Category Archives: Classic Rock

Now Playing: Wolfsbane – Live Fast, Die Fast

Wolfsbane – Live Fast, Die Fast (1989)

Last week’s “wee break for some Wolfsbane” has turned into this week’s “listening almost exclusively to Wolfsbane and not much else”. In fact, the last three albums I’ve listened to have been this one, Live Fast, Die Fast. There’s quite a lot wrong with these wicked tales of booze, birds and bad language. The slightly over-smoochy pop metal track I Like It Hot, the bizarre ballad Tears From A Fool, the frankly fuck-witted production job from Rick Rubin and the worst drum sound of all time on Killing Machine. But the happy story is that this album is 100% magnificent despite all those things. Even the over-smoochy and bizarre songs! Even the one with the shit drums! It’s brilliant. Bastards. Glory booouuunnnddd…

[Wolfsbane – Greasy]

It’s going to be a bumpy night
I bought it on CD too…

 

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New Releases – 17th August 2018

Don’t know about you, but I would like to hear some death metal today. Fingers crossed.

Cemetery Urn – Barbaric Retribution

Ermagherd. Derth Mertle. The cover caught my eye and it only took about 45 seconds of Down The Path Of The Dead to make me want to buy this. One for fans of Dead Congregation.

Innumerable Forms – Punishment In Flesh

Death metal! Quite doom-laden stuff, quick preview reminded me of early Paradise Lost. Another ace cover. Another must-hear.

And, not a new release yet, but I can’t not mention the new Steve Perry track taken from his upcoming album Traces (out Oct 5). Totally not metal but this song and the return of Perry has really cracked a big smile on the HMOverlord’s misanthropic granite visage. Great to hear that voice again, reminds me of the For The Love Of Strange Medicine stuff, which has got me a bit excited.

And that’s about the lot for this week. See you next week for another mix of raw death metal and smooth AOR. Just the way you like it.

Blue Öyster Cult – Mirrors (Review)

Blue Öyster Cult – Mirrors (1979)

Blue Öyster Cult had hit it big with 1976’s Agents Of Fortune but they were starting to sound like they were going through the motions by the time of 1979’s Mirrors. The slick Tom Werman production and generic songwriting displays little of the band’s usual esoteric adventurousness. The pastiche Moon Crazy should never have seen the light of day and the title-track has some woeful lyrics: “Pretty girls have a love affair/with their eyes and their shining hair”. The AOR approach mostly results in decent but forgettable tracks like Lonely Teardrops but does at least manage to offer up one Cult classic in the wistfully pretty single In Thee. The album is on stronger footing when the band finally starts to sound like the BÖC of old on The Vigil and I Am The Storm, a great cosmic pairing that livens up the second half. Definitely a lesser effort compared to its predecessors but Mirrors has just enough going for it to be worth a look.

HMO Rating: 3 Out Of 5

[Blue Öyster Cult – The Vigil]

Pretty boys have a love affair, with their eyes and their shining… hands?

Buying Round-Up: Jun/Jul 2018

I’d normally do a New Release post today but there’s nothing out this week that I can be bothered buying or writing about! So instead, I thought I’d have a quick catch up on some new additions. Been a quiet few weeks so I’ve not been buying a whole lot. Still some good stuff here though, and a couple of AOTY contenders too!

Immortal – Northern Chaos Gods

Blashyrkh’s finest impress mightily with their first Abbath-less album: raging, epic and cold black metal of the most classic variety. At first I thought it was a bit meh but it’s really growing on me with each listen. Reckon this will be a keeper. All black covers are a bummer to photograph though so apologies for the shite photies!

Solstice – White Horse Hill

This is a very nicely done digipak. Looks great! It’s the US version so it’s got a bonus track on it too. This is a immensely stirring epic doom album with brilliant vocals and tons of Bathory/Manowar-style Viking manfeels. Love this kind of stuff.

Rotting Christ – Under Our Black Cult

A superb box set from Peaceville, who are getting jolly good at these things (hoping for a My Dying Bride one next). Five whole discs of albums, demos, live stuff and more! And it also has a signed certificate from RC main-man Sakis Tolis and an excellent photo-packed book.

Autopsy – Critical Madness: The Demo Years

And here’s another excellent Peaceville release. Autopsy’s seminal demos get reissued. Have a lot of this stuff already but this is a brilliant compilation of fat, filthy death metal done right. Love the cover, liner notes and obi-strip… and it was only £8!

Batushka – Litourgiya

A godly black metal album from 2015. This is a new digipak edition. Blabbed a bit about it and posted a track here.

Guns N’ Roses – Appetite For Destruction

Went easy on my wallet and plumped for the 2CD version and bought some other tracks as downloads. Nice to have, remaster sounds great and it’s got good packaging for the price but I’ve not really been getting much out of this reissue. One of those albums I’m kinda done with (Rocket Queen aside… I always get a kick out of that). Thought this might rekindle my interest but it hasn’t yet.

Yes – Yessongs

An unexpected charity shop find. Got this album already but my current vinyl copy is beyond tatty! This is a later repress but it’s in great nick and has the booklet, which my other copy was missing too. Still going to keep the older copy cause it sounds great but this is a lovely copy of an all-time classic live album.

