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Old 12-11-2013, 09:25 AM   #61 (permalink)
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Destruction: Sentence of Death EP - 1984





Known far and wide by anyone with a lack-of-a-brain as a thrash metal band, on this, their debut EP, they were more of a primitve, none-more-filthy speed metal band. Most speed metal bands opt for an Iron-Maiden-at-double-speed approach, but Destruction seemed to have taken more inspiration from Venom and combined moderately technical (I think) metal with the piss and noise of first wave black metal to produce something feral and ugly. And say what you will about Schmier's cheesey vocals, but they do the job and bring the intensity to a higher level. I don't think they ever really topped this record, though their full-length debut, Infernal Overkill, was close, mainly because it was pretty much the same thing.

Of course I can't leave you without mentioning the cover. Just look at these goons: spiked wristbands, bullet belts, inverted-cross necklaces, far too much leather, that ****ing hair... Is it even possible to be more metal than these guys? No. It is not.

P.S. And yes, "Total Desaster" is spelled correctly.




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Old 12-12-2013, 11:48 AM   #62 (permalink)
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Hirax: Raging Violence - 1985




Please don't ask me what the **** that cover is cause I haven't the foggiest, although now that I look at it it kind of looks like one of John Dyer Baizely's covers, which it obviously isn't since he was probably ****ting himself in his diapers when this was released. Anyhoo...

Hirax are weird. Musically they're much the same thing as early Destruction or any number of other early-to-mid eighties metal bands before thrash become codified: speed metal with a heavy dose of hardcore punk, and quite possibly even more primitive than most of those other bands. The six songs on this album that run less than two minutes kind of give the hardcore connection away without you even having to listen to it. The band itself isn't really the draw here. They do their job keeping up the intensity, and actually kick some serious ass given half a chance but it's the vocals that make you cock your head and go, "Huh?" Katon W. de Pena has one of the most unique voices in metal. It's like...uh...sorta...I don't know. You just have to hear him. He's high pitched, but nothing like a power metal vocalist. In another life he actually might have been able to front a more raw version of Mercyful Fate if that helps any, yet he sings with this odd sort of cadence that adds a percussive element to his approach which goes well with the punk metal on display. He's definitely gonna be a love/hate thing for a lot of people, but if you dig him then you're probably gonna love Hirax.

And I don't care if it's racist, but when you find out this is the guy who's singing then you can't help but go, "Dude, that's pretty cool."


Spoiler for Kayon W. de Pena:


Side Note: The intro to "Demons Evil Forces" is one of the best things ever. From the goofy demon telling you that you're going to hell, to the voice of "God"---who sounds like he's played by some guy called Jeff from down the street---imploring you to believe in him it's unintentional (I think) comic gold.




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Old 12-16-2013, 09:18 AM   #63 (permalink)
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Jag Panzer: Ample Destruction - 1984




In some ways Jag Panzer is an odd choice. They don't show a lack of songwriting abilities, they're not ugly or ****ty sounding, and they don't show a combined IQ level that may or may not reach into the triple digits. But don't let that fool you. This band is from one of my favorite time periods in metal: the early-mid eighties, when the metal underground was just starting and hadn't yet been subsumed by thrash metal. There weren't quite as many bands strapping on their Flying V's, but the ones that did generally had more originality than the ones that would follow a few years later. Subsequently a band like Jag Panzer isn't all that easy to categorize. They lie somewhere in the hinterlands between heavy metal, thrash metal, and power metal, all the while sounding only like themselves. Combine Iron Maiden with Metallica's first album and you're in the ballpark.

But the real reason I love this time period is that all the stereotypes of cheesy metal hadn't yet been set, or at least they hadn't been raised to the level that bands were self conscious about it. Whether it was Grim Reaper, Anvil, or Venom, bands were pushing the boundaries of good taste and intelligence like it was their job. Which it was. Jag Panzer weren't anywhere near as cringe-inducing as some of these numbskulls, but their lyrics generally consisted of wearing leather, kicking asses with the subsequent taking of names, and generally raising hell. And even though his voice isn't all that different than your average power metal singer, Harry "The Tyrant" Conklin's singing pretty much dates this band to within a year or two of when this album was released. He's just so...eighties. Love him.




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Old 12-16-2013, 09:38 AM   #64 (permalink)
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There's a lot of great stuff here with Exciter and Repulsion especially with that album cover but especially love that Jag Panzer album. Some of this stuff I'll include in my journal and there's some stuff being featured here that I'm not that familiar with as well, which needs to be checked out.
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Old 12-16-2013, 10:20 AM   #65 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Unknown Soldier View Post
There's a lot of great stuff here with Exciter and Repulsion especially with that album cover but especially love that Jag Panzer album. Some of this stuff I'll include in my journal and there's some stuff being featured here that I'm not that familiar with as well, which needs to be checked out.
I've loved Panzer for over a decade. That album was one of those that I discovered in high school when pretty much all I did was sit at home in front of my computer with my ****ty dial-up connection and just download albums, song by song. Good times. First time I ever heard "Licensed to Kill" I sort of lost my ****.

