REVIEWS from Snakepit #9 (2001)

AMETHYST
Flames To Eternity

independent

AMETHYST hails from Victoria, Australia and they play heavy metal like it should be done. The band consists of Georgie Larin on guitars, Nestor Melone on drums and Liz Galea on vocals. Evan Harris helped out on bass on this CD and Endel Rivers played the keyboards. Opener “Black Widow” will certainly blow you away, while “Eyes Of The Innocent” is based on a PANTERA-like riff: brutal, doomy and very heavy. In the middle of the song they change it into a fast monster, ending with a great guitarsolo. “Amulets Curse” opens with a riff that reminds me of THIN LIZZY’s “Bad Reputation”. Another metal anthem arises! “Stay” is the ballad. When you look at the variety of styles, you might want to compare them to ICRI’S WITCH (who are now called ELLIS), with their great album “In For The Kill”. Because after the ballad, they play a swampy kind of blues that has got a bit of ROSE TATTOO sound (“Butcher And Fast Eddy” at a higher speed!) and then they easily change to a more BLACK SABBATH-like approach in “Flesh” with a guitar solo reminding me of riff master Tony Iommi himself! “Enough Is Enough” they scream in the next song. It’s a short track that, although the title suggests something else, simply asks for more. The thrashy “The Kill” will get all those heads banging again. It also has a doomy part and will easily take you by force. The Bay Area sound is captured in four and a half minute here. The riffs could very well have been on the earlier METALLICA albums and the guitar solo fits in perfectly, screaming very high at times. Let’s raise a mosh pit, ladies and gentlemen! “The Archer” is a classical interlude - the intro to “Point Of No Return”. A song, which has a nice construction. Opening as a ballad and then changing to a mid tempo song with a lot of power. “The Ballad” (which won’t surprise anyone) is the second ballad on this absolutely good debut CD. The CD ends with “Wasted Youth”. Another great metal track, just like the opener. If you don’t buy this album, it’s all up to you but don’t say we didn’t warn you!! To order your own copy of this CD, get in touch with the band by writing to: Amethystmetal, P.O. Box 486, Thomastown, 3074, Victoria, Australia or send an e-mail to: amethyst metal@hotmail.com. Twelve brilliant metal tracks with a playing time of fifty-six minutes will soon come your way, so don’t miss it! I’d like to thank my good friend Peter Fundeis for making this review possible. (Toine van Poorten)

ANGELWITCH
Live At The LA2

Zoom Club Records

What we have here is a fifty minutes live show of NWOBHM heroes ANGELWITCH. You can read from the title that it’s been recorded at the LA2 in London on May 26th 2000. ANGELWITCH consists of Richie Wicks on bass and vocals, Keith Herzberg on guitar and backing vocals, Scott Higham on drums and the only remaining original member and founder of ANGELWITCH Kevin Heybourne on guitar and vocals. What you’ll hear is magic. It sounds like time stood still with this band. They still sound as fresh as they did in the very early eighties. The CD opens with “Atlantis” and we can also enjoy great versions of newer songs like “Psychopatic” and “Twist Of The Knife” or classics like “White Witch”, “Baphomet”, “Angelwitch” and my personal fave “Gorgon”. But watch out, this release contains more than just heavenly music. On the second CD you can see three songs on video as well. “White Witch”, “Baphomet” and “Angelwitch”, live on the screen of your PC. If there’s more you need to have a good time, just let me know. A SAMSON live CD from the same tour comes out on the same label, and will also contain a video CD If the excellent show at the Wacken Open Air didn’t bring them back on top, this release will. ANGELWITCH rules and this essential CD is the f*cking proof of it. Life can be beautiful! (Toine van Poorten)

