Archive for old school heavy metal albums

RAVAGE – “The End Of Tomorrow” – A Monster Of A Heavy Metal Album

Posted in Album Review, classic heavy metal, classic heavy metal albums, classic metal, collecting heavy metal albums, collecting metal music, collecting rock music, cool album covers, cover songs, creepy album covers, current heavy metal albums, current heavy metal bands, current heavy metal music, essential heavy metal albums, essential heavy metal songs, essential metal music albums, halloween songs, Heavy Metal, heavy metal album covers, heavy metal album review, heavy metal albums, heavy metal albums 2009, heavy metal bands from boston, heavy metal cover songs, heavy metal drummers, heavy metal guitarists, heavy metal music, heavy metal music 2009, Heavy Metal Reviews, heavy metal songs 2009, heavy metal vocalists, Metal, metal music, metal music albums, metal music today, metal odyssey, Metal Reviews, Music, new heavy metal album, old school heavy metal, rock music, scary album covers, speed metal, spooky album covers, spooky metal album covers, thrash metal music with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 22, 2009 by Metal Odyssey

Ravage - Banner group photo  2009

Ravage is a Heavy Metal Band from Boston, (actually Malden), Massachusetts and is hell bent on keeping Classic Metal Music alive, loud and damn proud. Every song on this second album from Ravage, The End Of Tomorrow, (their Metal Blade Records debut, released on August 18, 2009), is writhing with Old School Heavy Metal influence. Ravage does a credible job at flexing their Metal muscles on each song, heavy, hard and speed are irreversible elements that dominate The End Of Tomorrow. No where is the Old School Heavy Metal influence more evident than in the cover of the Judas Priest classic – Nightcrawler. Ravage shows Judas Priest their deserved Metal respect by not ripping Nightcrawler to pieces with any unnecessary fills or excessiveness. A fabulous cover Ravage does with this song, Nightcrawler is a genius choice to add to their track list on this album, based on it’s creepy and dark theme.

I have found that, the more I listen to The End Of Tomorrow, the more I am being convinced that this album was released back around 1985. Alas, that is not such the Metal case… Ravage brings forth to 2009 the Heavy Metal song structures and ambiance of what I have come to expect from vintage Metal Church and early Judas Priest and Armored Saint albums, to name just a few Old Schoolers. After each listen to this album, it is very obvious that the members of Ravage have done their Classic Heavy Metal homework. Knowing and creating all of the heavy nuances of their influences only catapults quality and integrity, on an upmost consistent level throughout The End Of Tomorrow. The Halls Of Madness not only has a vintage Metal title, it also is quite the convincing Heavy Metal instrumental intro that brings back memories of early Helloween and Savatage, for me. There really is not a scapegoat song to point out on The End Of Tomorrow, all twelve songs have their own distinctive Metal bite, an album that I can hit play and let the Heavy Metal assault take it’s natural course. Excuse me for a Metal second as I proclaim The End Of Tomorrow as being a top favorite Heavy Metal album for me in 2009, in my Metal opinion. Ravage can play Heavy Metal… their original brand too… I would not tell a Metal lie.

Ravage "The End Of Tomorrow" tiny picReign Fall lyrically expresses the ghastly imagery of what happens to those who cannot think for themselves, wasting away at the mercy of ones very own doing. Reign Fall, as well as every song on The End Of Tomorrow, is a throwback Metal feast of melodic speed crashing into riffs that are beyond run of the mill. Al Ravage reminds me thoroughly of a young Rob Halford, (Judas Priest), intertwined with a young Paul Dianno, (of early Iron Maiden). Hey, I am by no means putting Al Ravage in this heroic class of Heavy Metal vocalists… (not yet anyways), what I am pointing out is Al Ravage can sing Heavy Metal with marked influences and originality combined. Ravage knows they are Old School, using this phrase so much doing a review may sound very redundant, yet for any veteran fan of Heavy Metal from yesteryear, you know just how juicy it can get when a new album excretes all things good about the glory days of MetalThe End Of Tomorrow is an unleashed monster of what I am talking about here.

My other favorite songs on this album are: The Grapes Of Wrath, which takes a Heavy Metal swipe at all the idiot talking heads on television, these plastic morons get called out on the Metal carpet by Al Ravage here rather eloquently. Plus, The Grapes Of Wrath is authentically memorable for my Metal mind, I just cannot shake this song out of my senses. The Shredder is another manifestation of early Judas Priest influence, only it takes on it’s own Ravage originality… reminding me of the Judas Priest classic – The Ripper, only The Shredder is absolutely not a knock off or copy cat by any means. The End Of Tomorrow is one powerful way to conclude this album, fittingly the title song… lyrically doom laden, the end result is a reality check on the life we are leading and living now. The End Of Tomorrow has a Power Metal approach that echos of great Heavy Metal triumphs to come in the future for this killer “new” band they call Ravage.

