"Wheels of Steel"1980
"Strong Arm of the Law"-1980
"Denim and Leather"-1981
"Where were you in `79 when the dam began to burst?"..Saxon.The name conjures up many things.This Yorkshire Metal Machine has been plying their trade for more than 20 years;that`s longer than most of MTVs` candy-ass Alterna-twits have been alive! Originally known as Son of a Bitch,Saxon became the figure-heads for the NWOBHM movement,and the above albums are among their very best.Biff Byfords` commanding vocals and stage presence,along with the bands Rock solid musicianship,helped push them to the top of the Metal heap,although they never acheived more than cult status here in the States.Metal classics? They`re all here;"Dallas 1 PM",747[Strangers in the Night]","Princess of the Night",and the anthemic "Denim and Leather",to name but a few! The mid to late `80s were down years for the group,but recent times have been much kinder.Maybe, after all these years,Saxon will FINALLY get the respect they so richly deserve!"She used to be an Iron Horse,20 years ago..."
"For Whose Advantage?"-1991
Although I`ve always liked this band,I don`t know that much about `em.This British 4-piece played straight,aggressive Power Metal w/ memorable hooks & riffs that stayed in your head long after you listened to them.All of which was delivered with a good dose of English humor;These guys didn`t take themselves seriously,and thus were a breath of fresh air in this often death & doom obsessed genre.These are the only releases I have from Xentrix.They put out a couple of other discs and apparently disbanded after that.Good stuff!
The great German Metal Explosion of the `mid `80s spawned many high profile acts,some of whom are still around [Sodom,Kreator],most others long since disbanded.Destruction were one of the most popular,and these two discs are good examples of well-crafted Germanic Power Metal;Over the top guitar playing [courtesy of Mike]high speed riffs,growlng vocals[singer/bassistSchmier.Don`t these guys have last names?]and better-than-average song-writing gave Destruction a leg up on the competition."Eternal Devastation" is their best.
At a time when the rest of the Metal world became obsessed with playing faster-than-light,these Swedish doom-mongers [is that a real word? Just wondering..]slowed things to a dead crawl.This 6-song EP helped give birth to the modern "Doom Metal" movement,but Candlemass are much better at it than most of their less-than capable offspring.They add a certain amount of ENERGY to the sludge fest,as well as being able to actually write SONGS,not excuses to simply play slow,Z-tuned guitar riffs over & over w/ no sense of direction.Bassist/leader Leif Edling used a session vocalist here,later enlisting Messiah Marcolin.
"Highway to Hell"-1979
"Back in Black'-1980
Maybe not a "Metal" band per se,AC/DC nontheless has all the raw power and energy required of ANY High Decible act in order to survive in the Hard Rock world."Highway.." was a water-mark in the bands career in that it was their best album to date,and,on a sadder note,their last with the infamous Bon Scott[ he died after a drinking binge in February,1980].The bells at the start of "Hells` Bells`,from"Back in Black',seem to be tolling for the late,lamented Scott while at the same time ringing in a new era for the Australian rockers.Brian Johnson proved to be MORE than capable of filling the vocal spot,and AC/DC`s position in the Rock world was secure.
Don`t think these albums belong here? You been in a cave or something for the last 20 years? Any Hard Rock/Metal band that came out since then owes a great deal to VH.Forget about "Jump","DaveTV",Valerie Bertinelli [well,maybe not her..] and brown M&Ms,these albums,even after all this time,STILL sound better than most of the stuff that`s around now.Then they had to go and get Sammy Hagar....
"Blizzard of Ozz"-1980
"Diary of a Madman"-1981
After being canned from Sabbath in `79,Ozzy was considered a hopeless,burnt-out drunk,another drug addicted Rock & Roll casualty,a joke. But Ozzy made the smartest move of his career when,in that same year,he moved to Los Angeles to hunt up a guitar player to help jump-start his solo gig.After weeks of auditions,Ozz had all but given up and was set to go back to England when,at the last minute,a young guitarist [and part-time guitar teacher] named Randy Rhoads entered the picture.Legend has it that Rhoads only played for less than a minute when Ozzy,in a drunken stupor,slurred "You`re HIRED"! The rest is history.Randy not only gave Osbournes` career a 2nd breath,but in the process he revolutionized Hard Rock/Metal guitar playing.Combining Classical guitar technique with Metal in an entirely new way,he set standards that,to this day,have rarely been matched.Sadly,this brilliant musical talent was cut way too short in a freak plane crash in `82.The live "Tribute" album,released in `87,is a fitting memorial to this true musical genius.R.I.P. Randy...
"Join the Army"-1987
"How Will I Laugh Tomorrow.."-1988
"Controlled by Hatred[Feel Like Shit]"EP-1989
Started life as a Hardcore outfit,but with the release of "Join the Army",switched gears and added Thrash Metal to the mix;this,plus the addition of high-tech wiz kid Rocky George on guitar,propelled Suicidal Tendencies to great heights for most of their career.The above discs are,in my opinion,the bands` best work;later albums were inconsistent.
Originally known as Yesterday & Today,this San Francisco 4-piece put out two albums under that moniker before signing to A&M in the early `80s.They then shortened the name and released these three excellent discs.Led by singer/guitarist/founder Dave Meniketti,Y&T bridged the gap between `70s blues rock and modern Metal,and I consider these to be some of the BEST Metal albums of the early `80s! Too bad they sold out in `84 and went the hairspray & makeup route,a sure-fire way to end a bands` career! Oh,well....