Tuesday, May 27, 2008


Hi again oh seekers of sublime sounds from the dim & distant half remembered margins of the history of rawk. Lots of terrific lost listenable treasures for us to get through tonight so let's get to it.
Victim were a promising Heavy Metal act from San Diego in the early 1980's. They released this one incredibly rare album, 1983's privately pressed "Power Hungry", and a further mini LP "DMN" in 1985. As the debut album is growing in reputation and value now, these guys are finally getting some long overdue kudos at last.
Sadly it's all too little too late, as the band folded around 1986.
Not to be confused with the other band also called Victim from Houston, TX.

VICTIM - Power Hungry (1983) USA


Next tonight, we complete a discography which we began last time out.
GLORY BELLS BAND acted as an early stepping stone for drummer Peter Udd, who later worked with YNGWIE MALMSTEEN, and, more significantly, guitarist Franco Santuine who was to later join the ELECTRIC BOYS and subsequently teamed up with REPTILE SMILE. The band released two well respected old school Heavy Metal albums, 1982's "Dressed In Black", then, under the shortened name GLORY BELLS, this one, 1985's "Century Rendezvous".
Singer Göran 'Glory North' Nord (a.k.a. Göran Edman) formed GLORY NORTH following the dissolving of GLORY BELLS and this group actually recorded an album, but it was never released due to the record label going bust. The group subsequently evolved into GLORY.

GLORY BELLS - Century Rendezvous (1985) Sweden


Back to the USA now, as we complete yet another discography.
Mox Nix were a four-piece Heavy Metal act from the state of Texas. The Houston quartet were formed in '82, and began as a covers band playing PRIEST, UFO, SAXON & MAIDEN songs on the local club circuit, gradually introducing more & more self written material into their set and building a strong local following. This seven song 1984 demo called "All Access", generated positive reviews in the European Metal magazines, and French label, Axe Killer Records offered the band a one album deal on the strength of it. The self-titled album was released the following year, and received strong reviews and a lot of local airplay, which resulted in the band touring with the likes of ACCEPT, WARLOCK and YNGWIE MALMSTEEN. At this time they signed with Shatter Records & recorded a still unreleased album in New York which was produced by Alex Perialis & RAVEN drummer Rob Hunter, and featured ex - IRON MAIDEN man Paul Di'Anno on vocals. Unfortunately the label folded shortly thereafter and a proposed release through Metal Blade fell through, eventually leading to the frustrated bands demise.

MOX NIX - All Access Demo (1984) USA


Next we return once again to Sweden, for another piece of Northern steel courtesy of Dom.
This 3-song EP by Airborne is a rather coveted FWOSHM (First Wave Of Swedish Heavy Metal) item and bears the "In The UK" title because the band upped sticks and recorded this EP in England to try and get the full on NWOBHM vibe, and also to be taken more seriously by the International Metal community. It also had the unfortunate effect of fooling record collectors that they were a NWOBHM band, you still see it turn up on Brit Metal "wants" lists. They were at least semi-successful in their musical aims, opener "Burn In Hell" offering up a strong JUDAS PRIEST style feel. The opening bars to "Lord Satan" are simply astounding, Heavy Metal thunder, before returning to a more basic riffing structure. The closing "Temple Of Metal" with it's bleak SAXON-esque leads is probably the best track on this release, being less derivative than the others. So, "In The UK" is certainly not the most overrated of all FWOSHM EPs, you get 3 diverse full on Metal/HR songs for your cash. Or for free, right here, right now.

AIRBORNE - In United Kingdom EP (1983) Sweden


Would you believe we begin the NWOBHM portion of tonight's post by completing another discography? We're getting better at tying up those loose ends these days eh? This is the 3 song 1981 demo by NWOBHM/Doom legends Apocalypse. Other than their excellent 1982 single, this is the only recorded output prior to the bands conversion to OMEGA. The opening track, "Night Stalker", is a bit of a shock to anyone familiar only with their "Stormchild" single, as the song is a very upbeat, aggressive number more akin to a band like Mythra. It s a good song, just not one I expected from this particular band. Follow-up "The Light" is more along the lines of what you would expect; a long, slower number meant to induce an epic feel with layers of atmosphere. This song was reworked as "The Child" on OMEGA's "The Prophet" album. Finally, the demo closes with "Midnight Train", which is more similar to the tuneful, slightly atmospheric material of BASHFUL ALLEY's "Running Blind". Nothing whatsoever to do with the piss poor AC/DC copyists of the same name.

