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Peter Skov
MMA Special Collaborator · Proto-Metal team
Registered more than 2 years ago · Last visit 3 days ago

Favorite Metal Artists

All Reviews/Ratings

216 reviews/ratings
DEEP PURPLE - Deep Purple In Rock Hard Rock | review permalink
QUEENSRŸCHE - Rage For Order Traditional heavy metal | review permalink
HAKEN - The Mountain Progressive Metal | review permalink
SYMPHONY X - V: The New Mythology Suite Progressive Metal | review permalink
METALLICA - Master of Puppets Thrash Metal | review permalink
DEVIN TOWNSEND - Deconstruction Progressive Metal | review permalink
ANVIL - Metal on Metal Traditional heavy metal | review permalink
DEEP PURPLE - Now What?! Hard Rock | review permalink
STRAPPING YOUNG LAD - Alien Industrial Metal | review permalink
SÓLSTAFIR - Ótta Metal Related | review permalink
APRIL WINE - Electric Jewels Hard Rock | review permalink
ANVIL - Forged in Fire Traditional heavy metal | review permalink
DEVIN TOWNSEND - Synchestra Progressive Metal | review permalink
DEVIN TOWNSEND - Terria Progressive Metal | review permalink
SYMPHONY X - Iconoclast Progressive Metal | review permalink
OPETH - Ghost Reveries Progressive Metal | review permalink
DEEP PURPLE - Machine Head Hard Rock | review permalink
GORGUTS - Colored Sands Technical Death Metal | review permalink
SWORD - Metalized Traditional heavy metal | review permalink
SACRIFICE - The Ones I Condemn Thrash Metal | review permalink
OPETH - Still Life Progressive Metal | review permalink
OPETH - Blackwater Park Progressive Metal | review permalink
BETWEEN THE BURIED AND ME - The Parallax II: Future Sequence Progressive Metal | review permalink
QUO VADIS - Day Into Night Technical Death Metal | review permalink
OPETH - Watershed Progressive Metal | review permalink
DISILLUSION - Back to Times of Splendor Melodic Death Metal | review permalink
NILE - Those Whom the Gods Detest Technical Death Metal | review permalink
AUTOPSY - Mental Funeral Death Metal | review permalink
ATHEIST - Unquestionable Presence Technical Death Metal | review permalink
AEROSMITH - Permanent Vacation Hard Rock | review permalink
MORBID ANGEL - Altars of Madness Death Metal | review permalink
SCORPIONS - Virgin Killer Hard Rock | review permalink
BATHORY - The Return...... Black Metal | review permalink
WOLFMOTHER - Cosmic Egg Hard Rock | review permalink
WOLFMOTHER - Wolfmother Hard Rock | review permalink
IRON MAIDEN - Iron Maiden NWoBHM | review permalink
BARONESS - Red Album Sludge Metal | review permalink
JUDAS PRIEST - Sin After Sin Traditional heavy metal | review permalink
NAZARETH - Hair Of The Dog Proto-Metal | review permalink
BLACK SABBATH - Mob Rules Traditional heavy metal | review permalink
CAPTAIN BEYOND - Captain Beyond Hard Rock | review permalink
NECROMANDUS - Orexis Of Death & Live Hard Rock | review permalink
JERUSALEM - Jerusalem Proto-Metal | review permalink
LUCIFER'S FRIEND - Lucifer's Friend Hard Rock | review permalink
DARK SUNS - Grave Human Genuine Progressive Metal | review permalink
JUDAS PRIEST - Stained Class Traditional heavy metal | review permalink
DEVIN TOWNSEND - Z2 Progressive Metal | review permalink
THUNDERMUG - Strikes (Canadian) Hard Rock | review permalink
APRIL WINE - Stand Back Hard Rock | review permalink
A FOOT IN COLDWATER - A Foot In Cold Water Hard Rock | review permalink
