Monday, February 16, 2009


You lucky people, i'm really spoiling you tonight with some kick ass classics from Rock's half-remembered past.
As it's late and i'm dog-tired i'll ease up on the half-baked hyperbole and just get on with it, shall i?
Like countless others in the original NWOBHM explosion, ARAGORN were a band who unfortunately fell into obscurity. In 2003, Castle/Sanctuary Records set out to redress that with an expansive 22 song compilation of their old recordings, entitled "Noonday : The Anthology". Containing demos, the unreleased "Hungry For Your Love" EP, and the whole unreleased "The Night Is Burning" album, it was a fine testament to the band's skills. In the early 80's the band released the classic single, "Black Ice", (both sides of which appear), and the good news is that there are several songs here which are just as good, if not better. Check out the likes of "Noonday", "Hellriser", and their very cool cover of GOLDEN EARRING's "Radar Love", for evidence. Aragorn's sound is pretty primitive, but with some classy touches, reminding at times of MAIDEN with Paul Di'Anno or the heavier moments of SAMSON. Within the brash, British Heavy Metal that Aragorn offers, John Hull, the lead guitarist, (who later played with TOUCHED), reminds me of Mantas from VENOM with lots of speedy whammy bar effects and crunchy distortion. The singer, whilst no Bruce Dickinson, is very capable and his style fits the music well, and the rhythm section keep it tight and bash out an impressive bottom end. The production on the CD is a bit raw, but it still has a good, very listenable sound. It's all about the music anyway, and the music is very very fine indeed.

ARAGORN - Noonday : The Anthology (1980-1983) UK

Solothurn based Swiss band KILLER underwent so many line-up changes throughout their career that the last album features no original personnel from the debut effort. Formed in 1979, they debuted in 1981 with two singles followed by the 'LadyKiller' album on the Bellaphon label, but the band ran into controversy due to the graphic nature of the original album cover artwork depicting a blood soaked, semi-naked model sprawled across a bed. Subsequent pressings were issued in an altogether different sleeve. 1982's 'Killer' album found the group sounding more like AC/DC than even compatriots KROKUS could manage. As irony would have it, KILLER would become something of a breeding ground for future KROKUS members as both guitarist Manny Maurer and drummer Dani Crivelli (who had joined KILLER for 1984's 'Stronger Than Ever' release) would both see service with KROKUS, Crivelli joining up in 1987. Maurer also had a hand in HEADHUNTER (as did bassist Beat Kofnehl) during 1985 and Swiss Metal project AIN'T DEAD YET. KILLER replaced guitarist Crown Kocher for 'Stronger Than Ever', bringing in Jan Van Crow in in his place. KILLER's line-up for the ensuing 'Young Blood' album comprised of Van Crow, vocalist Mark B. Lay, bassist Martin Morelli and drummer Ronny Woolf. KILLER also utilised the services of keyboard player Roland Wapf for the 'Young Blood' album.

KILLER - Ladykiller (1981) Switzerland

Scarce imported Australian CD, featuring a remarkable collection of recordings by various ex-members of Welsh proto-metal head bludgeoners BUDGIE. Released in conjunction with "Sabre Dance", the Budgie fan magazine, this CD contains 18 tracks by bands featuring ex-Budgie members, including TREDEGAR (Tony Bourge & Ray Phillips), BOMBSHELL ("Big" John Thomas), FREEZ (Tony Bourge & Ray Phillips), TITUS OATS (Ray Phillips) and SIX TON BUDGIE (Ray Phillips). Covering a lot of ground stylistically, this is a treat for all Budgie fans. Oh, and PERSIAN RISK fans please note, Carl Sentance fronts Tredegar on several Demo tracks on this compilation! Tracks date from 1978-1994.

VARIOUS - EX BUDGIE : Budgie & Beyond (1978-1994) UK

MIRAGE were a traditional Heavy metal band formed in the town of Randers in Denmark in 1982. Debuting in 1984 with the excellently titled "Shave It All Off" 7" on Midas Records, they picked up a lot of positive press from underground fanzines of the time as a result. A three song demo arrived later in the year which brought the band to the attention of Skylight Records who signed the band. The five song "...And The Earth Shall Crumble" Mini LP was released in 1985, and then re-released by Metal Masters the following year with three bonus tracks added. Despite positive reviews and a growing profile, they sadly split up in 1987 without releasing anything further. Through the years the album's reputation continued to grow, as collectors continued to discover the band, resulting in Karthago Records re-releasing the album on cd in remastered and expanded form with new artwork in 2002. This is the version presented here, and it's the one to have, featuring as it does the original album, the earlier 7" and seven bonus tracks. The works! Following Mirage's demise, Jan Buller, Sten Roland and Mogens Laursen were later to be found in the blues rock band THIRD STONE FROM THE SUN. Torben Deen was a member of rock band REALITY BITES in the mid-nineties and is currently found in progressive rock band MOTIVE alongside Mirage singer Mogens Laursen.