APOLLO RA
Ra Pariah

O.P.M. Records

If you’ve read the interesting interview that Frank Stöver did with this band in issue 8 of Snakepit, then you might already know the musical background of APOLLO RA. O.P.M. Records has decided to release the demo, that was mentioned in this interview, on LP. It became a very limited release of five hundred, hand numbered copies. The difference with the original demo is that “Coming Of Age/Rukkus” is left out. Instead they put “Creating Zero” on the album, a song that was mentioned on the tape, but actually was not on it at all. APOLLO RA’s music can be described as a mix of CRIMSON GLORY and QUEENSRYCHE (Queen Of The Ryche period). High quality heavy metal with a melodic touch. Vocalist Daniel John Miller has the same high screams as Geoff Tate in his early days. And the twin axe work of Kevin Bulkley and Billy McKeowon is mind blowing. The rhythm section, that consists of Stephen Al binak on drums and Todd Channing Weaver, is very tight. And although the original recordings of these songs were done in 1987, you can definitely say that they stood the test of time. The album comes with beautiful artwork and liner notes on the inlay by the original band members. This album is a real treat for all the quick deciders out there, because five hundred copies is not that much. Highlight for me was the fast headbanger “March Of Fire”, with great high screaming guitarwork on it. But the other nine tracks are highly enjoyable too. Great album!!!! (Toine van Poorten)

BLITZENHAMER
Pawns Of The Predator

independent

WOW! Great CD cover, cool name, can we go wrong here? No, these guys play an ultracool mix of good old thrash in the well known Bay Area style, and heavy metal. The band was formerly known as SS DAGGER. And already from the intro on, you know that this is great stuff. It grabs you by the throat once the alarm goes off in the beginning of opener “The Major”. “Tunnel Rat” is fast and speed records are broken here. “Chamber Of Horrors” ending is a bit chaotic maybe. But who cares when you hear the rest of these great songs. And when you hear the air raids go off in “Alienus Maximus”, then you’ll know it for sure. There’s absolutely no one who can escape from the claws of BLITZENHAMER. Once they’ve caught you, they simply won’t let loose. “The Northstar Rapist” has a strong piece of guitar playing at the end. “WW III” ends this fifty minutes thrash attack. After that I suggest you just press the replay button for the best result. Here and there the vocals reminded me of good old SACRED REICH singer Phil Rind, which is a compliment. The band consists of Fritz Patrick on vocals, eyes painted black so he won’t be recognised when he’s out up front chasing his innocent victims. Drummer is Douglas Texeira, who’s dressed in an old SS DAGGER t-shirt. On bass we have the Tim Cardoza, together with Douglas he forms the unbeatable rhythm section. The guitarplayer of this very well talented band is Len Goldschmidt. Watch his guns ‘cause he’s a sharp shooter. Don’t mess with this band, ‘cause they have only one goal. They put it in one short slogan which is easy to remember: HEAVY METAL FOREVER. What more can I say? Anything that isn’t said here about BLITZENHAMER can be found at www.blitzenhamer.com. Hail BLITZENHAMER, they’re gonna get you, no matter when. Thanks go out to Len and the rest of the band for making this review possible. Look out for an interview with this band in one of our upcoming issues!!!! (Toine van Poorten)

DEFENDER
Remaining Tales

independent

Now this is a nice release when you’re into Dutch metal and I know that there are a lot of people that like the Dutch scene a lot (Hi Stefan). This compilation CD is a collection of songs of DEFENDER from the period 1984-1990. It’s a journey of over fifty minutes through the rich history of this well talented band. Their album “City Ad Mortis” easily reached the cult status here. This CD ends with four songs from the demo “Tales Of The Unexpected”, when the band existed of Harm Noort on bass, Bart van Rixtel (ex HAMMERHAWK) on guitar, Jos Baltus on guitar, Simon Menting on vocals and Remco Bouwens on drums. This is in the period of 1984-1986, when the band had a very tight metal sound. They played together with bands like MARTYR, CYCLONE and AGENT STEEL. For “City Ad Mortis” they changed guitarplayers and the bands newcomers were Henk Verheul and Stef Köhler. This line up will stay together from 1986-1988. Simons voice will sometimes remind you of Midnight of CRIMSON GLORY but the music of the band was a bit darker. Thundering double bass rolls, a constant roaring bass and the twin speed attacks of the tweo guitar players turn the songs from this period into real jewels. DEFENDER created their own Dutch version of the so well known Bay Area sound of that time. They even appeared on the Dutch radio. “Moloch” a song from this live gig is also on this compilation. The last line up that is presented here is a line up that lasted from 1988 to 1990. Harm Noort had left the band and he was replaced by Arwin Vergers. Harm will start GODDESS OF DESIRE later on. The CD opens with two songs from this line up, taken from their single CD “Journey To The Unexpected”. They played live with Dutch pride Jewel, and did a farewel tour with TOXIK. Arwin will join JEWEL after DEFENDER disbanded in 1990. The CD booklet contains a lot of rare pics and the lyrics of the songs and is very well taken care of. The musical highlights of DEFENDER are to be found on this CD “Remaining Tales”, which is a must for every Dutch metal freak. Finally you’ll get the chance to add “City Ad Mortis” to your collection. A rare item that is wanted very much by a lot of die hard metalheads. Check out www.defender-music.com. for more information about this Dutch metal band. (Toine van Poorten)