BEDEMON - Child of Darkness: From the Original Master Tapes Proto-Metal | review permalink
POOBAH - Let Me In Proto-Metal | review permalink
ANDROMEDA - Definitive Collection 2 CD Set Proto-Metal | review permalink
MAHOGANY RUSH - Child of the Novelty Hard Rock | review permalink
MOXY - Moxy Hard Rock | review permalink
MAHOGANY RUSH - Strange Universe Hard Rock | review permalink
TRAPEZE - Medusa Proto-Metal | review permalink
THE MISUNDERSTOOD - Before The Dream Faded Proto-Metal | review permalink
SIR LORD BALTIMORE - Kingdom Come Traditional heavy metal | review permalink
KICK AXE - Vices Glam Metal | review permalink
APRIL WINE - The Nature of the Beast Hard Rock | review permalink
EVERGREY - In Search of Truth Progressive Metal | review permalink
IRON MAIDEN - The Book Of Souls Traditional heavy metal | review permalink
IRON MAIDEN - Dance Of Death Traditional heavy metal | review permalink
SUSPYRE - When Time Fades... Progressive Metal | review permalink
BUCKETHEAD - Monsters and Robots Alternative Metal | review permalink
UNEXPECT - In a Flesh Aquarium Avant-garde Metal | review permalink
AC/DC - For Those About To Rock (We Salute You) Hard Rock | review permalink
NAZARETH - No Mean City Hard Rock | review permalink
JUDAS PRIEST - Sad Wings Of Destiny Traditional heavy metal | review permalink
IRON MAIDEN - A Matter Of Life And Death Traditional heavy metal | review permalink
KILLER DWARFS - Killer Dwarfs Glam Metal | review permalink
SACRIFICE - Soldiers of Misfortune Thrash Metal | review permalink
CONEY HATCH - Coney Hatch Hard Rock | review permalink
HAREM SCAREM - Mood Swings Hard Rock | review permalink
MEGADETH - So Far, So Good... So What! Thrash Metal | review permalink
FALLUJAH - Dreamless Technical Death Metal | review permalink
OPETH - Orchid Death Metal | review permalink
OPETH - Morningrise Death Metal | review permalink
OPETH - My Arms, Your Hearse Death Metal | review permalink
DEATH - Symbolic Technical Death Metal | review permalink
KATAKLYSM - Waiting for the End to Come Death Metal | review permalink
AUGURY - Fragmentary Evidence Technical Death Metal | review permalink
BOLT THROWER - Those Once Loyal Death Metal | review permalink
POSSESSED - Seven Churches Death Metal | review permalink
SLAYER - Haunting the Chapel Thrash Metal | review permalink
VOIVOD - Killing Technology Thrash Metal | review permalink
T2 - It'll All Work Out In Boomland Proto-Metal | review permalink
IMMORTAL - Sons of Northern Darkness Black Metal | review permalink
VADER - Revelations Death Metal | review permalink
GILLAN - Future Shock Hard Rock | review permalink
DECREPIT BIRTH - Diminishing Between Worlds Technical Death Metal | review permalink
AUTOPSY - Skull Grinder Death Metal | review permalink
ANCIIENTS - Heart of Oak Progressive Metal | review permalink
PERIPHERY - Periphery II : This Time It's Personal Progressive Metal | review permalink
DISMEMBER - Like an Everflowing Stream Death Metal | review permalink
IMMOLATION - Dawn of Possession Death Metal | review permalink
FREE - Tons Of Sob Proto-Metal | review permalink
PARADISE LOST - Shades of God Death-Doom Metal | review permalink
OBSCURA - Cosmogenesis Technical Death Metal | review permalink
ENTOMBED - Wolverine Blues Death 'n' Roll | review permalink
VOIVOD - War And Pain Thrash Metal | review permalink
TRAPEZE - You Are The Music... We're Just The Band Proto-Metal | review permalink
VOIVOD - Phobos Thrash Metal | review permalink
