The roots of my own as well as the Olde Metal fan/collector scene's fascination with Heavy Metal from the old Eastern Bloc are unclear. Iron Pages' book "Heavy Metal aus Osteuropa" from abouts a decade ago surely had some part in it - a long list of exotic-sounding band names never ever seen in even the most obscure fanzines or thanx lists of yore. Luckily most albums didn't turn out as rare and unfindable as initial rumors and impressions first implied and bands like ARIA, POKOLGEP, KAT and CITRON are now household names amoung Us Connoisseurs.

While British, Swedish and US Metal 7"s are popular, well-defined collector-niches, an area seldom written about (and incidently excluded in the aforementioned Iron Pages product) are 7" singles from this region. When I started working on this page I estimated I had roughly 70-80 titles to index, when I finished I ended up with more than twice as many. This proves there's still unexplored areas in the far corners of the Olde Metal universe and since The Corroseum has always inspired to be
that go-to place for such matters, this page place had to be written.

The musical span is a bit wider than usual for this site. Some 70's style HR, borderline aor and other semi-off-topic releases are listed, but I've tried to tag the most extreme sidesteps using the old titles in italics-trick from the Compilopedia. There's also a small list of bands whose singles were too off-topic and thus rejected for this page at the end of each country's section. That line is however extremely fuzzy and in retrospect not always that consistent. In the end the 'mini-reviews' should give you an idea of what to expect. The main focus is of course on releases with exclusive material, but I've also included a few promos and regular album-samples singles. The reason for this is simple: there were very few of them made and most should be of some interest to completists (like myself, heh..)

At the moment I've chosen not to include rarity ratings. While some releases are clearly rare as hen's teeth and plenty more quite easy to find, for the most part there's very little data to go by in order to make a proper assessment. Putting a consistent number on the availability of for instance a 7" printed in Russia in the tens of thousands, where batches of said release constantly turns up and then disappears again makes for a tricky rating process indeed. Average price ratings are also a bad reference in this case simply because the demand is limited even for the most obscure releases. A large portion of these singles are quite cheap if you know where to look, and in the odd chance that one of the impossibly rare ones appear it's not likely to be priced accordingly. Yet.

As a late addition I've also put together some small rejection-lists at the end of each country's section. They list some titles I've come across during my research that either were close to but not quite what The Corroseum (and I figure the majority of its readers) would consider Metal or Metal-related. Some are occationally referred to as Metal on other sites, which is another reason for The Corroseum to set the record straight. These sections also have the function of letting anyone who wants to tip me off on releases missing from the page know what kind stuff I already know about and have rejected.

Important notes about this list

While the setup is similar to my previous 707 Inches Of Swedish Steel-page, some details will differ...

Now, gentlemen... Backwards and Eastwards!



 
   

Even by Eastern Bloc standards, Bulgaria had a rather small Heavy Metal scene in the 80's, though the handful of albums produced all range from good to bloody brilliant. These are the only on-topic 7" releases from Bulgaria that I've come across, and while I'd love to be proven wrong it just might be that these are all that exists. Still, with a whole decade dividing them one can't keep from hoping...

   
   
   

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DR. DOOLITTLE - Every Man Needs A Woman / Labyrinth

Year: 1988 / Label: RTM/Balkanton / Cat#: BTTtS 2001

While the year of release is most likely correct, this one + the TROTYL 7" (both on the same label/series) were practically unknown until a batch of both singles appeared on the market around 2005. The A-side being a doGawful schmallad with piano, acustic guitars and all comes as no surprise with a sappy title like that. What. A. Waste. Luckily the flipside "Labyrinth" more than makes up for this failure. A fantastic, epic'n'doomy tune with a clear nod to Dio-era RAINBOW, spiced up with both some heavier and more progressive breaks.
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TROTYL - Lunatic / Warrior

Year: 1988 / Label: RTM/Balkanton / Cat#: BTTtS 2002

"Lunatic" is a formidable piece of melodic olde Heavy Metal very similar to darkened NWOBHM like WITCHFYNDE, DARK HEART and DEMON. Equally dark but contrasting in pace is the epic "Warrior". It's rather similar to the DR. DOOLITTLE flipside praised above, but with an (unintentional I'm sure) omnious streak of DARK QUARTERER-sounding might & superiority. Heck, even the vocals sound like they come with an italian accent here, but I'm sure it's just my mind playing tricks...
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СИГНАЛ - На Прозореца / Моят Ден

