More in-my-ears action for the week that commenced with Hogmanay!
Candlemass – Live Jönköping (1st LP of the Doomology Box) This is amazing. The very first Candlemass gig from 1987! The sound quality is quite rough as you would expect. It’s an odd one because, although it’s their first show, they had already released two of the greatest albums of all-time (Epicus, Doomicus, Metallicus and Nightfall)! So… not your average debut gig.
Pentagram – First Daze Here Too These guys are becoming a Noise-some Notes mainstay! Great cover of Under My Thumb on this one. I’ve been enjoying these compilations a lot which means I now want more ‘Ram! But I have my pesky budget to think of…
Jethro Tull – Too Old To Rock and Roll, Too Young To Die LeBrain reviewed this recently so I had to give it a listen. I love Tull but, of their 70s stuff, I’ve always overlooked this one. I really enjoyed it. It was like having a new Tull album! Lots of great acoustic stuff. Although it’s a bit short on “classics” it’s a strong album. I’ll be going back to this one.
Tygers of Pan Tang – Spellbound Or, as vocalist John Deverill might say: Spell-bah-woond. This is a great NWOBHM album and features an early appearance from superb axe-wrangler John Sykes. John Deverill’s vocals are a bit of an odd fit here though, too AOR for this type of record… despite his excellent diction.
Whitesnake – Give Me More Time (7” single) My first attempt at ripping some vinyl to mp3 and a crashingly stupid track to try it with! Cov the Gov sings so loud at the end of the tune you have to listen to the whole song to see if you got your levels right. I got there… 4 attempts later.
Praying Mantis – The Soundhouse Tapes Part 2 (12” single) Last week’s Single of the Week! And a very good one too.
Urchin – High Roller Another collection of Adrian Smith’s pre-Maiden band. Urchin were far too laid-back to fit into the nascent British Heavy Metal scene of the late 70s but there’s plenty of great ideas and playing here and it’s one of my favourite things I picked up in 2012.
Saxon – Denim and Leather, Power and the Glory and Crusader More Saxon! I just couldn’t get enough of these guys while I was on my hols over Xmas and New Year. What did you do on your holiday, HMO? Listened to SAXON! In my pants! Denim and Leather and Power and the Glory continue the band’s great run of genius songwriting but Crusader ushers in the difficult years. The title track is a fantastic epic and I enjoyed the album a lot while I was pulling down my tree! But, despite many great moments, there are hints of the American fixation that would start to heavily test the patience of the faithful. Crusader is a great album if you can overlook the dire portents.
SONG OF THE WEEK: WHO DARES BATTLE THE SARACEN? Saxon’s Crusader. That’s who.
[Saxon – Crusader]