HAMMERS OF MISFORTUNE - Fields / Church of Broken Glass Progressive Metal | review permalink
Y & T - Mean Streak Glam Metal | review permalink
LED ZEPPELIN - Houses Of The Holy Hard Rock | review permalink
JERICHO - Jericho Proto-Metal | review permalink
NEKTAR - Remember the Future Proto-Metal | review permalink
DEEP PURPLE - Fireball Hard Rock | review permalink
WARPIG - Warpig Proto-Metal | review permalink
SEX - Sex Proto-Metal | review permalink
BANG - Bang Traditional heavy metal | review permalink
BLUE ÖYSTER CULT - Tyranny And Mutation Hard Rock | review permalink
FLOWER TRAVELLIN' BAND - Satori Hard Rock | review permalink
BUDGIE - In For The Kill Traditional heavy metal | review permalink
BLUES CREATION - Demon and Eleven Children Proto-Metal | review permalink
MAY BLITZ - 2nd of May Proto-Metal | review permalink
THE LITTER - Emerge Proto-Metal | review permalink
MOUNTAIN - Climbing! Proto-Metal | review permalink
KING CRIMSON - Red Proto-Metal | review permalink
BLOODROCK - Bloodrock Proto-Metal | review permalink
RAZOR - Evil Invaders Thrash Metal | review permalink
HELIX - Walkin' the Razor's Edge Glam Metal | review permalink
YESTERDAY'S CHILDREN - YESTERDAY’S CHILDREN Proto-Metal | review permalink
THE MUSIC MACHINE - The Very Best of the Music Machine - Turn On Proto-Metal | review permalink
PAIN OF SALVATION - The Perfect Element, Part 1 Progressive Metal | review permalink
BLACK SABBATH - Vol 4 Traditional heavy metal | review permalink
THE ATTACK - Final Daze Proto-Metal | review permalink
MAXIMUM THE HORMONE - 糞盤 Alternative Metal | review permalink
HEAVEN & HELL - The Devil You Know Traditional heavy metal | review permalink
GODDO - Who Cares Hard Rock | review permalink
SLAYER - South of Heaven Thrash Metal | review permalink
SVEN GALI - Sven Gali Glam Metal | review permalink
LEPROUS - The Congregation Progressive Metal | review permalink
BARONESS - Purple Stoner Metal | review permalink
DEVIN TOWNSEND - Transcendence Progressive Metal | review permalink
OPETH - Damnation Non-Metal | review permalink
DEEP PURPLE - InFinite Hard Rock | review permalink
AMON AMARTH - Twilight of the Thunder God Melodic Death Metal | review permalink
CELTIC FROST - Morbid Tales Thrash Metal | review permalink
NINE INCH NAILS - Broken Industrial Metal | review permalink
WINTER - Into Darkness Death-Doom Metal | review permalink
MALEVOLENT CREATION - Retribution Death Metal | review permalink
ASPHYX - Incoming Death Death Metal | review permalink
VADER - Necropolis Death Metal | review permalink
OBITUARY - Darkest Day Death Metal | review permalink
OBITUARY - World Demise Death Metal | review permalink
AEROSMITH - Get Your Wings Hard Rock | review permalink
VIRGIN STEELE - Guardians Of The Flame Traditional heavy metal | review permalink
THRESHOLD - Hypothetical Progressive Metal | review permalink
THE YARDBIRDS - Ultimate! Proto-Metal | review permalink
IN THE SILENCE - A Fair Dream Gone Mad Progressive Metal | review permalink
HEART OF CYGNUS - The Voyage Of Jonas Progressive Metal | review permalink
JUDAS PRIEST - Rocka Rolla Hard Rock | review permalink
STONE GARDEN - Stone Garden Proto-Metal | review permalink
HIGH TIDE - Sea Shanties Hard Rock | review permalink
31 FLAVORS - Hair Proto-Metal | review permalink
CACTUS - Barely Contained: The Studio Sessions Hard Rock | review permalink
LEAF HOUND - Growers of Mushroom Hard Rock | review permalink