SIGNAL - Na Prozoreca [window] / Mojat Den [my day]
Year: 1978 / Label: Balkanton / Cat#: ВТК 3463

Now this was quite the shocker… Though I was impressed by some of the heavier moments of their later albums, never in a million years would I have expected something of this crunchitude coming out of Bulgaria – in 1978! That killer galoppy lead of "Mojat Den" is 1st class proto-Metal of international standard, and easily lets us forgive the fact that the piano-induced chorus is a wee bit on the mellow side. Speaking of sides, A-wise you only need to know it’s neither hard nor heavy in any shape or form, so just ignore. The same goes for their 2nd split-single from '79, where their offering (while exclusive) is yet another sappy ballad.
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REJECTED:

ИМПУЛС (IMPULSE) - Тракийска лира '80 (funky/pop rock)
ИМПУЛС (IMPULSE) - Закъсняло Eхо '84 (Non-Metal taken directly from their pop-rock debut LP)

   
   
Bulgaria / Czechoslovakia / East Germany / Hungary / Poland / Romania / Soviet Union / Yugoslavia  


 
   

The most industrious 7"-monger of the East by far, I'm sure there's a kült-item or 3 out there yet to be dug out of complete obscurity. A curiosity and cause of much headache for the aspiring Czech Metal collector are the many generic sleeve variations that exist on the Supraphon releases. I've tried to supply pictures of as many alternate covers as possible. Note that the back sleeves are usually the same as the front, minus the artist+titles printing, so I haven't bothered scanning/uploading them. To make it even more complicated, some of the more popular Supraphon singles had represesses with the exact same packaging save a small date code on the label, but that's about as much as I intend to deal with those versions here.
The Corroseum have previously delved into the subject of Czech miniature-Steel with its Rockmapa 7"-series page, so bear with me if some of the writing seem familiar...

   
   
   


Miroslav Imrich & ALARM - Paris, Adieu [goodbye Paris] / Bylas Dlouho Pryč [you were long gone]

Year: 1989 / Label: Supraphon / Cat#: 11 0266-7311

We start off with a weirdo: Miroslav Imrich had a history in more alternative/wavy bands like Abraxas and Tango, but by the late 80's he hooked up with some headbangers (including some former Törr-members) and had a short fling with Heavy Metal. The result is pure East-Euro strangeness, similar to left-field combos like Oblachnij Kraj, Er Malak and Drakar - in atmosphere rather than sound I should add. "Paris, Adieu" is the quintessential ALARM tune, speedy Power Metal completely drenched in zany keyboard effects and unsuspected breaks - all topped off by a drum machine holding everything in place. And it's still great!(?) The B-side is much harder to pin down. I guess you could call it a ballad, but it's nothing like the 'hard' rock schmallad crap we're used to, just a cool, slow song of unindetified genre origin.
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ALARM - Rock'n Roll V Patách [rock'n'roll in heels] / Věrnej Pes [faithful dog]

Year: 1989 / Label: Supraphon / Cat#: 11 0344-7 311

On their sophomore offering they present something so unexpected as a straight-forward Heavy Riff-Rock monster - of an exceptionally high caliber to boost! Of course still cluttered with weird keyboard quirks but not as much as the OTT album version. On the same album "Věrnej Pes" sounds like Speed Metal but here it's more fast Rock'n'Roll-Metal, similar in structure to Motörhead but miles apart by any other comparison.
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ALIEN - Cesta Všech [all the way] / Kino Noc A Kino Den [cinema night and cinema day]

Year: 1992 / Label: Help! / Cat#: J1 0021-7 311

"Hard and Heavy" indeed... and a wee bit thrashy too I'd say - of the American late 80's PowerThrash-kind that is. Apart from the language this really doesn't sound too Czech at all - even the production is of an uncharacteristically high quality. +1 for a decent powerchorus too. The B-side "Kino Noc.." isn't a complete schmallad disaster, just an anonymous Metal ballad too long for its own good. Compared to some of the other Czech/Slovak top-rarities this one falls slightly behind, but at least comes with a proper and quite striking picture sleeve.
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ALMARA [Cupboard] - Rakovina Vůle [cancer comes] / Pár Doušků [a few sips]

