ANGELWITCH / ANGRY ANGELS / ATTENTAT ROCK / CATCH 22 / V.A. /

  DYSLESIA / END ZONE / FATAL INFLUENCE /   GAMMA RAY / INTENSE

IRON MAIDEN / KAT MARCO / KILLERS / MANIFEST / MESMERIZE  / MUREN

NOT FRAGILE / OVERSTEP / RANDOM RAGESCORPIONS

SHADOWS OF STEEL / SHARATAN / SUICIDE CULTURE

 

ANGELWITCH - RESURRECTION  

ANGELWITCH?  THESE ANGELWITCH! There is new activity in the Angelwitch camp, the band probably hopes to snatch a piece of the cake in the momentary metal –delusion. And I have to admit the chances are not too bad, of course, todays ANGELWITCH have little in common with the band which recorded the divine debut back in 1980, but the current line-up is still very interesting: bandleader Kevin Heybourne assembled a prominent team around him, with Jon Torres (ex-Lääz Rockit), Tom Hunting (ex - Exodus) and Myk Taylor. The whole team now works in England (for well known reasons) developing new material, while the headquarter is in the USA. Some offers from interested labels should already exist. As an appetizer they have summed up the 87er EP "Psychopathic", the 90er demo" Twist Of The Knife"and the, also „Resurrection" entitled, 3-Track – demo from last year. The songmaterial is, conditional cause different phases of the band development, naturally rather not homogeneous, but one thing is for certain: Kevin Heybourne has still a lucky hand for homicidal riffs and bold refrains, which transfer also simply structured songs to mercyless earcatchers. The 10 titles (incl. two versions of "Psychopathic") have altogether the old NWoBHM charm, even if you can recognize the influence of Torres / Hunting in some new songs. Then the band stripes along the border to Thrash-Metal stuff with more up-tempo and brutal heaviness. You can’t reproach the ANGELWITCH of today one thing in any case: they are no wimpy old farts, which want to make easy money with the big name. A band, which survives so many droughts and still is so HEAVY, must be with full heart at the matter. That's Metal to me! Available at: AngelWitch Productions, 699 Vienna Street, San Francisco, California 94112, USA. The tape costs 8 US $, the CD 12.
Nils

 

ANGRY ANGEL – PRINCESS OF STEEL

Arno has already presented the „Angry Angels“ CD in the last issue of THAT'S METAL, and there is hardly anything to add to his critical words. On "Princess Of Steel" you get again true-metalic quality with wonderful dirty, antisocial, thrashy vocals. The band throws their tape out for 10 .- DM  (inclusive delivery through the snailmail of Austria, the CD likewise costs only 10 DM, too!), a more than worthwhile purchase. Good sound, the "Princess Of Steel" on the cover and all texts, besides ample frippery like autographed card, bandinfo etc. Twenty german marks in an enevelope and order both at: Angry Angels, The Tower Of The Necromancer, Burghard Breitnerstr.2, A-6020 Innsbruck, Austria.
Nils

 

ATTENTAT ROCK – ATTENTAT ROCK / LE GANG DES SAIGNEURS

 

Strange strange, which obscure stuff suddenly becomes rereleased. ATTENTAT ROCK probably hardly nobody will know, who did not argue more near with the French Metalbands of the eighties. The debut of the same name was difficult to find so far even as LP and originates from the start times of franco-metallic time calculation. Therefore the early feature year (1981) points also in some way in the following style direction: in best NWoBHM manners you get rocked but without reaching the degrees of hardness of the English competition. The songs are well-structured, shaped by good guitar work and the pleasant singing of Didier Rochette. Here and there a trace SAMSON or SAXON peeps out. A good Hard Rock disc, to which one does not mark their 18 years. The CD is rounded of by a funny Cover, which would have honoured each french b-movie of the 60's.
 Different is "Le Gang des Saigneurs": a Fist of Steel is stretched against the ascendents, and it´s also more heavy. A worth to listen to metaldisc, which has to offer some genuine highlights with „Guerrier de la Nuit", "Coeur de Pierre" or "Lumieres de la Ville". Rochette emerges as a first-class front man and also the rest of the gang present themselves in the best light. Surely two interesting republications, particularly since Brennus does not leave itself to rags and presented "Blouson Noir" the title track of the first single as bonustrack on "Attentat Rock", and two before on CD unpublished songs ("I'll hate you forever" and "I'm not so blind") on "Le Gang...". Also the booklet is made very well and contains all lyrics. Two charming small beads of the harder French pace, to the second CD I will even stamp a "timeless" print, you can listen to it again and again without getting bored. More information directly from Brennus (address see DYSLESIA Review). The third and last ATTENTAT ROCK-LP will likewise appear prospectively in the autumn on CD.
Nils

 