NEKTAR - A Tab In the Ocean Proto-Metal | review permalink
ICECROSS - Icecross Proto-Metal | review permalink
IRON CLAW - Iron Claw Hard Rock | review permalink
SAINTE ANTHONY'S FYRE - Sainte Anthony’s Fyre Proto-Metal | review permalink
EUCLID - Heavy Equipment Proto-Metal | review permalink
MOTHER'S ARMY - Fire On The Moon Hard Rock | review permalink
NAZARETH - Nazareth Proto-Metal | review permalink
VALHALLA (LONG ISLAND) - Valhalla Proto-Metal | review permalink
DEVIN TOWNSEND - Physicist Progressive Metal | review permalink
PAX - May God and Your Will Land You and Your Soul Miles Away from Evil Proto-Metal | review permalink
UFO - UFO 1 Proto-Metal | review permalink
BODKIN - Bodkin Proto-Metal | review permalink
ROTOMAGUS - The Sky Turns Red: Complete Anthology Proto-Metal | review permalink
ARMAGEDDON - Armageddon Proto-Metal | review permalink
DUST - Dust Proto-Metal | review permalink
IRON BUTTERFLY - Ball Proto-Metal | review permalink
APRIL WINE - April Wine Hard Rock | review permalink
THE AMBOY DUKES - Journey to the Center of the Mind Proto-Metal | review permalink
APRIL WINE - On Record Hard Rock | review permalink
THE LITTER - Distortions Proto-Metal | review permalink
THE MUSIC MACHINE - The Bonniwell Music Machine Proto-Metal | review permalink
BLUE ÖYSTER CULT - Cultösaurus Erectus Hard Rock | review permalink
DEVIN TOWNSEND - Ocean Machine: Biomech Progressive Metal | review permalink
THUNDERMUG - Orbit Hard Rock | review permalink
TYSONDOG - Beware of the Dog NWoBHM | review permalink
WHITE WOLF - Standing Alone Traditional heavy metal | review permalink
THOR - Keep The Dogs Away Hard Rock | review permalink
CONEY HATCH - Outa Hand Hard Rock | review permalink
SANTERS - Racing Time Hard Rock | review permalink
MOXY - Moxy II Hard Rock | review permalink
GODDO - An Act of Goddo Hard Rock | review permalink
SANTERS - Shot Down In Flames Hard Rock | review permalink
OPETH - Deliverance Progressive Metal | review permalink
CRYPTOPSY - Blasphemy Made Flesh Technical Death Metal | review permalink
BURZUM - Hvis Lyset Tar Oss Atmospheric Black Metal | review permalink
STRAPPING YOUNG LAD - Strapping Young Lad Industrial Metal | review permalink
MAYHEM - Deathcrush Black Metal | review permalink
GILLAN - Mr. Universe Hard Rock | review permalink
AMORPHIS - The Karelian Isthmus Death Metal | review permalink
JUDAS PRIEST - Point Of Entry Traditional heavy metal | review permalink
SCORPIONS - Lonesome Crow Proto-Metal | review permalink
NEKTAR - Sounds Like This Proto-Metal | review permalink
MOTHER'S ARMY - Planet Earth Hard Rock | review permalink
FREEDOM'S CHILDREN - Galactic Vibes Proto-Metal | review permalink
WICKED LADY - The Axeman Cometh Proto-Metal | review permalink
ARGUS - Argus Proto-Metal | review permalink
A FOOT IN COLDWATER - All Around Us Hard Rock | review permalink
ZOOT - Zoot Locker (The Best of the Zoot - 1968 to 1971) Proto-Metal | review permalink
THE AMBOY DUKES - Migration Proto-Metal | review permalink
THE MISUNDERSTOOD - Golden Glass Proto-Metal | review permalink
DEEP PURPLE - Slaves And Masters Hard Rock | review permalink
IRON MAIDEN (PROTO METAL) - Maiden Voyage Proto-Metal | review permalink
POSSESSED - Exploration Proto-Metal | review permalink
THE FIREBIRDS - Light My Fire Proto-Metal | review permalink
NECROMANDUS - Necrothology Hard Rock | review permalink
SUPERNAUT - Supernaut Proto-Metal | review permalink

