VARIOUS ARTISTS (GENERAL)

Heavy Metal / Thrash Metal / Death Metal / Grindcore / Glam Metal / Alternative Metal / NWoBHM / Metalcore / Hard Rock / Black Metal / Speed Metal / Proto-Metal / Industrial Metal / Funk Metal / Depressive Black Metal • Multi-National
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This page is for Various Artists (VA) compilation releases. It is one of four currently be operated by the MMA. The others being Various Artists (Tribute Albums), Various Artists (Soundtracks) and Various Artists (Label Samples and Freebies). On this page, Various Artists (General), you will find various retail metal VA releases that don't fit into any specific theme, as if used for the other three profiles.

Due to the nature of VA releases, most on this page will be tagged as Albums with the MMA Boxset/Compilation section reserved for boxset VA releases.

Pictured is the first Metal for Muthas compilation, an early New Wave of British Heavy Metal release known for containing some of the earliest material of Iron Maiden.

- Biography by adg211288 (October 2014).

See also:

Tribute Albums: http://www.metalmusicarchives.com/artist/various-artists-tribute-albums

Label Samplers and Freebies: http://www.metalmusicarchives.com/artist/various-artists-label-samples-and-freebies

Soundtracks: http://www.metalmusicarchives.com/artist/various-artists-soundtracks
Thanks to adg211288 for the addition

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VARIOUS ARTISTS (GENERAL) Discography