BLUE THUNDER - BLUE THUNDER   

The title sounds rather bad, the Cover looks suspiciously like containing a Black Metal massacre and then also the band comes from Austria (0:9 against Spain and 0:5 against Israel-the Austrians are probably trained secretly by Berti Vogts, as a late revenge for Cordoba). Doesn´t matter, as soon as the little shivering thing rotates in the Player! Singer Tomm Raisinger must be the twin brother of Fernando Garcia, both voice and singing style are incredibly similar! Then 7 out of 9 tracks are in the style & level of " Temples Of Gold "...  When comparing this band it´s a little modified VICTORY in their golden aera, with the difference, that Hannes Hofer is the only axeman (being Dr. Newton and Mr.Frank all in one) and seems to handle this easily.  Also the rest of the crew is doing a more than solid work. They do not want to stand in the shadow of their mainsongwriter, who knows his trade.  Technically everything is perfect! BLUE THUNDER succeeded with its debut CD the ideal disc to driving a car, production is brilliant (endless pressure, very differentiated sound - quite classy!  (You better watch the backwindow of your car!). They have comfortably established their style in the border area of Heavy Rock/Melodic Metal/Hard Rock, a field that is not too crowded at the moment. If the five work a bit more to get a more unique style and shift gears towards a heavier direction – they are not to beat! All Melodic Metal/Hard Rock followers can write to. (BLUE THUNDERdome, Siedlungsstrasse 25/3, A-2551 ENZESFELD, Österreich. Price:  rather high 35. - DM). If the Austrian scene continues with bands like STIGMATA IV, ANGRY ANGELS, BLUE THUNDER then maybe in the future they can also beat the Faroeer islands. HARHARHARHARHARharhar
Nils

 

CATCH 22 - THROUGH EYES OF PAIN / TIME REVEALS ALL  

What happens, if one kicks a tree in Ohio? For sure, a in Europe completely unknown, Metalband falls down. If you read the interview with band head T.J. Berry, you’ll know how difficult it is to draw informations out of the man. In other regards he is fortunately more creative, cause CATCH 22 already presents their second CD and is already working on number three. Both CDs are top professional, well produced and keep a constant high level. Stylistic they are near the older METALLICA, loosened up from many long guitarsoli (frequently twin-peaked). Bass and drums play tight together (That’s a drum sound … here you’ll almost see the drummer whirling before your mental eye. The sound has correct depth - they hail from the Eighties. I hate this, recently so popular, sterile, HAMMERFALL moderate drumsound, which in-crept in the process of the 90's). The thing becomes completely sakeless, if T.J. seizes to the micro: the singing is beautifully rough and powerful over far distances, takes off then however with merciless metal screams towards the horizon. In the quite high passages a similarity with Rob Halford is not to be over-heard (of course in his pre pantyhose and make-up phase). Ted, you have Metal in your throat! Two very beautifully variable CDs, with which also acoustic modules or Midtemposongs know to please. CATCH 22 will go their way. Who can write packing songs like this, places itself between METALLICA / OVERKILL / FORBIDDEN and a large touch NWoBHM melodiosity and also is still from the attitude so METAL like the Ohio quartet will address enough fans for sure. "Through Eyes Of Pain" offers 46 minutes long best maintenance without lengths, "Time Reveals All" is even still more strongly (because more variable), with better songwriting, in addition longer (61 minutes nearly without fillers!) and altogether better. Who seizes to the pin should order both - whom one pleases, also the other one will also for sure. Perhaps in the own production sector one can take a mixture from MIDEVIL and CAGE as comparison and orientation. Alluding tip: "Burn" (if you don’t like THIS song ...), Address: CATCH 22, c/o T.J.Berry, Rt. 9 Box 575, Colecoffman Rd., Marietta, Ohio 45750, USA.
Nils

 

V.A. - PROGRESSIVE DISDURPANCE VOLUME 1 and 2  

You can’t count the commitment of people such as Markus Weis high enough. The maker of the progressive DisDURPance Homepage (www.durp.com), on which Prog Rock and Metalacts (with occasional trips into " border areas ") are featured and introduced with very much detailt criticisms, in less than nine months brought out two Compilations with the highlights of this period in selfinitiative and self-financed. Vol.1, which suffers something from the catastrophic cover, presents 8 German groups, among them real topbands such as RE-VISION, NO INNER LIMIT and SUNBLAZE, which were extensively appreciated in the meantime in our and also different mags. On a nearly continuous level one is surprised, as high the quality density is in the German Prog underground. Vol.2 is dedicated excluding to foreign bands, with which some losses are to be registered. With a professional, very beautiful Fantasy Artwork a deficiency of the first disc is already eliminated, but the degree of hardness is nevertheless partially clearly reduced opposite the predecessor. Both CDs have a playing time of over 70 minutes and are well produced, also refinements in the sound come out well. With very reasonable prices (Vol.1: 10. -  DM, Vol.2: 17 DM plus 3. -  DM postage) one should support so much enthusiasm.  The Metal detector reacts only occasionally, but all Proggies and Underground fanatics should go for it. Available at Markus Weis, Am Gangsteig 9, 85551 Kirchheim-Heimstetten, who is also further on the search for good Acts for the continuation of the DURP row.
Nils

