Stu Presents: The Golden Age Of Metal!

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Re: '84 (Trouble: Psalm 9)

Post by Jinnistan » Sun Feb 10, 2019 8:27 pm

Stu wrote:While I acknowledge that the style we now know as "Doom Metal" existed way, way before '84, to the point where the very first song on Black Sabbath's self-titled debut arguably created the sound all the way back in 1970 (although some would put the origins of the sound back even further than that...).
I think I can beat that. I think this was released a month prior to Abbey Road.

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'84 (Bathory: Self-titled)

Post by Stu » Mon Feb 11, 2019 3:23 am

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Next up, we have Bathory's legendary debut album, which is arguably the most influential record to come out during what was (also) arguably the peak year of what's become known as "the 1st Wave Of Black Metal" (but, more on that below). Continuing the musical legacy of Venom (as much as Quorthon might have denied it otherwise) and taking it to a brand new extreme, Sweden's Bathory took the metal world by storm (of damnation?) with their low-fi, uncooked chicken-raw production values, openly, unabashedly Satanic lyrics, and raspy, evil croaking vocals courtesy of the man, the legend, Quorthon himself, all of which would are aspects that would see tremendous reverberations in Norway during the following decade (as we'll eventually see later in this project). Really, besides sounding raw in a more muddy, Venom-ish way as opposed to the shrillness that would characterize the productions of their Norwegian disciples later on, the only other aspect of Bathory that makes me hesitate from officially calling it "Black Metal" in the modern understanding of the term is its songwriting, which relies almost exclusively on intense, speedy tempos, something that I don't necessarily consider to be a defining characteristic of the style from the 2nd Wave onward. But, regardless of the genre-quibbling, Bathory was still some of the most evil-sounding music around in '84, and whether you want to call it 1st Wave Black Metal, evil-sounding Thrash, or just "extreme metal" in general, this is still one of the most influential records from one of the most influential Metal bands of all time, and whether you enjoy its particularly raw take on the genre or not, this album deserves respect for the almost incomparable impact that it's had on our beloved music, beyond a shadow of a doubt.

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Re: '84 (Trouble: Psalm 9)

Post by Stu » Mon Feb 11, 2019 5:36 am

Wooley wrote:I guess what we see here by my love of Dio ("Rainbow In The Dark" is seriously one of my favorite songs ever, I listen to it a few times a week and every time I'm at the gym) and The Scorpions is how much I enjoy it when hard rock/heavy metal focuses on and produces strong melodies. I find the marriage of these things to give the proceedings a razors edge and an almost magical electricity. The further it strays from great melody, the less my interest. Sabbath was obviously really good at this, but we're talking about the 80s.

Side question: Are we talking about "Hair Metal" here, like Poison and such?
Unfortunately, it feels like, in terms of the particularly melodic Traditional Metal that bands like Dio, Maiden, and Priest specialized in, it feels to me like that style more or less died out after the early-80's when the genre started getting more and more extreme, at least in terms of it feeling like no new Metal bands in that style have become anywhere near as huge as the old guard I listed. Sure, the Traditional stuff had a big influence on the creation of Power Metal later on, but I've never been a big fan of that, so I do lament the (more or less) end of major new Traditional bands being started. Although, if you like melody in Metal, what do you think of the big wave of Gothenburg-style Melodic Death Metal from the mid-90's, out of curiosity?

And as for the Hair-y stuff, I'm sure I'll mention some of those records in passing at some point, and maybe even cover one of them later on, but for the most part, I've never been very interested in Glam Metal besides the occasional exception like Pyromania, so I'm not planning on writing about it much, so no, I'm afraid.
Jinnistan wrote:Fantastic record.
I respect you going against the grain with your opinion of that (IMO) complete and utter disaster of a piece of "music", but I'll have to agree with the rest of the unwashed masses in heaping even more hate upon it. Unfortunately, my rambling, 10-or-so-paragraph rant-review on it wasn't archived by even The Wayback Machine, so there's no way to link to it now, so you'll just have to settle for scrolling to the very bottom of this in order to read any of my (along with a couple of other guys') thoughts on it.
Jinnistan wrote:I think I can beat that. I think this was released a month prior to Abbey Road.
While that was certainly slow enough to draw comparisons to typical Doom tempos, it was nowhere near heavy enough to be called remotely Metal (I wouldn't say it was "heavy" at all, really, not in the traditional, metallic sense of the word, at least). "I Wanna Be Your Dog" still kicks serious ass at least, though :D
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Re: '84 (Trouble: Psalm 9)

Post by Rock » Tue Feb 12, 2019 2:43 am

Stu wrote:
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I was listening to this at work, and I gotta admit I wasn't paying too close attention to the lyrics, until I heard the guy say "God loves us all."



Anyway, good stuff. :fresh:
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'84 (Metallica: Ride The Lightning)

Post by Stu » Wed Feb 13, 2019 5:40 am

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Finally, we end the initial year of this project with what is, in my humble opinion (and hopefully your's as well), THE most important metal record of '84, which is, of course, Metallica's legendary sophomore effort Ride The Lightning, one of the band's very finest hours (even though it actually only lasts a little longer than 45 minutes, haha), and, as far as I'm concerned, the first true classic album to arise out of the then-nascent Thrash Metal movement. Now, when I say that, I admit that that statement does come with a number of caveats; first off, I'm not necessarily saying that I personally, conslusively know beyond any shadow of a doubt that Lightning is the first great Thrash recording ever released, as, for l know, some band no one's ever heard of out in Nowheresville, Ohio recorded the most amazing, shredtastic metal demo tape ever all the way back in 1968, one that made Reign In Blood, Master Of Puppets, and Peace Sells all sound like complete and total crap, only for the band to disband after the only copy was destroyed in a tragic donkey fire, depriving the world of the most ahead-of-their-time heavy metal savants it has, or ever will, know. And, Ride The Lightning wasn't the first album released by a Thrash band, as Slayer & Anthrax had both already released their respective debuts by the time RTL had hit the streets, and heck, this wasn't even the world's first taste of Metallica, which came in the form of the previous year's debut release Kill 'Em All.

However, while Kill and those other records were certainly fun, fairly enjoyable debuts, stylistically, as far as I'm concerned, they were relatively unsophisticated, less aggressive examples of "Speed Metal" as opposed to being straight-up modern Thrash, and if Metallica and their contemporaries had continued in the same vein, I don't think they would've ever escaped the incredibly long shadows of Classic/New Wave British Metal, and established their own sub-genre. However, the band did just that with Ride The Lightning, taking the foundation of their idols that they had already been building upon in earnest and taking it to the next level, as they dramatically progressed their sound in a personal sense, whether it be the all-out shredfest of an opener "Fight Fire With Fire", the shockingly intimate, acoustic-driven confessional ballad "Fade To Black", or the 9 minute epic (!) instrumental "The Call Of Ktulu", an absolutely insane ode to Lovecraft's most iconic of Elder Gods. And in the process of creating all these amazing tunes, Metallica helped to permanently establish the sound of a brand new style of Metal in the process, as they take the relentless intensity of Hardcore Punk and fused it with the more technically-accomplished musicianship and the less chaotic, relatively "orderly" song structures of their British Metal idols, all executrd with a particularly ambitious, even progressive-leaning overall ambition to give it a unique edge, helping to create what we now know as *dramatic drumroll please* Official Modern-Day Thrash Metal, yo.