Year: 1991 / Label: P&R / Cat#: PR 0011-7 311

A little oddball that's not 100% Traditional HR/HM but not really close to any form of alternative rock either. Despite its title the chorus and most riffing of the A-side is rather mellow, which makes an interesting contrast to the heavier "21st Century Schizoid man"-inspired parts. The doomy "Pár Doušků" is equally schizo. An omnious italian-tasting Paul Chain/The Black/Run After To-sounding piece that's definitely the more metallic pic of the pair and makes the single an interesting mystery-item for the open-minded rocker to keep an eye out for.
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APOLON - Tvár Sebca [Sebca's face] / Čachtická Pani [Mrs Čachtická]

Year: 1992 / Label: Zeras / Cat#: AF 0001-7 311

The only Zeras 7" I'm aware of apart from ROOT and quite the rarity too. Very Czech Metal, maybe not as much as TUDOR but slightly more so than ARAKAIN - am I making sense? Spotting the King Diamond t-shirt in the line-up pic gives us a hint of the musical direction, though the vocals are a completely different matter. An unpolished, young band that still doesn't shy away from intricate song structures, kinda like my obscure German faves Tempest, though not in the same genious league obviously. My main objection is how the mellow Power Metal choruses makes for a slightly awkward mix with the otherwise raw performance.
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ARAKAIN - Excalibur / Gladiator

Year: 1988 / Label: Panton / Cat#: 81 0351-7311

What an awesome debut! You kind of expect a song called "Excalibur" to be a thunderous Power Metal warhorse and that's exactly what we get here, with an 'Arthurian' folksy intro to boot! In other words they're not quite the pure Thrash act just yet ...until you turn it over and the Speed Metal Attack of "Gladiator" hits you with its raging guitars and supercatchy sing-a-long chorus. Acquire or perish.
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ARAKAIN - Proc? [why?] / Amadeus

Year: 1989 / Label: Supraphon / Cat#: 11 0223-7311

"Proc?" catapults Arakain straight into Thrash-land pure and true. The superb harsh vocals of Aleš Brichta is their secret weapon that makes their otherwise rather typical brand of speedy Thrash Metal stand out from the crowd. They also have a knack in compositioning their riffs and breaks in a seamless manner, a talent especially evident in the Holy Terror-tasting "Amadeus".
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ARAKAIN - Ku-Klux-Klan / Orion

Year: 1989 / Label: Supraphon / Cat#: 11 0328-7311

It pretty much picks up from where we left off on their previous Rockmapa 7" and it wouldn't surprise me if both singles were recorded at the same session. KKK = their trademark flawless SpeedThrash, but it's the heavier "Orion" that'll knock you off your feet. One of those rumbling, mean, almost-doom, 1-step below mid-pace Monsters marching up & down your spine like some centipede.. cyborg... thing.
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ARAKAIN -
Schizofrenie / Iluzorium
Year: 1991 / Label: Supraphon / Cat#: 11 0531-7 311

Arakain closes their 7"-chapter with this beautiful and dastardly elusive promo for their sophomore "Schizofrenie" album - incidently rumored to be the last 7" single ever released by the Supraphon label. If there's been any musical development at all it would be in a slight steer towards American, nay - by 1991 let's call it
international territories. A more polished and technical sound, for better or worse. The unique vinyl appearance of CD bonus track "Iluzorium" makes this the rarest of all their vinyls an extra interesting item. Quite an epic tune I'd gladly exchange for some of the less exciting material on the LP.
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AUTOBUS - Je To Jen Sen [it's just a dream] / Jak Jsi Zlá [you're mean]

Year: 1991 / Label: Galen Records / Cat#: GA 0001-7 311

After the demise of planned economy in 1991, plenty of indie/micro-labels sprung up from the soil of the Czechoslovakian music underground and several such releases are presented here. This however could very well be the very first completely self-released/
private HM pressing of the country, and it's a pretty sweet one. The pompous intro quickly morphing into heavily Maiden-influenced Prime Heavy Metal are the best companion we could ever dream of to such a Total Kûlt picture sleeve. Adding to that are a next to flawless production and excellent musicianship. Their one flaw however is a wee lack of imagination when it comes to the actual songwriting. Much of the riffing gets a bit repetitive and there's a clear lack of memorable harmonies, both in the uptempo A-side as well as the heavy semi-ballad flipside. Still well worth the hunt I'd say (and quite a hunt it will be, believe me...)
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BARBARELLA - Jsi Klaun [you're a clown] / Videosen [video dream]