 

DYSLESIA - MY OWN REVOLUTION   

All the Trendzombies, which you have paralyzed with MUREN, you can now pulverize with DYSLESIAs debut. The frogeaters, already since 1986 thereby and only now coming to their debut, step strongly on the gas and hammer out speedy progressive Metal, which is dominated by a high, highly transparent voice. Andre Matos comes to mind relative quickly, but his colleague Thierry Lebourg has more Metal in his voice and sings somewhat stronger. The music is a mix from good melodic speed and progressive / symphonic suggestions. The songs are located in the center, the progressive influence is rather decent. Which is missing with many Proggies, the Frenchmen have: striking power and comprehensible songs! If one puts together ANGRA, QUEENSRYCHE and RHAPSODY "My Own Revolution" probably will come out. In the own production range more symphonic JACOBS DREAM is a quite good analogue. Which particularly pleases me is the fact, that also the many calm passages are well arranged, without which one floats in danger to tip directly in coma. With production and Booklet one clean-created correctly and delivers themselves a really round thing, which does not need to hide itself also before the numerous Italian competition. The band already opened for MANOWAR, STRATOVARIUS, RAGE and ROYAL HUNT and allegedly the live-performance is inferior to the studioqualities in nothing. I would see the french gladly on tour. Go and buy! If you should not find DYSLESIA in Germany, contact (likewise with the other Brennus discs): BRENNUS, 5 rue de Lixy, 89140 Villethierry, France.
Nils

 

ENDZONE - ECLECTICA  

Enormous! Devine! Outstanding! Who regarded Russia as a white mark on the metal map so far, is instructed better with this bass drum impact. ENDZONE from Moscow with "Eclectica" brought out its third CD (unconsidered from the rest of Europe), which lets me look mark around mark more disbelievingly towards the CD-Player. The music is only insufficiently described as technical, progressive and symphonic Powermetal, however the band unites and adapts so many influences that other descriptions of style would blow up the framework. They are making their loans in the Russian peoples music exactly the same as with classical composer ("Khovanschina" of Modest Mussorgski), standing bang-hard speed parts beside sensitive caper pure set. With the Coverversion "Refuse/Resist" (of the 93er album "Chaos A.D.") the Russians show, how SEPULTURA Songs could sound (absolutely unbelievable, heavy and nevertheless filigran) and that they can play both brutally and melodic. A eight-minute-long instrumental decides a CD filled with technical maximum difficulties. On the foundation of a sound of bass and drums full of pressure, both the two guitarists, and violins and cello (original brought in, no samples!) can unfold, the singing is embedded perfectly into the complex arrangements. ENDZONEs largest strength is their unusual talent for songwriting, here everything is conclusive and from a casting, but (contrary to many of their Italian colleagues) extremely emotional. "Eclectica" lines not coldly a technical highlight up to the next, but affects the listener and kidnaps him into a marvelous world of heavenly melodies and deep emotions. The only deficiency: after only 35 minutes this journey into compositoric originality, heavyness and outstanding musical fortune already is over. But: however shows this disk also with extreme use of the " Repeat" key any manifestations of wear, because work ENDZONE get along without using all too plakative melodies. With each hearing hidden details went to the light of day. For me so far the own production of the year. I hope an "THAT'S METAL" interview is coming! Perhaps until then a company has signed the Russians, I think they will earn the one or other Dollar. (I think, every VIRGIN STEELE or RHAPSODY/ LABYRINTH fan will love this CD, whereby the music goes into some other direction, but the target group is probably the same). Watch out! Contact: Endzone, Rimskogo Korsakova 14-143, Moscow 127566, Russia
Nils

 

FATAL INFLUENCE - WORLD UNBALANCED   

The US-Boys makin‘ me nuts. Every time I think, now finally the towers of „never-listened-to-em-before“ CDs (bought cheaply as a discount or "oh, I always wanted to buy this rerelease" - you see, you are not the only ones, who have to fight so high-important problems...), increased in the meantime to considerable heights, is getting a little bit smaller by listening a few ones in a row, a US-CD flutters in the house and blocks the CD-player of Steel for eternal times. This time it‘s FATAL INFLUENCE, which inhales a deep wind from the Bay Area with "World Unbalanced". A rather co(o)le wind in addition, which the three Cole brothers and their 2 follow thrashers shoot out on their 22-Minuten-EP. In my discretion the best Thrash still comes from the USA, a mixture from tradition consciousness, very high musical level and good sound conditions. Particularly the Florida-quintett is not so original, but show me (except IMAGIKA) a comparable Thrash disc of the last months. At first attempt I would not know anything that could keep up qualitatively. Bad or fatal influences I can‘t determine anyhow, rather old TESTAMENT, EXODUS or METALLICA, with "Vision Of Decay" partial Tom Araya confessed godfather (at least in singing style). For 10 US $ (inclusive h&s) at: FATAL INFLUENCE, P.O. Box 690695, Orlando, FL 32869-0695, USA. And remember: Metal Isn't Dead...It's The Undead!
Nils