Of course, by this point, I've already tried to prove that '84 had plenty of other classic, pioneering metal records of various styles, but for my money, Lightning is definitely the most iconic one, simply by virtue of being released by a metal band that's become as uncommonly popular as Metallica, as, while it isn't necessarily more trailblazing in a stylistic sense than what Yngwie, Saint Vitus, or Quorthon recorded this year, with all due respect to those artists, their records didn't end up selling in excess of 10 million copies worldwide, did they? But at any rate, regardless of commercial popularity or inner genre impact, I think by now that I've proven that Lightning and the other records I've covered in this entry (and more I haven't, but we'll get into that) ended up making 1984 one of the biggest watershed years in the history of heavy metal, and, instead of turning out to part of some nightmare-ish dystopian era like Orwell predicted all those years ago, what we got instead was the true beginning of The Golden Age Of Metal, baby!

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Other Notable Metal Records From '84: If the records discussed above were the only Metal released that year, it would still be a watershed, but in addition to that, in terms of Traditional Metal, the year also saw the releases of Dio's excellent sophomore effort The Last In Line and Judas Priest's Defenders Of The Faith, the last true classic release by the band before going through a bit of a slump in their career in the 2nd half of the decade (before coming back hard at the dawn of the next one, but we'll cross that metallic bridge when we get to it), while on the more mainstream/"hairier" side of the spectrum, we also heard the Scorpions's Love At First Sting (which had a little song called "Rock You Like A Hurricane"; ever heard of it?), Twisted Sister's Stay Hungry, and Projects In The Jungle, the 2nd album from some band called "Pantera" before anyone knew (or gave a crap) who they were. Besides that, there were also a number of notable releases from other early Thrash bands like Metal Church's self-titled debut, Slayer's Haunting The Chapel EP, and Anthrax's debut Fistful Of Metal (which arguably helped name the style with the inclusion of the track "Metal Thrashing Mad"), but, like I said earlier, the metallic movement that was really seeing its highest peak in '84 was definitely the 1st Wave Of Black Metal, as, besides Bathory's aforementioned, unbelievably influential debut, we also saw the release of Venom's At War With Satan, which, while not as iconic a record as their first two initial classics (including Black Metal itself), it's still fairly well regarded by the Metal community in general, along with Mercyful Fate's sophomore effort Don't Break The Oath, which, while a classic record, really only resembled Black Metal in its openly Satanic lyrics, showing the mutability of the label at the time, and the incredibly raw, ugly Apocalyptic Raids EP from Switzerland's Hellhammer, a band that would see some of its members also go on to release a classic debut record later that same year, Morbid Tales, which was recorded under the name Celtic Frost; you may have heard of them.
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Re: Stu Presents: The Golden Age Of Metal!

Post by Rock » Thu Feb 14, 2019 5:10 am

Yeah, I can't argue with Ride the Lightning. I've been going back and forth between that and Master of Puppets over which one I like better (and I put Kill 'Em All closer to those than you would, as its looser, punkish stylings add to me a level of spontaneity that these more ambitious and polished works don't have in the same supply), but have leaned in its favour as of late, mostly because it's a better balance between that towering level of quality and some semblance of brevity. (I know you had ...And Justice for All as your avatar at some point on RT, so don't be mad, but I could never get into that one because of how fucking long every song is.)

In terms of your other mentions from the year, I listen to Don't Break the Oath, Morbid Tales and At War with Satan a fair bit (Venom aren't good enough musicians to pull off Satan's title track, but gosh darn it, they try, and the rest of the album is pretty fucking tight).

As for my favourite of '84 that's actually an '83 album, I'll have to go with this:

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It's not as sophisticated as any of the records you've cited and I doubt it's to your taste, but it does the trick in terms of powerful, fist-pumping anthemic metal like few others, while being a bit more mature than an album with a leather speedo on the cover would suggest (I find the songwriting fairly strong for this kind of thing and vocalist Udo Dirkschneider finds nuance in his raspy limited range). I'm also a big fan of its thrashier predecessor Restless and Wild (which at the very least has a hell of an opening), and its poppier successor Metal Heart shares enough of its better qualities to merit the occasional listen.
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Re: Stu Presents: The Golden Age Of Metal!

Post by Torgo » Thu Feb 14, 2019 4:23 pm

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Re: Stu Presents: The Golden Age Of Metal!

Post by Thief » Fri Feb 15, 2019 1:30 am

Wooley wrote: I hear y'all, I mean specific songs that tower as high as the best of Metallica, particularly since "better songwriting" has been cited here. I want to basically put Megadeth's 5-10 "best songs" against Metallica's and see what I think.
I meant to respond to this before, but got caught with other stuff and sorta forgot about it. Anyway, I agree with what crumbs said about them not being "a lyrical band". I do like a lot of their lyrics as well as some of their anti-government stance, but to me, it's more the heavy riffs and the fast-paced drumming what brings me in. For what it's worth, here's a bit of a rundown of the band's albums for me.

1. Killing Is My Business... and Business Is Good! (1985) Maybe a bit rough around the edges, but it's a debut album after all. Still, it's a pretty good album, very aggressive, heavy, and fast paced. Favorite songs: "The Skull Beneath the Skin"

2. Peace Sells... but Who's Buying? (1986) To me, this is where they perfectioned the Megadeth sound. Music is more polished, but still very aggressive. Favorite songs: "Peace Sells", "Devil's Island"

3. So Far, So Good... So What! (1988) Not as good as the previous one, but still very solid and good to listen to. Favorite song: "Liar"

4. Rust in Peace (1990) This is what most people will agree is the band's peak. It's my favorite album and probably has my favorite songs in it. I love the guitars here, everything rocks in this album. If you're not hooked after listening to the opening of "Hangar 18", I'm not sure what else to say. Favorite songs: "Hangar 18", "Tornado of Souls"

5. Countdown to Extinction (1992) My second favorite album. They follow the previous album's formula with great results. I think this one has some of their best lyrics. Favorite songs: "Symphony of Destruction", "Skin o' My Teeth"

6. Youthanasia (1994) Good album, although I'm not as much of a fan of it as other people. However, I will say that this is probably their best "commercial" effort. A lot of the songs are a tad mellower or more mainstream, not as heavy, and there is more attention to vocal melodies. Favorite songs: "Family Tree", "Victory"

7. & 8. Cryptic Writings (1997) & Risk (1999) I won't say much about this two cause I really have barely listened to them at all. I think I listened to them once or twice. For most rock/metal bands, the 90's were a black hole of confusion and attempts to reinvent themselves, and Megadeth wasn't exempt. What I remember is mostly dull, uninspired songs and confused sound, but who knows. Maybe I'll give them a second chance one of these days.

9. The World Needs a Hero (2001) This was a step in the right direction, but still not enough. Probably the most uneven of the albums I've heard with some good/great songs and some really, really bad ones. Favorite songs: "Warhorse", "Dread and Fugitive Mind"

10. The System Has Failed (2004) I've already sung my praises for this album. It's probably my 3rd favorite of the band. I think the first half of the album is one of the best stretches they've had in any album with heavy, aggressive songs. The second half is a bit weaker, but still solid. Favorite songs: "Kick the Chair", "Tears in a Vial"

11. United Abominations (2007) Yet another solid/great album full of heavy songs and great riffs. There's also a new version of their hit song "A Tout le Monde", and I know it might be heresy, but I kinda prefer this version to the original. They upped the tempo a bit, and the vocals of the Lacuna Coil singer adds some layers to it. Favorite songs: "Washington is Next", "Never Walk Alone... a Call to Arms"

12. Endgame (2009) I won't say much cause I really haven't listened to this one as much as I should to judge it. Still, it's pretty good. Favorite song: "1,320"

13. 14. & 15. Thirteen (2011), Super Collider (2013), & Dystopia (2016) Nothing to add cause I kinda disconnected from the band at some point, for no specific reason. I haven't listened to Thirteen or Super Collider, and I think I only listened to Dystopia once, so there's that. It's not a slight on them, but in the last years, I've kinda fell off from listening to albums with the same religiosity I used to.

Let us know what you think if you check them out.
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Re: Stu Presents: The Golden Age Of Metal!

