27 Years Ago: RAZOR live Toronto Metal Massacre 2 (Shotgun Justice)

Live at the second Toronto Metal Massacre on this day in 1989.

The eastern US and Canada had just gone through one of the coldest periods on record but the show went ahead. Organised by Two Rays Promotion. RAZOR organised a multi-cam shoot and you can see some of the footage in the video for Shotgun Justice.

Shotgun Justice is the title track from their sixth album released 2-3 months after this gig.

Avoid undue exposure…

29 Years Ago: ADX live in Paris (French Speed Metal)

Live on this day in 1987 ADX played at Maison de la Mutualité, Paris. This high quality recording was released the following year as Exécution publique. Sounds like a large crowd; la Mutualité had a 1700+ capacity, similar size to the Astoria.

ADX stands for Acier DouX. It means ‘soft steel’, but soft in this translation refers to the melodic side of their music. It’s hard driving heavy/speed metal!

Any gigs we played, we met fans from unexpected countries… We met Scandinavian, South Americans, Africans, Asians fans… We never played in their coutries so they came… We don’t sold-out stadiums or main-stages it’s true but every gig we play is like a party and an opportunity to meet fans and friends.

31 Years Ago: WATCHTOWER release Energetic Disassembly debut

Austin’s WATCHTOWER released their debut album on the unknown Zombo Records (3500 copies) on this day in 1985.

It was really like a demo album. We accomplished. We did not loose. We lost lots of money but we didn’t loose, in one way, because we accomplished what we were looking to do which was to get our name out – get the style of music that we are out. You can’t describe our music. You just don’t know what to call it. I call it “Space Metal” sometimes. Its weird.

“Energetic Disassembly” is the government term for the detonation of a nuclear warhead. And you have to match a code. You have to match this certain code to set off a certain silo and a certain missile. And if you mess up that code, you’re going to set off the wrong missile and blow up somebody you didn’t want to blow up. Its a technical thing, ya know? A lot of kids don’t know the process, the things you have to do, and the things you have to know. There are people out there who are paid to sit in these silos in-case of attack or something. These people are paid to kill just like when you go in the army, you are paid to kill. But with this, its millions of people with one button. Its just talking about it, its not really about a war. Its like the process of what happens. A bomb goes off, your skeleton appears, then the land is waste. Its kind of like the process of what happens when you’re exposed.

– Jason McMaster / Watchtower interview, Metal Meltdown zine #1 1987

30 Years Ago: EXUMER release Possessed by Fire (…and the flames are burning higher!)

Our current manager, Matthias Prill, knew Tommy Ziegler, the head of Disaster, so he invited the guy to the show. We brought Warfare over from England and we really played our hearts out; the offer came from that night.
…we did receive some other offers, but I won’t say from who. We thought Disaster was better for us because we could be more individual if we were on a different label to all those bands who were getting signed by the two labels [SPV and Noise] you mentioned.

Released by Disaster on this day in 1986, EXUMER’s classic debut Possessed by Fire.

Harris [Johns] and Tommy Ziegler worked together for many years when they used to bring out punk music on Disaster. They are very good friends and Tommy knows Matthias, so he suggested Harris to us. We’re pleased with the production because it’s really good for our style.

A lot of German bands aren’t really raunchy enough, and we told Harris that we wanted a dirty guitar sound. This is also part of the US sound that the band likes listening to.

exumer-possessed-by-fire-back

“No special thanks but pure hate goes out to Ralf Ludwig for cheating us and all the people who ordered our demotape.”

Well, as the message on the back of the album says, our old manager Ralf Ludwig cheated everybody. We got a lot of orders for the tape but he took all the money and never sent any tapes out.

At the time reviews often drew comparisons with EXODUS:

It’s not just Exodus they talk about you know, it’s Nasty Savage, Slayer etc, etc. How would I react? Well, it’s not like a copycat thing; you can’t say that we put on a record and say ‘we’ll change this around and play it like this’. I think a lot of people overdo this charge of bands copying other bands. We listen to a lot of stuff and I can guarantee that on any album you could say ‘that sounds a bit like Slayer or Metallica or Exodus’. Maybe a few of our riffs are written in the same style as Exodus, but it doesn’t mean to say Exodus wrote them and we played them does it. Ray loves Exodus, especially Bonded By Blood (1985), but that doesn’t mean Exumer are Exodus. We are trying to do what we want just like anybody else, and I hope everyone understands that!