Bought the new Antichrist Imperium vinyl but it’s not turned up yet, and I bought the new Imperial Triumphant album and the three Thou EPs as downloads on Bandcamp. And that’s about the lot! Some really superb music here and plenty to keep me busy during this fallow patch of new releases. I’ll hopefully get back to those next Friday though… if there are any!

New Releases – 27th July 2018

Welcome back! Last week was a total shiter for new releases so I gave myself a wee blogging holiday. But now I’m back and better than ever. Here’s today’s new musical things.

Not entirely sure what is going on here

Dee Snider – For The Love Of Metal

The Twisted Sister frontman gets very metal with heavy friends from bands like Hatebreed, Arch Enemy and Lamb Of God. Kinda good to see him go in this direction after doing Broadway songs and stuff like that. But it all seems a bit try-hard to me, he’s not writing the songs and I don’t like most of the musicians that are involved. Barking up the wrong tree, basically! I’ve only read good things about this but I’ve not been very excited by the songs I’ve heard. I’ll likely pass.

Thou – Rhea Sylvia EP

This is the last of a series of three EPs leading up to a new album Magus later in the year. This experimental sludge/doom/noise band has got such a dauntingly huge back catalogue that I’ve never even got started. Heard a couple of tracks from this though and they were both great. So… might as well start here!

Autopsy – Critical Madness: The Demo Years

This demo collection came out a while back on vinyl but I passed cause I have most of this stuff already. But I don’t have it all so it lingered in my mind ever since. I keep gazing longingly at it in the shops. But now it’s out on CD and it’s only £8 so I’ll definitely pick it up now! Not really the sort of thing you want to get caught gazing at in public anyway.

Q5 – Steel The Light

Great and overlooked 80s album featuring the famous Floyd Rose that invented the famous annoying guitar bridge! I bought a second-hand copy of this a good while back after reading about it in Kerrang’s “666 Albums To Hear Before You Die” mag. But now it’s out as a double disc with extra stuff so I could well be tempted to buy it again if the price is right.

And that’s about it for today. As usual, this is just the stuff that’s on my radar so let me know what you’re hoping to pick up today in the comments.

Now Playing: Bon Jovi – New Jersey

Bon Jovi – New Jersey (1988)

I always dig out the Jovi when it’s sunny and it has been sunny here for some time now, which means lots of Jovi has been playing. And New Jersey is peak Jovi, the band at the height of their powers. Jon Bon Jovi’s voice is as powerful as it ever got here and Sambora’s guitar is deadly, belting out classic riffs like the drop-D stunner in Lay Your Hands On Me. I like the way the album mixes up Cinderella-style rootsiness with a massive Lep-esque production too. The album gets a bit too drippy at points but songs like Bad Medicine, Blood On Blood and Born To Me Baby are just irresistible.

(This is the deluxe box version which has lots of rare stuff too but I’ve just been listening to the album proper this week)

[Bon Jovi – Lay Your Hands On Me]

New Releases – 6th July 2018

The new release bonanza continues… this is an even better release week than last week.

Immortal – Northern Chaos Gods

One of 2018’s major releases here. The black metal giants return with their first album since their split with frontman Abbath. And by the sounds of it, I don’t think anyone will miss him. This is vintage black metal with enough glacial riffing to cover the whole of Blashyrkh with an impenetrable and grim permafrost. Or something like that! It’s great basically, that’s what I’m trying to say.

Bundle with bonus single and signed certificate!

Rotting Christ – Under Our Black Cult

Peaceville cover the Hellenic black metal bands’ early days with this 5CD box set. Covers the bands early demos and also contains the Passage To Arcturo mini-album and also has the albums Thy Mighty Contract and Non Serviam. Throw in a 72 page book and a bundle with The Call 7″ and you’ve got a must-buy. I pre-ordered this the moment I found out about it.

Death – Death By Metal DVD

The great Chuck Schuldiner and his seminal band Death get a welcome and long-overdue documentary feature. As well as covering the man and band, the doc also gets into the early days of the death metal scene too. This is such a fascinating genre, guy and career… I don’t see how this could be anything other than essential viewing.

Mortuary Drape – Necromantic Doom Returns

I’ve been wanting to get into this Italian band for years but it’s quite hard to get their stuff on CD or vinyl. So I can’t possibly pass on this compilation of their first demos. Absolute raw demo sound but you know that sound totally fits necro music like this. Reminds me of a gruffer version of the other big Italian band Death SS. Hopefully more reissues of the early albums will follow.

Lucifer – Lucifer II

I checked out this band’s first album because of the link to Cathedral but I found it quite disappointing. But the band has changed a bit for album No. 2. Now Nicke Andersson of Entombed fame has joined and I’m intrigued again. Sounds like better songs this time around but I’m not totally convinced I could go a whole album. Worth checking out though, might be a dark horse.

Y&T – Earthshaker, Black Tiger and Mean Streak

Three classic Y&T albums get the Rock Candy treatment. It doesn’t look like there’s bonus tracks here though, just the label’s usual quality remastering and liner notes. Got these albums on vinyl and CD already so can’t see me being tempted by these. But if you like fun, catchy meat-and-potatoes LA hard rawk then look no further!

And that’s the lot for me, tons of great stuff coming out lately. What are you going to be buying or checking out today?