Monday, April 28, 2008

LEGEND - Death In The Nursery ('82)

For Spencer!

This is one of my top 5, maybe even top 2 favorite NWOBHM records ever. Legend hailed from a tiny island from the UK which they rarely left, and self pressed only 2,000 copies of this record which have all sold out, so needless to say it's a very rare piece of music, and like Detente's debut it often goes for prices reaching $150 or more. Their biggest break was an opening slot for Thin Lizzy in 1984, and was also one of their last shows until they reunited in 2002. But enough small history...

To the music... the production (self produced, of course) is a warm almost AM radio sounding affair, albeit clear and concise, and really sets it apart from the other metal of the time which had that big heavy bombastic sound. The vocals are almost folky and sweet with a great deal of conviction, and the guitars are remniscient of early Iron Maiden and Cirith Ungol with possibly King Crimson and other 70's prog & rock. Every member was talented and the lyrics show the intelligence of the band with diatribes of politics, religion, morality and psychological struggles. The songwriting is reserved enough that you're not overloaded with riffs and solos. Overall it's like "Sad Wings Of Destiny" meets Maiden's s/t, meets King Crimson and Budgie, all recorded with lo-fi production and tastefully low on the flashyness... you may know what I mean when you hear it.

I simply cannot say enough about this album. Hear it for yourself.

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1. Choices
2. Warrior
3. Time Bomb
4. Lazy Woman
5. Why Don't You Kill Me
6. Anthrax Attack
7. Prisoner
8. Death In The Nursery
9. Prologue

Running forever in circles of hate, clinical bars keep us tight
Hoping for fools to unleash us in haste, to prove to the world of their might
Created to kill in obscene trails of pain, to blot out the source of the light
A subtle but deadly supply on the wind, it gives them no reason to fight

Sunday, April 13, 2008

HELLWITCH - Syzygial Miscreancy ('89)

Florida's not really known for it's thrash metal... maybe that's why these psychos skirted the line between thrash and early death metal. Probably the fastest thrash band to ever come out of the Sunshine State, Hellwitch mixed Sadus and Epidemic style vigor and rage with Atheist/Cynic style technicality in parts, but for an overall much rawer and more basement sounding execution.

Seriously - when the opening beats of "Nosferatu" hit you and you hear the incomprehensible alien solo mixed with blast beats, it's possible that your skull might fly off your head and your guts will forget where they are.

Get past the terrible cover and logo and get your ears to this slab of boundless nastiness.

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1. The Ascent
2. Nosferatu
3. Viral Exogence
4. Sentient Transmography
5. Mordrivial Dissemination
6. Pyrophoric Siezure
7. Purveyor Of Fear

Friday, April 11, 2008

DETENTE - Recognize No Authority ('86)

There are 3 bands out there that really garner my attention for female fronted thrash: Holy Moses, Sacrilege, and Detente. Detente had the legendary Dawn Crosby on vox who would later go on to Fear Of God (not the grind band). This release wasn't really ahead of it's time but it doesn't sound exactly like any other thrash release even though it's hard to pinpoint what made their sound original. Drumming is fast paced and the riffs are catchy but lethal... instrumentally they could draw comparisons to Razor but with more NWOBHM and crossover thrash leanings. What brings them above the pack is Crosby's seething and awesome vocals, and they are the main reason that this is one of the most sought after albums in metal. I have seen this go for $150 on eBay and I'm sure there's some poor souls who've paid more. Cover is punk as shit.

It's recently been reissued, forgot by who, on CD, for all those who want a physical copy but can't find the vinyl (at least at an affordable rate).

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1. Losers
2. Russian Roulette
3. It's Your Fate
4. Holy Wars
5. Catalepsy
6. Shattered Illusions
7. Life Is Pain
8. Blood I Bleed
9. Widows Walk
10. Vultures In The Sky

Can't you see we don't care about you?
Can't you see we don't want your kind?
We give you weapons to kill each other
Can't you see, or are you blind?
You're doing just what we want you to do
killing off your population
We've got you by your stupid pride
Rewarding it with frustration

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

EXUMER - Possessed By Fire ('86)

Germany is so awesome. When people think Germany they just think of the unholy trinity of Kreator, Sodom and Destruction, but when you look around at where thrash bands come from you'll find that besides the US, most of the best thrash bands (and most thrash bands in general) come from Germany... followed closely by Brazil. Besides the given three, my favorite German thrash band is Exumer, and if you've heard the those three bands you know exactly what to expect on their debut "Possessed By Fire"... With this album, think Pleasure To Kill meets Bonded By Blood and with a better album cover than both!

Untainted excellence through and through. Songwriting is memorable and top notch, the Baloff-meets-Angelripper vocals are frantic but cocky, the musicianship is confident and classy, everything falls into place on this album. There's nothing blinding or groundbreaking to see here, just everything done right; a benchmark of what a good thrash album should be. The only thing that takes them away from the crown of 4th greatest band of Teutonic thrash is the fact that they burned out so quick. Of course this came out in '86... when else would you expect?

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1. Possessed By Fire
2. Destructive Solution
3. Fallen Saint
4. A Mortal In Black
5. Sorrows Of The Judgment
6. Xiron Darkstar
7. Reign Of Sadness
8. Journey To Oblivion
9. Silent Death

The key in hand to set their bodies free
Forceful eyes and they do catch me
My mind twisted in two, my throat is cut
Secret whispers speed, drive me nuts
I am possessed by fire!