DI ANNO
Nomad

Encore Records

Paul Di Anno, the ex IRON MAIDEN vocalist is back in business. His new album “Nomad” is a true killer. I t contains eleven new tracks including one intro. Besides the voice of Paul, you’ll also hear his new backing band which exists of four unknown but well talented musicians. Paulo Turin on guitars, Chico Dehira on guitars, Felipe Andreoli on bass and Aquiles Priester on drums. For me Paul has always been the ultimate IRON MAIDEN frontman. “Iron Maiden” and “Killers” have always been my favorite albums. Well this album sure is a killer too. Listen to the great, long guitarsolos in “Mad Man In The Attic” and in the title track “Nomad” and you’ll go crazy. During “War Machine” and “Cold World”, Paul sounds like the other returned metalgod Rob Halford. And “S.A.T.A.N.” reminded me a bit of ARMORED SAINT’s “Can U Deliver”. “The Living Dead” is the compulsory ballad on this forty-five minute monster. Paul has also released a new live CD called “The Beast Live 2000” under the name of PAUL DI ANNO’s KILLERS. Don’t miss both albums and don’t miss the man at Wacken Open Air. Nomads come and nomads go, but this nomad is back again that’s for sure!! Great CD artwork, by the way. (Toine van Poorten)

HAMMERHEAD
Heart Made Of Steel

Pseudonym Records

Another jewel is digged up from the precious vaults of the Dutch heavy metal scene from the roaring eighties. Next to DEFENDERS “Remaining Tales” we finally get to hear the full length version of “Heart Made Of Steel” of HAMMERHEAD. Before this line up of HAMMERHEAD went into the studio to record “Heart Made Of Steel” a lot of people had already played in the band and moved on to other bands. In early line ups we find back Dick Stam, who also played in GILGAMESJ. Schmoulik Avigal who moved on to PICTURE and THE RODS. Chris van Jaarsveld also moved over to PICTURE, and later on SLEEZE BEEZ. Erik Karreman will continue his career by SEDUCER and HIGHWAY CHILE. On this CD we will hear Ian Parry on vocals, who we all know from his work with AIRRACE (with Jason Bonham), VENGEANCE and now with ELEGY. Ian Bisshop on bass, Joe Franco on drums (who also played with TWISTED SISTER, he replaced drummer Bert van de Watering), Wilko van Beek on guitar and David Rosenthal (ex RAINBOW/ROBERT PALMER) on keyboards. HAMMERHEAD plays melodic rock. Think about GARY MOORE (just listen to the ballad “Don’t Cry Your Love Away”!) or RAINBOW and you’ll get the point. Eleven great melodic rock tunes are to be found back on this release which has a running time of almost forty minutes. A world tour with the SCORPIONS was cancelled on last notice and this album officially never saw the light because the band parted company with their record label EMI. Now you can finally witness the great songs this band has composed. Ian Parry tries to bring the band back to life again with Noppy Ton on drums and Arco Bommer on bass. But that didn’t last very long also. Arco and Noppy go to FIRST AVENUE and Ian starts PERFECT STRANGERS, leaving behind these beautiful songs that will have to find their way to the fans, sixteen years after they were recorded in Germany. (Toine van Poorten)