Post by Stu » Sat Feb 16, 2019 7:02 am

I'm going to be out-of-town until sometime Monday, so I may not be able to post anything for '85/respond to any old replies until then, but in the meantime, here's a sample of what my '84 write-ups would've looked like if I had batched them all together in one big post like I originally planned; would you guys want to potentially wait a little longer between each entry and receive the write-ups for future years in this project all at once like they are below, or would you rather have me continue to just post each album write-up daily, one-at-a-time like I just did?:
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We kick the first year of this project off with Iron Maiden's Powerslave, a Metal record that needs no introduction from a Metal BAND that needs no introduction, as it serves as the monumental capper to a back-to-back series of iconic records we got from the poster boys of NWoBHM throughout the first half of the 80's, from the scrappier, punkier stylings of the Di'Anno records, to the more melodic, EPIC tone of the Dickinson era, which defined the band's style and made them worldwide icons, so it was a no-brainer to go with slave as being the foremost representation of traditional Metal that was released in '84. However, I wouldn't exactly describe this as being a revolutionary record for Maiden, but rather, a refining, revisiting the bigger, more ambitious leanings of 82's Number Of The Beast after the band had the chance to get a bit more comfortable with Dickinson/newcomer drummer Nicko McBrain through the more humble, but still equally enjoyable stylings of '83's Piece Of Mind. At any rate, from the blazing opener "Aces High" to the soaring instrumental "Losfer Words", or the absolutely epic, 13-minute record closer "Rime Of The Ancient Mariner", this is Maiden at their best, as Murray & Smith's amazing riffs and solos blaze away as intense as ever, Steve Harris's incredibly energetic, galloping bass holds down the low end in his signature virtuoso manner, and of course, the operatic vocals of the Air Raid Siren, Mr. Bruce Dickinson himself, fly higher and farther than ever before, resulting in what is still the band's finest hour, as far as I'm concerned; up the Irons, punks!

Recommended Cut:



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Ever wondered what it might sound like if Johann Sebastian Bach had been born about 3 centuries later, had grown up listening to Deep Purple & Rainbow, and ended up with the kind of raw guitar skill that would give peers like Satriani, Randy Rhoades, and even Eddie Van Halen a run for their respective monies? ...what, you have wondered that? Weirdo. Anyway, the answer to your oddly specific hypothetical lies within Yngwie Malmsteen's Grammy-nominated debut Rising Force, in which the Swedish guitar wunderkind takes the immortal guitar legacy of Ritchie Blackmore and absolutely runs with it, resulting the first truly essential, all-around work of Neo-Classical Metal, which you can hear in tracks like "Evil Eye" which are based on actual, old-school compositions of Classical music, only with a hefty infusion of the METAL to update them for the modern age. Of course, this is an almost completely instrumental recording where the riffs take a backseat to the almightly lead guitar, which, instead of being used as an occasional accent, is really the driving force (sorry) behind the music, and, admittedly, I know essentially nothing about how to play guitar, so most of the technical details of Malmsteen's skills go way, way over my head, but even I can still tell that he takes incredibly flashy, shred-tastic fret pyrotechnics that are as on fire on record as the conspicuously fingernail-painted hand on the album cover, and focuses them with catchy, well-composed melodies, solos, and actual, legitimate songwriting, as opposed to being just empty, pointless guitar wankery, proving there's a good reason why Yngwie is still a god to guitarists everywhere to this day, and it all started with this record right here, baby.

Recommended Cut:



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While I acknowledge that the style we now know as "Doom Metal" existed way, way before '84, to the point where the very first song on Black Sabbath's self-titled debut arguably created the sound all the way back in 1970, although some would put the origins of the sound back even further than that (just sayin', there's a good reason why Coroner, Type O Negative, and Mötley Crüe all recorded covers of that song). But, as far as I'm concerned, while Sabbath and a couple of other groups occasionally flirted with Doom-y sensibilities over the years, it wasn't until the Aurora, Illinois-based Trouble recorded their debut record Psalm 9 that the world heard the first example of what was an unambiguously, undeniably Doom Metal album in general. And, while there's still plenty of more up-tempo riffs here and there on this record (though even those parts are still awesome), and although they're far from the most iconic band in the genre (a certain Swedish group that helped cement the name of the style were yet to debut, as we'll soon see), Trouble was still the first band to record an album that was predominantly Doom, building upon the legacy of the almighty Sabbath with their downbeat, crawling tempos, ultra-thick, down-tuned, dread-laden riffs, and fantastic lyrical tales of spiritual darkness and warfare, all of which are elements that would come to be synonymous with the genre in coming years, and proving that, while Trouble may not have been the famous example of their particular style, they were certainly one of the first, in addition to just being one of the best as well; Iommi would be proud!

Recommended Cut:



Image

Next up, we have Bathory's legendary debut album, which is arguably the most influential record to come out during what was (also) arguably the peak year of what's become known as "the 1st Wave Of Black Metal" (but, more on that below). Continuing the musical legacy of Venom (as much as Quorthon might have denied it otherwise) and taking it to a brand new extreme, Sweden's Bathory took the metal world by storm (of damnation?) with their low-fi, uncooked chicken-raw production values, openly, unabashedly Satanic lyrics, and raspy, evil croaking vocals courtesy of the man, the legend, Quorthon himself, all of which would are aspects that would see tremendous reverberations in Norway during the following decade (as we'll eventually see later in this project). Really, besides sounding raw in a more muddy, Venom-ish way as opposed to the shrillness that would characterize the productions of their Norwegian disciples later on, the only other aspect of Bathory that makes me hesitate from officially calling it "Black Metal" in the modern understanding of the term is its songwriting, which relies almost exclusively on intense, speedy tempos, something that I don't necessarily consider to be a defining characteristic of the style from the 2nd Wave onward. But, regardless of the genre-quibbling, Bathory was still some of the most evil-sounding music around in '84, and whether you want to call it 1st Wave Black Metal, evil-sounding Thrash, or just "extreme metal" in general, this is still one of the most influential records from one of the most influential Metal bands of all time, and whether you enjoy its particularly raw take on the genre or not, this album deserves respect for the almost incomparable impact that it's had on our beloved music, beyond a shadow of a doubt.

Recommended Cut:



Image

Finally, we end the initial year of this project with what is, in my humble opinion (and hopefully your's as well), THE most important metal record of '84, which is, of course, Metallica's legendary sophomore effort Ride The Lightning, one of the band's very finest hours (even though it actually only lasts a little longer than 45 minutes, haha), and, as far as I'm concerned, the first true classic album to arise out of the then-nascent Thrash Metal movement. Now, when I say that, I admit that that statement does come with a number of caveats; first off, I'm not necessarily saying that I personally, conslusively know beyond any shadow of a doubt that Lightning is the first great thrash recording ever released, as, for l know, some band no one's ever heard of out in Nowheresville, Ohio recorded the most amazing, shredtastic metal demo tape ever all the way back in 1968, one that made Reign In Blood, Master Of Puppets, and Peace Sells all sound like complete and total crap, only for the band to disband after the only copy was destroyed in a tragic donkey fire, depriving the world of the most ahead-of-their-time heavy metal savants it has, or ever will, know. And, Ride The Lightning wasn't the first album released by a Thrash band, as Slayer & Anthrax had both already released their respective debuts by the time RTL had hit the streets, and heck, this wasn't even the world's first taste of Metallica, which came in the form of the previous year's debut release Kill 'Em All.

