Candlemass – Candlemass and Live at Buckley Tivoli The Candlemass Doomology Box Set includes many demos that were recorded for their excellent eponymous album and I wanted to refresh my memory about the final album before listening to them. I also stuck on another of their live recordings from the Doomology set. Quite rough quality: Messiah’s vocals are too high in the mix, leaving him open to EvaOverload’s jibes about him sounding like a wedding singer. Tsk.
Manilla Road – Crystal Logic Hugely under-rated US Metal. This is blissfully good. I’ll definitely be buying more of these guys’ stuff before 2013 is through. Er… budget permitting!
Carcass – Swansong This is one of the more fascinating albums to come out of Extreme Metal’s brush with the mainstream in the 1990s. It can get a bit samey at points but it’s a great melding of brutality and Classic Rock. As the title suggests the band split up once it was released but, like everyone else these days, they have reunited and are releasing a new album this year.
Winterfylleth – The Threnody of Triumph One of my top picks from 2012 although I’ve not actually done a Best-Of 2012 post… so you’re going to have to just guess what the other ones were!
The Darkness – Hot Cakes This was another 2012 top pick! So you know two of them now, you can stop complaining. This might be joint-top actually, along with the Van Halen album. Arrghhh, that’s three! Oh bugger it, the other two were Gojira and Manowar with a special mention for St. Vitus. Happy now?
Be-Bop Deluxe – Axe Victim I bought the excellent Futurist Manifesto Box Set last January and decided to give it an anniversary listen. This, their first album, is excellent. The real star of the show is Bill Nelson’s fantastically colourful guitar playing. I’m really looking forward to working through their albums again.
Pentagram – First Daze Here Too Yep. Them again.
Saxon – Innocence is No Excuse Can’t work out if the girl on the album cover is eating that apple or just wiping her face with it. This is the first time I’ve listened to this one and I’m pretty impressed. The grit of their earlier albums has been polished away but it’s still heavy in an early 80s Priest/Def Leppard way and the songwriting is sharp. If the good ship Saxon wobbled with Crusader then this album definitely sets it back on an even keel. The subsequent departure of the talismanic Steve “Dobby” Dawson would spring the first major leak.
SONG OF THE WEEK Really hard to choose this week. I’m going to go with Pentagram’s Wheel of Fortune. This one opens with a beast of a riff. Hope you like it!
[Pentagram – Wheel of Fortune]