IOMMI
Iommi

Virgin

Ten songs fill this solo release of BLACK SABBATH guitar player Tony Iommi. Each song with a different singer. People who think that they will hear some kind of second rate BLACK SABBATH songs will be very surprised I think. IOMMI makes sure he will survive in this new millennium. But the die hard SABBATH fans will scratch behind their ears and they may find it tough to comprehense this album at once. Iommi used some well known singers to perform his new tunes. And so we hear back people like Peter Steele (TYPE O NEGATIVE), Billy Idol, Dave Grohl (FOO FIGHTERS), Skin (SKUNK ANANSIE), Philip Anselmo (PANTERA), Billy Corgan (SMASHING PUMPKINS), Ian Astbury ( THE CULT) and OZZY. A lot of the band names printed above won’t make you happy and so does the overal sound of this album. Most of the songs sound like new songs of the bands mentioned but they definately have got nothing in common with BLACK SABBATH. Except for the guitar sound of Mr Iommi himself then. Tip for the newborn metal heads is to give this thing a try, you might like its dark heavy sound. Die hard SABBATH fans should start searching for the other ‘unreleased’solo album of Mr Iommi with Glen Hughes on vocals. This will knock you of your feet, that’s for sure. It was nice to hear back Brian May (QUEEN guitarplayer) too on a few songs of this album. Playtips are the last two songs of the CD, namely “Who’s Fooling Who” with OZZY on vocals and “Into The Night” with BILLY IDOL on vocals. But I suggest you better pick out your faves for yourself. (Toine van Poorten)

YNGWIE J MALMSTEEN’S RISING FORCE
War To End All Wars

Dream Catcher

I still think that YNGWIE’s first album was his very best ever. And I also like his work with ALCATRAZ a lot. But this Swedish wizard always knows how to impress me. Although you can say that most of the albums are copies of the previous record he made, he always knows how to make a high quality record. Same goes for “War To End All Wars”. A lot of structures may sound familiar but when you hear the solos of the maestro himself you know you wil have a good time listening to this album. In opener “Prophet Of Doom” we hear back some QUEEN influences in the choirs. And “Crucify” has a certain Eastern feel over it in some guitar parts. The CD contains three instrumental songs out of fourteen, in total they are good for over an hour of splendid heavy rock. The line up on this album is Mark Boals on vocals, Mats Olausson on keyboards and John Macaluso on drums. YNGWIE handles everything with strings attached to it. But I believe that this line up also doesn’t exist anymore. If you like YNGWIE’s music you’ll also like this record. It’s solid rock CD and nothing changed too much, he’s still fast and a king on his fretboard. Who needs more information about YNGWIE can go to his webpage at: http://www.Yngwie.org. (Toine van Poorten)

FRANK MARINO & THE MAHOGANEY RUSH
Eye Of The Storm

independent

Wow, FRANK MARINO is back!!! I always liked the music of this Canadian guitar legend. It’s been too quiet for a long time but with this album it looks like Frank is ready to rock again. Sometimes his songs sound a bit experimental, and so does the opener of his new album “Eye Of The Storm”. Don’t let these first chords disilluse you, cause later on on he will definately blow you out of your chair. This man is still real fast on his guitar and he will astonish you with his very own style of guitar playing. He turns back the time for twenty five years and especially the older hardrockers and Snakepit readers will know what this means. This means that there are loooong guitarsolos on this CD. He simply starts to play a solo, but he never knows how to stop. His style can be compared with people like ROBIN TROWER, RANDY HANSEN, ULI JON ROTH or JIMI HENDRIX. You can call it old fashioned. You can call it out of time. You may even think that I’m a boring old fart, but I enjoyed every note of this CD. Nine long tracks with a total running time of about seventy-five minutes (!!!) made the investment, made to get this CD, worth every penny. Right now the CD is only available from the Internet. Simply go to. Highlights for me were the HENDRIX like “Learned My Lesson Well” and “He’s Calling”. I’ve got no idea about who’s in the band right now cause I wrote this review from a promo copy, but I think that nobody give’s a shit as long as FRANK MARINO is in it it’s okay. Great release!!!! (Toine van Poorten)

