Monday, 31 March 2014

METAL HAMMER'S Best of British Steel 1989

I'm backing up my collection, so there might be a few things up for download again. Take this compilation...altogether, not bad for a cheap second hand pickup. It's a real mixed bad; big contrast in quality of bands and bigger contrast in style.

Apparently, there were only two styles of metal in Britain in 1989. Big hair, and Thrash. Hats off to the compilers of the album for mixing up the styles through, so you never get two of the same genres in a row. But there's the problem. There's no middle ground between any band, and apparently no bands existed that bridged the gap between Thrash brutality and looking fabulous. I find it jarring at times, listening from start to finish. A 'Hair' disc and a 'Thrash' disc might have been a better idea, but it's 25 years too late to care.

Not much surprise who I'm going to pick out as favourites...Sabbat are clear #1, the technical thrash standing out above even the best other bands. Sacrilege are the only band comparable, in having the most distinct sound along with Sabbat, and having one of the best songs on the comp.
There's a couple of dirty metal-punk style tracks from Deathwish and Virus. More thrash too...Metal Messiah are on here, and usually rave about them at every opportunity. It's still worth raving...picking a song like Madman makes them as good as all the other best bands here. My only problem with Madman is that it's too short. Once you're done listening to this, make sure you find yourself a copy of their's out there on the blogs, you'll be fine. 

The rest of it...well, if you're into that kinda of thing, great. There is one band that stood out, up there with Sabbat despite the completely difference style. Low Life by Trixx Federation is an amazing rock song, does everything you want of a song that'll make you feel great. The band feels like a great cohesive unit, like this was a bunch of guys who could've made a big name for themselves. There's no info bout them on the internet, though. How is that possible. Bands disappear into obscurity, sometimes because they fucking suck, but here's a great band that actually seems to have vanished down the Memory Hole. Only, that's the only reason you need to download this.

Compare those guys to some of the shit that's on this compilation. There's the worst clich├ęs ever, demonstrating why that big hair bullshit imploded on itself in the early 90s...and then there's Trixx Federation. Doing it properly, doing it like you want a fucking decent rock band to,

Oh yeah...Nights on Fire by Torino is screwed, for some reason. Only 0:25 long. Maybe it was so badly scratched I had to skip it. I don't know, and I've already given this album away to a mate. Torino seemed to have followed Trixx Federation down the memory hole...if anyone wants to hear that song sooooooooo badly, I'll check if it's scratched. Maybe.

FINALLY I could have sworn I saw an indie label a few years ago, set up by someone who'd been involved with the bands on A Taste of Armageddon, UK Thrash Assault...I'm damn sure Metal Messiah's album was available on CD. Maybe a few others of their compilation peers...

UPDATE: Mosh Tunage are handling small-scale CD rereleases of late 90s / early 90s British thrash bands. Metal Messiah's Honour Among Thieves is on there, but sold out, so I feel daft now.
I'll let the guy running it explain in his own words, lifted from UltimateMetal forum,

"So far we have put out around 10-12 releases, 8 of which are classic UK late 80s/early 90s thrash and death metal licensed from the RKT Records and CMFT Records. Although we only started this year [2013], we have been running a hardcore punk label called Boss Tuneage for 23 years and have licensed and released over 300 releases over the years on that..we set up Mosh Tuneage just as we thought these thrash releases needed a sublabel to put them out on...but thats probably why we're not well known in the thrash world yet, as we're learning our way a little."

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