Be it Heavy, Hard, Proggy or otherwise, we guarantee that every last item posted rocks!
Up first, a 1982 compilation album released by the UK based Ebony Records label. This is the 13 track "Metallic Storm", and a great little elpee it is too. Unlike many of their peers, Ebony cast their net a little wider when it came to the bands who featured on their compilations, so as well as stuffing their records to the brim with UK based NWOBHM acts, several Scandinavian and European bands found there way into those precious black grooves. So what can you find on this here platter? How does an early take on "Black Funeral" by MERCYFUL FATE grab you? "Hellride" by Dutch band WELLS FARGO? An otherwise unavailable WIKKYD VIKKER track? As well as obscure acts such as JURY, CONFESSOR, PENTAPUS & SCIMITAR amongst others. Also a brilliant song called "The Fool", by a band called TAROT SUTRA, who sound like a cross between ZEPPELIN, PRIEST & CAPTAIN BEYOND fed through a NWOBHM filter! Anyone know anything at all about these guys? I need more! You'll love this one, and if you leave nice comments on it i've another Ebony comp up my sleeve too!
VARIOUS ARTISTS - Metallic Storm (1982) UK/Europe/Scandinavia
Anyone fancy some mid-'80's private press US Power Metal then? Here y'go then. From Irwin Pennsylvania, X-Caliber recorded "Warriors of the Night" and released it in a limited run of 1000 copies in 1986 on their own private label. As you can imagine, this one changes hands for ridiculous sums of money nowadays. In recent times, I have seen this piece go for a little over $1100 on eBay and $1000 on GEMM. X-Caliber reveal their songwriting talents through some epic cuts like "Warriors of the Night", "The Sword" and "Told You Not to Run". For old school Metalheads & newbies alike, "Warriors Of The Night" is an essential romp into mid 80's power fantasy metal. Loincloths on & fill yer tankards with ale, this is a keeper.
X-CALIBER - Warriors Of The Night (1986) USA
Another nice one next from a band who were lumped in with the NWOBHM crowd, but were a little early and a little too oddball for that particular tag to sit easily with them. Money only left us this one full length album "First Investment", and it's one of those records which gives me a severe case of the "what if's". The music is hard yet melodic, has one foot in traditional Hard Rockery but is also laced with leftfield touches and unusual twists. It was a bold album to make in 1979, and remains a challenging, but ultimately rewarding listen now. A 7" preceded the albums release, and along with a session recorded for BBC Radio One's "Friday Rock Show", and the self-titled EP which i previously posted here, that's the slim recorded legacy Money left us. Open minded listeners will find this a treat, and will be left, as i am, bewildered by the band's obscurity.
MONEY - First Investment (1979) UK
To the US next, for a great six song slab of all-girl 1980's Los Angeles Metal. The brilliantly named Leather Angel had connections with MOTLEY CRUE, indeed Nikki Sixx designed their logo apparently, and there are definite parallels between the sound of these Metal mamas & that of early CRUE. You'd think it would be an easy sell, four hot chicks who kick ass whilst scantily clad in leather, but despite being a popular live draw on the LA club circuit & touring nationally on occasion with the likes of DIO, the big record deal just never appeared. So that leaves "We Came To Kill" on Miami Records as the band's sole release. Personnel changes led to the girls adopting a new name in 1985, re-emerging as JADED LADY, but this brought them no further success, and within a couple of years they were no more.
LEATHER ANGEL - We Came To Kill Mini LP (1982) USA
On a totally different musical tack now, we bring you the self released three song 1982 EP by a great band from the NWOBPR wing of the NWOBHM, Tamarisk. This was a band formed by former CHEMICAL ALICE men vocalist Andy Grant and keyboard player Steve Leigh in 1981. They recorded and released this EP in early '82 and set about building themselves a good buzz on the live circuit, resulting in a "Friday Rock Show" session before the years end. Unfortunately, the band were over by the end of the following year, with former members popping up in bands as diverse as DAGABAND, JADIS, QUASAR, THE ENID & KARNATAKA. This is really strong keyboard heavy prog rock influenced hard rock, and opener "Ascension" is a real stormer, if that sounds like your bag, you're onto a real treat here.
TAMARISK - Tamarisk EP (1982) UK
Cobra are another obscure NWOBHM band that time has forgotten. Formed in the town of Winchester, the "Looking for a Lady" 7" was their only release and came out at the very dawn of the NWOBHM movement in 1978. As a result it doesn’t sound as heavy as you'd expect compared to bands of this ilk from later on. This single has its roots placed firmly in classic rock and blues with some added boogie, and it is really only the PRIEST-like soloing which make it fit the NWOBHM bill. Still, i've got a real fondness for the single's flipside, "Graveyard Boogie", which always make me smile. This is not the same Cobra as released two albums in the '80's.
COBRA - Looking For A Lady 7" (1978) UK
Finally tonight, the debut 7" by Londoners Lightning Raiders, "Psychedelic Musik", released on Arista Records in 1980. For this one main men Little Jon & Andy Allan were joined on the A-Side by former SEX PISTOLS Steve Jones & Paul Cook, and on the flip, former PINK FAIRIES Russell Hunter & Duncan Sanderson. An all star cast then! Surprisingly given that Jones was also producer, the sound owes more to the Fairies legacy than the Pistols, with a little of the HEARTBREAKERS feel thrown into the mix too. The A-Side especially is a real gem, tough but with a chorus that sticks in the mind for days, it could have been chart material had radio picked up on it. Great stuff, and one that definitely falls into that borderline NWOBHM category.
LIGHTNING RAIDERS - Psychedelic Musik 7" (1980) UK
Well, that's my work done for the evening, hope you enjoy tonight's selection and we'll see you back here again, with more fine obscurios real soon.