 

GAMMA RAY - POWER-PLANT  

GAMMA RAY stands for highest quality and it´s the same with the new output of Kai Hansen and Co. A metal record about the average is "Power-Plant" without doubt, only I don´t see the reason for the partially extreme rejoicing in other mags. Contrary to the last three releases the hanseatics did not increase their output, but hold themself to a large extent only for it (naturally in the comparison extremely high) level.  However there are also songs on it which are only average, for example the PET SHOP BOYS Cover "It's A Sin", which runs in the player without any striking power, the MANOWAR Persiflage " Heavy Metal of university verses " (what is that?)  and still two, three other Songs.  Surely there are some highlights (for example the first two titles " Anywhere into the galaxy " and " Razorblade Sigh "), but altogether I was  rather disappointed after  the first hype about this album.  If one places oneself " power-planned " in the shelf, one does not make an error (idle on point production to be received Booklet and Tralala) - for all GAMMA RAY fans a must.  Who still doesn´t own any Gamma Ray CD´s (is there somebody out there at all?) should better go with the predecessor - " Heading for tomorrow ".
Nils (Online Review)

 

INTENSE - DEFIANT TILL DEATH   

From the country, which brought out legendary classical metal bands in great quantities in the 80ies, reaches us a hope glow at the trend-blackened spirit of the time horizon. A genuine metal band is to be found in England just as rarely as in the "Hammer". The more beautifully to hear a sign of life again of INTENSE, which emerged 1997 with their debut EP "Dark Season" for the first time. "Defiant Till Death" (Yes!) was originally only meant as additional material for presentation with the (mostly german) labels, but is sold now however also officially as bypass up to the next album by the band itself. Well so, because "Take my hate" and "Tear you apart" are so far with distance the hardest, best and most intensive songs of the island inhabitants. Here nearly continuous violent double bass thunderstorms rules. I don’t know who tries to hammer the drumkit away on this tape, but it‘s not further from importance, since the line-up around the charismatic front man Sean Hetherington is currently changing. His singing became substantially "British" and more aggressive compared with "Dark Season", but still just as hypnotic and fascinating. A voice, which one does not forget so easily and which justified the identity of the Brits substantially. Since one must invest only 2 Pounds for these two somewhat dark / melancholic Powermetal shells (and additionally can enjoy a beautiful Skull'N'Bones Cover), I put this Tape most warmly to the heart of all of you out there. Help, that one of the few UK Metal beads will not be covered by the dust of forgetting.  Available at the very reliable band itself: Sean Hetherington, 105 Paddock Road, Basingstoke, Hants RG 22 6 QQ, U.K.
Nils

 

IRON MAIDEN - ED HUNTER  

What great albums did this band give to us! MAIDEN are in the metalscene for nearly all the smallest common denominator, too outstandingly is probably the majority of their work, in order to permit substantial criticism (at least including "Seventh Son Of A Seventh Son"). But what the MAIDENs do today, one can regard confidently as self disassembly. Putting Bruce "I will never sing METAL again" Dickinson in a night and nebula action back into the band, then touring to promote the Compilation / the PC-Game "Ed Hunter". That one stands in direct connection with the other, might probably be clear for everyone, who made himself also only one minute of thoughts about business technical questions. Rather improbably the whole thing. The choice of songs of the Compilation is O.K. (accomplished by the fans in the Internet, it is alleged), but I ask myself, who needs it after "Best Of The Beast" and the various Live disks, which in principle were also a selection equal to a „Best Of“. EVERYONE, who hears METAL already for a few days will know every MAIDEN classic in and by heart. One can describe the game actually only with one word: Insolence! Like MAIDEN permitted or supported that such garbage, dirt, dilettante imbecility is released under their name to the fans, is a mystery for me. Moderate graphics, not existing play joke and a Story here-pulled on the hair make the game also the worst one, which I saw in the "Ego-Shooter" category. The 70. - DM you should rather spend on two current top releases or three rerelaesed classics, buy 3 1/2 boxes of beer or support a few bands from the Underground (there are enough to find on our Review pages). If the coming MAIDEN album becomes exactly the same - I want to have Blaze back!
Nils (Online Review)

 