MASTERMIND
Prog, Fusion, Metal, Leather & Sweat

StellarVox

I will not give you all the details of all the difficulties I had finding this CD. Everywhere I searched, the title had been deleted or they had never heard from it. Cause after hearing their previous CD “Angels Of The Apocalypse”, I was very interested in this live CD. Which was recorded during the USA tour from June 18th till June 26th 1999, where they also played on the Nearfest The title of this eighty (!!!!!) minutes CD is made out of the music of the band (Prog, Fusion and Metal) and the wheather conditions during the tour (Leather and Sweat). It’s a pity that keyboard wizard Jens Johansson was unable to join the band on this tour. So they had to hire a friend of them called Mickey Simmonds (ex FISH, CAMEL, MIKE OLDFIELD) to do the very important keyboard parts.The rest of the band consists of Bill Berends on guitars and backing vocals, Rich Berends on drums, Bob Eckman on bass and Lisa Bouchelle on vocals and acoustic guitar. Right from the start, this CD grabs you by the throat. The production is good and it gives you a good overview of the virtuosity of the band. If you know that there are ten songs on this CD, you already know that you can count on long songs with long instrumental passages in them. Ranging from speedy metal attacks to experimental fusion parts. But everything is done in a very professional way. Which makes it easy to listen to these great compositions. Listen to “The Approaching Storm” and close your eyes. In the middle of the storm there’s a segment that indicated the storm is getting nearer. You can almost feel it! To explain the magic is difficult, but think about the “Images And Words” CD of DREAM THEATER and you’ll get the point. It’s the same magic you’ll hear back on this CD. Well, at least I did then. If you’re into DREAM THEATER and you already liked the previous albums of MASTERMIND then it’s definately time to search for “Prog, Fusion, Metal, Leather & Sweat”. Highlight for me was the encore called “Jubilee”. Here we can hear the virtuosity of the band at its best. It starts instrumental, then a drumsolo is added. And at the end they run through some well known instrumental classics like “Hall Of The Mountain King (SAVATAGE/EDVARD GRIEG), parts of the fifth and the ninth symfony of BEETHOVEN, “The Sabre Dance”, “The Star Sprangled Banner” and “God Save The Queen”. It seems that Lisa has left the band already and is replaced by Tracey McShane. The music will basicly stay the same though I think. If you can’t find this precious little diamond then you better go searching for it on the following address. Go to the website of the band at www.k2nesoft.com/mastermind or go to the website of their recordlabel at www.stellarvox.com. Or drop a line to Offline Management, P.O. Box 1259, Browns Mills, NJ, 08015, USA. The CD will probably cost you about $15,- and $3,- for shipping and handling. (Toine van Poorten)

MONTANY
The Evermore

CDEMO

MONTANY is a well talented band from Holland that present their demo on CD. It contains three songs. The band is obviously influenced by bands like IRON MAIDEN, GUNS ‘N’ ROSES and HELLOWEEN. But I wouldn’t call them a cheap copy of these bands. “The Evermore” is a fast rock song with great MAIDEN like guitarwork in the middle. “Deep Water Rising” follows, which is a real headbanger. Furious riffs fill your room, there’s simply no escape! Great song, in which we hear the HELLOWEEN influences pop up. The Cdemo closes with the longest song “Pyramid Of Cheops”. This is a ballad like song, which again sounds like IRON MAIDEN. It has a great construction, especially when you realise yourself that this band only consists for three years now. Here and there you can hear the sound of Midnight (CRIMSON GLORY vocalist) back in the voice of singer Patrick. To be complete, here is the line up of MONTANY. We have Patrick van Maurik on vocals, John Brederode on drums, Stefan Brederode on bass and guitarplayers Albert Houwaart and Dirk Hoek. Bastiaan Wassenaar is to be heard as a guest performer on keyboards. If you’re into the bands that I mentioned in this review, then I would certainly check out this band. Their live show should even be more powerful than this Cdemo, as I understand from the information that I have here. Reason enough to give it a try. Just email to montany@most-wanted.com or write a letter to Patrick van Maurik, J. Th. De Visserstraat 90, 2221 AX Katwijk, The Netherlands. You can also check out their website at www.come.to/montany, you won’t be disappointed. A full length release of this band is scheduled for May this year. (Toine van Poorten)