VARIOUS ARTISTS (GENERAL) albums / top albums

VARIOUS ARTISTS (GENERAL) Heavy Metal - 24 Electrifying Performances album cover 3.50 | 1 ratings
Heavy Metal - 24 Electrifying Performances
Proto-Metal 1974
VARIOUS ARTISTS (GENERAL) Metal for Muthas album cover 3.55 | 2 ratings
Metal for Muthas
NWoBHM 1980
VARIOUS ARTISTS (GENERAL) Metal for Muthas Volume II: Cut Loud album cover 3.00 | 1 ratings
Metal for Muthas Volume II: Cut Loud
NWoBHM 1980
VARIOUS ARTISTS (GENERAL) Various Artists - Killer Watts album cover 4.00 | 1 ratings
Various Artists - Killer Watts
Hard Rock 1980
VARIOUS ARTISTS (GENERAL) Axe Attack album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Axe Attack
Heavy Metal 1980
VARIOUS ARTISTS (GENERAL) Heavy Rock album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Heavy Rock
Heavy Metal 1980
VARIOUS ARTISTS (GENERAL) Axe Attack Vol II album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Axe Attack Vol II
Heavy Metal 1981
VARIOUS ARTISTS (GENERAL) The Friday Rock Show album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
The Friday Rock Show
NWoBHM 1981
VARIOUS ARTISTS (GENERAL) Metal Massacre 1 album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Metal Massacre 1
Heavy Metal 1982
VARIOUS ARTISTS (GENERAL) Metal Massacre 2 album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Metal Massacre 2
Heavy Metal 1982
VARIOUS ARTISTS (GENERAL) Heavy album cover 3.00 | 1 ratings
Heavy
Heavy Metal 1983
VARIOUS ARTISTS (GENERAL) Metal Massacre III album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Metal Massacre III
Heavy Metal 1983
VARIOUS ARTISTS (GENERAL) Metal Massacre IV album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Metal Massacre IV
Heavy Metal 1983
VARIOUS ARTISTS (GENERAL) Metal Massacre V album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Metal Massacre V
Thrash Metal 1984
VARIOUS ARTISTS (GENERAL) Masters Of Metal (US) album cover 5.00 | 1 ratings
Masters Of Metal (US)
Heavy Metal 1984
VARIOUS ARTISTS (GENERAL) White Hot Masters Of Metal album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
White Hot Masters Of Metal
Heavy Metal 1984
VARIOUS ARTISTS (GENERAL) Masters Of Metal Volume 2 album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Masters Of Metal Volume 2
Heavy Metal 1984
VARIOUS ARTISTS (GENERAL) Metal Wars - A Heavy Metal Assault album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Metal Wars - A Heavy Metal Assault
Heavy Metal 1985
VARIOUS ARTISTS (GENERAL) Metal Massacre VI album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Metal Massacre VI
Thrash Metal 1985
VARIOUS ARTISTS (GENERAL) Speed Kills - The Very Best In Speed Metal album cover 5.00 | 1 ratings
Speed Kills - The Very Best In Speed Metal
Thrash Metal 1985
VARIOUS ARTISTS (GENERAL) MFN Says Welcome To The Metal Zone album cover 3.50 | 1 ratings
MFN Says Welcome To The Metal Zone
Heavy Metal 1985
VARIOUS ARTISTS (GENERAL) Speed Metal Hell album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Speed Metal Hell
Speed Metal 1985
VARIOUS ARTISTS (GENERAL) California's Best Metal album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
California's Best Metal
Heavy Metal 1985
VARIOUS ARTISTS (GENERAL) Speed Metal Hell II album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Speed Metal Hell II
Thrash Metal 1986
VARIOUS ARTISTS (GENERAL) Speed Kills II - The Mayhem Continues... album cover 4.50 | 1 ratings
Speed Kills II - The Mayhem Continues...
Thrash Metal 1986
VARIOUS ARTISTS (GENERAL) Masters Of Metal (NZ) album cover 4.00 | 1 ratings
Masters Of Metal (NZ)
Heavy Metal 1986
VARIOUS ARTISTS (GENERAL) Masters Of Metal (UK) album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Masters Of Metal (UK)
Heavy Metal 1986
VARIOUS ARTISTS (GENERAL) Metal Massacre VII album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Metal Massacre VII
Thrash Metal 1986
VARIOUS ARTISTS (GENERAL) Metal Massacre VIII album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Metal Massacre VIII
Thrash Metal 1987
VARIOUS ARTISTS (GENERAL) Skull Thrash Zone Volume 1 album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Skull Thrash Zone Volume 1
Thrash Metal 1987
VARIOUS ARTISTS (GENERAL) Metal Masters album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Metal Masters
Glam Metal 1987
VARIOUS ARTISTS (GENERAL) Speed Kills III - A Catalogue Of Destruction album cover 4.00 | 1 ratings
Speed Kills III - A Catalogue Of Destruction
Thrash Metal 1987
VARIOUS ARTISTS (GENERAL) Rising Metal album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Rising Metal
Thrash Metal 1988
VARIOUS ARTISTS (GENERAL) Scream Until You Like It album cover 4.00 | 1 ratings
Scream Until You Like It
Heavy Metal 1988
VARIOUS ARTISTS (GENERAL) Metal Meltdown album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Metal Meltdown
Heavy Metal 1988
VARIOUS ARTISTS (GENERAL) 'Stars On Thrash' album cover 2.50 | 1 ratings
'Stars On Thrash'
Thrash Metal 1988
VARIOUS ARTISTS (GENERAL) Metal Massacre IX album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Metal Massacre IX
Thrash Metal 1988
VARIOUS ARTISTS (GENERAL) Metal Massacre X album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Metal Massacre X
Thrash Metal 1989
VARIOUS ARTISTS (GENERAL) Metal Assault album cover 3.00 | 1 ratings
Metal Assault
Heavy Metal 1989
VARIOUS ARTISTS (GENERAL) Grindcrusher album cover 5.00 | 1 ratings
Grindcrusher
Grindcore 1989
VARIOUS ARTISTS (GENERAL) Mega Metal album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Mega Metal
Speed Metal 1989
VARIOUS ARTISTS (GENERAL) Speed Kills...But Who's Dying? - Volume 4 of the Ultimate In Thrash album cover 5.00 | 1 ratings
Speed Kills...But Who's Dying? - Volume 4 of the Ultimate In Thrash
Thrash Metal 1989
VARIOUS ARTISTS (GENERAL) Speed Kills 5 - Head Crushing Metal album cover 3.00 | 1 ratings
Speed Kills 5 - Head Crushing Metal
Thrash Metal 1990
VARIOUS ARTISTS (GENERAL) Thrash The Wall album cover 4.00 | 1 ratings
Thrash The Wall
Thrash Metal 1990
VARIOUS ARTISTS (GENERAL) At Death's Door - A Collection Of Brutal Death Metal album cover 5.00 | 1 ratings
At Death's Door - A Collection Of Brutal Death Metal
Death Metal 1990
VARIOUS ARTISTS (GENERAL) Death... Is Just the Beginning album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Death... Is Just the Beginning
Death Metal 1990
VARIOUS ARTISTS (GENERAL) Kings of Speed Metal album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Kings of Speed Metal
Thrash Metal 1990
VARIOUS ARTISTS (GENERAL) New Wave Of British Heavy Metal '79 Revisited album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
New Wave Of British Heavy Metal '79 Revisited
NWoBHM 1990
VARIOUS ARTISTS (GENERAL) Funky Metal album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Funky Metal
Funk Metal 1991
VARIOUS ARTISTS (GENERAL) Metal Massacre XI album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Metal Massacre XI
