Angel Dust-"Into The Dark Past" 1986

Angel Dust rode in on the German Metal wave of 1984-`86, along with Sodom, Destruction, Kreator, Exhumer and a horde of other Teutonic Terrors! As with most of those bands, this album [their debut] was recorded by Harris Johns [this guy KNOWS how to get a great Heavy Metal guitar sound!] at Berlins` famed Musiclab Studios. While at times derivative, "Into The Dark Past" was nontheless a good, healthy dose of Germanic Power Metal; fierce rhythms, crunching guitar, ya know, the GOOD stuff! Their next album, however, saw the band with a new vocalist [going from a 4 to 5-piece] and veer off into Helloween territory [circa "Keeper Of The 7 Keys Part II"]. NOT a good move! They folded soon after, but reformed in the late `90s` with original members Frank Banx [bass] and Dirk Assmuth [drums]. Word is that their recent releases are excellent! Guess I`ll have to check `em out........

Chastain-"Sick Society" 1995

While I`ve always respected David T.Chastain`s uncomparable musical abilities, I was never a big fan. Most instrumental guitar rock bores the HELL outta me! Imagine my suprise when Chastain released THIS monster! Thick, crunching, incredibly HEAVY riffs, brief solos [!], and the extra added bonus of vocalist Kate French. This womans voice easily shifts from an angel soft whisper to "Exorcist"- style shrieks & growls, often in the same verse! And Mr. Chastain won me over with his psychotic, but always in control leads, which weave in and out, complimenting, not obscuring the tunes. And WHAT tunes! 12 KILLER tracks: "Sick Society", "I Know The Darkness", the SUPER heavy ballad "Every Emotion", "The Vampire", all fairly simple, yet kick ASS! As close to perfection as Metal gets!