Tales From The Jugular - Reissue The Metal: 25 Albums That Need CD Releases
Well it looks like we are right smack dab in the middle of the reissue movement. With
labels such as Cult Metal Classics, Molten Metal, Sentinel Steel, and Mausoleum among
others, reissue mania is in full swing. We've seen everthing get the re-release treatment,
from cult New Wave acts like Elixir and Chariot to bigger name mainstays like Megadeth,
Priest, and Savatage. Some of these reissues have been for albums that have only been
available on vinyl, or in some cases for bands that saw very little production of their
CDs. I am an avid supporter of reissues, as a number of these include bonus tracks,
additional artwork, and demos.
Currently there are still hundreds of great albums merely sitting in some label dungeon,
collecting dust while the adoring fans are left hunting the trade groups online, paying
full price for a simple CD burn or getting ripped off by pirated bootleggers pawning their
version of the real thing for hundreds of dollars. I for one use a collector in the area
that does wondeful work transferring vinyl and limited CD releases onto disc for me
(www.metalchamber.com). He's given me stacks of excellent metal that has never seen a
proper CD release.
With this issue of Tales From The Jugular, I will show you 25 releases that I feel deserve
a full reissue treatment. My opinion is not based on collector's value, fancy artwork, or
guest appearances, just simply based off of what I perceive as an excellent work, a
genuine metal masterpiece that deserves so much more. Here are the goods, the quality
material that needs to be retrieved, unearthed, cleaned up, and released for the legions
ANGEL WITCH - FRONTAL ASSAULT
Released on vinyl in 1986 via Killerwatt Records, "Frontal Assault" proved to be
the ulitmate gothic sensation, showing a darker, sadistic look at New Wave with horror
tunes like "Somthing Wrong" and "She Don't Lie". This was released
briefly through Enigma on disc, but that is long out of print now. This is a lost gem that
begs to be found.
BANG TANGO - LOVE AFTER DEATH
Euro mainstay Music For Nations didn't give this album much circulation. Released on disc
in 1994 among a horde of grunge and alternative acts, "Love After Death" went
against the grain, hard rocking in the older style of 'Tango, but adding in a huge dose of
heavy to the mix. You will find vocalist Joe Leste completely over the top here, belting
out kick-ass jams like "New Generation" and "Don't Count Me Out",
while swooning the ladies with classic ballads like "Live On The Moon".
"Love After Death" is completely out of print, and a long sought after title by
hard rock fans worldwide.
BLADE RUNNER - HUNTED
Released on the best New Wave label in my opinion, Ebony Records, 1985's
"Hunted" is the debut album from England's Blade Runner. "Hunted"
showcased a world-class look at down and dirty new wave metal, mixing in the stylings of
Priest, Savage, and Saxon. "Hunted" didn't go far however, like many of the
Ebony acts the group managed one sophomore effort, "Warriors Of Rock" before
calling it a career. "Hunted" is only available on vinyl, and those are very
limited and of course out of print.
BLOODSTONE - VALLEY OF THE MACHINES
Released on disc by the doomed Long Island Records. The label went bust, but not before
releasing some great albums from bands like Rated-X, Skitzotik, and this great German act,
Bloodstone. "Valley Of The Machines" was the only full-length album from the
band, but what an album it was! Bloodstone combined the hard rock elements of White Lion
and Ratt, with the heavy metal overtones of Dio and Sabbath. The end result was a
monumental modern metal album that was refreshing, innovative, and energetic, three
qualities that bands in 1995 simply didn't have. This one is extremely hard to find, as
Long Island didn't make many.
BLOODLUST - GUILTY AS SIN
In 1986, Blood Lust released "Guilty As Sin" on Metal Blade records. The album
was monumental in its unprecedented fury and determination to rule the airwaves with sonic
annihilation. One could compare the band's dark speed sound to bands like Nasty Savage,
early Anthrax, Dark Angel, and even Omen. Classic tracks like the speedy Manowarish number
"Ride To Death", shout it out loud "Chainsaw", and haunting wall
smasher "Too Scared To Run" were classic examples of the quality American metal
this band created. Vocalist Guy Lord sounded similar to Neil Turbin with his high vocal
range, but brought it down a notch to belt out thrash speed numbers ala Bobby "The
Blitz". This is available only on vinyl, and like so many other Metal Blade
treasures, Brian Slagel refuses to reissue this on disc.