Metal Genre Nb. Rated Avg. rating
1 Proto-Metal 54 3.14
2 Hard Rock 51 3.53
3 Progressive Metal 27 3.96
4 Traditional heavy metal 19 3.89
5 Death Metal 18 3.86
6 Thrash Metal 11 3.91
7 Technical Death Metal 10 4.10
8 Glam Metal 5 3.70
9 Industrial Metal 3 3.67
10 Black Metal 3 3.83
11 Alternative Metal 2 3.75
12 Melodic Death Metal 2 4.00
13 NWoBHM 2 3.50
14 Death-Doom Metal 2 3.75
15 Sludge Metal 1 4.00
16 Stoner Metal 1 3.50
17 Metal Related 1 4.50
18 Non-Metal 1 3.50
19 Atmospheric Black Metal 1 3.00
20 Avant-garde Metal 1 4.00
21 Death 'n' Roll 1 4.00

Latest Albums Reviews

SUPERNAUT Supernaut

Album · 1999 · Proto-Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
Today I am going to do two things for the first time. One is that I am going to review an album entirely from listening to it on YouTube and the other is that I am going to rate an album below 2 stars.

But first, a little about Supernaut. An English band formed in 1973, they were, as you can guess by the name, Black Sabbath fans and like their mentors, played music with heavy and dark-sounding riffs. Unlike Sabbath, however, they included a spacey keyboard in their compositions. The band cut a single self-titled album of seven tracks in 1974 which was later released on CD.

Searching about the Net, there is little more information, though one site includes some info from the CD booklet which states that the band recorded a demo (the album) and had Vertigo's interest. The label said they were too heavy and requested Supernaut to record some Eagles covers to which the band obliged but were "so disgusted" that they split up. There seems to be some question as to whether this was a real band and is cautiously considered fictitious on another metal site.

Listening to the album there are two things that you will notice immediately. The riffs are really doom heavy and the guitar playing sounds really amateur. Honestly, the first time I clicked the play icon, I was immediately transported to my 17-year-old self with my Anjo electric guitar, sitting in my bedroom with a Boss distortion pedal plugged into a small, inexpensive amp and cranking out a riff that I thought sounded cool but couldn't do anything with. And this is the one very huge drawback to the album: the guitar playing sounds really amateur. Unfortunately, most of the tracks are introduced by the guitarist indeterminably hammering out his riffs on his very cheap and poorly sounding equipment. Once the drums and bass are in and the keyboards (surprising they are at first) start playing, the guitar playing slips into the flow of the music a little better and the recordings are passable as early demos of a young band. The vocals, sparse as they are, don't sound any better than the guitar.

This is available as a CD still now and I listened to this on YouTube because I was at first interested in an early doom band from 1974 and had an eye on the disc. I am glad I decided to listen first though and saved my money. In comparison, the early recordings by Iron Claw, which have a pretty shoddy production and don't sound so good and don't have the ideal vocalist, at least have a better sense of composition and playing. Perhaps it's because Iron Claw used to play Black Sabbath's debut album in its entirety at their live shows. Also worthy to consider in comparison is Necromandus, who were actually taking under Toni Iommi's management and who played excellent progressive, early doom but were abandoned after recording their album as their manager went overseas to tour in America.

I think Supernaut needed to have a guitarist who could play a little more fluidly and professionally, a better recorded guitar sound, and a proper producer in the studio to help them flesh out their style more. The actual riffs are somewhat promising and the music indicates that the band had a vision and potential but in the end lacked what they needed to make their album sound good. They get points for effort and could possibly have been a great early doom metal band. Instead, we are left with an album that is almost painful to listen to at times and has attracted criticism and scorn in the YouTube comments and no praise.

Not to be confused with the 1974 release by the Perth, Australia glam rock band by the same name.

BATHORY The Return......

Album · 1985 · Black Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
Ah, Bathory! The Return.... Is that a double epsilon? I remember that day, that exciting day of going downtown with my paper route tip money and heading straight to the metal section of the music store, searching for something new to discover. And there amidst all the album covers of skulls, musclebound barbarians, acts of violence and blood, and Siamese twins tearing apart, was a simple cover of a gibbous moon shining through a gap in the clouds, a scene I had easily observed many times in my life. What kind of album would this be? I snatched it up!