Ravage, as they appear on The End Of Tomorrow:

Al Ravage on lead vocals

Eli Firicano on lead and rhythm guitars

Nick Izzo on lead and rhythm guitars

G.T.B. on drums

Howie Snow on bass

Track Listing for The End Of Tomorrow:

The Halls Of Madness

Reign Fall

Freedom Fighter

Damn Nation

The Shredder

Into The Shackles

In Shattered Dreams

The Nightmare’s Hold: Part One

Nightcrawler

The Nightmare’s Hold: Part Two

Grapes Of Wrath

The End Of Tomorrow

C’mon, is this album cover OLD SCHOOL HEAVY METAL or what? Not only does the Heavy Metal of Ravage stand on it’s own, (they could have issued a plain blue cover and that would not change the quality of Metal songs heard inside one bit), yet man, this is cool throwback artwork happening here. I cry out a huge Metal bravo! – to artist Edward J. Repka for creating a REAL Heavy Metal album cover for Ravage.

Ravage - "The End Of Tomorrow" x-large pic

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Jackyl – 1992 debut, Heavy Metal album revisited

Posted in 1990's heavy metal albums, 1990's heavy metal bands, 1990's heavy metal songs, 1990's heavy metal music, Album Review, chainsaw heavy metal music, classic heavy metal albums, cool album covers, essential heavy metal albums, Heavy Metal, heavy metal album covers, heavy metal album review, heavy metal albums, heavy metal albums 1992, heavy metal guitarists, heavy metal music, heavy metal music 1992, Heavy Metal Reviews, heavy metal vocalists, Metal, metal music, Metal Reviews, Music, old school heavy metal, rock music, vintage heavy metal albums with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 2, 2009 by Metal Odyssey

main-150Hey, I have always been eager to get into new Heavy Metal bands, it’s been this way for decades now. 1992 was no different than any other year, as far as searching out the latest and/or newest Heavy Metal Bands and albums. When I first heard Jackyl back in 1992, well, it was the song “The Lumberjack”… with a chainsaw being used for a solo. A chainsaw used as a dominant musical instrument… in a Heavy Metal song, now that is cool, that is Metal. Aw heck, I am going to be blunt and admit… this chainsaw ripping through “The Lumberjack” song gave me goose bumps back in 1992. Now, does this chainsaw and “The Lumberjack” song have the same goose bump affect on me today? Honestly, not as many goose bumps generate when I listen to this song in 2009, still I like the song just as much as ever. Maybe it is due to the fact, that I know the chainsaw is coming, after listening to this song so many times over the years. Make no mistake, “The Lumberjack” song still pumps me up and makes me wish I had an old, decrepit, decaying barn to tear down while I listen to this song. 

This debut album from Jackyl, which is self titled, was a refreshing reminder back in 1992 that Heavy Metal did not curl up into a ball and wither away. Jackyl’s brand of Heavy Metal arrived right when this Metalhead needed it most, when rumors abounded within the mainstream media that Metal Music was done. Well, Heavy Metal never went away, if anything, the mainstream media just did not cover the Metal Music that was out there in the 1990’s, no publicity, therefore… no existence. Right? Wrong! Jackyl was a perfect example of Heavy Metal existing in the decade of the ’90’s. Other than the chainsaw, Jackyl did not reinvent the Metal wheel back in 1992, rather they delivered upon the Metal community an album that kicked some serious tail. “Jackyl” was an album that presented some heavy hitting, kick the dirt and throw the garbage can down the driveway – attitude and songs.

Back in 1995, I worked for a very large, mail order, perennial farm in expensive Connecticut. I can remember working the perennial fields during the Summer, driving a tractor, during a very, very, long dry spell. I recall this one cool, fellow Metalhead who drove a tractor on this farm as well… he and I both so wished it would rain. I introduced him to this Jackyl debut album, (I had it on cassette then), “When Will It Rain” became a theme song for us working the fields at this perennial farm. My Metalhead buddy borrowed my Jackyl cassette to listen to, while he worked the fields with his tractor. (There is definitely something about Jackyl’s Heavy Metal and working outdoors… one seems to compliment the other). “Down On Me” is another very memorable song from “Jackyl”, nothing fancy here, just a steady, Heavy Metal track, that is carried by the rhythm section with authority. “Dirty Little Mind” is like a speeding, Metal ball of wire, uncoiling with spastic Heavy Metal abandon.