Thrash Metal 1991
VARIOUS ARTISTS (GENERAL) Rock Hard Presents Monsters Of Death album cover 5.00 | 1 ratings
Rock Hard Presents Monsters Of Death
Death Metal 1992
VARIOUS ARTISTS (GENERAL) Speed Kills 6 - Violence Of The Slams album cover 3.00 | 1 ratings
Speed Kills 6 - Violence Of The Slams
Thrash Metal 1992
VARIOUS ARTISTS (GENERAL) Naive album cover 4.00 | 1 ratings
Naive
Industrial Metal 1992
VARIOUS ARTISTS (GENERAL) Touch Of Death album cover 3.50 | 1 ratings
Touch Of Death
Death Metal 1992
VARIOUS ARTISTS (GENERAL) Corporate Death album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Corporate Death
Death Metal 1993
VARIOUS ARTISTS (GENERAL) Crossover album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Crossover
Alternative Metal 1993
VARIOUS ARTISTS (GENERAL) Hit Parader Salutes 20 Years Of Metal album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Hit Parader Salutes 20 Years Of Metal
Glam Metal 1993
VARIOUS ARTISTS (GENERAL) 5 Years Nuclear Blast album cover 5.00 | 1 ratings
5 Years Nuclear Blast
Death Metal 1993
VARIOUS ARTISTS (GENERAL) Death... Is Just the Beginning II album cover 5.00 | 1 ratings
Death... Is Just the Beginning II
Death Metal 1993
VARIOUS ARTISTS (GENERAL) At Death's Door II album cover 4.00 | 1 ratings
At Death's Door II
Death Metal 1993
VARIOUS ARTISTS (GENERAL) Metal Christmas album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Metal Christmas
Heavy Metal 1994
VARIOUS ARTISTS (GENERAL) Epitaph - New Zealand Death Grind Compilation Tape album cover 4.50 | 1 ratings
Epitaph - New Zealand Death Grind Compilation Tape
Death Metal 1994
VARIOUS ARTISTS (GENERAL) Hard Music Volume 1 album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Hard Music Volume 1
Heavy Metal 1994
VARIOUS ARTISTS (GENERAL) Corporate Rock Wars album cover 3.50 | 1 ratings
Corporate Rock Wars
Alternative Metal 1995
VARIOUS ARTISTS (GENERAL) Metal Massacre XII album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Metal Massacre XII
Thrash Metal 1995
VARIOUS ARTISTS (GENERAL) Death... Is Just the Beginning III album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Death... Is Just the Beginning III
Death Metal 1995
VARIOUS ARTISTS (GENERAL) Dynamo Open Air 10th Anniversary album cover 3.00 | 1 ratings
Dynamo Open Air 10th Anniversary
Alternative Metal 1995
VARIOUS ARTISTS (GENERAL) Spectrum Fest: Micro-Brewed Musical Artistry album cover 2.50 | 1 ratings
Spectrum Fest: Micro-Brewed Musical Artistry
Grindcore 1996
VARIOUS ARTISTS (GENERAL) Death... Is Just the Beginning IV album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Death... Is Just the Beginning IV
Death Metal 1997
VARIOUS ARTISTS (GENERAL) In Decay We Trust Vol.1 album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
In Decay We Trust Vol.1
Black Metal 1997
VARIOUS ARTISTS (GENERAL) Death... Is Just the Beginning V album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Death... Is Just the Beginning V
Death Metal 1999
VARIOUS ARTISTS (GENERAL) Death... Is Just the Beginning VI album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Death... Is Just the Beginning VI
Death Metal 2000
VARIOUS ARTISTS (GENERAL) The Return of Darkness & Hate album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
The Return of Darkness & Hate
Black Metal 2000
VARIOUS ARTISTS (GENERAL) Metal ReMaster album cover 5.00 | 1 ratings
Metal ReMaster
Heavy Metal 2001
VARIOUS ARTISTS (GENERAL) VH1 Classic Presents: Metal Mania - Stripped, Vol. 1 album cover 3.50 | 1 ratings
VH1 Classic Presents: Metal Mania - Stripped, Vol. 1
Glam Metal 2004
VARIOUS ARTISTS (GENERAL) The Best Heavy Metal Album In The World...Ever! album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
The Best Heavy Metal Album In The World...Ever!
Heavy Metal 2004
VARIOUS ARTISTS (GENERAL) The Glam That Stole Christmas, Volume 1 album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
The Glam That Stole Christmas, Volume 1
Glam Metal 2004
VARIOUS ARTISTS (GENERAL) 13 Bands Who Think You're Gay album cover 4.00 | 1 ratings
13 Bands Who Think You're Gay
Grindcore 2004
VARIOUS ARTISTS (GENERAL) VH1 Classic Presents: Metal Mania - Stripped, Vol. 2: The Anthems album cover 3.50 | 1 ratings
VH1 Classic Presents: Metal Mania - Stripped, Vol. 2: The Anthems
Glam Metal 2005
VARIOUS ARTISTS (GENERAL) Metal Massacre XIII album cover 4.00 | 1 ratings
Metal Massacre XIII
Death Metal 2006
VARIOUS ARTISTS (GENERAL) Funeral For A Friend ‎– Back To The Bus 3 album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Funeral For A Friend ‎– Back To The Bus 3
Alternative Metal 2007
VARIOUS ARTISTS (GENERAL) Anus Flames For Jesus Christ Vol.1 album cover 2.50 | 1 ratings
Anus Flames For Jesus Christ Vol.1
Grindcore 2007
VARIOUS ARTISTS (GENERAL) VH1 Classic Presents: Metal Mania - Stripped, Vol. 3 album cover 2.00 | 1 ratings
VH1 Classic Presents: Metal Mania - Stripped, Vol. 3
Glam Metal 2007
VARIOUS ARTISTS (GENERAL) Hell Comes Around album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Hell Comes Around
Thrash Metal 2007
VARIOUS ARTISTS (GENERAL) We Wish You a Metal Xmas and a Headbanging New Year album cover 2.50 | 1 ratings
We Wish You a Metal Xmas and a Headbanging New Year
Heavy Metal 2008
VARIOUS ARTISTS (GENERAL) Hell Comes Around II: The Second Coming album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Hell Comes Around II: The Second Coming
Death Metal 2009
VARIOUS ARTISTS (GENERAL) Scream Until You Like It (2009) album cover 4.00 | 1 ratings
Scream Until You Like It (2009)
Glam Metal 2009
VARIOUS ARTISTS (GENERAL) Maximum Metalcore album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Maximum Metalcore
Metalcore 2012
VARIOUS ARTISTS (GENERAL) Earache: World's Shortest Album album cover 4.00 | 1 ratings
Earache: World's Shortest Album
Grindcore 2012
VARIOUS ARTISTS (GENERAL) Rise 200 album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Rise 200
Metalcore 2013
VARIOUS ARTISTS (GENERAL) Maximum Metalcore 2 album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Maximum Metalcore 2
Metalcore 2013
VARIOUS ARTISTS (GENERAL) The Classic Hard Rock Christmas Album album cover 3.50 | 1 ratings
The Classic Hard Rock Christmas Album
Hard Rock 2014
VARIOUS ARTISTS (GENERAL) Legends Of Metal album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Legends Of Metal
Alternative Metal 2016
VARIOUS ARTISTS (GENERAL) In Profound Sorrow album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
In Profound Sorrow
Depressive Black Metal 2017
VARIOUS ARTISTS (GENERAL) 100 Goregrind Porngore Cybergrind Bands Compilation Vol. 2 album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
100 Goregrind Porngore Cybergrind Bands Compilation Vol. 2
Grindcore 2017
VARIOUS ARTISTS (GENERAL) THE SOUND OF X (1) album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
THE SOUND OF X (1)
Grindcore 2018