CITIES - ANNIHILATION ABSOLUTE
Another quality US power/thrash act, Cities delivered fast paced metal mayhem in the same
fashion as Nasty Savage, Bloodlust, Jag Panzer, and Exciter. Released by Metal Blade
records in 1986, "Annihilation Absolute" is considered a classic by metal fans,
a classic that unfortunately cannot be purchased or heard by a majority of today's
listeners. King Fowley released a limited edition of this album on disc through Old Metal
Records years ago, but those quickly went and are very hard to track down. This one really
needs to be looked at again by the Metal Blade brass.
DAMIEN - STOP THIS WAR
Ohio power metal band Damien released this masterpiece on disc in 1989 through Select
Records. "Stop This War" is a furious scorcher, bringing to mind early Ozzy,
KISS, Anthrax, and Metallica. With blazing thrashers like "The Priests Are
Coming" and "Warlord", Damien proved that the 80s were over, but the metal
mania would continue. This is out of print and a rare find at best.
DANTON - WAY OF DESTINY
German hard rockers Danton managed one album before calling it quits, the effective vinyl
"Way Of Destiny" in 1988 through Mega Volt Records. Featuring Accept frontman
Udo Dirkschneider's younger brother Peter, Danton steamrolled through rock and roll
numbers like "Stalingrad", "Knock Knock", and "Straight In Your
Heart". Mega Volt released a very small number of these albums, so the only bet now
is to get this through a trader.
DIGGER - STRONGER THAN EVER
Okay folks, Grave Digger released three CLASSIC albums in the 80s, "Witch
Hunter", "Wargames", and "Heavy Metal Breakdown" before breaking
up. In 1986 the band was contacted by Noise Records, and "duped" into reforming
under the name Digger, and making an album of commercial hard rock, with songwriting
geared radio friendly. From what I understand, vocalist Chris Boltendahl was told Digger
would be the next Bon Jovi. The band changed their name, changed their logo, dressed
funny, and put a mechanical duck on their album cover. Stupid idea, BUT the bottom line is
this. This album isn't bad at all, in fact I treasure it just as much as my Grave Digger
albums. Sure the song titles are generic (Wanna Get Close, Don't Leave Me Lonely, Stay
Till The Morning), but the music is still somewhat aggressive, and no matter how hard
Boltendahl tried to mellow it out, his voice is simply made for German Power. So, for all
these years this album has stayed out of print, available only on vinyl. Noise Records
needs to just go ahead and stick Grave Digger on the spine, and throw this one out on
disc. Its the right thing to do for the 'Digger fans.
FORTNOX - ST
This was a great hard rock band from the US that played southern styled metal like April
Wine and Axe, while layering twin guitar harmony throughout the mix like early Boston.
This one was released on vinyl in 1982 courtesy of Epic Records, and as of right now there
has been no additional pressings in any format. It really makes me wonder why a band like
Fortnox never made it, with a debut as impressive as their self-title, while other flashy,
commercial bands like this climbed high on the charts. I guess its all who you know, but
regardless, this is a great one to search for.
HEXX - UNDER THE SPELL
Hexx showed off a number of different styles in their career, from straight forward metal
with their debut, to the death metal assault of 1991's "Morbid Reality". No
style paid off more than the thrash/power outing of Shrapnel's release "Under The
Spell" in 1986. Combining the velocity of Anthrax with the gothic heaviness of
Savatage, Hexx slashed and dashed through ten tracks of molten metal, raging through the
album with speedracers like "Hellraiders" and "Out Of Control", while
dishing out raw US power with classics like "Edge Of Death". This saw a very
limited run on disc through the bootleg company Reborn Classics, which basically
transferred the vinyl to disc on a 2 on 1 with Nightcrawler's "Soldiers In Time"
JAG PANZER - CHAIN OF COMMAND
Colorado metal superstars Jag Panzer released the greatest metal album of all time in
1984, a little known record called "Ample Destruction". The group went through
some lineup changed, most notable being the replacement of lead vocalist Harry "The
Tyrant" Conklin with little known front man Bob Parduba. The album was released as a
bootleg disc in 1991 (Reborn Classics), but the album was actually recorded in the
mid-80s, with the band basically putting it on the back burner because vocalist Parduba
had left the group. What is the album like? Well I wish I could tell you, but
unfortunately I have never heard it. The band's bio says it was very thrash-like, and a
different take on "Ample Destruction". Of course the band later reformed with
their original lineup, and are still active today, but the release of "Chain Of
Command" has still never officially developed.