In other words, “Jackyl” was never going to indulge in therapeutic topics, nor delve into intricate musical musings. Instead, “Jackyl” was – and still is, a down home, blue collar, back roads, type of Heavy Metal album and band. “Jackyl” was never meant to impress the judges, mainstream media, or uptight people in general. Jackyl the band and “Jackyl” the album, no doubt impressed me in 1992… still does. I think that is why I appreciate this debut album from Jackyl so much, this band wrote songs to have a good time to and maybe heave that rotted log into the woods to.

Jackyl, as they appeared on their debut album “Jackyl”: Jesse James Dupree on vocals & chainsaw, Jimmy Stiff on guitar, Jeff Worley on guitar, Tom Bettini on  bass guitar and Chris Worley on drums.

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My favorite KISS album of all time is…

Posted in 1980's heavy metal albums, 1980's heavy metal bands, 1980's heavy metal music, 1980's heavy metal songs, 1980's metal music, Album Review, classic heavy metal albums, cool album covers, essential heavy metal albums, Heavy Metal, heavy metal album covers, heavy metal album review, heavy metal albums, heavy metal guitarists, heavy metal music, heavy metal music 1982, Heavy Metal Reviews, heavy metal vocalists, Metal, metal music, Music, old school heavy metal, rock music, vintage heavy metal albums, Vocals with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 27, 2009 by Metal Odyssey

main-150I am a lifelong Kiss fan, guilty of admiring a Heavy Metal band that has influenced the genre of Metal both musically, theatrically and of course… commercially. Out of the entire Kiss catalog of Heavy Metal, there has to be my favorite album of all time… my choice of favorite Kiss album seems to change yearly. (Oh well, that is my Metal dilemma I have to live with). As of today, Sunday, July 26, 2009, my favorite Kiss album of all time is “Creatures Of The Night”, (released in 1982). This Kiss album came out after “The Elder” album, making for quite the triumphant, Heavy Metal return. When I first heard the song “I Love It Loud”, man, was I ever psyched out of my Metal mind! I was serving time in High School when this album released, having this Kiss song to play loud back then was true innocent rebellion. Playing this song and the entire “Creatures Of The Night” album loud today, well, is just because I want to and can. (No more rebellion is left in my system… I think). 

In my Metal opinion, this Kiss album is arguably their heaviest studio album ever created. (The live albums are darned heavy too, however, I am comparing the studio albums). “War Machine” is definitely my favorite song off of this prestigious album. Gene Simmons on lead vocals is classic – I can hear the anger flow from his voice and the lyrics only add credence to this interpretation. “Danger” is one tough and heavy Kiss song that Paul Stanley sings lead vocals on. For a Paul Stanley sung tune, this is as fast and furious as it ever gets. “Saint and Sinner” is a bass lovers dream of a Heavy Metal song, with Gene Simmons giving what I consider, one of his best lead vocal efforts ever. “Creatures Of The Night” is melodic as it is heavy, a Kiss song that without hesitation, is my favorite Paul Stanley – on lead vocals, song. I say this until it hurts, that I have never been the biggest fan of ballads in Heavy Metal. There are always my exceptions to this personal rule. “I Still Love You” is one damned cool and heavy ballad that Paul Stanley sings. Paul Stanley turns some sappy lyrics into a song that I can still crank up, to this day.

“Keep Me Comin'” is the one song off of this album that I have liked the least. This song is not terrible, I won’t skip over it while playing the entire album… yet it never seemed to get my Metal adrenaline perking over the years. “Rock and Roll Hell” and “Killer” round out the rest of the songs from “Creatures Of The Night”, making for nine Kiss songs total, that are now considered by me, vintage Kiss. Metal truth be told, if you are embarking on building your first Kiss music collection, making “Creatures Of The Night” your initial purchase is a profoundly wise choice. The overall Heavy Metal power is in my Metal mind, abundant on this album.

As a side note, the articles and stories I have read and/or heard over the years is that both Ace Frehley and Vinnie Vincent receive guitar credit for this album. Frankly, it does not stir me either way, as to who actually played lead guitar and on which songs, this album is too great for such controversy to hinder the end result. Whichever guitarist did play, they played excellent. Ace Frehley does appear on the front cover of the album, therefore I shall close my eyes each time I listen to this album and picture Space Ace as the lead axe man. The late Eric Carr played some top notch and cool Heavy Metal drums for Kiss… the proof is in the music found on this album. I always considered “Creatures Of The Night” to be the Kiss album that launched them into the decade of the ’80’s. This is an album that will launch any new fan into a believer.

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