History lesson. Part I.
British Amulet is about to release its debut on Century Media, logically called The First, with a great in-touch-with-history cover.
This is not by chance, metal history and heritage happen to be vital for the band. Exclusively for the blog Bara Metal, the drummer of Amulet Dave Sherwood On Drums has chosen some of his favourite metal releases of the 80’s and added his motivations for each of them. In his own words: ”I hope there are some bands in the list you have not heard before as discovering new music is the best thing in the world.”
Take heed, you intelligent readers – the list is full of great old school heavy metal to discover: 13 years old singers, the weakest work of Heavy Load and drunk as fuck singalong chorus are guaranteed.
This is part 1 of the list, called The best 7’’ of Dave Sherwood On Drums from Amulet. Want to read part 2? You find it here!
Nectaris (SWE) – Sebastian B (1980)
– This is not the most obvious choice but a great hard rock band all the same. The A-side Sebastian B is definitely the highlight with some really cheesy middle-eight sections and even has some German techno vibes at the beginning. It’s pretty hilarious but just as catchy as the cheesy 80’s rock stuff. Awesome vocals and nice keyboard touches. However I think you’ll have to be pretty open minded to accept it’s funky off beat bass lines. The B-side has Ritchie Blackmoore guitar tones, but perhaps a slight rip off of Deep Purple.
Forest (SWE) – Nattens Kung (1980)
– Like Nectaris, another strange choice in terms of song development and leading bass lines however it’s still really catchy. It’s completely whacky but makes so much sense at the same time. Forest were clearly finding their feet in terms of song writing when this was recorded, however that adds to the charm of this obscure single.
Mother’s Ruin (UK) – Streetfighter (1981)
– This is actually quite a recent discovery of mine. Ryan Waste (Municipal Waste/Volture/Bat) told me about this single. The A-side has the perfect mix of everything you could ask for in a catchy, heavy metal song. Thin Lizzy styled guitar licks and bulky riffs to make them not sound too weak. One of my favourite singles from 1981.
Briar (UK) – Rainbow (to the Skies) (1982)
– Catching on to the tail end of the NWOBHM period were prior. Again a real pop metal hit with sing-a-long choruses and a relatively clean production considering its budget. If you like Mother’s Ruin then you’re gonna love Briar.
Stitch (SWE) – Devil’s Deal (1982)
– Very much in the style of Zone Zero and Hiroshima (both also from Sweden). This sounds just like a bunch of lads having fun and playing music they enjoy. It’s nothing too incredible but I love the rough and ready sound. Definitely one for the keeps.
After Dark (UK) – Deathbringer (1983)
– Really cool simple riffs and tempo changes which makes this single one of my favourites. I don’t actually know much this band but I never hear anyone ever talking about them. So I suppose no one else does either.
Tyrant (UK) – Hold Back the Lightning (1983)
– Yes, there were lots of heavy metal bands called Tyrant during the mid-80s. And in England there were two. This is perhaps the Tyrant who are slightly more known. Others will know of this Tyrant because of the singer’s unique Cirith Ungol styled voice. These guys have just reformed apparently, so I’m hoping to see them live at some point.
Depzon (SWE) – Flying on the Sundown (1985)
– Both tracks on this single are just really, really cool. Great guitar licks and cheeky riff changes. Great melodic vocals with lots of reverb and snappy drums that keep the listener awake. Not the strongest of songs but they have all the elements. Maybe if they worked on it they could have been up there with Gotham City.
Heavy Load (SWE) – Monsters of the Night (1985)
– The last and perhaps weakest work by Heavy Load. However I think Heavy Load knew this and worked to perfect a single in a completely different style to the rest of their back catalogue. It’s Heavy Load. I can’t fault it really.
Wizzard (SWE) – Ninya Warrior (1986)
– The singer of Wizzard was only 13 at the time this was recorded! I doubt he wrote the lyrics but the song in itself is just incredible. Like a lot of other Swedish metal around this time there was a lot of Europe-styled keyboard influence. You can also tell this song is from the later end of the 80s with the constant double bass drumming throughout. Although perhaps slightly too long for my liking, the incredible chorus makes up for it so I don’t mind singing a long a few more times.
Charger (UK) – Desperadoes (1987)
– A great sing-a-long when you’re drunk as fuck. Pretty well known within the underground I think. It is unfortunate this single was released past the heavy metal primetime. Released a few years earlier this would have the same success as bands like Jaguar or Blitzkrieg.