VARIOUS ARTISTS (GENERAL) EPs & splits

VARIOUS ARTISTS (GENERAL) Muthas Pride album cover 2.00 | 1 ratings
Muthas Pride
NWoBHM 1980

VARIOUS ARTISTS (GENERAL) live albums

VARIOUS ARTISTS (GENERAL) demos, promos, fans club and other releases (no bootlegs)

VARIOUS ARTISTS (GENERAL) re-issues & compilations

VARIOUS ARTISTS (GENERAL) Fiesta Comes Alive! album cover 4.50 | 1 ratings
Fiesta Comes Alive!
Grindcore 1997
VARIOUS ARTISTS (GENERAL) Worldwide Metal album cover 4.00 | 1 ratings
Worldwide Metal
Death Metal 2008
VARIOUS ARTISTS (GENERAL) Grind Madness At The BBC album cover 5.00 | 1 ratings
Grind Madness At The BBC
Grindcore 2009
VARIOUS ARTISTS (GENERAL) Insufferable Noise album cover 3.00 | 1 ratings
Insufferable Noise
Grindcore 2015

VARIOUS ARTISTS (GENERAL) singles (0)

VARIOUS ARTISTS (GENERAL) movies (DVD, Blu-Ray or VHS)

.. Album Cover
0.00 | 0 ratings
Death... Is Just the Beginning V
Death Metal 1999
.. Album Cover
0.00 | 0 ratings
Death... Is Just the Beginning VI
Death Metal 2001
.. Album Cover
0.00 | 0 ratings
Manifesto Of Metal For The Masses
Death Metal 2009

VARIOUS ARTISTS (GENERAL) Reviews

VARIOUS ARTISTS (GENERAL) Metal for Muthas

Album · 1980 · NWoBHM
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
Vim Fuego
The New Wave of British Heavy Metal. Thanks a lot Geoff Barton, for one of the most awkward labels for a genre of music ever. NWOBHM. If you try to pronounce the acronym, it sounds like somewhere in North Africa where Montgomery and Rommel scrapped it out during World Ward 2, at the Battle of NWOBHM. Writing for Sounds magazine, Barton first coined New Wave of British Heavy Metal in May 1979. Is the term descriptive? Yes. An underground swelling of heavy metal bands popped up in Great Britain the late 1970s and early 1980s. They supposedly had a new sound, distinct from that of the old guard of heavy metal. Is the term accurate? Not really. Define the sound exactly. Was it Iron Maiden’s galloping riffs? Was it Diamond Head’s hard edged take on prog rock? Was it Angel Witch’s occult inspired freakouts? Was it Saxon’s working class denim and leather? All NWOBHM bands, but all that’s really similar in them is their British origin, and they all played metal.

“Metal For Muthas” was an attempt to catalogue these disparate sounds, and in doing so created an album both definitive of and symptomatic of the scene. Released in February 1980, the ten tracks on this album featured some of the best and worst of metal for the time and place.

