Another batch of awesome albums rescued from the unloving clutches of my local Record Shops. This time it’s vinyl only: the LPs (and EPs) I bought during the May to July period. Black Metallers fear not! If the previous Black Metal Buying Special wasn’t enough to satisfy your wanton misanthropy there are a couple of legendary first-wavers here too.
Yngwie Malmsteen – Eclipse (£6 Record Fayre Glasgow)
I’ve been after this beauty for a while. There’s no Rising Force so I suppose that makes this his first “solo” record. It still has the Power Metal flavour of albums like Odyssey but it’s definitely getting slicker and more melodic with the Classical stuff less prevalent. Suits me. I love Göran Edman’s vocals, the songs are memorable and varied and there are still enough pedal-to-the-metal ragers and crazy axe solos to keep me happy.
Entombed – Hollowman FDR Edition (£13 Earache UK Webshop)
I have a terrible habit of buying Entombed vinyl and then never listening to any of it but I have actually listened to this one. Only once but still! It sounds fantastic: crushing Death N’ Roll. The guitar tones are absolutely mighty (anyone got a Boss HM-2 Pedal for sale?) I need to give this stuff the listening time it really deserves. Beautiful splatter vinyl with nice poster too.
Mercyful Fate – Mercyful Fate EP (£8 Missing Records Glasgow)
I was so delighted and surprised to find this beauty in the racks I almost let out a high-pitched scream of excitement. The first Mercyful Fate release on vinyl, I already have these four tracks on The Beginning CD but it’s great to have them on vinyl with that cover. Their style isn’t quite as fully realised here as it would be on their first full-length Melissa but it’s still a pretty startling debut release with its raging Diamond Head-style riffageddon and King Diamond’s unique vocals. Interesting that this has a Side A and a Side One. I guess that true Black Metal Nietzschean superheroes don’t have time for “B” Sides?
Wolfsbane – Live Fast Die Fast (£4 Love Music Glasgow)
After enduring Iron Maiden’s “Shite Years” with Blaze Bayley at the mic, it was a shock to find out that his prior band, Wolfsbane, were pretty awesome. I have since bought their single Ezy and the All Hell’s Breaking Loose Down at Little Kathy Wilson’s Place mini-album and thoroughly enjoyed them. This is their debut album, which was listed in Classic Rock magazine’s “Rick Rubin Buying Guide” as the “one to avoid”. Well, as you all probably know, Classic Rock really does talk out of its arse sometimes and this album is truthfully the best thing Rubin did that didn’t have Danzig written on it. Ever. Yes, I’m looking at you Slayer! A rip-roaring British take on Van Halen, this is my new favourite record. I am now officially a Howling Mad Shithead.
Tygers of Pan Tang – Wild Cat (£4 Love Music Glasgow)
Classic NWOBHM and one of the all-time great album covers. I’ve seen a lot of vinyl copies of this in the shops but they’ve always been dinged or damaged in some way. This copy was pristine and a good price too. Always found Jess Cox’s vocals a bit dicey but I’ve enjoyed hearing this one again, it’s an important addition to my ever-expanding NWOBHM library.
Humble Pie – Performance: Rockin’ the Fillmore (£7 Love Music Glasgow)
I’ve wanted a vinyl copy of this for some time. Pleased to find a copy at last and in decent nick considering its age. It’s one of those albums that work best on vinyl. I like how they’ve put the two long tracks on the same disc. The first disc has Side One and Side Four on it which threw me when I first put it on. Mercyful Fate would probably disapprove of Sides Two, Three and Four to be honest. I always knew the Pie were an influence on KISS (and their classic Alive! album in particular) but it really stood out to me hearing it this time. In fact, I believe Paul Stanley might have been in the audience at some of the performances here?
Bathory – Bathory (£13 Monorail Glasgow)
Black Metal’s ugly, screaming birth. Right here. Other bands like Venom and Hellhammer were obviously hugely influential and important but with this album, for the first time, Black Metal found its unique musical style. The imagery and crude bludgeon of Venom with the razor speed of Thrash and Quorthon’s rasping, shrieking vocals sealing the deal (with the Devil). The rain that kicks off the album lasts for an unsettling three or so minutes before the music even starts, the ominous opening signalling a Black Sabbath-style new beginning in Metal. Seismic. Interestingly I notice that Bathory, in keeping with their early-BM compatriots Mercyful Fate, also have no time for the loser notion of a Side B. Here we have a Side Darkness and Side Evil. Impressive. Most impressive.
And that’s the lot. I’ll be back soon with some reviews and I’ll probably give it another few months before doing any more Buying Round-Ups. Hope you enjoyed the selection for the last few posts, I certainly did. Let me know what you think.