APOCALYPSE - Demo (1981) UK


NWOBHM quartet OVERKILL only released this one record, the 1981 single 'Elemental' on the Elly Jay label. Bassist Paul Nicholson was later replaced by Marcus Nason, with whom the band then recorded the two song "Demo '81", cassette.This appears to have been the end of the line for the band as no further releases were forthcoming. Not to be confused with the two US bands of the same name, the punk one from LA, and the other, the better known thrashers from New York.

OVERKILL - Elemental 7" (1981) UK


Finally tonight, here's Challenger, a Yorkshire based five piece NWOBHM band with a strong early '70's vibe. They released only this one record, the 1981 "So Sure Of Yourself" 45 on C.M.C. Records. Flipside, "Out To Kill" is probably the stronger of the two tracks, reminding me somewhat of QUARTZ.Highly prized nowadays by NWOBHM collectors, but at the time of it's original release sales struggled, and disspirited, the band went their separate ways.

CHALLENGER - So Sure Of Yourself 7" (1981) UK


That's tonight's haul, hope you enjoy our choices and find something here to cherish. I've got some great stuff lined up for next week as well, i think we've surpassed ourselves folks, so that's something for you regulars to look forward to.
Until then, keep commenting, keep rocking and keep the (Metal) faith.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008


Wall to wall old school mayhem for your listening enjoyment is our raison d'etre, and we deliver in spades tonight with a balls out selection from the obscure shadows of rock's glory days.
GLORY BELLS BAND were amongst a number of Swedish Heavy Metal bands to have emerged in the post NWoBHM years in the early 80s. The band acted as an early stepping stone for drummer Peter Udd, who later worked with YNGWIE MALMSTEEN, and, more significantly, guitarist Franco Santuine who was to later join the ELECTRIC BOYS and subsequently teamed up with REPTILE SMILE. The band released two well respected old school Heavy Metal albums, 1982's "Dressed In Black", then, under the shortened name GLORY BELLS, 1985's "Century Rendezvous".
Edman subsequently worked with YNGWIE MALMSTEEN, KARMAKANIC, STREET TALK, BRAZEN ABBOT, CROSSFADE, GEFF, MADISON and XSAVIOUR. This is excellent chest thumping old school viking Heavy Metal for fans of HEAVY LOAD, SYRON VANES etc.

GLORY BELLS BAND - Dressed In Black (1982) Sweden


Remember 1984? Then perhaps you might remember Ron Keel. In 1984 Ron Keel finally split STEELER and, after rumours that he came mighty close to landing the then vacant BLACK SABBATH vocalist's job, duly assembled KEEL. The first incarnation of KEEL boasted Boston born MARC FERRARI, ex-STEEL ASSASSIN, and Phoenix native David Michael-Phillips, who had played in an early incarnation of ICON, on guitars, ex-METAL BEAST bassist Kenny Chaisson (the brother of one-time STEELER bassist Greg Chaisson) and ex-STEELER and LONDON drummer Bobby Marks. This line-up of KEEL performed only one gig, at at Perkin's Palace in Pasadena, before breaking up due to Ron Keel's premature announcement in regard to the BLACK SABBATH job. The reality of the situation was that Keel had recorded vocals on tracks, originally composed by KICK AXE, for submission to the BLACK SABBATH camp. Producer Spencer Proffer was angling to get these songs, and Keel, into the project but the Birmingham veterans reply was swift and scornful. Ron Keel never auditioned or recorded any material with members of BLACK SABBATH. Former ROADMASTER, STEPPENWOLF and THE B'ZZ drummer Stephen Riley was also to spend a short period of time in KEEL following the group recording their debut album, but he would quickly jump ship to hook up with W.A.S.P., where he took over from Tony Richards, and later join L.A. GUNS. Retaining his links with Shrapnel Records from STEELER, Keel had taken the band, with by now Bryan Jay having replaced a KING KOBRA bound David Michael-Philips, into the studio to cut KEEL's opening salvo 'Lay Down The Law'. The record created excited praise amongst the Rock press and generated healthy import sales into Europe prompting the interest of KISS leader GENE SIMMONS and, in turn, the A&M affiliated Gold Mountain Records who signed the band and steered them in a more radio friendly direction. Remember them this way.

KEEL - Lay Down The Law (1984) USA


To Canada next, where we complete the Rapid Tears discography now. Following the 1982 release of their "Honestly", album, the band were saddened by the departure of bassist Adam Sherban, the band recruited new member John Wein in time for this one, their 1984 four song "Cry For Mercy" EP. Their inability to break into the American market caused the band to splinter after the EP's release, guitarist Michael J. Miller eventually going on to form Castle Of Pain in the early 1990's with fellow Rapid Tears man Rick Nemes on vocals and drums.
By this time Nemes had already passed through the ranks of Lethal Presence & Infernal Majesty.