However, while Kill and those other records were certainly fun, fairly enjoyable debuts, stylistically, as far as I'm concerned, they were relatively unsophisticated, less aggressive examples of "Speed Metal" as opposed to being straight-up modern Thrash, and if Metallica and their contemporaries had continued in the same vein, I don't think they would've ever escaped the incredibly long shadows of Classic/New Wave British Metal, and established their own sub-genre. However, the band did just that with Ride The Lightning, taking the foundation of their idols that they had already been building upon in earnest and taking it to the next level, as they dramatically progressed their sound in a personal sense, whether it be the all-out shredfest of an opener "Fight Fire With Fire", the shockingly intimate, acoustic-driven confessional ballad "Fade To Black", or the 9 minute epic (!) instrumental "The Call Of Ktulu", an absolutely insane ode to Lovecraft's most iconic of Elder Gods. And in the process of creating all these amazing tunes, Metallica helped to permanently establish the sound of a brand new style of Metal in the process, as they take the relentlessly intensity of Hardcore Punk and fused it with the more technically-accomplished musicianship and the less chaotic, relatively "orderly" song structures of their British Metal idols, all executrd with a particularly ambitious, even progressive-leaning overall ambition to give it a unique edge, helping to create what we now know as *dramatic drumroll please* Official Modern-Day Thrash Metal, yo.

Of course, by this point, I've already tried to prove that '84 had plenty of other classic, pioneering metal records of various styles, but for my money, Lightning is definitely the most iconic one, simply by virtue of being released by a metal band that's become as uncommonly popular as Metallica, as, while it isn't necessarily more trailblazing in a stylistic sense than what Yngwie, Trouble, or Quorthon recorded this year, with all due respect to those artists, their records didn't end up selling in excess of 10 million copies worldwide, did they? But at any rate, regardless of commercial popularity or inner genre impact, I think by now that I've proven that Lightning and the other records I've covered in this entry (and more I haven't, but we'll get into that) ended up making 1984 one of the biggest watershed years in the history of heavy metal, and, instead of turning out to part of some nightmare-ish dystopian era like Orwell predicted all those years ago, what we got instead was the true beginning of The Golden Age Of Metal, baby!

Recommended Cut:



Other Notable Metal Records From '84:

If the records discussed above were the only Metal released that year, it would still be a watershed, but in addition to that, in terms of Traditional Metal, the year also saw the releases of Dio's excellent sophomore effort The Last In Line and Judas Priest's Defenders Of The Faith, the last true classic release by the band before going through a bit of a slump in their career in the 2nd half of the decade (before coming back hard at the dawn of the next one, but we'll cross that metallic bridge when we get to it), while on the more mainstream/"hairier" side of the spectrum, we also heard the Scorpions's Love At First Sting (which had a little song called "Rock You Like A Hurricane"; ever heard of it?), Twisted Sister's Stay Hungry, and Projects In The Jungle, the 2nd album from some band called "Pantera" before anyone knew (or gave a crap) who they were. Besides that, there was also a number of notable releases from other early Thrash bands like Metal Church's self-titled debut, Slayer's Haunting The Chapel EP, and Anthrax's debut Fistful Of Metal (which arguably helped name the style with the inclusion of the track "Metal Thrashing Mad"), but, like I said earlier, the metallic movement that was really seeing its highest peak in '84 was definitely the 1st Wave Of Black Metal, as, besides Bathory's aforementioned, unbelievably influential debut, we also saw the release of Venom's At War With Satan, which, while not as iconic a record as their first two initial classics (including Black Metal itself), it's still fairly well regarded by the Metal community in general, along with Mercyful Fate's sophomore effort Don't Break The Oath, which, while a classic record, really only resembled black metal in its openly Satanic lyrics, showing the mutability of the "Black Metal" label at the time, and the incredibly raw, ugly Apocalyptic Raids EP from Switzerland's Hellhammer, a group that would see some of its members go on to release a classic debut album later that same year, Morbid Tales, under the band name Celtic Frost; you may have heard of them.
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Re: Stu Presents: The Golden Age Of Metal!

Post by Captain Terror » Sun Feb 17, 2019 1:25 pm

I kinda like the all-at-once approach. Having them all in one post helps keep it all in perspective.
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Re: Stu Presents: The Golden Age Of Metal!

Post by Captain Terror » Sun Feb 17, 2019 1:37 pm



While we wait for Stu's return, I thought I'd share this video that I discovered this week.
Probably the most un-metal thing I've ever seen. :P Things really get cringey during the guitar solos, when the choreographed co-ed dance happens. It was my experience in 1982 that preppy girls did not share my enthusiasm for the Scorpions but this video has proven me wrong, I guess.
Love ya, Scorps, but geeeeeez. :D

This is from the same album as No One Like You which was probably my favorite video of that year on MTV. Luckily I never encountered this one.
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Re: Stu Presents: The Golden Age Of Metal!

Post by crumbsroom » Sun Feb 17, 2019 4:14 pm

Captain Terror wrote:

While we wait for Stu's return, I thought I'd share this video that I discovered this week.
Probably the most un-metal thing I've ever seen. :P Things really get cringey during the guitar solos, when the choreographed co-ed dance happens. It was my experience in 1982 that preppy girls did not share my enthusiasm for the Scorpions but this video has proven me wrong, I guess.
Love ya, Scorps, but geeeeeez. :D

This is from the same album as No One Like You which was probably my favorite video of that year on MTV. Luckily I never encountered this one.
This almost makes my question about whether or not anyone still listens to the Scorpions valid.

That was really bad.
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Re: Stu Presents: The Golden Age Of Metal!

Post by crumbsroom » Sun Feb 17, 2019 4:15 pm

Thanks to this thread, I have finally bought Powerslave. And it is everything.

But because it also led to me buying another 400 dollars worth of records to go along with it (also Maiden's first record), I am also going to blame this thread for making me broke.
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Re: Stu Presents: The Golden Age Of Metal!

Post by Rock » Sun Feb 17, 2019 8:13 pm

I like the spacing out of the entries, only because it lets me anticipate more and obnoxiously call for "More blood!" more often.
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Re: Stu Presents: The Golden Age Of Metal!

Post by Jinnistan » Sun Feb 17, 2019 11:44 pm

crumbsroom wrote:But because it also led to me buying another 400 dollars worth of records to go along with it (also Maiden's first record), I am also going to blame this thread for making me broke.
You might as well just go ahead and lay them all out here, because I refuse to believe that you just blew $200 dollars each on two Maiden LPs.
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Re: Stu Presents: The Golden Age Of Metal!

Post by crumbsroom » Sun Feb 17, 2019 11:52 pm

Jinnistan wrote: You might as well just go ahead and lay them all out here, because I refuse to believe that you just blew $200 dollars each on two Maiden LPs.
There was the two Maiden's
Jessica Pratt - Quiet Signs
Herbie Hancock - Sextant
Ariana Grande - Sweetener
Jungle Brothers - Done by the Forces of Nature
Deerhunter - Why Hasn't Everything Already Disappeared
The United States of America - self titled
Michael Hurley - Blue Hills
Eden Ahbez - Eden's Island
Kacey Musgraves - Golden Hour
The 1975 - A Brief History of Online Relationships.

Some of these are better than others.
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Re: Stu Presents: The Golden Age Of Metal!

Post by Rock » Mon Feb 18, 2019 2:17 am

Captain Terror wrote:

While we wait for Stu's return, I thought I'd share this video that I discovered this week.
Probably the most un-metal thing I've ever seen. :P Things really get cringey during the guitar solos, when the choreographed co-ed dance happens. It was my experience in 1982 that preppy girls did not share my enthusiasm for the Scorpions but this video has proven me wrong, I guess.
Love ya, Scorps, but geeeeeez. :D

This is from the same album as No One Like You which was probably my favorite video of that year on MTV. Luckily I never encountered this one.
I liked the part where he pushes the cop (because fuck tha police).
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Re: Stu Presents: The Golden Age Of Metal!

Post by crumbsroom » Mon Feb 18, 2019 2:54 am

If this isn't the best Metallica song, I'm not sure what is

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Re: Stu Presents: The Golden Age Of Metal!