Ah, Bathory! Some 32 years later and I finally decided to delve into black metal and see what there might be to captivate my constant craving for more diversity in my music collection. I brought home Immortal and thought, “The vocals really sound a lot like Quorthon of Bathory.” I brought home Darkthrone and Enslaved and thought the same. I checked out Emperor, Marduk, Gorgoroth, Satyricon, and more and each time I was reminded of Bathory. It soon dawned on me that if there was one band that inspired the sound of the second wave of black metal, it had to be Bathory.

You’ll find out very quickly that this is true when you watch any documentaries on YouTube or read anything about the development of the black metal scene. Bathory’s debut album and especially “Under the Sign of the Black Mark”, the third album, are frequently cited as the most highly influential albums in the developing black metal scene. The dark, distorted guitars and sinister riffs, the low production quality, and the back-of-the-throat, angry-burning-witch vocal style set the parameters of the black metal to come. For a riff-lover like me, “Born for Burning” had the most dread-inspiring and powerful guitar riff to make it to my cassette collection yet back in 1985, and songs like “Total Destruction”, “Sadist”, and “The Rite of Darkness / Reap of Evil” affirmed my love for this album.

On the plus side, I found the tracks I had forgotten, like “The Wind of Mayhem” and “Son of the Dammed” were at least worth hearing again, while the intro, “Revelation of Doom”, which once conjured up images of a demon in destructive rage approaching from afar, now sounds more like a giant baby crying for its formula bottle. Or is that a mammoth, Satanic tit?

Listening to this album now after at least three decades, I am reminded how the drumming mostly just keeps the beat and how there are few fills, though when one does come in, it sure feels effective. I also recall reading one single review of the album ever and the author saying that the band had an agile bassist. However, I am not hearing that bass so well. But perhaps it doesn’t matter. The real stars of the show are Quorthon’s original vocals, the heavy assault guitars, and the fuzzy production. This album impressed me much more than the debut and “Under the Sign of the Black Mark” actually turned me off the band. No one ever seems to talk about “The Return......” but for me this was/is an essential album in the tale of black metal and extreme metal in the eighties. Quorthon may have died far too young but his legacy can be heard in so many bands of the 1990’s. That’s gotta count for something!

SCORPIONS Virgin Killer

Album · 1976 · Hard Rock
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
There’re no lead in sound effects, no acoustic intros, or any willy-nillying to the beginning of this album. The first song, “Pictured Life” just kicks off the album with a melodic hard rock song that features Uli Jon Roth’s lead melody. The guitar sound is high toned but backed with the bass of Francis Buchholz it takes on a heavier sound. Someone out there called this song a stand out track in the Scorpions catalogue.

For me though, the next track, “Catch Your Train” is even more exciting, erupting from the album with a sustained guitar note by Roth and slashing chords by Michael Schenker, then a flurry of notes off Roth’s fretboard. When Kirk Hammett appeared alongside Roth on Eddie Trunk’s “That Metal Show”, Hammett stated how that song, with its pyrotechnic lead guitar work, had inspired him as a young teenager. The song is hurried and powerful.

“Walk in Your Park” is an early power ballad but seemingly loud in the loud parts though quite gentle in the softer moments. “Backstage Queen” a good but typical rocker.

And then there’s the title track. “Virgin Killer” was inspired by KISS and the lyrics written by Roth are about how Time is the stealer of innocence. The album cover art was decided by the record company and it featured a nude ten-year-old girl posing seductively with her genitalia obscured by a crack in the glass supposedly covering the photograph. Though no one in the band considered this as promoting child pornography at the time, the album received serious criticism in the U.K. and the U.S. and had to be sold in a black cover in some countries whereas for other countries the cover photo was replaced with one of the band. Indeed the copy I had on cassette in Canada in the eighties was the band version. When Wikipedia included an article about the album using the original album art, protests and complaints created a case against Wikipedia using what many deemed as an image promoting child pornography and pedophilia. The FBI became involved although in the end no American laws were found to have been violated.

Side two of the album features two tracks with Roth on lead vocals, “Hell Cat” and “Polar Nights”. Both of these are stand out tracks because Roth’s deep love for Jimi Hendrix can be heard in the guitar riffs. Not the best choice for a lead vocalist, Roth would eventually leave the Scorpions and start his own band, Electric Sun and take the lead vocal duties.

