Rust In Peace: Megadeth

Rating: 100%

Megadeth-RustInPeaceIn 1990, the perfect Trash Metal album was released by Dave Mustaine and the boys.  This was what Trash Metal was all about. Everything from the sound, the tempo, melody, and the style. Starting out was the most perfect album cover ever. It was X-Files, but X-Files Megadeth fashion.

Musically, every song here kicks ass. I can’t think of any song on this album that is bad. It’s perfect! It’s well balanced. It has some of the greatest leads and solos that Trash Metal has to offer. It’s pure and well thought out. The final production is flawless.

Great musicianship all around. Vocally, it’s one of Dave Mustaine’s best. It’s got tons of great riffs that only Dave Mustaine can produce.    Guitarist Marty Friedman just nails it. Drummer Nick Menz provides the right amount of tempos to help make this one of the best all time Trash Metal albums of all time. David Ellefson provides some of the best bass lines. 

Track listing:

1. “Holy Wars… The Punishment Due” 6:36
2. “Hangar 18” 5:14
3. “Take No Prisoners” 3:28
4. “Five Magics” 5:42
5. “Poison Was the Cure” 2:58
6. “Lucretia” 3:58
7. “Tornado of Souls” 5:22
8. “Dawn Patrol” 1:50
9. “Rust in Peace… Polaris” (5:44 on reissue) 5:36

Reissue tracks:

10. “My Creation” 1:36
11. “Rust in Peace… Polaris” (demo) 5:25
12. “Holy Wars… The Punishment Due” (demo) 6:16
13. “Take No Prisoners” (demo) 3:2

Hell: Venom

Rating: 65%

Venom_hell.jpgIn 2008, Venom released “Hell.” This album has gotten many different ratings to the point where I see many like it or many hate it. The problem is, when these bands who started out in the early 1980’s, they ruled the underground. As their audiences grow up and get wiser with age, their mindset changes. As these musicians get more experience with music, they tend to release the same album. AC/DC, Motorhead, and Obituary are three that come to mind. Well, even the great Manowar, so there’s four.

The overall sound is a bit bland and heavily polished. It’s not like the older Venom albums where the recording was raw. It doesn’t have the lust or the power of previous albums. While you listen to this album, it does make me lose interest, because there is no power in the music. This album is an average album with average material from the Black Metal fathers.

The opening track is perfect the way it is and stands out from most of the other material. This is pure Thrash Metal. “Hand of God” is another great track that stands out. It’s not Thrash Metal or Black Metal, but a mixture of styles that are Groove and Punk rooted. It reminds me of Prong’s “Snap Your Fingers, Snap Your Neck.” “Kill the Music” has almost a classic Venom feel to it that has been modernized. Bottom line, this album while it isn’t anything fancy, it’s just a basic average release by Venom.

Track listing:

1. “Straight to Hell” 4:28
2. “The Power and the Glory” 5:09
3. “Hand of God” 4:35
4. “Fall from Grace” 3:29
5. “Hell” 5:08
6. “Evil Perfection” 3:36
7. “Stab U in the Back” 4:33
8. “Armageddon” 3:28
9. “Kill the Music” 3:15
10. “Evilution Devilution” 4:29
11. “Blood Sky” 5:13
12. “USA for Satan” 4:51
13. “Dirge/The Awakening” (Instrumental) 3:30

Conjure and Command: Toxic Holocaust

Rating: 80%

IConjure_and_commandn 2011, Toxic Holocaust released in what I would say is a Sodom style like Trash Metal album that isn’t too shabby. In fact, I think that this album is a solid release.

Joel Grind really throws out some very heavy riffs and leads. His raspy vocal style gives a bit of eeriness to the overall sound.  Phil Zeller has some decent bass lines, but the backbone really goes to Nick Bellmore on the skins.

Musically, it’s got a lot of energy and power. The song structures are very short, which is what classic Thrash Metal used to do. The entire album is less than 33 minutes long. Now, there’s isn’t anything new on this album that hasn’t already been done.  But, this a way to introduce classic and old school Thrash Metal to a new generation. Toxic Holocaust just steps up to the plate and updates this style of metal into their own, adding a dash of Speed Metal and Black Metal to the final product. That is what I really admired about this album when I first heard it.

Track listing:

No. Title Length
1. “Judgment Awaits You” 1:55
2. “Agony of the Damned” 3:59
3. “Bitch” 2:49
4. “Red Winter” 3:32
5. “Nowhere to Run” 3:46
6. “I Am Disease” 4:24
7. “In the Depths (Of Your Mind)” 2:43
8. “The Liars Are Burning” 2:54
9. “Revelations” 2:50
10. “Sound the Charge” 3:17

Blessing in Disguise: Metal Chruch

Rating: 95%

Metal_church_blessing_in_disguiseRealizing that change was needed and a new direction with the shifting of mainstream music, Metal Church foreseen the future as the high water mark of Glam Metal was on the decline and so was Thrash Metal. “Blessing in Disguise” proved to be the change needed in order to produce a solid heavy album. This is the first album with vocalist Mike Howe and guitarist John Marshall. The end result is an album that is almost flawless.

The heaviness, new vocal style, the drumming, and the bass are absolutely brilliant on this album. The opening track “Fake Healer” features all of the ingredients for the perfect Heavy Metal song. Heavy and powerful guitar riffs, fantastic leads and fills. This with some great drumming that even features the slapping of the drum sticks, a powerful bass guitar and strong, harmonizing vocals is what made this album great. The melodies within the song structure are amazing.