RAPID TEARS - Cry For Mercy EP (1984) Canada


We begin the NWOBHM section of tonight's post with the UK four piece originally named SLAYER. They released this three song EP called "I Want Your Life" on Cavalier Records in 1983. Finding that there were two US bands of the same name, SLAYER then changed their name to DRAGONSLAYER. As DRAGONSLAYER they recorded a seven song demo in 1985 before splitting up. Excellent raw sounding old school no frills Heavy Fuckin' Metal.

SLAYER (UK) - I Want Your Life EP (1983) UK


More now from the Newcastle based band who went by the popular name of Warrior. Vocalist, Eddy Halliday & drummer Sean Taylor had left the band by this point, Taylor going on to play with a who's who of NWOBHM bands, including SATAN, PARIAH, BLIND FURY, RAVEN & BLITZKRIEG. With a new sticksman and vocalist, Warrior returned to action with this, which would prove to be their final release, 1984's "Breakout" EP, which was again released on their own Warrior label. This proved to be the end of the road for Warrior, with the band splitting by the years end.

WARRIOR - Breakout EP (1984) UK


PREDATÜR, hailed from Woodley near Reading, and was conceived in 1976 as a quartet comprising singer/guitarist Baz Barry, guitarist John Benham, bassist Steve Coppuck and drummer Sam Savin. Fuelled by unpretentious riffing and some classic Metal poses, PREDATÜR rapidly became a major draw on the local Hampshire scene. The band title was taken from a dragster, amended with a German umlaut to quote MOTÖRHEAD's styling. This line up lasted until 1983, having issued demos recorded at Woodcray Manor Recording Studios and this single "Take A Walk", released the previous year on the Quik Records label.

PREDATÜR - Take A Walk 7" (1982) UK


Finally tonight, another request filled by the very kind nightsblood, as always, our many thanks to you, sir. Despite being one of the most impressive NWoBHM band in terms of heaviness and straightforward compositions, Cynic remains quite unknown and obscure to this day, probably due to the fact that the band's classic 1983 "Suicide" 7" single was their only commercially available legacy (now a very rare and costly piece) . However this single can easily compare with the best from the movement like HOLLOW GROUND or JJ’s POWERHOUSE. The band did also record several demos through the years and have reconvened recently to record a full length album due for release this year.

CYNIC - Suicide 7" (1983) UK


Also courtesy of nightsblood, you'll find links to BATTLEAXE's "We're On The Attack" album and REINCARNATE's demo reupped in mp3 format for those of you who have no use for m4a. Find these in the comments section for the previous post. Again, many thanks for your great work. Hope you enjoy tonight's sonic smorgasbord folks, more soon!!!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008


Another astonishing array of rough edged retro jewels for your delectation this evening, hopefully there'll be one or two items here to tick off your "must hear" list. If not, then your list was incomplete, it's that simple.
Up first, here's tonight's only non-NWOBHM band, although you would be hard pressed to guess that if you were going by their sound alone.
RAPID TEARS were a Heavy Metal quintet from Ontario Canada.
Formed in 1977, the band would make their recording debut in 1980 with the "Operation Airlift" 45 on Guardian Records.
They released a second single in 1982, the anthemic "Headbang" on Chameleon Records. They followed that later in the year with this, their debut (and only) full length album, "Honestly". Eleven fine pieces of vintage HM from a mystifyingly overlooked band who should have been sitting pretty @ the top of the Metal tree by the middle of the decade, alas & alack, it was not to be.

RAPID TEARS - Honestly (1982) Canada


Next tonight, we are proud to complete the Alkatrazz discography with this, their 2nd & final album "Radio 5", from 1982 on the RCA label. Like their debut, this is another fine album chock full of commercial but tough NWOBHM with radio appeal. For more info on the Maidstone based band, see the entry next to their other album "Young Blood", in last weeks post.

ALKATRAZZ - Radio 5 (1982) UK


Another follow up post now, this time courtesy of nightsblood, this is the only other recording from Stoke band Reincarnate, whose lone single, 1982's "Take It Or Leave It" we posted last time. This is the four song, cassette only "1983 Demo", following which the band split.
Bassist/Vocalist Paul "Frazza" Farrington went on to join HARRIER as keyboard player, recording the "Out On The Street" EP in 1984. Farrington would later join the reformed DEMON in 2002 and appear on the "Better The Devil You Know" album of 2005.