KAT MARCO - MAIDEN VOYAGE  

There is no lack at two different things with singer and guitarist Kat Marco: Self-assurance ("The Goddess Of Rock") and liquidity (own production in the Morrissound studio!). Since beside the two Morris brothers also Steve "Dr.Killdrums" Wacholz had his fingers in the production process, sound-technically you can’t find a single negative point - fat and nevertheless transparent succeeded here really a piece of cream. For the CD-cover remained apparent less of the budget, it looks greyful cheap, but the texts and all relevant information are printed nevertheless. Well no matter, as long as contents are correct: three in the frontier Heavy Rock / Melodic Metal settled Songs with in-usual Refrains and very good singing. Kat has more than once (however also sex specific in the advantage) highest regions in the visor. The instrumenting is solid, from the guitar work I would have somewhat more expected after the m.a. self wording however, particularly the Soli are only upper average. Altogether one notices however, that here were absolute professionals (e.g. bassist Jeff Berlin) at work. A successful beginning in the international Underground, which she could leave with some luck in addition, already soon again. Since all songs are radio suited and going well into the ear. That is the material, from which in the States Airplay was made in great quantities, before chicks such as Mariah Carey (you know, the one who screams always in such a way as if she was taken right from behind) began to dominate the charts. Complete CD is to appear still this year. Up to then 13 minutes of music, lifted out from the average by singing and production are available for 9 US $ (inclusive. h&s) at Kat Marco, PO Box 33, Sparr Fl 32192, USA
Nils, the defender of real female vocals

 

KILLERS (FRA) - 109

  To present the french KILLERS expenditure still greatly would be very unnecessary. Since 1985 with the appearance of the debut disk „Files de la haine“ of these Metalinstitution, they are playing real Metal without compromises. The two guitarists throw in one killer(s) riff after the other and do spread also a load of melodic soli, which contrast beautifully with the rhythm power of the quartet. The pot on the cover are the Vocals of Bruno Dolheguy (band head and only remaining initial member), which are not very variable, but (beautifully unpolished) fit very well with to the songmaterial. Who had KILLERS already so far on its list, can also grap em up this time again, all different should particularly because of the French singing, which sounds nevertheless rather unusually, check out "109" before. If you hear then the Mr. Dolheguy and Andrieu doing their solo work, you won‘t put this thing away (not this thing, you fools. The CD!). Do not be disappointed by the Coverartwork (from the motive fully in line - knight, sunset, beautiful plate), which is in such a manner greyful drawn (reminds of ATTACKS "Destinies Of War" colored pencil design on the first edition), that you will be shocked in the first place. But the production blows all your dust of the speakers and the booklet is thin but straight (one only unfortunately understands no word). Who found favours at that band, can adhere take a look at the republications of the Brennus label, which again brought out all past KILLERS records on CD at good prices. We all will hope, that Bruno Dolheguy will hold his line for the next 15 years, because if you are honest to yourself: what would the Metal be without bands like our neighbours from the other Rhine side, that are always  constant in the publication jungle?
Nils

 

MANIFEST - FRAMEWORK  

Which two foreign words knows each Blondine?  "Fiktiv" and "Manifest" (you can’t translate this passage, sorry!). Under the latter now also a band in the demo stage from Sooke, Canada is (un)known. The 7-Song-Demo "Framework" was recorded in only five days on only four traces (or rather in-hammered?) and sounds, according to this, very undergroundish. Although – lovefull worked out song structures, melodies or soli are not to be discovered here anyway. Thrashriffs weighing tons breaking down on the unsuspecting hearer and creating a perfect backing for a collection of darkest lyrics (the songtitels speaking for themself: Cut/Throat Bitch, Bias Breed, Artificer Martyr etc.). Actually a beautiful mixture, in order to unscrew your head with banging it, if – yes if guitarist Nick would not have taken over also the vocals. If one gets over the first side still cheerfull, his brutal Thrashshouting drags toward the end of the second side slowly at the nerves. Altogether a demo with a collection of first-class thrashsongs with little varied singing. Who needs it violent can check out the maple leefs for 4 $ (inclusive h&s), the weak sound do not fall in weight at this merciless thrashstorm. Enough power have MANIFEST in any ways. Available: Nick Engwer, 5920 Leda Road, Sooke B.C., Canada VOS 1 NO
Nils

 

MESMERIZE – TALES OF WONDER  

Actually one could write the same discussion over each Undergroud Symphony release and exchange only the names. Also this time neither at Booklet, Artwork, complex Digipak nor support through the Italian colleagues (e.g. LABYRINTHs Frank Andiver is in as engineer and keyboarder) was any lack. Also this time one gets high-class melodic Powermetal, which is rounded off by an outstanding singer (Folco Orlandini, ex-TIME MACHINE). Who is pleases by other "typical" Underground Symphony records, will also be inspired by MESMERIZE. In this lies naturally also a small problem: by the close co-operation of the musicians from Bella Italia itself the publications are partially very similar. Although the individual discs speak qualitatively for itself, is to fear that the one or other band will be defeated. Hopefully this won´t happen to MESMERIZE , cause they particularly vary their sound considerably, also they aren’t as easily accessible in such a way as for e.g. LABYRINTH. One or other additional edge would nevertheless not have harmed, although they already equipped the „high speed melodic“ rail with many switches. Altogether very good CD, which through-stands for 47 minutes without losses. Everyone who estimates HAMMERFALL, HELLOWEEN at" Keepers..."-times, the already several times stated LABYRINTH, SHADOWS OF STEEL or RHAPSODY, can buy MESMERIZE blindly. We keep our fingers crossed, that the Italian scene develops so well furthermore.
Nils