OLIVER/DAWSON SAXON
Re://Landed

Phoenix Music

This is a live registration of one hour, done by ‘the other SAXON’. You may, or may not, know that there are two SAXONS on this globe. The most official one is the one with Biff and Paul Quinn. But Graham Oliver and Steve Dawson also decided to call their band SAXON. Which caused a lot of trouble of course. They decided to change their name into SON OF A BITCH, which was official the first name of SAXON. Now they’ve added Oliver/Dawson to the name SAXON to make it look a little bit different. For so far this little history lesson. What’s in a name. It’s the music that counts. And if the name is almost the same as the original name, then you can guess that the music is also almost the same. We get to hear eleven classic SAXON tracks in one hour. Old and new tracks, it’s all there. Well you know them, songs like “The Bands Played On”, “Dallas 1 PM”, “Strong Arm Of The Law”, “Motorcycle Man”, “Wheels Of Steel” and “747, Strangers In The Night” in which they added a few cool space effects. But it’s basicly another, good live album from these English guys that we once knew from the original SAXON line-up. The band is completed by John “Wardi” Ward on vocals, Haydn Conway on guitar and Nigel Durham on drums. This band is also rumoured to play on the 2001 version of the Wacken Open Air Festival. Don’t miss them. (Toine van Poorten)

OVERDRIVE
Overdrive

Stormbringer Productions

Who will not remember the two albums “Swords And Axes” and “Metal Attack” and the rare EP “Reflexions”, made by the Swedish band OVERDRIVE? Well, Stormbringer Productions, who also released picture disc singles of Dutch bands like VORTEX and HAMMERHAWK, now released the very first two song of these Swedish metalheads. They printed them on a super quality vinyl 7” picture disc. These are two songs that were recorded even before the songs that were on “Reflexions”. We hear Kenta Svensson on drums, Pelle Thuresson on vocals, Kjell Jacobsson on guitars, Kenth Eriksson on bass and of course Mr Sweden Heavy Metal himself Janne Stark on guitars. Kjell and Kenta came from OCEAN, while the rest of the band started their career in PARADIZE. The songs that are on this limited, hand numbered release are called “Overdrive” and “20th Century”. The melodic metal of the band is of a very high quality, as we know it from their two full length releases. The song “20th Century” is a bit more metal. Both songs sound a tiny bit like MOTÖRHEAD through the hoars voice of Pelle. This band kicks ass and it would be a good investment to buy yourself a copy of this great release. For more information about this very well taken care of 7”, you can get in touch with Stormbringer Productions, Linnégatan 24, 38062 Mörbylanga, Sweden or send an email to stormbringer@mbox302.swimpnet.se. If you like to get more information about this Swedish band called OVERDRIVE, then I can direct you to www.algonet.se/~stark. I want to thank Niclas Johansson for making this review possible! (Toine van Poorten)

SAMSON
Live In London 2000

Zoom Club Records

This CD comes with an extra video CD. It was recorded on May 26th at the London Astoria 2. They played a live show there to celebrate the twentieth anniversary of NWOBHM, together with ANGELWITCH and PRAYING MANTIS. The ANGELWITCH gig is released on the same label. This SAMSON gig contains the line up with Chris Aylmer on bass, Thunderstick as the caged drummer,”The Voice” Nicky Moore on vocals and of course Paul Samson on lead guitar. It’s the same line up that also attacked the Wacken Open Air festival in a very successful way. The band made a good choice between old and new songs (f.e.“Brand New Day”). From opener “Test Of Time” on you can enjoy the great powerful bluesy voice of Nicky Moore. His voice didn’t change a bit over the years. Eleven songs are on this double CD release. Good for one hour of pure SAMSON. The songs on the video CD are “Red Skies”, “Earth Mother”, “Thunderstick’s Swedish Dance” and “Riding With The Angels”. But of course you can also enjoy great songs like “Vice Versa”, “Don’t Get Mad, Get Even” and “Mr. Rock And Roll” to name a few. I think that Paul Samson wrote “Mr. Rock And Roll” about himself cause this man really knows how to rock and I’m glad that he survived over the years. Hopefully this line up will record a new studio CD soon. Until then you can enjoy this great release. (Toine van Poorten)

