Sunday, February 22, 2009


Hi again, we're very pleased to bring you another furious four pack of fine vintage rock music for the discerning collector of the obscure & sublime.
This time we span the years 1982 to 1984, and we traverse the globe for classics from the UK, the USA, Finland and Denmark.
Methinks you'll like what's on offer tonight.
To begin with, Danish Heavy Metal band WITCH CROSS were formed in Copenhagen in 1979. Fronted by Alex Savage (aka Alex Nyborg Madsen), a 1982 three song demo was followed up by a 1983 7" single, entitled "Are You There ?", for the Jamara label. A further '83 demo followed before the classic 1984 "Fit For Fight" album, was released through Vision Music and Roadrunner Records. This, their only album was recorded by the engineer of cult HM gems such as Mercyful Fate's "Melissa" and "Don't Break The Oath", Henrik Lund at Easy Sound Recordings. WITCH CROSS notably appeared at the Roskilde festival that year. A further 3 song demo entitled 'Last Train' was cut in 1986, but this was to be the end of the road for Witch Cross. Singer Alex Nyborg Madsen and Mike Wlad later turned up in Danish act HARLOT, who released one album, "Room With A View", in 1989, before Alex became the singer of LED ZEPPELIN JAM. In 1993, "Velvet Revolution", the first album with his new band, SAVAGE AFFAIR, was released.

WITCH CROSS - Fit For Fight (1984) Denmark

To the U.S. of A next, where KAOS were a four piece Heavy Metal outfit from San Diego California formed in 1979. Their only release was to be the full length 1982 "Agent Killers", album on Pop Records. It's a good album full of commercial but raw Heavy Metal with big catchy choruses, and is beginning to pick up a cult following amongst connoisseurs. No relation to the bands of the same name from Texas, New York, Canada or Oakland. Also, not to be confused with the punk bands of that name from Sweden and Ecuador.

KAOS - Agent Killers (1982) USA

Next, from Aberdeen, Scotland, Progressive Hard Rock band PALLAS released a live cassette, recorded in Paisley, entitled "Arrive Alive", just in time to join the Prog Rock revival of the early 80s. The band was formulated in 1974 originally titled RAINBOW, though when ex-DEEP PURPLE guitar maestro RITCHIE BLACKMORE announced the formation of his new act RAINBOW the band opted for a name change to PALLAS. Gigging in the late seventies found PALLAS honing their craft with supports to THIN LIZZY and even THE DAMNED. With the Punk explosion in full swing PALLAS actually veered away from their Prog Rock foundations and became 'Symphonic Punk', with a cassette EP issued as 1978. Fortunately PALLAS shifted their musical aspirations back toward the Prog Rock sound pulling in ex-PRYER guitarist Niall Mattewson. PALLAS debuted proper with "Arrive Alive" in November 1980 on their own Granite Wax Records. Initially this was only released as a limited run of 1000 cassettes. Confusingly this is not the same recording issued in 1982 on vinyl. After the studio sessions of "Arrive Alive" were released once more in 1983, the band gained a major deal with Harvest/EMI that resulted in the debut studio album "The Sentinel" appearing the same year. The album was recorded in Atlanta with producer Eddie Offord and climbed the UK charts to number 41. This cd release includes four bonus tracks.

PALLAS - The Sentinel (1983) UK

Finally, Finnish band RIFF RAFF were an Oulu based Heavy Metal act formed in 1980. The young group got signed by the Poko label after winning a battle of the bands contest that was recorded and released as an LP, ("Heavy Metal & Live"), in late '81. Two 7" singles followed before the band's debut album, "No Law'n'Order" was released in 1982. From the NWOBHM influenced sounds of the first album the band ultimately headed for a harsher sound. Signing with the Mirror Records label, their next album, "Robot Stud", appeared in late '82. The third album, 1983's "Give The Dead Man Some Water", was one of the rawest and loudest Finnish metal releases back in the day, and has Ms. Kaija Koo on backing vocals who became a best selling female pop star in Finland in the early '90s. Vocalist Immu left Riff Raff after the third album and was replaced by Esa Eloranta (later of GARBO) for a short period of time, but eventually the band faded away without any further releases, despite owing new label Amulet Records another LP. Drummer Esa Palosaari continued playing drums in KIRKA and Albert Järvinen's band, and in 1991 he recorded an album with JACKFLASH where he handled the vocals. Bass player Kessler has also played in FAFF-BEY.

RIFF RAFF - Robot Stud (1982) Finland

So that's your lot for this week folks.
Hope you enjoy tonight's selection from yesterday's vaults. Personally, i think i've come up trumps again, but i'm not the type to blow my own trumpet, as i don't have enough vertebrae to perform that particular act.
Thus, if you have any opinions, remembrances, feelings, criticisms or compliments relating to any of tonight's offerings then please feel free to use the comments button to share your thoughts on the matter. Thanks very much to all of you who do just that, week after week, month after month. I may not always reply, but i always read and take note of what you have to say, and try to respond to your suggestions and requests where possible.
Anyway, i'll frigg off now before this turns into "War & Peace".
Have a great week people, be excellent to each other.


Anonymous nightsblood said...

Ooo, well done sir! Witch Cross is of course a staple of the genre. Kaos sounds interesting, I'll definitely check that out once I catch up on my listening. And nice to see Riff Raff get some much-deserved recognition. I'm more familiar with their other 2 albums, so I'll definitely load 'Robot Stud' on the playlist for awhile. I was lucky enough to pick up all 3 Riff Raff LPs at once last year via the infamous Rattlehead14 collection sale on ebay; 'Robot Stud' just got buried in the vinyl stack b/c I kept playing 'No Law n Order' and especially 'Give the Dead Man Some Water' over and over :-) The title track to 'Give the Dead Man...' is a true barn-burner, right up there with Oz's 'Turn the Cross Upside Down' among northern European metal killers.

Monday, February 23, 2009 8:13:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Cheers my friend! Will give all of these a go. Only one I know is Pallas. Take care, Blofeld.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009 9:11:00 AM  
Anonymous Chris Dexters said...

Another fine Euro/US selection you've tossed our way! Especially like the KAOS record, a very tatsy amalgam of 70s HR and 80s US metal. Thanks for supplying us with all these goodies once covered by time & dust.

On the nwobhm front I would like to see a good quality copy of the second DEEP MACHINE demo (two tracks: Nightstalker and Saga) turn up. And it would be nice to finally hear the NEON SPIRIT 7". If anyone could oblige.


Wednesday, February 25, 2009 3:32:00 AM  
Anonymous lunasmetaltunas said...

I love witchcross!
I like they're 7-inch too!
They are superb!!! very nwobhm-ish!
Reminds me of tokyo blade meets mercyful fate or something..
Do any of you recommend something else like this that's considered "RARE" or "obscure"

Thursday, February 26, 2009 7:31:00 PM  
Blogger Twin Uzis in Hyrule said...

Pallas rules. Thanks for that.

Monday, July 13, 2009 2:15:00 PM  
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