“Metal For Muthas” is probably most famous for being the place where many a metal fan first discovered Iron Maiden. Maiden had released the single “Running Free” a week before this compilation came out, and their debut album was still a couple of months off. What was on offer here was early versions of “Sanctuary” and “Wrathchild”. These are far and away the stand-out tracks on this album, and it’s easy to see why Iron Maiden became Iron Maiden. In an odd twist, neither was included on the original version of Iron Maiden’s debut.

“Sanctuary” was intended to be a non-album single. It was recorded as a four piece, with Doug Sampson on drums. The band were most unhappy with the way it sounded, so re-recorded it for the single, and the re-recorded version was later added to the US and subsequent versions of the “Iron Maiden” album. However, the rougher “Metal For Muthas” version has a gritty charm all it’s own.

“Wrathchild” also sounds rougher than the version which would eventually appear on “Killers”. The guitars have a bit more bite, the solos are demonstrably different, and it doesn’t quite have the Martin Birch punch of the later version.

There’s more to this album than Iron Maiden though. Sledgehammer’s “Sledgehammer” just perfectly sets itself up for any number of hammering, pounding, thumping, or bashing clichés, so just pick your own one while you listen to Mike Cooke’s excellent melodic vocals and his powerful rhythm section. Like many of the songs here, it has a bluesy swagger to it, owing great debts to the likes of early Deep Purple and Status Quo.

E.F. Band kept the blues flavour, but upped the tempo somewhat, and completely fucked the British part of NWOBHM by having the temerity to hail from Sweden. Never mind, “Fighting for Rock and Roll” does just that, and there are some incredible solos mid-song.

Toad The Wet Sprocket borrowed their name from a Monty Python sketch, and you might almost think someone was having a laugh by including “Blues In A” on the album. The song reeks of boozy, smoke-filled barrooms, complete with someone tinkling the ivories, and vocalist Mick Mostafa wailed all over it. A great hangover song, but a bit of a momentum killer, and there was a vital element missing from it, namely THE METAL!

Praying Mantis had all the ingredients to have made it bigger than they did. After all, guitarist Rob Angelo wrote “Sanctuary” when he was in Iron Maiden. Yes, the same “Sanctuary” that led off the album. Angelo was paid £300 for the song and was well satisfied with it. Interestingly, he didn’t have a writing credit for “Captured City”, the song featured here. While not as quick as Maiden, this still has a similar bass driven feel, with some great memorable vocal harmonies.

Ethel The Frog... Not a promising name. Another amphibian from another Monty Python sketch, but it’s a matter of not judging a book by it’s cover. “Fight Back” is one of the heaviest songs here, and featured some Judas Priest-like guitar work.

And then on to Angel Witch. While Samson is probably more famous, Angel Witch would have to be second behind Maiden from this album for their influence on future metal bands. “Baphomet” is firmly rooted in the occult lyrically and thematically, and from this song come the roots of speed and thrash metal, with the likes of Mercyful Fate being obvious descendants of Angel Witch. This was also a big influence on Dave Mustaine, Chuck Schuldiner, and Tom G. Warrior. It is easily the best song outside of the Maiden tracks.

And so to Samson. Probably best known for featuring a pre-Iron Maiden Bruce Bruce (fucking good thing he changed his name from THAT!), it’s actually Paul Samson singing on “Tomorrow Or Yesterday”. Once again, it’s a blues rock/ballad, with some hard driving mid passages, but ultimately, it’s a bit dull.

The whole thing is rounded out by Nutz with “Bootliggers”. Nutz also didn’t feature the NWOBHM tag by not being new, as in they were an established band, with three studio albums behind them already. “Bootliggers” has it’s boots firmly rooted in the early 70s hard rock/glam rock sound. Dave Lloyd even lets rip with a Daltrey-esque scream. While not a weak song, it’s an odd finish to the album, complete with fake finale.

Geoff Barton, he who coined the fuckawful acronym for this genre called the album “A good idea abysmally executed”. Well Mr Barton, you were proved wrong. “Metal For Muthas” hit number 16 in the album charts, and is still loved by metal fans the world over, as much for its historical significance as for the actual music. Yes, parts of the album aren’t new, British, or even heavy metal, but it exposed an underground scene to a wider audience, which gave metal a huge kick in the ass, and boosted it to greater things in the 1980s and beyond.

VARIOUS ARTISTS (GENERAL) 'Stars On Thrash'

Album · 1988 · Thrash Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
Vim Fuego
In pre-internet times, compilation albums were often the best way to discover new music, particularly for thrash metal fans, since thrash has never really dominated the radio spectrum at all. Yes, you could read about new bands, but that is nothing like actually hearing the band for yourself. The downside to compilations however, was often the quality of the music on them was often far from consistent. Yes, every label had their superstars, but they also had those odd, hard to promote bands.