 

MUREN - LIES'N'TEARS   

Gallien is run over completely by the trend. Completely Gallien? No! Some eternal-of yesterday unconvinceables don’t stop to fight and resist the intruders into the realm of Metal. 13 years long a desperate fight in the hail of the gallic trend shells. Three times the over-powerful enemy with itself-tinkered (demo -)gasoline bomb is only moderately frightened. But 1998 rises the MUREN head with strong cover of the Brennus record army from the emplacement filled with pure steel. The "Lies'n'Tears" called CD flies to the army of the Handytalkers and Teenie Poppers, which can evade only with difficulty, handicapped in the view by ridiculous wool caps. Catchy Melodic Metal, which has its best moments with speedy Songs like "I'm leaving" or "July 25th 1995", is offered here.Spiced with expanded, double-barreled guitarsoli (reminding frequently of the compatriots of ADX) and good drumwork, leaving much place for instrumental parts, which were inserted very song-serving. One remarks the long, long work of the band in the underground, with very matured songwriting they lift itself against the enemy. The, to judge after the photos of the excellent booklet, older fellows, would have finally earned more acknowledgment of the broad public, with a good production and a good total concept in the back maybe something is possible in the future. Only small weak point is the singing of Philippe Sanfilippo, that the all-last kick is missing (unfortunately he did not grow the class of the rest of the band, particularly the guitarists Daban and Courtois, and waters the whole disk nevertheless somewhat) and a small derailing at the end of "Get lost". Although a CD, which will drive all trend-youngers into the solidification, then you can give them (and yourself) the axe with the DYSLESIA CD (or take directly OVERSTEP and behind you only ash is remaining...).
Nils

 

NOT FRAGILE - MADE OF METAL / WHO DARES WINS / HARD TO BE ALIVE / LOST IN A DREAM / THE RETURN

NOBODY'S FOOLS - CLOWN PATROL  

Then I’ll attempt to appreciate the entire work of the german cult speedos NOT FRAGILE in a few lines, now available at first time on CD. Surely you already informed yourself in the interview (see interview section) about this band. The 85er EP " Made Of Metal" (appeared as demo original) has something that one cannot buy with money today: Originalness, freshness, the true 80ies spirit. So rough, impetuous, play-joyfull and above all hungry nearly 15 years ago our beloved music was pushed out also in Germany (one remembers divine „Walls Of Jericho" times, which one can consult also quite well as comparison). Under retaining these virtues NF brought then three years later with "Who Dares Wins" (on  CD with three bonus tracks of the 89er EP) their qualities in 43 minutes with better Songmaterial on the point: Continuous high speed, earwormrefrains (no „child-song“ danger), bursting double bass attacks, typically teutonic melodic guitar work and beautifull rough / dirty singing (like more down-been correct, in former times Kai Hansen). To provide an overview „Hard To Be Alive“ (92) or "Lost In A Dream" (93) are best suitable, which differ only in the bonus tracks and in the Covermotivs, otherwise ~ 70 minutes of value for money are offered. Here the hanseatics present one speedkiller after the other. Buy or die (I know, complete plate, assign to me nevertheless - here it' true). The 95er comeback CD "The Return" (ingenious titel!) impresses first by a completely out-of-the-earth booklet (teddybears????), goes off like hell after a short Intro however with three quick hammersongs in a row, has with "Hungry Fo Love" (the title says probably everything - scary poprocker), "Homeless" (instrumental - like nearly always also here superfluous) and a unplugged song (good idea: let’s play the Metal this times completely without electricity...) in addition three downers to offers, the remaining two pieces however rock again. Over the "Clown Patrol", published for various reasons under the name NOBODY'S FOOLS we spread the coat of the silence, with the thing rather nothing works out right: bad production, a booklet that rapes the eyes and above all Songs, which leave you completely indifferent. Hands off, only for completists! A band, which blew off best teutonic speed by the dozen should not stay in our memory in such a way. We wait for a hammer-hard comeback album, guys! These beads are available: T.Buczko, Schimmelreiterweg 36a, 22149 Hamburg. Prices (inclusive. h & s): MOM 16. -, WDW 20. -, HTBA 23. -, LIAD 23. -, TR 20. -, CP 23. -.
Nils

 