REINCARNATE - 1983 Demo (1983) UK


Another piece of demo-lition for you next, this is the four song 1980 demo by Stevenage trio Ground Attack. This one predates their previously featured "Red Lion" 7", but remained uncirculated for more than 20 years after the tapes were misplaced shortly after their recording. Luckily, they turned up under mysterious circumstances, and were circulated by band main man, singer/guitarist Tom "Katz" Atkinson. In 2003 Tom reformed the band with new members Corrie Shiells on Bass and Matt Alan on the Drums. They released a full length album entitled "Sectioned" in 2004, which contained some other original songs which were lost in 1980.

GROUND ATTACK - The Lost Tapes Demo (1980) UK


Turbo were a NWOBHM quintet who formed in 1979, releasing this, their three song "Stallion" EP on Carso Records in 1981. They followed this up with their only other release, the previously posted "Charged For Glory" 7" on SRT Records in 1982. This is typically great low budget NWoBHM with a nice raw sound, with the right breaks they could have gone so much further.

TURBO - Stallion EP (1981) UK


Jody St. passed into the realms of NWOBHM legend, in spite of the fact that nobody seemed to be entirely sure just how good they were, due to the scarcity of their records.
An 8 song self financed album came first, issued in 1980, and was followed in '81 by this, the funky "Fight Back" 7". NWOBHM fans were, by the end of the 90's, foaming at the mouth at the prospect of any copies of their records coming up for sale, and the theoretical value swiftly rocketed to astronomical levels, in fact only a couple of copies have come into the market in recent years. This band were brimming with talent and inventive ideas, it's a crying shame that they were never better known.

JODY St. - Fight Back 7" (1981) UK


Die Laughing were a short lived NWOBHM trio from Sussex who recorded this one rare single in 1980. The "You Got The Power" 45 was released on Ocean Records in an eye catching comic style sleeve, and came with a free badge & poster. Very '70s influenced hard rock with interesting arrangements were the bands hallmarks, but it's value nowadays probably has more to do with it's rarity. Still, a nice "borderline NWOBHM" listen all said.

DIE LAUGHING - You Got The Power 7" (1980) UK


That's all for now folks, happy rockin'!!!

Wednesday, May 07, 2008


Lots of killer kick ass antiquities for you tonight, so without any further preamble, let's get to it.
To begin with tonight, some vintage NWOBHM from Alkatrazz, this is their debut album, "Young Blood" from 1981.
ALKATRAZZ, hailed from Maidstone in Kent and were fronted by Australian singer Craig Stevens. After coming to the attention of RCA Records they released debut album "Young Blood" in 1981 and toured as support on a three band package with TYGERS OF PAN TANG and MAGNUM. 1982 saw them release their second & final album, "Radio 5". During the Spring of 1983 former SAMSON and IRON MAIDEN drummer Clive Burr figured in the ranks. Burr would later join PRAYING MANTIS, TRUST, GOGMAGOG and ELIXIR. Alkatrazz split in late '83 after being dropped by RCA.

ALKATRAZZ - Young Blood (1981) UK


Next another NWOBHM compilation from the legendary Ebony Records label. This is the 1982 "METAL MANIAXE" album, and features the likes of CHATEAUX, EMERALD, TROJAN & CRY WOLF amongst others.
Ebony Records was one of the classic minor-league labels of the NWOBHM time, focusing on up-and-coming mid-eighties bands mostly from the UK, though a few Euro bands crept in as well. Similar to labels such as Metal Blade, Ebony started out releasing compilations of unsigned acts, a few of which went on to record albums with the label (one notable band that did appear on a comp but later went on to bigger things on another label was MERCYFUL FATE).
Many of the releases were produced in-house by label founder Darryl Johnston, giving several of the albums a similar low-budget style that nevertheless was part of the charm of the NWOBHM period. A lot of the bands released one or two albums and never amounted to a lot, but there were a few gems in there, including SAVAGE's classic "Loose 'n' Lethal", while the biggest band to emerge from this label would almost certainly be GRIM REAPER, who were snapped up by the major label RCA on their way to a successful worldwide career.