The rest of the album is just like that. The production is so much better on this album than the previous two records.  The song writing has greatly improved. This is one of the greatest Metal church albums that they released still to this date.

Track listing:

1. “Fake Healer” 5:55
2. “Rest in Pieces (April 15, 1912)”  6:38
3. “Of Unsound Mind” 4:44
4. “Anthem to the Estranged” 9:31
5. “Badlands” 7:21
6. “The Spell Can’t Be Broken”  6:46
7. “It’s a Secret” Instrumental 3:47
8. “Cannot Tell a Lie” 4:17
9. “The Powers That Be” Vanderhoof Wells, Vanderhoof 5:22

The Dark: Metal Church

Rating: 85%

MetalChurch-TheDarkMetal Church after their first release went back into the studio and produce a very powerful and solid follow up album, “The Dark” in 1986. Their blend of Heavy Metal, Speed Metal, and Thrash Metal mixed with elements of the New Wave of British Heavy Metal is great. This album showcases that Thrash Metal can exist in a song structure that is changing and progressing.

This album still produces these killer riffs and leads that are conducted by Kurdt Vanderhoof and Craig Wells. The screaming raspy vocal style of David Wayne sounds good. This is the last album he would stand in on for a while. Keeping the time, tempos, and beats is drummer Kirk Arrington and assisting him on bass is Duke Erickson. “Method to Your Madness” is one example where elements of Thrash is blended in with just regular Heavy Metal and the result is a sort of Power Thrash epic. The opening track “Ton of Bricks” and “The Dark” are pretty straight forward Thrash Metal. “Watch the Children Pray” is a ballad style song without following the traditional ballad structure.

Bottom line here, Metal Church sounds stronger, powerful, and energetic. Their song writing style is still developing, but, a solid second album.

Track listing:

1. “Ton of Bricks” 2:55
2. “Start the Fire” 3:55
3. “Method to Your Madness” 4:52
4. “Watch the Children Pray” 5:57
5. “Over My Dead Body” 3:36
6. “The Dark” 4:11
7. “Psycho” 3:32
8. “Line of Death” 4:42
9. “Burial at Sea” 4:58
10. “Western Alliance” 3:18

Metal Church: Metal Church

Rating: 85%

MetalchurchselftitledAP

In 1984, Metal Church released their debut self-titled album. Metal Church is one of those groups that started out and gained a decent following underground during the Thrash Metal movement. The album features vocalist David Wayne, guitarists Kurdt Vanderhoof & Craig Wells, bassist Duke Erickson, and drummer Kirk Arrington. They contributed much to the Thrash Metal scene. A nice solid album for the time. Musically, it’s filled with Thrash Metal, Speed Metal and just good ol’ Heavy Metal. It’s a decent record filled with tons of riffs and lead guitars. There’s some good drumming and bass lines. I do like their faster version of Deep Purple’s “Highway Star.” “Gods of Wrath” is another good song. It’s got some great vocal ranges. “Beyond the Black” throws out some very thrashy and fast riffs. “Metal Church” is another decent song. The sound is somewhat clean, although, it has that typical 1980’s sound quality. All and all, not a bad record.

Track listing:

1. “Beyond the Black” 6:23

2. “Metal Church” 5:03

3. “Merciless Onslaught” (Instrumental) 2:54

4. “Gods of Wrath” 6:41

5. “Hitman” 4:39

6. “In the Blood” 3:31

7. “(My Favorite) Nightmare” 3:12

8. “Battalions” 4:53

9. “Highway Star” 4:39

Product of Imagination: Paradox

Rating: 75%

Product_of_Imagination1987, saw the debut release of the German band Paradox, “Product of Imagination.” This proved that the Thrash Metal scene was being picking up in Europe. I remember buying the on cassette when it first came out.

Paradox is four simple men, who show the world that they can wail just as fast and heavy on their instruments, as their American counterparts. Vocalist & guitarist Charly Steinhauer sure can throw out some powerful riffs. His voice seems to be a bit higher than most Thrash Metal vocalist. Think Metal Church. Throwing out those riffs as well is guitarist Markus Spyth. Between these two, they know how to shred on those strings. The leads are very powerful. With these two, their guitars are almost the ones setting the tempo and the bass and drums are catching up. On bass is Roland Stahl. His bass sound is clearly heard. He helps to maintain those timing signatures and complex tempos and melody changes. The backbone seems to fall on the shoulders of drummer Axel Blaha.

Although, this is a Thrash Metal album with mid level tempos being pushed to the point where Speed Metal takes over, there are some very melodic sections to the song structures. The overall sound is pretty decent. I must admit, that I prefer the first side of this album. It seems to flow nicely, where as the second side seems to loose some of its lust. To be honest, it was great hearing this classic Thrash Metal again on YouTube as I lost my cassette many many years ago and never got around to looking it up on CD.

Track listing:

1. “Opening Theme” (instrumental) 1:24
2. “Paradox” 4:16
3. “Death, Screaming and Pain” 5:09
4. “Product of Imagination” 7:15
5. “Continuation of Invasion” (instrumental) 2:13
6. “Mystery” 5:05
7. “Kill That Beast” 4:27
8. “Pray to the Godz of Wrath” 4:44
9. “Beyond Space” 4:48
10. “Wotan II” 0:18