SAXON
Diamonds And Nuggets

Angel Air

Now this is what I call an interesting compilation CD. It contains nineteen (!!!!) tracks from SAXON. All these tracks are previously unreleased in this form and some of them are on CD for the very first time. The CD opens with three live recordings namely “Stallions Of The Highway”, “Midnight Rider” and “Frozen Rainbow”. Then they continue with two tracks from the “Power And The Glory” sessions “Turn Out The Lights” and “Coming To The Rescue”. Besides this we hear unreleased outtakes of “See The Light Shining”, “Stand Up And Be Counted”, “Freeway Mad”, “Street Fighting Man”, “Still Fit To Rock And Roll” and “Big Teaser”. As you can see they sometimes changed the original names of the songs a tiny bit. But there are also a few songs that were never released on any album at all like “Walking”, “Ann Marie”, “Stone Room Jam” and “Ain’t You Glad To Be Alive”. The songs are to be heard in their rawest versions imaginable, with some very fine guitar work of Paul Quinn and Graham Oliver. On one version of “Frozen Rainbow” that is on this compilation you can hear Kevin Ayers (ARGENT) play keyboards. The liner notes in the CD booklet are by Dave Ling and the track by track comments by the songs were given by Graham Oliver and Steve Dawson. Graham believes that there will come more of these releases in the future. I would really like that cause this CD sounds awesome. And it was great to hear how SAXON sounded in their early days when they were still called COAST and SON OF A BITCH. It’s a true must for every devoted SAXON and heavy metal fan on this earth. (Toine van Poorten)

STEEL PROPHET
Genesis

Nuclear Blast

What we have here cannot be called the new STEEL PROPHET CD. What is it then? It’s a good compilation CD full of covers and the “Inner Ascendance” demo. Thirteen songs with a total time of about seventy minutes will tear your speakers apart. The “Inner Ascendance” tape is a very much wanted item in the tape traders world. And I think you will never get it in a quality like this anymore. It contains six songs from the beginning period of the band. The liner notes that were put by every song are very interesting to read. You can read the story behind each song while listening to it. The sound of the band comes very close to the old sound of bands like IRON MAIDEN and ancient FATES WARNING. The covers on the CD are from various great metal bands like ACCEPT, IRON MAIDEN of course, BLACK SABBATH, JUDAS PRIEST, METALLICA and..............THE SIMPLE MINDS. The liner notes will make you understand why they choose this song , “Don’t You Forget About Me”, to cover. For me it’s the only odd one out on this great CD which is full of nostalgic moments. Some of the covers were produced by Joey Vera of ARMORED SAINT and FATES WARNING by the way. A very nice compilation of a very underrated band. Hail to the Prophets Of Steel!! (Toine van Poorten)

VARIOUS
Bat Head Soup, A Tribute To Ozzy

Triage Records/Eagle Records

I like tribute CD’s a lot, you may know that by now. Artists paying honour to their biggest influences by playing their songs. Combinations of well known people who get together for just one time to play a song together. This time it’s OZZY OSBOURNE again that’s being honoured. We hear a few session musicians but we also hear names like “Ripper” Owens, Yngwie J Malmsteen, Brad Gillis, Eric Singer, Dee Snider, Lemmy, Ritchie Kotzen, Dweezil Zappa, Joe Lynn Turner, Steve Lukather, Jeff Scott Soto, Bruce Kulick, Paul Gilbert, Vince Neil, Georger Lynch and Reb Beach to name the most important names. They selected eleven tracks that are mostly from the RANDY RHOADS period, the first two albums so to say. Some people try to give the songs their own twist, like the high voice of “Ripper” Owens in opener “Mister Crowley” is quite unusual, when you’re so familiar with the voice of OZZY in this song. Or listen to the tender voice of Lisa Loeb in “Goodbye To Romance”, it makes this song slightly different than the original version. Enjoy these timeless songs in their slightly different form. The title of the CD was also the title of one of OZZY’s most wanted bootleg years ago. (Toine van Poorten)

