 7" (1983) Canada

And that's that for another week, hope you like tonight's offerings folks.
Blofeld, i just rechecked the link for HM Heroes 1 & 2, and it's still live & working fine, try it again. Many thanks to nwobhm00 for providing that link, you're a gentleman! I get to "meet" all kinds of good folks through this blog!
Before i forget, if you're a recent visitor to this blog, you may be interested to know that i've started up a new blog to host all my archive links that are still live from waaay back when. All the early stuff from Time Traveller, Dr J's, HRS, HardBlog, Valhalla, Lagrima & here will eventually find it's way on to STILL ALIVE & WELL blog, hosted @
I'll be updating there a few times per week with large themed posts, hopefully you'll turn up some treats there! Over & out!


Anonymous ron.....the cheeb said...

To Blofeld and others--- the HMHvol1-2 link from the previous comments section is a little tricky. I had to copy/paste several times before I got it all. Here it is in it's entirety. And let me add my HUUUUUGE thanks to nwobhm00.

Saturday, October 18, 2008 2:43:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi again - YES! Finally got it + vol 2 as a bonus! I am so happy. Thanks once again to nwobhm00 + bigfootkit + ron. I bought Heavy Metal Heroes when it first came out - in fact I think I had 2 versions of it! It wasn't the best of all the compilations ( for me that was New Electric Warriors) but it encapsualated the spirit of the whole thing perfectly. Everything is so instant nowadays (which is great in many ways) but I don't think you can recapture that sense of anticipation that was prevalent in the NWOBHM scene at the time; reading Sounds + collecting the HM Chart and ticking items off; sending off to independents for new 7" and 12" vinyl; waiting for the post to bring those new goodies; checking out new bands on the Friday Rock Show (TV on the Radio) and on compilations such as N.E.W, HMH, Brute Force, Metal For Muthas ( I still think the Muthas Pride 12" is great!), etc and getting to see as many bands as possible, both on their own tours and as support to others! Maybe it's just me and it just signifies teenage years, and maybe today's young metal fans will wax nostalgic in the same way about downloading Job For A Cowboy! But it is amazing how the search for NWOBHM goes on - thanks to sites like this one I'm hearing bands that I never even knew about at the time, and there is some great stuff still to hear ( particularly demos). Maybe the move back to releasing vinyl is returning us to the NWOBHM spirit? I know bands like Triarchy have been involved in this recently! Ah well that's enough of me wittering on. I'm making myself sound old, and I'm not that old! I'm off to get my slippers and blanket to sit back and listen to Twisted Ace, Witchfinder General, Jaguar and Soldier, etc. I might even do do some head-nodding. One more big thanks, chaps!

Sunday, October 19, 2008 4:59:00 AM  
Anonymous nightsblood said...

Lots of nice titles that have been getting a lot of attention in collector circles in recent years! Look forward to hearing Banshee & Stygian Shore especially.

NWOBHM fans should definitely listen to Denigh; the pingle may not have a fancy picture sleeve, but the songs are rippers. The band did some other recordings later (cassette only I think); does anyone have those available? One of those bands I always meant to follow up on but never have :-(

Monday, October 20, 2008 8:01:00 AM  
Blogger bigfootkit said...

Glad you appreciate the Denigh 7" Nightsblood, funnily enough, i've got their "Fire From The Sky" expanded cd lined up for the next post, so you'll get that little beauty here @ the weekend. ;)
Lemmy know what you think of Stygian Shore & Banshee, i reckon you'll be into them, i just wish there was more material to gague them on.
Or however you spell it (guage. gauge whaterver) :)

Monday, October 20, 2008 1:40:00 PM  
Blogger bigfootkit said...

Hey Blofeld, i also meant to thank you for sharing your memories, it brought back many for me too while reading it, and brought a huge smile to my face.
The annual Kelvingrove Festival in Glasgow was my only way to see bands in those days as i was too young for club gigs and i was lucky enough to catch Chasar, Trident, Glasgow & Abel Ganz over a few years there in the early '80's.
These shows were later broadcast on Radio Clyde, does anyone have recordings of them? I remember Chasar & Abel Ganz in particular being excellent live & would love to hear those sets again.
A long shot, i know. But if you don't ask, you don't get.

Monday, October 20, 2008 1:49:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

thank you very much, especially for
ray gunn and war cry !!!!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008 2:02:00 AM  
Anonymous nightsblood said...

Kit- sweet, look forward to hearing that Denigh release!
The banshee and Stygian Shore are pretty good; standard mid 80s trad metal. If you missed it, Stygian SHore recorded an album a few years later that was shelved until just recently when Shadow Kingdom Records released it. 'The Shore Will Arise' is more of the same quality material- trad metal that has a doomy vibe to it similar to early Manilla Road. This stuff was recorded in 1989 I think, so it's a few years after the EP. The only negative point is that the lyrics are sometimes rather cheesy/juvenile, but it doesn't drag down the music or anything. Definitely worth checking out for fans of the EP (still available thru Shadow Kingdom).

Tuesday, October 21, 2008 2:17:00 PM  
Blogger unrealbe said...

Thanks for the very good posts. Keep up the good work.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008 6:46:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Bigfootkit - no problem sharing the memories! Let me add that blogs like yours do bring back that old sense of anticipation, and it is much appreciated. By the way, HM Heroes Vol 1 is missing the Handsome Beasts track ( Local Heroes?) + Vol 2 is missing a Pallas track + another, I think. I should think that this was necessary to squeeze both comps onto 1 CD for the British Steel release. Does anyone have the Handsome Beasts track? I think it's also on the 1st album, but I don't have that one. Just as a quick aside, I also visited your new site, and picked up the early Angus + Malcolm Band ( forget the name). Thanks a lot! It'll complement Black Ice nicely! Best wishes, Blofeld

Wednesday, October 22, 2008 3:56:00 PM  
Anonymous ron..... the cheeb said...

I remember being told about War Cry back in the day. Local metalheads were touting them as the next big thing. Never happened, of course. The music's alright, I wonder how they would have sounded on a real release.

I really enjoyed the Ray Gunn and Stygian Shore-- very dated, but they nail the era.

Ace Lane is a band I would have blasted as wimpy when I was 19, but when I snagged it a while ago, it pleased me greatly.
>sigh< I guess I'm an adult now.

--thanks for your time and effort--

Friday, October 24, 2008 6:54:00 PM  
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Thank you For all of the Us Metal and NWOBHM posts!!!

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