Accept My Sacrifice

Alright then, let’s see how this goes! On a train home – well nearly home, got to drive from Derby as the UK seems to think no one wants a train too far north on a Saturday night!

Sitting in first class (only a couple of quid extra so why not?) fired up iTunes and the first track thrown up was Accept My Sacrifice by Suicidal Tendencies.

Formed in 1981 in Venice, Los Angeles, Suicidal (I’m feeling lazy to add the Tendencies part every time I mention them, so please forgive me) were an early proponent of a genre referred to as Crossover, or Crossover Thrash. It basically mixes thrash metal with a bit more hardcore punk, giving you often more punchier and shorter songs.

When I was at school for some reason Suicidal’s second album Join The Army was passed around and swapped numerous times. No idea why, maybe we just didn’t understand it as youngsters back then?

The bands big break thru came in 1990 with the release of Lights…Camera…Revolution! where they became more thrash than crossover. MTV playing You Can’t Bring Me Down definitely helped the album reach gold status.

This track is taken from the 1992 follow up The Art Of Rebellion that saw the band go further away from Crossover and experiment with a bit more funk in places.

This album also features a certain Robert Trujillo on bass. He cut his teeth with Suicidal from 1989’s Controlled By Hatred (where he was billed as Stymee!) through to Suicidal For Life in 1994. Did a bit for Ozzy Osbourne’s band then joined metal behemoth Metallica.

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Madhouse

Happy birthday to Anthrax’s second full length album Spreading The Disease. Thirty years old today.

I didn’t buy it on its release but I must have had this album in my collection for 27 of those 30 years.  It’s scary at times when you realise how old albums are or how long ago you went to a show. Sometimes it doesn’t feel anywhere near three decades since I first heard the opening strains to A.I.R.

The first album to feature Joey Belladonna on vocals making it in turn the first release of what many consider to be classic Anthrax.

Madhouse is still played live on a regular basis and other tracks have cropped up in their set at semi regular intervals.

Incomplete 

Bad Religion are the latest musicians to be thrown up from the shuffling iPod.

Incomplete is 2 minutes 28 seconds of sheer melodic punk brilliance. It’s also the lead off track from the bands 1994 album Stranger Than Fiction.

This album was their first release on the major label Atlantic after leaving Epitaph. The album is the bands biggest seller to date – achieving Gold status in America. In today’s world that seems a bit backward considering how easy “fans” are to accuse bands of “selling out”.

Over the years I’ve known hardened metal heads by a version of some of the bands releases purely for their logo, affectionately known as the Crossbuster. Apparently it makes some of them seem more evil!!

I’ve seen them live a few times and the Los Angeles natives certainly deliver value for money. Not the 2-3 hour sets some bands play, but you usually get around 30 songs.

The Heretic (The Lost Child)

Let’s spin back to my School Daze.

Saturday May 20th 1989.

Hanley Victoria Hall.

My first gig – W.A.S.P. on their Headless Children Tour.

Technically Zed Yago – a female fronted German metal band in the vein of Warlock – were the first band I saw as they were on first, but that gets more blank looks!!

Things are a bit hazy now, but I remember random things from the day. It was FA Cup final day and I’m sure it was an all Merseyside final. We caught the bus up to Hanley and pre gig was a very rock ‘n’ roll McDonald’s!! We were only 16!

The Victoria Hall is a 2,000 capacity concert hall that was 101 years old at the time. Standing down below and two seated balconies – where we saw the gig from. And there’s a huge pipe organ up front and you could see the tops of the pipes poking above the backdrop. They’ve always reminded me of gigantic Crayola crayons!!

I honestly can’t remember anything of Zed Yago, I think it was the anticipation of seeing my first live band. I could be way off with my memories of what actually happened compared to what I think happened but I think it went something like this….

The lights go down. The intro tape by the Doors rolls. The drum kit rises and some intro video plays that culminates in a huge explosion and the band kick in with The Heretic (The Lost Child). That’s it, that’s me hooked for the rest of my life – and pretty much deaf for the next week – or so it seemed!! I’ve even still got the shirt upstairs. It’s covered in holes as I went to college and did welding and pretty much ruined every shirt I had!

The Heretic wasn’t released as a single so there’s no video for it, so below is the audio of the track.

Heartwork

The final band of this Deathcrusher run through are Liverpool rogues Smeg and the Heads (Sorry. Geek overload – I couldn’t resist!!)

Carcass. Initially a ‘D beat’ band called Disattack on their inception in 1985. When they changed name to Carcass in 1987 they became a leading light in the UK grindcore scene. Lots of similarities with Napalm Death in their formative years (Peel Sessions, Earache Records, etc). Combining a gory and often horrific lyrical content taken straight from medical journals their covers caused controversy over the years for the depictions found inside said journals.

Over time their sound went outright death metal and eventually more intricate with a more melodic death metal vibe – but still keeping a degree of the medical journal style lyrics.

I got to see Carcass locally on their Heartwork tour in December 1994 then not again for another 14 years until their appearance at the Damnation Festival in Leeds.

The Heartwork album is considered the bands big break and lead to them signing to major label Columbia Records but never actually releasing anything with them!


Death On Two Legs

Tonight’s random track is Queen. Kind of!!

The absolute joy of being the only car driver in the family is having to perform taxi duties at the drop of a hat!!

Tonight was one of those nights as my better half didn’t have her usual lift home so I had the pleasure! As she doesn’t like most of my “noisy $h!t” music I have playing I have to compromise. This evening was a Queen half hour, not that I’m complaining about Queen, far from it.

Anyway, back to the shuffle. Death On Two Legs was originally from Queen’s A Night At The Opera album, released in 1975.

This version is by the San Francisco Bay Area thrashers Heathen. This track is taken from the bands Recovered album – an album of mainly covers and remastered demo tracks. This was their first release after a nine year hiatus. They got back together originally to perform at the Chuck Billy and Chuck Schuldiner (Testament and Death vocalists respectively) charity show Clash of the Titans. If time travelling Delorians are invented or I find an abandoned Tardis, San Francisco’s Maritime Hall on August 11th 2001 would be a destination for sure!

 

Violence

The band I have to say I’m looking forward to the most on the Deathcrusher tour is Tampa’s Obituary. Every time I have seen them live they have not failed to impress. Their show earlier this year at the Electric Ballroom was out of this world. No fancy sets, no stage props – just five rednecks with their heads down, delivering a blistering set of bludgeoning death metal.

Florida. The sunshine state – home of Mickey Mouse, NASA, oranges and the Everglades was the hot bed of Death Metal. There really must be something in the water there to unleash so many brutal and evil bands from a small area. The majority of these bands also recorded at the iconic Morrisound Recording Studio with Scott Burns. Pick up an 80’s / early 90’s death metal album and there’s a high chance that one of those two names will be on it!

Three of the founding members – John and Donald Tardy and Trevor Peres – are still up on stage in 2015. They formed in 1984 as Executioner, then Xecutioner and finally settling on Obituary. The first three albums (Slowly We Rot, Cause of Death and The End Complete) are nailed on genre classics. The band went on hiatus between 1997 to 2005. Earlier this year they released their 9th studio album Inked In Blood which is an absolute corker.

The animated video below is taken from their most recent output, and it’s also the last Obituary album featuring long time stalwart Frank Watkins who sadly passed away on October 18th.