VARIOUS - Metal Maniaxe (1982) UK


To 1984 now for the "We Come In Peace" EP from cult Canadian Heavy Metal quartet Probe. Probe were formed in Vancouver, British Columbia in 1982 by drummer Wes Lawrie and Bassist Brian Morrison. After trying out a few guys for the vacant guitar slot, they settled on the versatile & dexterous Greg Manuck by the years end. After spending some time writing material, they recruited singer Steve Jack in mid 1983. This is the line up which recorded 1984's self-released "We Come In Peace" EP, nowadays a collectors item for fans of early '80's Metal.
All four songs were of a uniformly high standard with terrific playing from all concerned, and the release prompted good reviews. Unfortunately at this point Manuck flew the coop, and the band gradually splintered during the search for a replacement, leaving only the EP as their legacy.

PROBE - We Come In Peace EP (1984) Canada


Back to Blighty next for the 1982 Demo by Runestaff. RUNESTAFF began life in Ipswich in 1980 as an all male quintet in the Tolkien inspired Prog Rock mould. Their first recorded product would be this three track 1982 demo cassette recorded at Hillside Sound Studios in Ipswich.
Dogged by line-up shuffles the band added vocalist Joanna Symes when guitarist/vocalist Andy Page departed. However, Page soon returned, inspired by the possibilities opened up by the new singer, concentrating solely on guitar. The band spent the next couple of years building up a strong live following with constant gigging and the odd decent support slot, gradually adding a Harder edge to their Proggy sound. The Wolverhampton based Heavy Metal Records issued a self-titled album in 1985. They followed this with two 7" singles, "Road To Ruin", and "Do It!" on Heavy Metal subsidiary FM/Revolver Records later that same year. Tragically, keyboard player Kaust Rakhit died of Thalasemia in mid 1985 and was replaced by Barry Godfrey. Depressed by the death of his friend, Page quit once more in 1986. A planned second album was forestalled as vocalist Joanne Syme then suffered a serious throat problem. With their momentum stalled by Syme's illness the band gradually dissolved in late '86.

RUNESTAFF - Runestaff Demo (1982) UK


1980 is the year we're visiting next, the band is Metal Mirror, the record, their "Rock'n'Roll's Never Gonna Leave Us" 7". METAL MIRROR had the track 'Hard Life' on the 'Heavy Metal Heroes' compilation album in 1980, the 7" single 'Rock n' Roll Ain't Never Gonna Leave' emerging the same year. Vocalist CAMERON VEGAS (a.k.a. Cameron Vagges) later released two solo albums. Drummer Ian Thompson journeyed through Sunderland's BATTLEAXE, DARK HEART and AOR band CHANGE OF HEART. Another previous METAL MIRROR drummer Mick Green joined Progressive Rock act PALI GAP in 1984. Guitarist Chris Haggerty passed away in 2004.
METAL MIRROR made a surprise return in early 2006 on the back of an archive live album, recorded in London during 1981. New recruits into the fold would be NWoBHM veterans Benjamin Reio Franklyn of PRAYING MANTIS repute on drums and guitarist Andy Barnett of URCHIN, A.S.A.P., FM and BROADWAY BRATS.

METAL MIRROR - Rock'n'Roll's Never Gonna Leave Us 7" (1980) UK


To 1981 now, for this next one by JANINE who were a short lived London based NWOBHM band. They released just this one record, the AC/DC influenced "Crazy On You" 7", released on the Stiletto Records label. Guitarist Paul Smith also played in the NWOBHM band DEEP MACHINE which recorded some demos. Subsequently several members of Deep Machine formed famous NWOBHM bands ANGEL WITCH and TOKYO BLADE.

JANINE - Crazy On You 7" (1981) UK


Finally tonight we bring you the lone 7" by Croydon Metallers SABRE. Formed in late 1980, SABRE demoed in 1981 but a lack of response from record companies prompted original vocalist Nick Pyatt to leave in November. Ex PREACHER vocalist Rob Brown joined briefly followed in early 1982 by John Ward. SABRE's vinyl debut was a track entitled 'Cry To The Wind' on the Neat Records 'Leadweight 2' compilation, shortly followed by the 1983 single 'Miracle Man'.
Bassist Geoff Gillespie later joined SNOWBLIND, recording an album for Mausoleum Records, before having an interest in AOR outfit PEROUX and following a career in the music industry where he worked for the likes of EastWest and Sony. Gillespie moved on to Zoom Club Records then his own Majestic Rock concern. This latter label compiled archive SABRE tracks, including demos and rehearsals for the 2005 album 'Roar To The Core'. Amongst the demos would be songs recorded with LIONHEART vocalist Rob 'Chad' Brown.

SABRE - Miracle Man 7" (1983) UK


So that's yer wack for this evening, hope yer like 'em.
Keep those comments coming.