OVERSTEP - LA PIERRE   

Why can't I speak French? From this hammer disk one should be able to appreciate normally each detail (also the texts). If I tell you, that OVERSTEPs debut is the best one under all Brennus discs of this expenditure (thus still before KILLERS!), you will perhaps understand the enthusiasm. Fresh riff attacks, melodic "Singalong-soli", pounding drums and a singer, which make its thing more than tight. A whole lump of remarkable refrains (one must reconstruct however first on the basis of the good booklet) pushes this CD of the French crosswise through your head into the brain. The two guitars are located completely in the spotlight of production and provide pressure without end. Particularly if into those, almost exclusively in the Mid speed range settled, songs double bass attacks are interspersed, one must hear already quite exactly. Don’t be disappointed by the cover, which shows the bandmascot "Spacecat", which is introduced also in a confused backgroundstory. Hopefully the five Frenchmen do not have the "John Cyriis Sci Fi illusion". First of all one would have to take a look after the chaps then at all bus stops, secondly it would be unfortunate for a band, which makes as much mood. No prog, no technical over-ambitiousness, only good old Franco Metal as from the year 1985. Can one make a larger radix complement for a band? Girls over 1.75 meters, which want to terminate my French problems, announce themselves please numerously to my address (prefers meaningful picture letters). People, which want to terminate the crisis of the Franco Metals have to buy this CD.
Nils

 

PRETTY MAIDS - ANYTHING WORTH DOING IS WORTH OVERDOING  

The Danish maids have their best albums probably already made, remaining only the question, how near they approach to past large acts as "Red, Hot and Heavy" (for me still the MAIDS album) and "Future World" with the newest output. With "Spooked" already a part of the fans sunk into the sleep of forgetting was again-aroused, now tries "Anything..." to call back the remainders to the Melodic Metal frontline again. At first the thing starts also very well, with "Snakes in Eden" and "Destination Paradise" they rock you merrily to the ground, before one takes the foot from the gas for " Hell on High Heels", a rather on Airplay aligned rocker. Then follows the powerballad "When The Angels Cry", a high class output, and after this great beginning the pretty ones, first gradually and then quite rapidly, leave us untouched in the rain. "Back Off" and "Only in America" hold still anna-honouring the level of the first four Songs, but suddenly it gets downhill: "With These Eyes" (who should hear all these fuckin‘ ballads?),  the title track "Scent OF My...", "Face Me" and "Loveshine" are stink-boring average. If one would have held the quality of the first six titles, one would have "Anything..." now into a row with the a.m. milestones of the Danes, so it was enough only for an album above the average. "Spooked" pleased me personally better.You can buy this disc, but you do not have however. Fans will buy it nevertheless, all different rather adhere to the early works, or hear cautious for the sake intensively into the second half of the CD before the purchase.
Nils

 

RANDOM RAGE - RANDOM RAGE  

Sitting relaxed at home with a “Schoppen” Licher (Death to Heineken! Hail Licher!) in the hand thinking: "Let’s try the new single from Finland". Thought, done, Disc Change pressed: Marvelous! My high cabinet falls out of the speaker, the bottle (fortunately empty) to soil, the chin down. This singer is EXTREME! Extremely good, extremely powerful, sings extremely high. 95 % of all wannabe metalheads will find it probably ghastly (you are not metal!) – I love it. A mixture from a screaming Mark Boals and hysteric Jerome Parent (or in reverse). Sounds, as if he has taken a deep nose of Helium. On the other hand Bert Kivits of EMERALD sings in Moll! Since the whole thing is underlaid by driving Melodic speed also and costs absurd five pictures of old Abe Lincoln only, a buy is highly recommended here. By the way, the four mad Finns quote their band slogan with "The faster - the higher " - absolutely applicable! Guitarist and Mastermind Juri Vuortama threatened of course to become slower on the next CD, but if you write the chap include an „Slower ? No way! Stay higher - play faster! That's Metal!" notice in the envelope, too. Then you did again your weekly good deed for the Metal! Oh, at last something to the formalities: good sound, bad equipment (CD-R, at the PC printed front picture), two ingenious, divine, incomparable killer songs ("Countercharge" and "Metalstorm" - still questions?). If you hear this jewel, don't be disturbed from ignorant comments as "in which language does he actually sing?". Jussi Kinnunen has the vocal cords of Steel, with these things in Finland the ports are kept ice-free. RANDOM RAGE rules! 5 US $ to RANDOM RAGE Ranch, Juri Vuortama, Aleksanterinkatu 12 F 25, 33100 Tampere, Finland.
Nils

 