Other tracks on side two include “Crying Time”, which to me still carries a bit of the psychedelic mood that was on early Scorpions recordings, and another slower, ballad type of song, “The Yellow Raven” which is very soft and delicate until the powerful, hard rock ending.

This album sees for a brief time the Roth-era Scorpions really coming into their sound. The previous two albums were each quite distinct: “Fly to the Rainbow” being basically Roth’s band, Dawn Road, writing material with Rudolf Schenker and Klaus Meine that still had some progressive tendencies, and “In Trance” the first step toward writing shorter hard rock sounds with producer Dieter Dierks. While both of these older albums have some strengths and weaknesses, I see “Virgin Killer” along with “Taken by Force” as two excellent albums featuring some seminal hard rock and early metal performances with Roth’s guitar work standing out. According to Wikipedia, at least three songs from this album have been covered by modern metal bands. As this album seems to be much appreciated in the metal music world, I feel vindicated for loving it in spite of the fact that among my friends in junior high school, I was the only one who liked Uli Jon Roth-era Scorpions.

AEROSMITH Get Your Wings

Album · 1974 · Hard Rock
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
Aerosmith's second album and one that started to see them get the attention they deserved. After their debut there was nothing. "Dream On" got a little attention but the band were wondering where all the promotion, the interviews, the radio spots, and the parties were. For "Get Your Wings" they wanted a decent producer and asked for Bob Ezrin. He offered them Jack Douglas, who would produce their string of successful albums in the seventies.

While the debut gave us a blues-based rock band with a very raw sound, "Get Your Wings" sees the band searching for a sound of their own. They were moving ahead and developing that classic Aerosmith sound, but they had not quite reached it yet. Both Jack Douglas and the band acknowledge this. When Douglas first heard the new material, he thought to himself, "What can I do to make them sound like themselves?" (Wikipedia article on Get Your Wings). Joe Perry says this:

"I knew the album, in spite of a few bright spots, still didn't capture the power of the band. We were better than the record we were making. And yet I didn't know how to get there. I didn't know how to get from good to great."

True, Aerosmith would really set the airwaves on fire with their next albums, "Toys in the Attic" and "Rocks", where the classic Aerosmith sound can finally be heard. But "Get Your Wings" is clearly a bold step toward that direction when compared with the debut album (good though I think the debut is). "Same Old Song and Dance" is clearly what the band were reaching for. A little unpolished compared to "Walk This Way" and "Back in the Saddle", there is still that roll in the rock that Aerosmith became so good at doing. The brass adds extra punch and makes future brass inclutions a natural move for the band. Songs like "Lord of the Thighs", "S.O.S. (Too Bad)", and "Pandora's Box" set the chosen standard for songs about sleeze which would inspire a whole generation of hairbands in the eighties, the S.O.S. standing for Same Old Shit while Pandora's lyrics cross "city slicker" with "slitty licker".

On the more serious side, "Spaced" is an interesting diversion into a story about a survivour of a twenty-year interstellar journey and features some guitar chords that conjure up images of Pete Townshend pinwheeling his arm. The sixties references don't get any more blatant than in the cover of the Yardbird's version of "Train Kept A Rollin'", this version first played at a slower, groovy pace, which according to drummer Joey Kramer was inspired by R&B and James Brown. Partway through, the song kicks into gear and gives a seventies version of what Jeff Beck and the Yardbirds did in 1965. And then there's a haunting ballad, "Seasons of Wither" with its sullen acoustic guitar, sorrowful lyrics, "Ooh, woe is me / I feel so badly for you", and powerful release when Tyler sings "Take the wind right out of your sails!" The song was never a single but remains a favourite of both Tyler and Perry's and in later years was performed at concerts and included on compilations.

This is an album that neatly falls into place between the preceding and succeeding albums. It still maintains some of the roughness that debut had and lacks the polish the third album would have. But it also captures the band striving for their own style that would come an album later. Not all the songs are an exciting hit but there are enough diamonds in the rough here to make the album worthwhile having for fans of seventies rock with a side note that this band is more about having groove and style and a cool sleeziness rather than going for high energy and ballsy hard rock.