Flotsam and Jetsam’s “Dreams of Death is a good start. It’s up-tempo, as you’d hope on a thrash compilation, and bounces along in a very satisfying manner. Big things were expected of Flotsam and Jetsam at the time, and while we now know they didn’t quite eventuate, it wasn’t through lack of talent.

Mucky Pup shouldn’t be confused with Skinny Puppy. Skinny Puppy have been making people uncomfortable on and off since 1982 with dark, cutting edge experimental industrial/electronic music. Mucky Pup will waste about two minutes of your life with ham-fisted crossover thrash. D.R.I. always did such things better, and did just that on the next track.

Roadrunner were on to a winner with Pestilence, and showcased the Dutch deathsters with “Commandments”, one of the heaviest songs on the entire album. While not pure, unbridled death metal like the band’s later work, this song definitely points to where Pestilence were heading. It is also still a pleasure to hear a vocalist like Martin Van Drunen, who could teach many modern vocalists about their trade.

And then along comes Toxik. Inexplicably, this band’s two 1980s albums are now highly sought after. “Heart Attack” shows exactly why Toxik should be forgotten and consigned to the ranks of also-rans. It is generic bubble-gum thrash, complete with idiotic lyrics, high pitched vocals, and ill-fitting guitar solos.

German band Paradox were streets ahead of Toxik, mixing thrash with power metal, but this track is ultimately forgettable.

S.O.D.’s “Kill Yourself” stomps in like a motherfucker, drinks all the beer, fucks all the girls, smashes the TV and stereo, and then, while saluting with a skeletal middle finger, stomps off again. While one of the best songs here, it’s inclusion is a bit of a mystery. Most of this compilation is a showcase for new bands and albums, but this was already three years old.

Acrophet’s “Corrupt Minds” is speedy bog standard crossover thrash. Despite the band’s name, there’s nothing Gothic about Gothic Slam. “Fought For Death is more throwaway thrash.

And just when it seems this compilation might be dribbling off into mediocrity, along comes Slayer! Slayer is a no brainer. Then again, this is Roadrunner we’re talking about, so leaving Slayer off could have been a distinct possibility. Another older track which appeared on the first Speed Kills compilation, this is like comfort food for headbangers.

And just when you expect the inclusion of Slayer to be fucked up by another tepid track, you get two fucking beauties in a row. Sacred Reich was still one of the new guard of thrash in 1988, and “Death Squad” perfectly showcased their brand of heavy political thrash.

Znowhite was one of those cult classic bands which really did slip through the cracks. “Baptised By Fire” is a storming thrasher. If this album had had a few more of these and a few less “Heart Attack”s, it could have been regarded as a genuine classic.

Kat!’s “Satan Says”... I think Satan would have been saying shut the fuck up you tuneless harpy!

Atrophy’s “Chemical Dependency” is a surprisingly weighty song. It doesn’t quite border on death metal, but it definitely heads in that direction.

The final track, “Opinionate!” by Hades seems to have a split personality. It can’t think if it wants to copy Anthrax, Death Angel, or Forbidden, and ends up a meandering mess far inferior to all three.

All in all, “Stars on Thrash” is very much a mixed bag with a few cherries to pick, and a few maggots to spit out. It seems to be remembered fondly now, but the odds are good those remembering it haven’t listened to it in years, and can only recall the good bits, and have forgotten the trash among the thrash.

VARIOUS ARTISTS (GENERAL) Grindcrusher

Album · 1989 · Grindcore
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
Vim Fuego
This shouldn’t have worked. Imagine a mainstream death metal label releasing a compilation with saxophone abuse, lo-fi hardcore, vomited goregrind, ropey demos, comedy thrash, keyboard and piano led tracks, avant-garde experimentalism, industrial weirdness, oh yeah, and a bit of death metal. It looks like a big mash up of unrelated and unrelatable genres. And the cover. The gaudy eye bleeding high contrast artwork looks like it would cause migraines in the same manner as the music.

But you know, this odd compilation of unknown, fringe, and underground bands with several different tracklists, and different versions of the tacky artwork has become one of the most important compilations in the development of extreme metal as we know it. This album is a legend. This is “Grindcrusher”.

For an album that’s supposed to be so influential on the death metal scene, there’s not actually a lot of death metal on it. Yes, there’s death metal royalty in the forms of the already legendary Morbid Angel, and the emerging Entombed, the Morbid Angel-related sci-fi death weirdos Nocturnus, and the highly influential Carnage, which evolved into Dismember, and spun off members into Carcass, Arch Enemy, General Surgery, Therion, Dark Tranquillity, and a few others too. But that was it.

But wait, you say, what about… Bolt Thrower, Terrorizer, Napalm Death, Carcass, Repulsion... Stick your little labels on them and call ‘em what you fucking like, but they were considered grindcore at the time. So was Godflesh, Heresy, Unseen Terror, and even Filthy Christians, and perhaps Sore Throat. Hellbastard? Intense Degree? Stick some sort of –core in there somewhere... But then when it came to Naked City, Old Lady Drivers, Cadaver, Sweet Tooth, Mighty Force, and Spazztic Blurr... Just throw up your hands and say fuck. No one bothered trying to figure out what to call the music, it was just there to be listened to and enjoyed.