– Paul Arakaki, Syke Bornetto / EXUMER interview, Metal Forces #23 1987

20 Years Ago: INFERNÖ release Utter Hell

80’s speed / thrash worship! INFERNÖ released their debut album on this day in 1996.

The lineup, names disguised, included Czral (VED BUENS ENDE, AURA NOIR – Utter Hell was released around the time of Black Thrash Attack), Einar Sjursø (BEYOND DAWN, VIRUS) and Olav Knutsen (LAMENTED SOULS, WAKLEVÖREN).

inferno-norway

32 Years Ago: RETROSATAN record Grito mortal (Argentinian Black Metal ’87)

RETROSATAN’s 1987 tape Grito mortal is killer speed metal influenced by NWOBHM (PRIEST / MAIDEN etc) played with high intensity and lyrics dealing with religion and corruption.
The video above is a bonus from the 2010 CD reissue of this demo with some extra tracks.

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About the date: some places list the recording date of this demo as 19 September 1987, others as November 1986 & July 1987…

retrosatan-band-1

30 Years Ago: RIGOR MORTIS (TX) record their first demo (a super charged zombie awakes…)

There was one called ‘The Troll’, that never appeared on any record. ‘Six Feet Under’, from our second record, was on that demotape as well. It was okay. I wouldn’t now say that it was all great, but apparently the girl at Capitol liked it a lot.

A modest appraisal by bassist Casey Orr..! It’s true they were a faster, tighter and more aggressive band by their next release, the brain melting self-titled album; but considering all but one song made it onto future albums(*), the material here is some of the best ever speed metal. Just rawer and less razor-precise than it became later.

* Foaming at the Mouth was re-recorded but didn’t actually make it onto the album, it was included on the soundtrack for The Decline Of The Westem Civilisation Part II (1988). It has since been included as a bonus song on reissues of the first album.

Insane quality for a first demo. Every second of RIGOR MORTIS’ only demo, recorded on this day in 1986, kills!! Wild speed metal from Arlington/Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas. Only 500 were made and the band soon signed to Capitol Records through the label A&R Rachel Matthews. Capitol released their classic debut LP in 1988.

…we sold it at our shows and sent it to people and tried to promote it as much as we could. But actually, we didn’t have that much time. We got signed fairly soon after we put out the tape, so once we got signed, we decided to start working on the songs for the record and everything and we didn’t put out another, second demotape or anything.

I guess in 1983… we really formed as RIGOR MORTIS and got Bruce Corbitt to sing for us, he was our first singer. We put out a demotape in ’86, only put out 500 copies of it, but a friend of ours got in contact with people from Capitol Records… Rachel Matthews, who was at Capitol Records at the time, and she liked it a lot and came down and saw us and they signed us. We thought it was a really great deal and that it was the biggest deal in the world.
– Casey Orr, Voices from the Darkside

After Mike Scaccia’s death in 2012, original members Casey Orr, Harden Harrison and Bruce Corbitt continued to play live as WIZARDS OF GORE. They will be playing a special 30th anniversary show this weekend (17 September 2016) to mark the release of the demo.

They have also put together a documentary covering the early days of the band. Part 1 is out now covering 83-87, more info here.

31 Years Ago: ABATTOIR release Vicious Attack on Combat (LA Speed Metal)

It did really good. It was a really strong album but because the band lacked support it went nowhere, but it did break the band into the metal scene and showed what the band was all about. Of course this second album is much better, it’s still ABATTOIR but the melodies have changed.
– Mike, Metal Forces #20, 1986

Metal Forces reviewed their ’83 demo in issue 3:

Musically Abattoir can be compared to the likes of Judas Priest and Iron Maiden with a touch of raw edged Motörhead thrown in on top. Their demo contains two excellent fast paced metal numbers; ‘Vicious Attack’ and ‘Screams From The Grave’ which is a slightly superior version to the one that can be found on Metal Massacre IV.

33 Years Ago: VOIVOD Play Their First Ever Gig

Piggy, Away, Blacky and Snake!

Live in Saguenay, QC, Canada about 7 months after forming (Nov 82).

VOIVOD played 4 original songs at this first ever gig: Voivod, Condemned to the Gallows, Blower, Voivod (reprise!), Anomalies.

The rest were covers and give a good idea of some of their main influences: Venom (x5), Tank, Sweet Savage (x2), Motorhead (x4), Raven, Judas Priest (x2), A II Z, Budgie.