Post by Thief » Mon Feb 18, 2019 3:11 am

^Easily one of their best. I would probably put it together with "Master of Puppets", "Fade to Black", and my personal favorite, "Wherever I May Roam".
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Re: Stu Presents: The Golden Age Of Metal!

Post by Thief » Mon Feb 18, 2019 3:11 am

Hadn't seen this. It was nice to see.

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Re: Stu Presents: The Golden Age Of Metal!

Post by Stu » Mon Feb 18, 2019 5:55 am

Rock wrote:Yeah, I can't argue with Ride the Lightning. I've been going back and forth between that and Master of Puppets over which one I like better (and I put Kill 'Em All closer to those than you would, as its looser, punkish stylings add to me a level of spontaneity that these more ambitious and polished works don't have in the same supply), but have leaned in its favour as of late, mostly because it's a better balance between that towering level of quality and some semblance of brevity. (I know you had ...And Justice for All as your avatar at some point on RT, so don't be mad, but I could never get into that one because of how fucking long every song is.)

In terms of your other mentions from the year, I listen to Don't Break the Oath, Morbid Tales and At War with Satan a fair bit (Venom aren't good enough musicians to pull off Satan's title track, but gosh darn it, they try, and the rest of the album is pretty fucking tight).

As for my favourite of '84 that's actually an '83 album, I'll have to go with this:

Image

It's not as sophisticated as any of the records you've cited and I doubt it's to your taste, but it does the trick in terms of powerful, fist-pumping anthemic metal like few others, while being a bit more mature than an album with a leather speedo on the cover would suggest (I find the songwriting fairly strong for this kind of thing and vocalist Udo Dirkschneider finds nuance in his raspy limited range). I'm also a big fan of its thrashier predecessor Restless and Wild (which at the very least has a hell of an opening), and its poppier successor Metal Heart shares enough of its better qualities to merit the occasional listen.
Well, Justice is 1/3 of one of my favorite trilogy of albums in Metal history, so I'm afraid I can't agree with you on it (although I sympathize with your reasoning), but we can talk about it some more when the time comes ;) And Accept is a band I've been meaning to check out for forever, but since you just brought them up, I'll try to add that record to my Spotify library, so thanks for reminding me!
I think I'll retort to that with this, the ultimate in B&B Metal clips:

crumbsroom wrote:If this isn't the best Metallica song, I'm not sure what is

I do love it, but it's not my favorite 'tallica tune (or even just my favorite song on that record, in fact). Not that I can really name a single, favorite song from a band (who used to be) so good, but my record-by-record favorites of the 80's albums would probably look like...

Kill: "The Four Horsemen"
Lightning: "Creeping Death" (which is why I recommended it in my write-up for the record, duh)
Puppets: "Battery"
Justice: "One" (a cliched choice, I suppose, but it's a cliche for good reason)

And if I had to choose faves for the 90's stuff, I guess I'd have to go with "Of Wolf And Man" (since it's the most aggressive tune off of TBA), "Wasting My Hate" (for the same reason as "Wolf"), and "Where The Wild Things Are" (genuinely great, eerie atmosphere), I suppose; I'm not going any farther in the band's history than that!
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Re: Stu Presents: The Golden Age Of Metal!

Post by Thief » Mon Feb 18, 2019 10:52 pm

Stu wrote:I do love it, but it's not my favorite 'tallica tune (or even just my favorite song on that record, in fact). Not that I can really name a single, favorite song from a band (who used to be) so good, but my record-by-record favorites of the 80's albums would probably look like...

Kill: "The Four Horsemen"
Lightning: "Creeping Death" (which is why I recommended it in my write-up for the record, duh)
Puppets: "Battery"
Justice: "One" (a cliched choice, I suppose, but it's a cliche for good reason)

And if I had to choose faves for the 90's stuff, I guess I'd have to go with "Of Wolf And Man" (since it's the most aggressive tune off of TBA), "Wasting My Hate" (for the same reason as "Wolf"), and "Where The Wild Things Are" (genuinely great, eerie atmosphere), I suppose; I'm not going any farther in the band's history than that!
How the hell did I forget "The Four Horsemen" *facepalm* Yeah, that's easily one of my favorites.
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Re: Stu Presents: The Golden Age Of Metal!

Post by Jinnistan » Tue Feb 19, 2019 1:51 am

crumbsroom wrote:Herbie Hancock - Sextant
Worth every metal nickle.
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Re: Stu Presents: The Golden Age Of Metal!

Post by Captain Terror » Tue Feb 19, 2019 4:05 pm

I'm hoping the 1985 list includes a certain album and if it doesn't my criticism will be relentless.
;)
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Re: Stu Presents: The Golden Age Of Metal!

Post by Torgo » Tue Feb 19, 2019 5:23 pm

Captain Terror wrote:I'm hoping the 1985 list includes a certain album and if it doesn't my criticism will be relentless.
;)
Dokken's Under Lock and Key, I presume?
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Re: Stu Presents: The Golden Age Of Metal!

Post by Captain Terror » Tue Feb 19, 2019 6:04 pm

Torgo wrote:
Dokken's Under Lock and Key, I presume?
No sir, I actually know very little about them. I'm hoping the combination of italics and winky-face emoji will be sufficient for Mr Stu to interpret my clever wordplay.
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'85 (Celtic Frost: To Mega Therion)

Post by Stu » Wed Feb 20, 2019 6:18 am

Image

We arrive at '85 with Celtic Frost's To Mega Therion, an absolute classic of 1st Wave Black Metal, and easily the band's greatest moment, beyond a shadow of a doubt. Of course, when compared to a lot of other 1st Wave records, TMT certainly had a far more polished production on the whole, with an overall sound that's nowhere near as raw as, say, what Bathory was doing at the time, or even just as dirty as the band's own debut, the previous year's Morbid Tales. But, while Therion may not have been the most influential 1st Wave classic, at least not when considered in terms of impact on the sound of the 2nd Wave, it's still an essential regardless, with its amazingly wild, energetic solos, iconic, infectiously crunchy riffs, killer, razor-sharp guitar tone, dynamic, unpredictable, genuinely intelligent songwriting whose tempos range all the way from dread laden, Doom Metal-ish crawls to sudden, intense outbursts of Thrash-style speed and all points inbetween, Tom Warrior's epically apocalyptic lyrics, gruff, harsh vocals, and iconic, constipated-sounding grunts, an infusion within all of these disparate elements of, yes, an incredibly evil, Black-ish vibe, which should've been a dead giveaway from simply glancing at the album's amazing, nakedly blasphemous coverart by the man, the myth, H.R. Giger himself (if Alien ever gave you nightmares as a child (or an adult), you have him to thank), and tasteful, avant-garde touchs like operatic female vocals, eerie, ambient soundscapes, or the occasional orchestral section, which foreshadows the way extreme bands would experiment with symphonic elements the following decade, and also show that Frost had a brain to go along with all of their gut-level musical extremity. And all of this is even more impressive an achievement considering how relatively "polished" a sound the album has, showing that you don't need to sound like crap to also sound evil, a lesson I wish more of the band's musical offspring would've taken to heart, but regardless, on its own merits, To Mega Therion is an absolute, stone cold classic of 80's Metal, and my personal favorite album of its particular year, which, as you'll soon see, is definitely saying something.

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Re: Stu Presents: The Golden Age Of Metal!

Post by Torgo » Wed Feb 20, 2019 5:04 pm

I'm a big fan of Celtic Frost and its successor, Triptykon.
Not much else to add except for some trivia: they did a very good cover of Wall of Voodoo's "Mexican Radio," of all things, Nicolas Cage's weapon in Mandy is based on the "L" on that album's cover and the vocalist, Thomas Fischer, was H.R. Giger's assistant up until the artist's tragic death.