SCORPIONS - EYE II EYE  

Noo noo, it’s not possible that these are the SCORPIONS to those already my brother in the mid-seventies banged his in the meantime meager hair, not possibly the band, which emerged two of the most innovativ and most influential guitar heroes of today (Uli Roth and Michael Schenker). The SCORPIONS here have plateau soles and nose piercings as a target group in the visor and want to come in the big familyentertainmentshows, hit parades and TV request broadcasts ("for Frieda H., 78 years, from Cologne: to be number one"). I can’t believe at all. Mr. Jabs and Mr. Schenker senior would have better used less time to buy Boygroup clothings, but rather more to ban a guitar track on the machine from time to time. James Kottak one apparent bound arms and legs and hid him under the drumcomputer. Oh Guys! Well, in this decade the Scorps weren’t a Hard Rock outfit no more, but this self disassembly nevertheless really would not have been necessary. I’ll now cry first in the cushion and hear then "Fly To The Rainbow" - only in such a way from sentimentality...
Nils (Online Review)

 

SHADOWS OF STEEL - TWILIGHT   

Help! Underground Symphony flogs out above average to outstanding publications, that one can become dizzy. One of the best bands are for sure the musicians around the eccentric singer Wild Steel. SHADOWS OF STEEL packed their second CD as a Digipack and brought out the noble part as double CD. Who looks forward now to two hours of music, is on the wrong path: on CD 1 the five Italians present their four newest self-compositions, all togehter only 20 minutes of playing time - however those minutes are very well made! They used the entire stylistic range of melodic Speedmetal, from merciless outbursts of speed to half balladesk parts, everything is in here. As cream Wild Steels immaculate voice thrones over all. Great! CD 2 then brings six Coverversionen (under it two Intros) of likewise 20 minutes. It’s a kneefall before four bands EVERYONE should know: AGENT STEEL (the Gods!), CRIMSON GLORY, SAVAGE GRACE and EXXPLORER! If the names of the covered bands are already bringing shining eyes to you, during the conversion of the classical authors the chin will fall in direction soil! The Songs work in such a manner homogeneous, as if they would only have flowed yesterday straight from the feather. Particularly with "Run For Tomorrow" and „Agents Of Steel“ I would have made myself nearly into the trousers out of enthusiasm! Good production (with Underground Symphony unfortunately no matter of course) does its remaining in addition. Who wants to step out of the long shade of the steel must an achieve absolute world class achievement. How would the Italian say, if it could English? A must have!
Nils

 

SHARATAN – FIRST DAWN  

What a voice!  What a singing achievement!  On the basis of a very traditional metalrecord Thomas Helm, the front man of the Bavarian-Thuringian formation SHARATAN shows all facettes of his possibilities. The man sings ballads like "The Wanderers" just as emotional and sovereign, as he manages the power of his four fellows in "Autumn Ghost" and reminds me personally to an early mixture from Vic Hix and Bruce Dickinson, what - for a singer probably is not the worst reference. In the songwriting not yet everything is gold which shines, but with "Fortress" and evenly "Autumn Ghost" one has at least already two absolute hammersongs on board. Unfortunately "Return Of The Gods" from the no longer available "Rehearsal demo“, standing with the two aforementioned titles qualitatively in a row was not taken over to "First Dawn", a better sound would have been urgent to wish this killer. The ballad "The wanderers" and the mid-tempo- song "Sundown"are also good to listen to, but can‘t keep the standard defined by the band itself. The CD is completed by a atmospheric "Intro" and that somewhat redundant instrument "Lost  and forgotten", for which one should have better granted place to a title with singing. There production (singing and drums are produced outstanding, the guitars are partially too far in the background. Nevertheless surprising, which was made here from limited means.) and packaging both know how to please, here is only one solution: 15. - DM in an envelope (to: Thomas Helm, Am Reifelstal 230, 98617 Vachdorf) and secure the CD for your collection as quick as possible. Who digs Metal without progressive or other frippery (thus hopefully all THAT'S METAL - readers...) and instead of crying without balls wants to hear again a singer with pressure on the lung, can do nothing wrong here.
Nils

 

SUICIDE CULTURE - SUICIDE CULUTURE  

Definitely no CD for sunny minds (if they want to remain it) and already none, which openes quickly to the listener. Three months long led the eight tracks from Seattle only a shade existence in my CD-rack,  because for me the disk was a little too bulky. But if one argues however more intensively with the songs, one is recompenced by original listening experiences "Doom Thrash" calls the Trio its style, whereby the Thrash portion precipitates relatively small. As notion I would state rather TYRANT or more violent, straight SOLITUDE AETURNUS with thrashy vocals. From band name, lyrics, booklet, cover (black-and-white, but with ingenious Artwork) and music results in here a dark unit, of which Doom Metal disciples and others, which jump gladly from bridges (whether with or without bungee cord...) will be quite convinced. 7 US $ to SUICIDE CULTURE, P.O. Box 70566, Seattle, WA 98107, USA .Probable everyone of us would purge also into manic depressions, if just in its hometown Grunge had developed (we avoid the designation music direction here consciously this time).
Nils

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Copyright 2000 Nils Jordan
Last time I worked on it: 18.03.2000