It’s useless trying to sum up this record track by track. There’s some fucking stunners, like Morbid Angel’s “Chapel Of Ghouls”, Terrorizer’s “Dead Shall Rise” and Godflesh’s industrial nightmare “Streetcleaner”. There’s a couple of historically important tracks, like Repulsion’s “Radiation Sickness” and Carnage “Malignant Epitaph”. There’s some total weirdness in Spazztic Blurr’s “He-Not-A-Home-Me-Marco”, Naked City’s “Osaka Bondage”, and Old Lady Drivers’ “Colostomy Grab-Bag”. There’s an exclusive version of Carcass’ “Exhume To Consume”, and there’s even some novelty fun, with Napalm Death’s “You Suffer”, and “Satan’s Trampoline” from the smarter than they seem Lawnmower Deth.

Hindsight is a wonderful thing. There were a couple of duds on this album. Hellbastard inexplicably never made a huge impact, and “Justly Executed” is not their strongest track. Napalm Death’s “Malicious Intent” is a bit dry. Intense Degree, Sweet Tooth, and Mighty Force had good tracks here, but never made waves beyond this. No matter, “Grindcrusher” is like metal archaeology. Some of these bands grew and evolved. Some are left here in fossil form. All need to be heard.

VARIOUS ARTISTS (GENERAL) Speed Kills...But Who's Dying? - Volume 4 of the Ultimate In Thrash

Album · 1989 · Thrash Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
Vim Fuego
Young metal fans today have it easier than in days gone by for discovering new music. YouTube, Spotify, Facebook, websites, streaming, downloads, message boards... None of things existed until at the late 1990s at the very least. The young know not what they missed.

Back in a pre-internet time, communication was much slower, and information much harder to access. Music had a more limited number of formats. There was vinyl, which was inconvenient and easily damaged. Cassettes were more convenient, but were also prone to damage when tapes stretched and chewed, and had definite sound quality issues. CDs were new, and had great clarity of sound, but they were expensive. A lot of labels and bands could not afford to release material on CD, and CD players could cost as much as a second hand car. Live was the best way to hear a band, but if the bands didn’t come to your country, you’d never hear them.

Discovering new bands and new music was also trickier. Radio and TV were next to useless, a few notable exceptions excluded. Try explaining to a teen metal fan now the frustrations of trying to tune into a metal show at 11pm on a Sunday night, broadcast from a student radio station with less power than a lightbulb (I kid you not. The transmitter for 98RDU, my nearest student radio station had a 98 watt transmitter!). Trying to even get a barely recognisable signal involved orienting the radio in the right direction, fiddling with the aerial, and stringing bits of wire around the room as an antenna extension. And then if it was raining or windy, just forget it completely.

All in all, it was a pain in the fucking ass. It took a lot of effort, could cost a lot of money, and it was easy to miss things. So just imagine the satisfaction, and the near priapic joy, when you managed to discover something as magnificent as “Speed Kills...But Who's Dying?”

The Speed Kills series of compilations had been going since 1985 as a showcase of what was new in “speed metal” on the Under One Flag/Music For Nations label. Even in 1985 with the release of the first compilation the title was already out of date. Through licensing deals and the label’s own releases, that album featured Metallica, Slayer, Megadeth, Venom, Voivod, Celtic Frost, and a number of other early thrash metal bands, with only a couple of genuine speed metal tracks, but there was little distinction made in those days. Basically, it was metal, it was fast, and it was well outside the mainstream.

By 1989 with the release of the fourth album in the series, “Speed Kills...But Who's Dying?” underground metal was becoming a little more fragmented. Death metal, black metal, and grindcore were all starting to emerge as distinct subgenres. The likes of Metallica and Megadeth were on the cusp of mainstream success, and would never again be seen on a compilation like this. So what was left? An outsider who knew little of metal would probably call “Speed Kills...But Who's Dying?” second rate, or second tier, but this compilation isn’t for them. This is for the true fans, those who want to dig deeper, to a place where commercial success does not equate to quality. This is for people who wanted to explore the deeper dungeons of thrash metal, rather than just leaping about the parapets of the Big Four.

There are endless arguments about who comes next after the legendary Big Four. Cases can be made for Testament, Overkill, Kreator (which forgets Germany had its OWN Big Three/Four), or the first band on this compilation, Exodus. Long may these good, friendly, violent discussions continue, but don’t forget the music. The song “Parasite” is one of the stronger tracks from Exodus’ second and ultimately flawed album “Pleasures of the Flesh”. It has all the Exodus trademarks which marked them for metal stardom - heavy riffs, shredding solos, Steve Souza’s sharp shout, intelligent lyrics, and it’s just a fucking good song.