Get you wings indeed. The band is this close to taking off!

ENTOMBED Wolverine Blues

Album · 1993 · Death 'n' Roll
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
Entombed: one of the Big Four in Swedish death metal and the first of the four that I was to encounter on CD. Fairly recently. Like, a few months ago and nearly three decades after the band's career commenced. As with many old school death metal bands I have gotten acquainted with, I found out about Entombed by watching old school death metal playlists on YouTube. Of course, the album usually mentioned is "Left Hand Path" with some attention also going to "Clandestine". It was either of these two that I had to choose for my first purchase. Then I saw "Wolverine Blues".

Blues?! A death metal band is using the word "blues" in an album title? And Wolverine? Even at the time this album was released, the X-Men character was well known. What on earth were these Swedes up to?

So, I checked out some songs on YouTube and, well, wow! Consider this: I had been checking out a couple of dozen bands or more in a subgenre I was not too familiar with and had previously avoided. At first, everybody sounded awesome. But after a while, everybody sounded similar. I wanted to find that band or album that did something different to make it stand apart from the usual death metal environment. This album certainly did stand out.

After two death metal albums in Swedish style, Entombed decided to get into some other stuff and came up with an album that sounds like a conconction of mid-seventies Black Sabbath and Motorhead with some hardcore peppered in. In-your-face, angry biker style vocals, really growly, dirty, massive-rusty-industrial-chain guitar sound, and a rhythm section that almost swaggers, this album took a death metal band in such a new direction that they called this music "death n' roll". While the title probably was supposed to sound cool, I can't help but think of crocodiles when I hear this. Death roll!

There's little point in picking apart each song. It's just ultra-gritty guitar riffs, groove, and guts throughout with some songs capturing my attention more than others for one reason or another. I'd say the first three or four tracks and the last two are my preferred songs, but the whole album is consistent, though "Hollowman" brings in a bit of melody.

After several listens, some of the excitement of hearing the entire album has worn off, but I am still very curious about the next album, "DCLXVI: To Ride Shoot Straight and Speak the Truth". For now, "Clandestine" is on its way to my place, so I'll get to see the earlier side of the band.

Death n' roll or whatever, it was really good to hear an album that combined components of the death metal sound with more familiar, traditional stuff like Black Sabbath and Motorhead.

Latest Forum Topic Posts

  • Posted 3 days ago in Heavy metal has faded as an art form...
    [QUOTE=siLLy puPPy]Well, the statement "heavy metal has faded as an artform" isn't totally inaccurate. It is a matured genre at this point and has lost all that shock and awe. While many great albums are released, there is usually a sense of uniformity. It certainly has lost its ability to bug parents when some of the early gods of metal are grandparents at this point! Add to that the competetiion of all music from all of history availalbe at the stroke of a keyboard. It's a great art form but nevertheless one that has lost its domiance to engage the rebel masses :)[/QUOTE]I just saw a web page the other night claiming that metal was dead and for the reasons that were illustrated in ten photographs from a metal fest, photos that included pink T-shirts and moms who like heavy metal. Well, at my age, heavy metal doesn't need to be rebellious or shocking. It just has to sound freakin' awesome!  
  • Posted 22 days ago in Heavy metal has faded as an art form...
    Stay With Me is not heavy enough.
  • Posted 22 days ago in Heavy metal has faded as an art form...
    [QUOTE=Bosh66]I’ve actually heard quotes before from Messrs Plant, Gillan and Kilmister denying the heavy metal links to Zep, Purple and Motorhead, and also from Angus Young. Lemmy has stated that Motorhead are more punk than metal. Rob Halford on the other hand has never denied his metal heritage, the old Metal God that he is 🙂[/QUOTE] Yes. Halford was the next generation and so he was proud of it. So were many bands in the eighties who we would call hard rock these days. I'm surprised to hear Ray Davies suggest he invented heavy metal with those two Kinks' songs he wrote in 64.

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