VARIOUS
Snakebites, A Tribute To Whitesnake

Dead Line Music

This is a tribute album for WHITESNAKE. Again a lot of great musicians got together to record one of their favorite WHITESNAKE songs. Interesting is that most of the people are taking the newer songs of this English band. But we also hear older classics back like “Here I Go Again”, “Ain’t No Love In The Heart Of The City” and “Fool For Your Loving”. Twelve songs fill this CD with a full hour of WHITESNAKE music. The sound of this band became famous for the great voice of ex-DEEP PURPLE singer David Coverdale and the bluesy sound of twin guitar duo Micky Moody and Bernie Marsden. Later on it got more melodic with guitar players like John Sykes and Adrian Vandenberg. On this CD we hear the voices of people like Dougie White (ex RAINBOW), Steve Grimmett (ex LIONSHEART/GRIM REAPER/ONSLAUGHT), Nicky Moore (SAMSON), Bernie Shaw (URIAH HEEP) and Steve Overland (FM). A few other musicians on this nice CD are Merv Goldsworthy, Pete Jupp, Lea Hart eand ex WHITESNAKE members Bernie Marsden, Neill Murray, Don Airey and Micky Moody. The only thing you might miss is the mighty voice of Mr. Coverdale himself. What’s left behind are twelve fine tracks that give you a good overview of the whole WHITESNAKE career. The versions are only slightly different than the original versions. The CD booklet only contains the line up of the bands that play the songs. Die hard David Coverdale fans can now check out his new solo album “Into The Light” with Earl Slick playing the lead guitars this time. (Toine van Poorten)

VORTEX
The Mill

Stormbringer Productions

VORTEX is back and “The Mill” is a good proof of it. 4 Songs were recorded on blood red vinyl, ready to be unleashed at their hungry fans. A cult band from Holland spread their wings again. Hear the evil voice of Jurjen “Thundervox” Tichelaar and the mean riffs and solos of Martjo “The Whirlewolf” Brongers during the opener “Oubliette” and you know we’re dealing with a great quality old school heavy metal outfit here. “I Got Mucho More” takes the speed up higher, crossing away in the fourth gear. You know when the solo will hit you, but you’re not aware of the fact that it will hit you right in your face. The B-side of this 10” opens with a riff that can be compared with Eddie van Halens “You Really Got Me”-riff. But this song is much darker and heavier of course. The solo is fast and the rhythm section is grinding, nonetheless it sounds catchy on the other side. The last song is called “A Lovely Day”. That’s what you will have when you play this record over and over again. Jurjen growls like a chained madman while Martjo plays his most flashing solo of these four tracks. If you survive this then you can call yourself a real metal head. This is definately not for the faint hearted. How to get this 10”? Simply drop a line to Blue Steel Agency, Gorechtkade 47, 9713 BE Groningen, The Netherlands or send an e-mail to whirlewolf@hetnet.nl. You won’t regret to spend your money on this one, cause this is where it’s all about my friends. Metal in it’s purest form, hail to VORTEX may they live on forever!!! (Toine van Poorten)

WASP
The Sting

A Snapper Music Label

This is a live CD recorded live at the Key Club in Los Angeles, California on April 22nd 2000. It’s a limited edition netcast recording, meaning that the recordings were taken from an internet broadcasting of a WASP live show. This also means that the sound quality may not be as perfect as it was on their previous live album “Live Assassins”. But the song choice is okay, it covers the whole career of Mr Blackie Lawless and co. It contains twelve songs with a total running time of sixty-five minutes. It runs from newer tracks like “Helldorado”, “Damnation Angels” and “Dirty Balls” to classics like “Chainsaw Charlie”, “Wild Child”, L.O.V.E. Machine”, “I Wanna Be Somebody”, “Blind In Texas” and of course their anthem “Animal (F*CK) Like A Beast”. It’s a bit disturbing that they turn away the public after each song, it was better to let the songs fluidly go over into each other in my opinion. WASP’s stage performance and lyrics were sick, but that was the strength of this band. They gave new guys like MARYLIN MANSON the example to go crazy on stage and become famous, not to say notorious and immortal. Crank up the volume and shout with the lyrics, they ask for it. I bet you know every word of the songs of these sick motherf*ckers. The liner notes in the booklet were written by Dante Bonutto and the CD comes in a cardboard box. A nice document to have if you’re a WASP fan and if you don’t mind the softer sound quality of these recordings. (Toine van Poorten)


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