Re-Animator were marked for big things too. While history has proved otherwise for the band, “Deny Reality” is a great technical song, and arguably the best the band ever recorded. Unfortunately, Re-Animator couldn’t maintain such a high level of song writing throughout their career, and faded out in the early 1990s.

Apocalypse’s “Cemetery” has a melody to die for, a big facet of thrash metal often overlooked in the race for faster/heavier. The singalong gang vocal refrains are irresistible.

Blind Illusion’s “Blood Shower” has a building menace, and featured a pre-Primus Les Claypool and Larry LaLonde. Mark Biedermann’s vocals have a shredded throat edge, and the twin harmonic/disharmonic guitars were something not used near enough in thrash.

Acid Reign’s “Life in Forms” is a tirade against bureaucracy. Seem like a boring subject for a song? Listen to this killer before you dismiss it. The mid-pace chug of this song is unbelievably heavy, and H’s clear vocals are a treat.

Death’s “Open Casket” was definitive death metal in it’s day. The album “Leprosy” from which this song was taken proved death metal didn’t have to be a gargled mess, and riffs, solos, and non-gore based lyrics could still be brutal as fuck.

“No Resurrection” by Holy Terror is an anti-Christian diatribe, with tornado guitars and vocals. Holy Terror was a bit much for many thrash fans at the time, but looking back, it’s now plainly obvious why this band has since attained cult status.

“For All Those Who Died” by Bathory is dramatic and brutal, yet atmospheric and uplifting at the same time. The incredibly simple beat and riffs underscored Quorthon’s roared vocals. The discordant, seemingly out of time solo snakes its way over top of the song, with every element of the song seemingly redlining into static.

And on to side two. Yes, this is one of those old “you gotta turn it over” things. “Wired” is far from a typical Nuclear Assault song. The NYHC influence is less obvious than in their earlier material, basically because this is so damn slow. The vocals are near on impossible to decipher on a first listen, like listening to a foreign language you are still in the process of learning. The effect is odd, and definitely original, but it’s not off-putting.

“Execution of Mankind” by Agony is the only misfire on the album. It’s too long and doesn’t really engage like the rest of the songs here, but like “Wired”, it adds a bit of contrast to the faster songs here. It’s not necessarily a bad song, it’s just not as good as everything else on here.

“Mirror of the Past” by Hexx is a nasty little song, possessing a quantity of venom and bile. Clint Bower’s vicious vocals have a hardcore edge to them, and almost cross over into death metal territory.

Exodus pop up next, for a second appearance, this time a cover of AC/DC’s “Overdose”. The song was a bonus track on some versions of “Fabulous Disaster”. Zetro does a great Bon Scott vocal impression. This version retains the blues rock groove of the original, while adding thrash flourishes to it, and of course, is orders of magnitude heavier.

Forbidden’s “Chalice of Blood” is a masterclass in technical thrash. The twin lead guitars weave in and out of one another, all the while showcasing some incredible riffs, and Russ Anderson’s melodic yet powerful voice soars over it.

Death/thrash pioneers Possessed showed there was more to their repertoire than just Satan. “Storm in my Mind” is a psychological maelstrom, creeping along creating a sense of impending chaos. And the chaos hits, like a psychotic brainstorm of confused neural signals. This band is legendary, and this shows why.

At their peak, Dark Angel was the only band in all of thrash to be able to rival Slayer for intensity and sheer shit-your-pants horror. “The Death of Innocence” is a whirlwind song with a far nastier tone than anything else here, and is probably harder for a new thrash fan to digest than even Death or Bathory.

How to follow Dark Angel? Change direction and tempo completely. Final track “Suspended Sentence” shows once again Acid Reign’s lyrical intelligence and great sense of song dynamics. It rumbles and chugs along at a slow canter, but occasionally gallops off into a blast beat. The song has some seriously thought-provoking lyrics about murder, the moment before death, and the price of a life.

All in all, this album is 73 minutes of near metal perfection. It is the perfect basecamp for starting a wider exploration of thrash. It is also an incredibly accurate time capsule of a genre from a time since past, the original spirit preserved here for posterity in a format now almost extinct. This is how it was.

VARIOUS ARTISTS (GENERAL) Earache: World's Shortest Album

Album · 2012 · Grindcore
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
siLLy puPPy
You ever wonder what the world’s shortest album is? It’s this muthafucker and it’s only 1:27 in length and showcases some of the shortest tracks in the Earache Records catalogue. Grindcore at its core. Ideal for tweakers and those with restless ear syndrome. FUCKING RA-A-A-A-A-D!!!! Enjoy or not….. Napalm Death, Wormrot, Brutal Truth, Anal Cunt, Lawnmower Deth, Pain Killer and Insect Warfare exploding like warehouses of fireworks that somebody “accidently” set ablaze! OOOOOO - eeeeeee, mama :O

This site is making me write 100 words for a review for an album that is fucking one minute and twenty seven seconds long, so here cums the space filler - FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK FUUUUUUUUUUUUCK. Is this 100 words yet?

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