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Re: '85 (Celtic Frost: To Mega Therion)

Post by Rock » Thu Feb 21, 2019 3:38 am

Stu wrote:
Image
I've been listening to this at work all week, and I'm a little embarrassed at how annoyed I got today that I got interrupted by a phone call twice (twice!) mid-solo during "The Usurper".
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Re: Stu Presents: The Golden Age Of Metal!

Post by crumbsroom » Thu Feb 21, 2019 3:46 am

That is the Celtic Frost I wanted to buy a few weeks ago, but I can never remember the titles of anything for shit, and ended up getting Into the Pandemonium. Which is okay, but still...I clearly need to start mementoing my record wish lists onto my body.
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Re: Stu Presents: The Golden Age Of Metal!

Post by Stu » Thu Feb 21, 2019 5:19 am

crumbsroom wrote:That is the Celtic Frost I wanted to buy a few weeks ago, but I can never remember the titles of anything for shit, and ended up getting Into the Pandemonium. Which is okay, but still...I clearly need to start mementoing my record wish lists onto my body.
ITP (not to be confused with Death's Individual Thought Patterns, which is not only my favorite Death record, but also my favorite Death Metal record, period), while not a bad record, as it does have some nice tunes on it, still suffers in comparison to TMT with its weaker production, less memorable riffs, and Warrior probably going a bit overboard with the more experimental "avant-garde" touches, as admirable as his ambitions were. Still MUCH better than the next record they made though, at least...
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'85 (Megadeth: Killing Is My Business)

Post by Stu » Thu Feb 21, 2019 5:36 am

Image

Next up we have Megadeth's Killing Is My Business... And Business Is Good!, the debut album from a band that is Metallica's (literal) red-headed stepchild, having been born from sheer spite when Dave Mustaine was replaced by Kirk Hammett as that group's lead guitarist, due to his possession of a temper as firey as the curly moptop on his head, as well as a propensity for drinking way too much for his bandmates' collective comfort (and when you drink too much to be in Alcoholica in the 80's, you know you have problems). Fortunately, those problems lead to the existence of Megadeth, and by extension, Killing, which is a nasty, scrappy little slice of early Thrash, and which established the particular style that set the stage for rest of the band's career, with its frantic, hyperactive solos (better than Hammett's, but I don't know many people who would debate that), Mustaine's bratty, snarling vocals, and their songwriting's particularly wrenching, technical spin on Thrash that, while not as sophisticated as their later records, is still undeniably present here, and helped distinguish 'deth's style from the more epic, progressive-leaning compositions of Mustaine's former group (who also heard "The Four Horsemen", the tune that Dave orignally write for them, re-done here as the significantly faster "Mechanix", just for a little extra bit of nose-tweaking spite on his part). Not that I don't personally prefer early Metallica to early 'deth, but Mustaine's band had its own Thrash niche that it filled well, as he (sort of) outgrew the chip the size of Atlas's sphere on his shoulder in order for Megadeth to become one of the biggest Metal bands in history, and it all started right here with Killing; not bad for sloppy seconds, eh? (I keed Dave, I keed).

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Re: Stu Presents: The Golden Age Of Metal!

Post by Thief » Thu Feb 21, 2019 2:51 pm

I approve :up:
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'85 (Stormtroopers Of Death: Speak English Or Die)

Post by Stu » Fri Feb 22, 2019 5:36 am

Image

The various sweaty misfits that created the incredibly ugly, chaotic brand of Rock we now know as Hardcore Punk were always somewhat of an influence on the relentlessly intense nature of Thrash Metal to one degree or another, but Stormtroopers Of Death were the ones to combine the two sounds to a greater degree on the first real classic record of the "Crossover Thrash" style, back when Thrash was still sort of in its infancy, making their early expansion of the genre all the more impressive (they weren't necessarily the first Crossover band, mind you, but the Metal community doesn't seem to care that much about D.R.I.'s early stuff, so I'm not gonna write about them; deal). Anyway, S.O.D. came about when Charlie Benante and Scott Ian of Anthrax had finished recording Spreading The Disease, had some studio time left over, and, sensing an opportunity, they called up former bandmate Dan Lilker and Nuclear Assault's Billy Milano, practiced some songs, and recorded Speak English Or Die in three days tops (makes you wonder why Metallica has to take so long these days to put out new stuff, eh?). At any rate, the record's rushed, seat-of-its-pants production only ended up adding to the incredibly frantic nature of the overall experience, with its abrupt, violent tempo changes, fusion of chaotic, relentlessly energetic songwriting with unbelievably catchy, aggressive riffage, Milano's sloppy, aggressive shouting, the deliberately abrasive, unabashedly offensive lyrics, almost comically short, sub-3 minute songs (there's a reason this record is less than half an hour with over 20 tracks, ya know), and overall caffeine-addled sense of hyperactivity all combining to acheive a sort of idiot-savant genuis to the record, which is probably better than anything Anthrax has ever done anyway; not bad for a rush job, am I right? Now, go do the Milano mosh!

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'85 (Exodus: Bonded By Blood)

Post by Stu » Mon Feb 25, 2019 5:54 am

Image

While Metallica was obviously the first major Thrash Metal band to unleash a debut album with the release of Kill 'Em All in 1983, they certainly weren't the first group in the sub-genre to actually exist, as fellow Bay Area Thrashers Exodus first formed their unholy alliance all the way back in 1979, before "Metal Militia" was even just a twinkle in James Hetfield's young eye; Kirk Hammett was even one of their founding members, too! Of course, he'd jump to what would become a much bigger Metal ship eventually, and, while his former band would take longer to make their worldwide breakthrough, playing shows and building a large, fanatically loyal fanbase in the San Fran area first, they eventually hit it big with Bonded By Blood, which set the tempo (of the damned?) for the rest of their career, and, barring a lengthy drought in records during the 90's, set them up to be one of the most reliable Thrash acts out there (certainly moreso than their "brother" band in the Bay Area, let me tell you). Anyway, as for BBB itself, it's relentlessly driven by Gary Holt's killer riffage, the unstoppably infectious overall energy of the music, and frontman Paul Baloff's fairly one-of-a-kind vocal style that goes heavy on the high-pitched shrieks, which, while I can't say they're the most pleasant to listen to, and they certainly haven't aged the best in the past 30-something years with their almost ridiculously reverb-heavy production style, in the end, they kind of add to the record's rough-and-tumble charm, and while Blood's impact might have been muted slightly by the unfortunate delay of its release due to certain technical difficulties, it still helped to establish the sub-genre as a seperate, legitimate style, and is arguably the most significant Thrash record from '85, which was, as far as I'm concerned, the first all-around classic year for that particular genre (but more on that soon). It's a shame that Baloff was fired from the band shortly afterward, and never recorded another studio album with Exodus (or with any other band, sadly) before his untimely death at age 41, but then again, this one recording was enough to make him a Metal legend with a completely unblemished record, so why mess with perfection?