MIRAGE - ...And the Earth Shall Crumble (1985) Denmark

There you have it then folks, i think you're gonna agree with me that this is one peach of a selection, if not now, then certainly by the time you've given this little lot the once over.
No need to applaud, send flowers, cheques or any of that stuff, lemmy know what's on your mind in the comments section and i'll be more than happy, so just do that okay? My thanks to those who regularly do just that.
As always, be careful out there, and we'll see you back here for more ass-kickery real soon. Much love to ma homiez. Peace.


Anonymous nightsblood said...

Looking forward to hearing Mirage; I've heard their name a lot but never got to hear their music. Will post thoughts after I play it this week.

The Aragorn comp has some good stuff on it. I was never as nuts about them as some fans were (same goes for Goldsmith featured last week).

May check out Killer as well, but trying to catch up on my listening, so I may wait and d/l that one at a later time.

Thanks as always!

For anyone who, like me, is morbidly fascinated with the nutty prices metal vinyl sells for these days, there are some heavyweight items listed currently and in the past week or so: Ritual 'Widow' LP, Demolition 7", Crowhaven LP, Scratch 7", etc. Any one of these is selling for more than my entire cd collection is worth :-) Crazy, but interesting.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009 8:51:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

..and you can download Reality Bites and Motive at

Cheers, T Deen

Tuesday, February 17, 2009 8:52:00 AM  
Blogger s204599 said...

Really impressed by the Budgie release!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009 12:15:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I try to always thank you for all that you do! Awesome job as always. Greetings from snow covered California!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009 10:22:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Kit- Cheers for the Ex-Budgie! Sounds like a Monty Python Sketch. Saw Budgie three or four times between 78 and 82. Fantastic live act with a string of superb albums. A true HEAVY band who deserve much greater recognition for their work in the 70's. Best wishes, Blofeld.

Thursday, February 19, 2009 6:11:00 AM  
Anonymous MisterManiac said...

Really enjoyed the Aragorn...another forgotten nwobhm gem I missed the first time around, so thanks for giving me the chance to check these guys out. Keep those digital rips coming (when they're available, of course).

Also, kudos on the Killer post. I always enjoyed this band "back in the day", especially the Thriller and Stronger Than Ever releases, and I strongly recommend them (especially the 2 aforementioned releases) to any fans of early-80's Krokus or AC/DC. The band has a website set up where they're selling remastered CD-Rs of their albums, if anyone is interested.

Funny story...I actually got into the Belgium band Killer because of this band. I was in a metal shop back in the mid-80's and there was a copy of Shock Waves in the cut-out bin. I bought it thinking it was a release from the "Swiss" Killer...boy, was I surprised when I popped it on and heard those powerful Motorhead-style riffs and vocals. Certainly not the sound I expected, but being a big fan of Lemmy and bands like Tank, I really dug it and actually preferred the belgium Killer to the Swiss Killer (although they're both good).

Thursday, February 19, 2009 2:21:00 PM  
Anonymous nightsblood said...

The Mirage sounds really good, especially the amazing 'Survivors'- what a killer song! It's heavy metal built on a Ramones framework with some excellent sharp guitar licks that had me digging out Drunk Horse's 'Priestmaker' to play as a follow-up. Great stuff! Still working through the rest of the album

Friday, February 20, 2009 8:48:00 AM  
Anonymous Feral said...

Glorious, as ever. Just waitin for Aragorn and Killer to come down.

Friday, February 20, 2009 3:46:00 PM  
Anonymous Feral said...

By the way, I got a couple of things you might be interested in...

Deep Switch - 2 demos

MainEEaxe - Going For Gold

Spellbound - Breaking The Spell

Spellbound - Rockin' Reckless

Give me a shout at and I'll up em for you if you want em.

Friday, February 20, 2009 3:50:00 PM  
Blogger Neilantman said...

Thanks for the Aragorn, only heard the black ice single always wanted to hear more

Saturday, February 21, 2009 12:56:00 AM  
Anonymous MetalRorschach said...

It's great to return here after a long spell and find out this blog is still kicking ass. Great work! I have some nice NWOBHM demos / singles around here, and I will be more than happy to upload it for you if you like. Thanks a lot for all the excellent music!

Sunday, February 22, 2009 10:07:00 AM  
Blogger Sergey said...

Thanks for the ex-Budgie!

Monday, February 23, 2009 8:46:00 PM  
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Wednesday, January 09, 2013 1:40:00 AM  

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