LION - DANGEROUS ATTRACTION
Lion's debut, "Dangerous Attraction", is widely considered the best melodic AOR
album of all time. Released by Jap import label Pony Canyon in 1987, Lion displayed the
talent and raw power that other groups like Poison and Bon Jovi were lacking. With soaring
clean vocals from one Kal Swan, Lion stormed through melodic tracks like "Armed And
Dangerous" and "Fatal Attraction", incorporating the heaviness of groups
like Malice and Shok Paris with the commercial songwriting of a Bon Jovi or Boston. This
one is absolutely incredible, and one that DEMANDS a world-wide release.
LION - TROUBLE IN ANGEL CITY
How rare it is to follow-up a masterpiece with another masterpiece, but that is exactly
what American act Lion did with 1989's "Trouble In Angel City", the fantastic
sophomore effort that is the true follow-up to "Dangerous Attraction", the
group's awe-inspiring debut from '87. Once again vocalist Kal Swan leads his squad to the
front, taking over the commercial reigns and running for the gold, delivering ten classic
tracks of melodic hard rock. This one was released on Grand Slamm and is a very rare find.
What a disgrace that the only thing Lion will ever be know for is the theme song for a
children's cartoon-Transformers. Yep, they did the theme, and its not a bad song really,
but Lion had so much more to give.
LONDON - NON-STOP ROCK
Released on Shrapnel in 1985, London were basically a who's who of hard rock at the time.
Despite the name, London was formed in American in 1978, and recruited future superstars
like Nikki Sixx (Motley Crue) and Nadir D'Priest (D'Priest, Steel Prophet) before
finalizing their lineup with D'Priest on vocals, Lizzie Grey (guitar), Brian West (bass),
and Jennings Morgan on drums. Their debut release, "Non-Stop Rock" is exactly
what the title suggests, nine tracks of ultimate hard rock. This debut is extremely rare,
and only available on vinyl.
NOTE-London went on to release another album, "Don't Cry Wolf" before
disbanding. D'Priest went on to release "Playa Del Rock" in 1990, and some
pressings have the title London on the cover.
MALTESE FALCON - METAL RUSH
Released by Roadrunner in 1984 (THE year of heavy metal), US metal band Maltese Falcon
play lean and mean power-thrash in the same vein as Hexx, Bloodlust, and the occasional
Exciter. The band takes to the streets with plenty of thrills, including the fast pacers
"Heavy 'N Loud", "Headbanger", and "Rebellion". "Metal
Rush" was a down and dirty rock machine, with fast riffs, over the top wails, and a
decent production job. Unfortunately "Metal Rush" was the only Maltese Falcon
album, making the record even harder to find.
NOISEHUNTER - TOO YOUNG TO DIE
UDO and the Accept boys would be proud of Noisehunter, with "Too Young To Die"
the third and most mature offering from the German band. Released on ZYX in 1989,
Noisehunter showcased a classy, polished hard rock vision, with classic numbers like the
title track bringing to mind Accept, Scorpions, and even Van Halen at times. The album
also saw a limited run on disc in the early 90s before being shelved for good. I've been
on the lookout for this one for years.
OZ - III WARNING
I have never seen this one on disc, so I am assuming that this is only available on vinyl.
Finland's Oz play ultra-riffic new wave in the vein of Tokyo Blade, Ostrogoth, and Savage.
"III Warning" marks the band's third release (pretty clever title eh?), and in
my opinion their best album. Released by Combat in '84, "III Warning" is a fist
flinging, no holds barred metal rush of epic proportions, with frontman Ape De Martini
throwing for the sidelines, swinging his low rumbled "high" through eight
polished tracks, with band in tow to deliver the fuel injected spark needed to take this
band over the top and into the category of the elite. Indy label Black Mark released the
group's second album, "Fire In The Brain" on disc, as well as their worst album
in "Roll The Dice". Not sure why this one is getting passed up, but do yourself
a favor and hunt this vinyl down.
PANTERA - POWER METAL
Okay you Texas bastards, give up the goods! Yeah we all know that Pantera calls 1990's
"Cowboys From Hell" their first release, but lets face it, Pantera was throwing
down some serious glam metal in the late 80s before settling down to the metal sound. In
1988, Pantera were caught between hard rock and scorching metal, and as a result the band
created "Power Metal", a bonafide US assault featuring influences from Sabbath
to Priest, all rolled up tightly with NEW singer Phil Anselmo on vocals. With spandex pink
tights and teased up hair, Pantera took the party up a notch with blistering power fury, a
great collection of solid tracks that don't forget to rock as they heavy it up. Smokers
like "Death Trap", "Rock The World", and "Hard Ride" show
Anselmo in full Halford mode, lighting it up with some classic falsetto styled vocals.