Although I'm still not sure whether the "J" in Jag Panzer is pronounced like a "Y" like it should be in actual German. You never can tell with these dunderheaded metal types.
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Old 12-17-2013, 09:48 AM   #66 (permalink)
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Mayhem: Deathcrush EP - 1987





I've never been a particularly big Mayhem fan, but I got's some love for Deathcrush. I mean don't get me wrong, if it's possible for musical quality to be objective then this album sucks, but it sucks so good. At this point Mayhem were still basically a death metal band, but they manage to not quite sound like any other DM band, not so much because they were innovative, but because they just didn't really seem to know what they were doing. Sorta like Sepultura's first album. I mean I love me some sloppy death metal, but good lord this is just trash. Thankfully that just makes me like it all the more.

First thing that jumps out is their "singer" Maniac. Dude has a unique wailing screech that I'm sure either grates on your nerves or sounds kvlt as **** depending on whether or not you floss your teeth with your boyfriend's pubes. I can't really think of anyone to compare him to. All I know is he rules. I actually need to check out their Grand Declaration of War and Chimera albums since they also feature him. Although on "Pure Fucking Armageddon" and the cover of Venom's "Witching Hour" they opt to let some guy called Messiah do the vocal duties. He does his job admirably but isn't nearly as notable as Maniac.

The next thing you'd notice might be the ****ty production. They seemed to have been going for a Bathory sound, but couldn't quite nail the atmospheric quality. But in reaching for the stars they still landed on the moon, cause it's bleak and gloriously filthy sounding.

Musically, like I said, this is simplistic, old school eighties death metal. But unlike a lot of bands that tried to race each other to the finish line Mayhem, either because of a different approach or because they couldn't play any faster, often opted for a more mid-paced, heavy-riffing approach. They nail it pretty well too with some truly badass riffs that sound like a chainsaw due to the production. What more could a goon like me ask for?

Edit: Last night I almost punched myself in the face for not getting the Celtic Frost influence with the mid-paced riffs.






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Old 12-17-2013, 12:28 PM   #67 (permalink)
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Stopping by to say that I'm enjoying this thread. Some time ago at a record store I stop by sometimes there was a LOT of music like this but priced a little too high for me meager funds - which is to say that it was seriously collectable for them if it was pressed in The UK or Europe. Maybe the prices will go down or newer arrivals will not be as expensive...one of the great things is actually having that vinyl!

Anyways, this is taking me back to a very brief period in my time hearing some of this music thanks to a friend who knew that someday that Metal and Punk would mix very well - at their best, both have that attitude that seriously wins me over. I was very open minded (maybe still!) and wanted to hear what was going on through my late Teen Years so that I can take me experience with me in my memories forever. Sadly, there were not many where I lived that got into the Metal underground so that left me in the cold with a couple of copies of Sounds (THE best of the weeklies, end comparison!) and without people to crank up the stereo with as there was still that divide.

Raw, maniac music!
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Old 12-17-2013, 03:14 PM   #68 (permalink)
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Although I'm still not sure whether the "J" in Jag Panzer is pronounced like a "Y" like it should be in actual German. You never can tell with these dunderheaded metal types.
**** I've been thinking about this today and I'd go with "J" here.
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Old 12-17-2013, 05:42 PM   #69 (permalink)
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Quote:
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I've loved Panzer for over a decade. That album was one of those that I discovered in high school when pretty much all I did was sit at home in front of my computer with my ****ty dial-up connection and just download albums, song by song. Good times. First time I ever heard "Licensed to Kill" I sort of lost my ****.

Although I'm still not sure whether the "J" in Jag Panzer is pronounced like a "Y" like it should be in actual German. You never can tell with these dunderheaded metal types.
They pronounce the J. They're just a bunch of guys from Colorado. An old friend of mine used to play in a side band with the singer. It was pretty funny - in the 90s, the guy (JP singer) lived with his mother, had a job in a bakery or something, and didn't own a car, but was a huge rock star when they toured in Europe.
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Old 12-18-2013, 10:05 AM   #70 (permalink)
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Anthrax: Fistful of Metal - 1984





I've heard Anthrax called "the thinking man's thrash metal band" (I guess it's all relative), but on this album...not so much. At this point they were the kind of speed metal band you could hear all across the USA in the aftermath of the NWOBHM with songs such as "Soldiers of Metal", "Deathrider", and "Metal Thrashing Mad". Post-graduate quality **** in other words. This isn't amazingly original, but for the time period it was perfectly in step with what was going on, so if this is the kinda thing that interests you, and it should be, then this is a great album to get into. As far as I'm concerned "Death from Above" is worth the price of admission all by itself.

Also, they also hadn't gotten Joey Belladona into the band yet and had a gloriously cheesy singer in Neil Turbin, who is one of those guys who could only ever have sung like that in the early eighties. **** the **** yeah.









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