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Re: '85 (Exodus: Bonded By Blood)

Post by Captain Terror » Mon Feb 25, 2019 4:10 pm

Stu wrote:Exodus: Bonded By Blood
ooooh...this is one I haven't heard. Looking forward to it. (And with a cover like that how can it lose?)
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Re: '85 (Exodus: Bonded By Blood)

Post by Stu » Tue Feb 26, 2019 3:55 am

Captain Terror wrote:
ooooh...this is one I haven't heard. Looking forward to it. (And with a cover like that how can it lose?)
What, you've never listened to Bonded By Blood...? Where the hell you been, man :P Seriously though, while Exodus never broke through anywhere near as big as Metallica did, and never turned "The Big 4 of Thrash" into 5, they have generally been a pretty reliable band, and well worth digging into, if you ever get the inclination
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Re: '85 (Exodus: Bonded By Blood)

Post by Captain Terror » Wed Feb 27, 2019 2:19 am

Stu wrote:What, you've never listened to Bonded By Blood...? Where the hell you been, man :P Seriously though, while Exodus never broke through anywhere near as big as Metallica did, and never turned "The Big 4 of Thrash" into 5, they have generally been a pretty reliable band, and well worth digging into, if you ever get the inclination
Just listened to a bunch of songs from BBB and am a new fan. When it comes to metal I'm all about The Riff and this one delivers. And I don't have a problem with the vocals, although I did chuckle at the Youtube comment that said he sounds like Bobcat Goldthwait at times. Good stuff.
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'85 (Possessed: Seven Churches)

Post by Stu » Fri Mar 01, 2019 6:41 am

Image

The blanket classification that we now know as "extreme" Metal definitely existed before '85, all the way back to the breakthroughs of Venom and all of the 1st Wave Black Metal bands they subsequently inspired, but, despite the undeniable impact those groups had on the genre as a whole, we still really didn't have anything close to Death Metal at the time, and wouldn't, until San Fransisco's Possessed let loose their unholy debut, Seven Churches, unto the world, laying the foundation for a brand new style, and helping to change Metal forever in the process. Of course, it's not an entirely original-sounding record in terms of its influences (is there really such a thing, anyway?), as it does have similarities to the aformentioned Venom & company, as well as to the band's Thrash peers in the Bay Area with Churches' fairly heavy reliance on intense, up-tempo songwriting, and its overwhelmingly hellish, Satanic lyrical matter (as opposed to the gorier subjects many of the band's spiritual successors would generally focus on instead), but Possessed still put their own trail-blazing spin on things with their music having less of a raw sound to it, as the band puts more of an emphasis on pure brutality here, with a fairly gnarly, meaty overall production, generally heavier riffage and an emphasis on tremelo-driven guitarwork, and the raspy, proto-Schuldiner-y howl of frontman Jeff Becerra, which, while not the growling of some stereotypical modern Cookie Monster, still absolutely works in the record's favor, as well as helping to prep the world for the more guttural vocalists that would follow in his footsteps (and he managed to record all of this while he was on spring break, too!). Of course, Possessed are certainly nowhere near the most iconic or best representative band in the history of Death Metal, as this was the only true classic record they ever released, and they sadly broke up shortly after recording '86's somewhat underwhelming Beyond The Gates (although the band has confirmed that their third album will finally be released this spring!!!), and obviously, Seven Churches isn't the most brutal-sounding Death Metal album any more by a long shot, but for '85, this was as good as it got. I mean, it has a song called "Death Metal" on it, and Chuck Schuldiner himself cited Possessed as an influence on his style; if that isn't as Death Metal as it gets, I don't know what is.

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Other Notable Metal Records From '85: Besides all the classic records I already covered here, '85 is also notable for being the year that saw a couple more early Doom Metal trailblazers in the forms of Pentagram's Relentless (sorry, Cap'n!), Saint Vitus's Hallow's Victim, and Trouble's The Skull, as well as some more 1st Wave BM with Venom's Possessed (which wasn't as good as the Possessed, haha), and Bathory's aptly-titled sophomore effort The Return, and the (unfortunate) continued rise of Glam Metal with Bon Jovi's debut 7800° Fahrenheit, Ratt's Invasion Of Your Privacy, and Mötley Crüe's Theatre Of Pain, but the real Metal movement that ruled the year had to be the Thrashers, with '85 being the first all-around classic year for the genre and the real beginning of its individual "golden age", as, in addition to the release of the debuts of such genre icons as Dark Angel, Destruction, Kreator, and Overkill, we also saw such classic records as Carnivore's self-titled debut (featuring a pre-Type O Negative Peter Steele on vocals!), Anthrax's sophomore effort Spreading The Disease, and Slayer's Hell Awaits, which was, as far as I'm concerned, the true arrival of the Metal legends as a musical force to be reckoned with, and one that we will reckon with in this project, very, very soon...
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Re: '85 (Possessed: Seven Churches)

Post by Captain Terror » Fri Mar 01, 2019 1:21 pm

Stu wrote: '85 is also notable for being the year that saw a couple more early Doom Metal trailblazers in the forms of Pentagram's Relentless (sorry, Cap'n!)
:up: I'm just pleased that you got my joke.
I hereby nominate this one for the Metal Riff Hall of Fame. That drop into the main riff gets me every time.

Also, the Possessed is another band I haven't tried. Learning is fun!
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Re: '85 (Possessed: Seven Churches)

Post by Stu » Fri Mar 01, 2019 10:34 pm

Captain Terror wrote:
:up: I'm just pleased that you got my joke.
I hereby nominate this one for the Metal Riff Hall of Fame. That drop into the main riff gets me every time.

Also, the Possessed is another band I haven't tried. Learning is fun!
That Pentagram tune sounds pretty good, I might have to add them to my Spotify library. And yeah, part of the fun of this project, and its focus on historically important Metal records (as opposed to just covering old, personal favorites from the years in question), is it gives me a reason to explore older records I've never gotten around to hearing before (or even records I've never even heard of before). Of course, some of the albums I'm covering here are ones I've heard a million times before, and already loved for years, even decades, and personal biases will come into play sometimes when it comes to choosing which records to cover, or how enthusiastically I write about them, but that's inevitable to a extent, and as long as I always keep a certain balance between personal preferences and keeping an open mind, even about albums I don't really enjoy, this project will keep on going strong until its completion, yes? That's what I'm aiming for anyway, heh.
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Re: '85 (Possessed: Seven Churches)

Post by Captain Terror » Sat Mar 02, 2019 5:02 am

Stu wrote:That Pentagram tune sounds pretty good, I might have to add them to my Spotify library.
:up: Thanks for giving it a listen. Due to a combination of my age and my birthplace I tend toward the Doom-ier side of the spectrum. I'd recommend Pentagram to anyone that is into Iommi-style riffage. Death Row and All Your Sins are other songs I'd suggest.
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Re: Stu Presents: The Golden Age Of Metal!

Post by Rock » Sat Mar 02, 2019 6:48 am

I kind of love that record, and I think Becerra's growl is a major reason why. There's an urgency there that I don't quite feel in the more refined, overtly monstrous growls of some of his successors. And the fact that you can actually make out the lyrics pretty easily creates the effect that he's compelled to sing, even if it pains him to do so.
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'86 (Metallica: Master Of Puppets)

Post by Stu » Sat Mar 09, 2019 5:39 am

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With Metallica's Master Of Puppets, we come to what is arguably the most iconic Thrash record from '86, which, seeing as how it's arguably the most important year in the history of the genre (more on that later), is really saying something. But, Puppets more than earns that lofty status, representing the band at their peak as they built on the already incredible foundation of Ride The Lightning to create a somehow even greater album, perfecting their astonishingly ambitious spin on Thrash with the combination of Hetfield's rapidly maturing vocal performance (no more strangled cat yowling!) and his amazing riffage that always maintains a seemingly impossibly perfect balance between irresistible catchiness and sheer aggression, the essentially flawless Flemming Rasmussen production, Cliff Burton's seminal, virtuosic basswork, the album's sophisticated lyrical motifs on the various forms of societal manipulation, whether it be under the guise of drug addiction, organized religion, or the barbaric, dehumanizing horrors of war, or the epic, impeccably formulated songwriting that maintains a immaculate, absolutely peerless overall flow, with basically not a single individual riff, solo, or transition here sounding remotely awkward or like anything less than complete and utter perfection (granted, Lolars's drumming here is still just merely adequate for the most part, but that was kind of a given). From the elegant intertwining of the Morricone-inspired Spanish guitars on "Battery" to the slow, twisted Lovecraftian pummeling of "The Thing That Should Not Be" to the soaring, spacey atmospherics of "Orion", this is, as far as I'm concerned, THE #1 Thrash album of all time, as well as just one of my favorite Metal records, period. Sadly, as well all know, tragedy would strike The Four Horsemen later that same year in the form of Burton's tragically premature death, but Master Of Puppets still stands untained apart from that tragedy as a monumental record that hasn't aged a day in the 20+ years since I had the pleasure of listening to it for the first time, one that will always be an untainted representation of Metallica at the absolute height of their skills and sophistication for all of eternity; obey your master indeed...