"Power Metal" was nothing like "Cowboys...", instead settling for a
rich emphasis on Euro power as opposed to rumbling, downtuned groove made popular by these
Texans. The album came out on cassette and vinyl, and was released briefly by Reborn
Classics on disc. Pantera should come clean and release this one.
RAT ATTACK - ST
Okay, this one is included simply because I loved what I heard ONCE. King Fowley (October
31, Deceased) put this tape on one day for me and I absolutely loved it. I have no
information on it other than the fact that it reminded me of Exciter, Jag Panzer, and
early Omen. Its never seen an official release on disc, and I think now is a good a time
SALEM'S WYCH - BETRAYER OF KINGS
Salem's Wych is the ultimate long lost treasure. Having released one album in their
shortened career, an extremely rare vinyl entitled "Betrayer Of Kings", released
on Metal War Records in 1986, US cult metal act Salem's Wych mastered a haunting power
metal sound in the same vein as the legendary Savatage. One may even suggest that
"Betrayer Of Kings" is the long lost Savatage album, with the band playing up to
'Tage standards with nine slabs of classy heavy metal. Available only on vinyl, there is
talk of this one coming out soon on disc.
SHOK PARIS - STEEL & STARLIGHT
This record is a must have. Its CLASSIC metal at its very best. If you love bands like
Savatage, Judas Priest, Dio, Maiden, Vicious Rumors, Chateaux, Lion, and Crimson Glory,
then Shok Paris is the band for you. This band was signed to IRS Records, and in 1987
released "Steel & Starlight", an absolute masterpiece that should be held in
high esteem by metal fans worldwide. With the release, Shok Paris proved they were a heavy
metal force in America. With masterful songs, great writing, and one superior vocalist in
Vic Hix, Shok Paris created the perfect melodic metal album. Only a few of these saw a CD
pressing, and now with the band's recent appearances in Europe, its possible that this
will once again be released on disc.
UNDERDOG - RABIES IN TOWN
Much like other German bands like Accept, Victory, and Scorpions, Underdog play hard
rocking teutonic metal, and 1984's Mausoleum release "Rabies In Town" showed the
band playing a mature, highly polished set of tracks that are far better than the band's
debut, "Underdog" in 1983. Complete with an album cover featuring, well...a dog,
Underdog go at it full swing, delivering quality rockers like "Under My Wheels"
and "We Like To Rock 'N Roll". This one came out on vinyl only and as of now no
other interest has been shown in it. Its a real shame too.
VENGEANCE - ST
The ultimate in European hard rock, Vengeance are the true masters of their domain.
Hailing from Denmark, the band put out their self titled debut record in 1984 with some
small success. Led by the flamboyant David Lee Roth styled Leon Goewie, Vengeance showed
off with flashy guitar, killer hooks, and a bombastic hard rock feel that rivaled Halen,
Def Leppard, and Krokus in pure rock and roll strength. Their debut album was simply
mammoth, outweighing EVERYTHING hard rocking at the time. The band went on to release four
more albums, ALL being reissued by High Vaultage except the debut. I don't understand it,
and for the life of me, I feel the ST is just as good as the other titles. For whatever
reason, the debut remains unreleased.
VICIOUS RUMORS - SOLDIERS OF THE NIGHT
Before the late Carl Albert took this band to new heights, vocalist Gary St. Pierre and
guitar virtuoso Vinnie Moore created a fine debut for this soon-to-be Floridian power
metal machine. Released in 1985 by Shrapnel, "Soldiers Of The Night" sailed the
high seas with the likes of Jag Panzer, Anthrax, and even early Maiden. Killer tracks like
"Medusa" and "March Or Die" helped solidify an already booming fan
base, with the band's debut album an instant classic from the word go. For whatever reason
the group changed lineups, dropping St. Pierre and Moore from the group and picking up
VOCAL GOD Carl Albert. The band went on to create some of the most memorable power metal
ever exported from these American shores. This album came out briefly on disc as a
Price-Killer, and then completely vanished. Underground Generation are selling bootlegs of
this one. I got duped into paying $18 for a burn.
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