Artist: Valume Nob
Title: “The Most High”
Label: Crash Music
Release Date: 10/19/2004
Very simply put this is Hardcore the way that it used to be delivered decades ago as its pure in essence and chaotically powerful as one expects in this music. Hardcore was always more about attitude than showcasing musical proficiency and that is where this EP might lose some people as it often sounds the same based on the chord structures presented. Normally the changes are few except for slower Mosh parts as opposed to the circle pit inducing razor runs. These dudes can play the part well, and do justice to the form but this was never music for everybody in the first place. It is very energetic and angry and should appeal to the genres fanatics with little difficulty. The interesting part about this New Orleans group is the fact that the membership comes from some well-known other bands. We have Marshall Black (throat), Sid Montz (drums), Frey Theiler (guitar) and Kirk Windstein (bass). These guys have worked with New Religion, Crowbar, Down and Graveyard Rodeo in their past and of course while mostly underground groups in their own right, they still achieved moderate levels of success with their output. This release is for fans of these players for the most part and for those who never get enough of the face crunching boot of Hardcore. Given it is an EP and Hardcore as well, this is not a long CD by any stretch. Two live tracks and provided and show the band sounds good on stage and an interview segment that one can enjoy on their PC.
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Label: Crash Music
Release Date: 3/7/2006
Genre: Heavy Metal/Hard Rock
When the band first appeared on the US Metal Scene I have to say that I was blown away by the power of some of their music for when they released “Thunder In The East” they were surely setting themselves up for musical success on this side of the ocean. Sadly, Loudness only rose so far in the eyes of fans and while they maintained a core fan base it never really escalated past that and to many the band was no longer interesting or being followed. The band formed originally by Akira Takasaki, Minoru Nihara, Masayoshi Yamashita and Munetaka Higuchi were excellent technicians musically, and were also able to deliver quite the catchy number every so often. Being from Japan this could not have been easy in terms of both the creation of such music and getting acceptance for it with an audience that was finding itself in a Heavy Metal surge that was incredible to behold. During the bands first adventures here we were finding Motley Crue holding strong with bands like Whitesnake, Dokken and Poison growing in popularity, and gaining levels of dominance over various sectors of fans. This release itself is a mystery to me for it is almost a greatest hits collection but instead of finding the tracks I remembered I found complete re-do’s of them. To be brutally honest they are less than stellar and it makes one wonder what brings a band to do this kind of stuff in the first place. We saw Twisted Sister do it with “Still Hungry”, the complete revisit to the original “Stay Hungry” since this was “how fans should have heard it in the first place”. After that dismal release I determined that this is probably done due to licensing and rights to the music that made the band the most success. Re-recording it gives the performer control over the music once again but cheats the listener from what they remembered and does not allow them to think back on the times that they first heard it.
Continue reading “Rockshocks” by Loudness
Artist: Flotsam & Jetsam
Title: “Live In Japan”
Label: Crash Music
Release Date: 2/21/2006
Genre: Thrash Metal
Flotsam and Jetsam are considered one of the legendary Thrash bands from when the genre was building up a lot of steam in the early eighties. Despite having some kick ass music the band is most known for having once had Jason Newsted as their bassist. From humble beginnings the bassist went on to join Metallica for several albums. His band mates stuck with it and generated their own level of buzz remaining more of an underground force for Metal rather than something mainstream and easily found on all the Metal stations of the time. Japan was a strong supporter of their music and this concert filmed in Kawasaki at the Club Citta in 2005 finds the band performing their best material before an audience of sold out proportions. Mentioning Overkill at one point the band must have been part of a heavy hitter tour of some kind. The lineup for the DVD stands at Eric A.K. – Vocals, Edward Carlson – Guitar, Craig Nielsen – Drums, Jason Ward – Bass Guitar, & Mark Simpson – Guitar. A tight group and overall the concert is a good example of the band since they are performing mainly songs the cult following enjoys. It’s enough to give a new listener a fair idea of what the band is all about. There is a bonus video included on the DVD and the performance which runs at 55 minutes offers little else than sufficient head banging. Having recently left Metal Blade Records, this DVD comes to the listener/viewer courtesy of Crash Music. It would have been good for some more biographical information to be given, or perhaps a day in the life of feature that many are incorporating into such presentations.
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Artist: Seven Witches
Title: “City of Lost Souls” (remaster)
Label: Crash Music
Release Date: 1/24/2006
Genre: Heavy Metal
Crash Music has re-unleashed the early Seven Witches releases on the Metal masses that are hungry for rock solid music and catchy Heavy Metal compositions. Available for the first time in the US the albums featuring axe slinger Jack Frost, the Seven Witches deliver a very inspired sound which might call to mind levels of Overkill based on the vocals of Bobby Lucas. There are times where you would think Blitz is on the record but he is not. The band has a great traditional style that does not come across as dated when you listen to the release (it was originally issued in 2000). Songs like “City Of Lost Souls” and “No Man’s Land” will bring your love of classic Metal right back and along with “The Legend Of Sleepy Hollow” they are geared for fans of Maiden, Priest and Savatage (a band that Frost ended up in for a short time). “We Are The Coven” is a great sing along that has a lot of working elements to make it a worthy anthem. The band has two excellent covers as well with a rendition of Exciter’s “Pounding Metal” which absolutely kicks ass, and “Hell Is for Children” which gets a Heavy Metal makeover that would make Pat Benatar smile at the result.
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Title: “Metalian Attack Pt. I: 1999-2001”
Label: Crash Music
Release Date: 2002
Genre: Heavy Metal/Power
I actually heard about Metalium from a Savatage message board. It seemed that one of the members would soon be joining Savatage (Jack Frost) in 2000. While Chris Caffery of Savatage had already done the first CD and done some touring with them. “Millennium Metal: Chapter One” is this CD. Most of the songs on the DVD are from this CD. The footage on this piece is a little disjointed in its cinematography you can see Jack as well as Chris in a number or two. There are many fast pans, and shots from different shows to make it look more interesting. Yet I did find that a little tricky to follow since I was trying to see who was playing when.
Continue reading “Metalian Attack” [DVD] by Metalium