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Re: '85 (Celtic Frost: To Mega Therion)

Post by crumbsroom » Sat Mar 09, 2019 7:44 pm

Stu wrote:
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Just bought this and I'm just trying to process the thing. It's just so wonderfully weird and unpredictable, it's everything I not only love in heavy music, but in all forms of art in general. But I still have some points I just can't get into. Like Pandemonium, I'm not really a big fan of Warrior's voice and I feel the drummer is lacking at times. The massiveness of the whole album though, particularly the enormous sounding guitars and the schizophrenic songwriting, will probably keep me coming back. It's an unbelievably distinct album.
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Re: '85 (Celtic Frost: To Mega Therion)

Post by Stu » Sun Mar 10, 2019 4:03 am

crumbsroom wrote:
Just bought this and I'm just trying to process the thing. It's just so wonderfully weird and unpredictable, it's everything I not only love in heavy music, but in all forms of art in general. But I still have some points I just can't get into. Like Pandemonium, I'm not really a big fan of Warrior's voice and I feel the drummer is lacking at times. The massiveness of the whole album though, particularly the enormous sounding guitars and the schizophrenic songwriting, will probably keep me coming back. It's an unbelievably distinct album.
Way to go, Crumby 8-) Yeah, it's one of the better Metal records I've ever heard, and definitely my favorite Frost record, although it's not their only good one; Monotheist in particular has to be singled out for praise, IMHO, and Warrior's newer project, Triptykon, is also worth checking out. It's too bad they couldn't have had a more consistent career, but when they were on, they were ON, son.
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'86 (Slayer: Reign In Blood)

Post by Stu » Sat Mar 16, 2019 4:54 am

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Another entry for '86, another one of the most iconic Metal records ever released (sensing a trend with this year?), with Slayer's Reign In Blood, which saw the band go from being a burgeoning underground phenom to officially becoming LEGENDS, as they took the inherently intense essence of Thrash and distilled it down to its cleanest, purest form, doing so by (ironically) taking particularly heavy influence from Hardcore with the album's songwriting, often disregarding repetitive riffing and formulaic verse-chorus-verse structures in favor of sudden, chaotic tempo changes and sheer, violent velocity performed at an average tempo of over 150 beats per minute, as Hanneman & King's riffs and solos relentlessly shred and wail away at your eardrums, Dave Lombardo abuses his legendary double bass without mercy, and Tom Araya's evil tales of genocide, serial killers, and warring against Heaven itself are vocalized with his combination of maniacally frantic, shouted rantings and iconic, Halford-inspired falsettos (one of which brilliantly curdles into an absolutely spine-chilling, gut-churning scream in the very first seconds of the record, even). It's basically one long, non-stop, sub-half hour Thrashjaculation, with just enough variation in tempo thrown in to keep from being too tiresome, which lets the fundamental intensity leave all that more of an impact. Granted, besides the somewhat longer, more intricate/orderly tracks like "Epidemic", "Postmortem", and the iconic bookends "Angel Of Death" and "Raining Blood", most of the songwriting here isn't particularly "ambitious" in the traditional sense of the term, but what Reign lacks in scope, it makes up for with sheer, naked aggression, and songs that might've sounded sloppy or half-baked from other bands just sounds amazing in Slayer's bloody hands. Combine that with living musical legend Rick Rubin removing most of the 80's-style reverb that had characterized the band's sound up to this point, and replacing it with an incredibly sharp, killer, punchy production all-around, and you have an album that's still one of the most extreme Thrash records ever all these years later, and one of the unholy best as well; may the blood forever rain, eh?

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Re: Stu Presents: The Golden Age Of Metal!

Post by Stu » Sat Mar 16, 2019 5:14 am

Rock wrote:I kind of love that record, and I think Becerra's growl is a major reason why. There's an urgency there that I don't quite feel in the more refined, overtly monstrous growls of some of his successors. And the fact that you can actually make out the lyrics pretty easily creates the effect that he's compelled to sing, even if it pains him to do so.
In that case, you may be interested in hearing this just-released song from the band's upcoming new album, their first in over 30 years, which is set to come out on May 10th of this year:
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'86 (Judas Priest: Turbo)

Post by Stu » Thu Mar 21, 2019 4:55 am

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I know, I know, you're all probably taken a bit aback at the sight of Judas Priest's Turbo recieving a main entry in this project; after all, even though Priest is one of THE most influential and beloved Metal bands of all time, Turbo is still generally considered to be one of their very worst albums, is definitely my personal least favorite out of their classic run of records from '76-'90, and the only album you'll likely to see both in the Golden Age Of Metal and on this list as well. But, despite the genre peaking this year, I wanted to write about more than just Thrash records for '86, and despite its fundamentally non-essential nature, I chose Turbo because I felt it was the best representation of the larger trend towards the mainstream going on within the "old guard" of Metal artists in '86, contrasting the new heights/extremes the young guns were reaching that year, and coinciding with the rise of the "Hair" bands as well (but more on that later). Anyway, as for Turbo itself, it came about as a result of Priest taking what was initially going to be a double album and splitting it up, with the more aggressive material being released a couple of years later on '88's Ram It Down, with the more commercial songs becoming Turbo, which definitely got the short end of the stick on that deal. Not that this is some sort of St. Anger-level disaster or anything, and the band had gone in relatively radio-friendly directions with their sound before, like on the stone-cold classic British Steel, but Turbo took that aspect of their sound way, WAY too far, with its instantly-dated, reverb-heavy drum production, cheesy, trend-hopping abuse of synthesizers, and light, poppy songwriting that came uncomfortably close to becoming the dreaded Glam Metal. Sure, Tipton & Downing's guitars still sound awesome here, and Halford's vocals are still as great as ever (of course), but they can only do so much to salvage the record, so, to paraphrase Tropic Thunder; Priest, you went full 80's here... never go full 80's.

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'86 (Candlemass: Epicus Doomicus Metallicus)

Post by Stu » Sat Mar 23, 2019 9:21 pm

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As I've always established earlier in this project, Doom Metal was already a "thing" well before '86 (and arguably existed before the 1970's, even), but none of the records by the early Doom acts made as big an impact on the genre as Epicus Doomicus Metallicus, the debut of Sweden's legendary Candlemass, which set them up to be THE premier band in the genre by a long shot. I mean, the name of the album itself literally is Dog Latin for "Epic Doom Metal", and epic Doom it is indeed, from the mournful acoustic guitar & eerie synthwork of the intro on album opener "Solitude", which is soon joined by Johan Längquist's wonderfully sorrowful, melodramatic vocals (making this his only recording with the band until just this year, unfortunately), just before that almightily HEAVY, dread-laden riffing crawls it way in, and lets the whole Metal world know that Doom is here to stay for good, baby. And from there, EDM stays just as awesome, whether it be in the form of band mastermind Leif Edling's incredibly dark, occult-obsessed lyrics, the songwriting's overwhelming sense of all-around epic scope, or of course, those absolutely grueling, punishingly slow and THICK effin' riffs, which helped to set the sound of Doom in stone for forever. And, while Doomicus was only the band's first record, it was still so good that it made its way onto our old Best Debuts list, and very for good reason, so all I really have left to say here is, feeling an impending sense of DOOM for the better part of an hour never sounded this good, huh?

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