Year: 1988 / Label: Supraphon / Cat#: 11 0195-7311

VERY much on the borderline of what I've considered including on this page, but lightness of the weight aside, BARBARELLA did at least have an ounce of classic, olde Hard Rock/NWOHM about them that I'd like to give credit to. While "Jsi Klaun" is a super-generic, headnodding HR bore, "Videosen" is solid melodic Hardrockmetal a la Black Coffe, Krokus or Y&T. Not boogie-rock, not aor = not total garbage.
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BARBARELLA - Roky Jdou [years pass] / Goodbye Mexico

Year: 1989 / Label: Supraphon / Cat#: 11 0387-7 311

"Roky Jdou" is a bloody weirdo, but I like it. They rip off a couple of riffs & harmonies from Judas Priest's 'The Sentinel' but the song is still very far away from that Epic Metal classic. Somehow they truncated it into an unremarkable melodic 'nwobhm' tune in the style of TOPT, Samson, A-II-Z etc. The ballad flipside is above the 80's average - that sing-a-long chorus does get a bit sticky.
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BEATOVER - Beethoven / Mám Rád Velký Věci [I like big things]

Year: 1990 / Label: Supraphon / Cat#: 11 0495-7 311

One of the hardest-to-find Rockmapa-series singles and an absolute must for us fans of the freakier side of Czech Steel. "Beethoven" = 1/2 dark & brooding Metal, 1/2 Mr. B's 5th. It may sound a bit corny the first few seconds but by Crom it works! "Mám Rád.." continues the heavy Eastern dakness like a classic HM/doom take on Törr or Drakar, possibly with a nod towards Citron's "Radegast". The Cool Hidden Secret of the series.
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BUMERANG - Jen Jednou [just once] / Zeptám Se Racků [ask the seagulls]
Year: 1980 / Label: Supraphon / Cat#: 1143 2410

This would be the earliest sign of Heavy Metal-tendencies in Czech rock I've stumbled upon so far, though I should be clear that the connection is subtle to say the least. "Jen Jednou" presents fast Hard Rock with a heavy Purple/Rainbow bias, unfortunately with rather thin production. From the ashes of this one-off 7" act rose the more lightweight mid-rockers TURBO (yes, the Czech edition, obviously..)
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CARBON - Je Čas Odíst [it's time to leave] / Ikarov Brat [?]

Year: 1990 / Label: Opus / Cat#: 9143 0740

It is a truly joyful event when you discover a record/band that is almost completely unknown to the Olde Metal Fans-contingent and it also turns out to be a bloody great piece of music. CARBON plays classic Eastern Power/Heavy with solemn, heartwrenching guitar- and keyboard harmonies like the best, more calm moments of ARIA, IMPULSE, CREDO/MAGNIT, STRESS etc - proud & genuine Heavy Metal you'll need to add to your wantlist this very instance.
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CITRON - V Tu Ránu (United) [the plague] / Jenom Já Smím [shall I just]

Year: 1983 / Label: Supraphon / Cat#: 1143 2781

Technically this would be these Czech stalwart's first '80's Metal'-style release, though it only qualifies as such because of the Judas Priest-classic covered on side A; flipside "Jenom.." is the same old redundant 70's rock as on their 9 previous singles. Unfortunately "V Tu Ránu" is neither the Eastern quirky/awful/weird cult-version nor the atomically cool & almost-superior take you'd hope for, but... well... just "United" sung in Czech, that's all.
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CITRON - Když Už Jsem Se Narodil [when I was born] / Každý Den [every day]

Year: 1984 / Label: Supraphon / Cat#: 1143 2958

...Now THIS on the other hand will have to count as Olde Czechoslovakia's first Proper Heavy Metal vinyl release. "Když.." sounds decievingly NWOBHMish with it's fast chugging Priest-guitars and all, but the homey sing-a-long parts exposes them as the original EarlyEastEuroKult-act they still pretend not to be. On "Každý Den" all bets are off and the result is an awkward yet fascinating, almost new-wavy quasi-HR affair.
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CITRON - Tvá Odvrácená Tvář [your face so far] / Revizor [inspector]

Year: 1984 / Label: Supraphon / Cat#: 1143 2903

Fiendishly clever riffing & song-structures as well as crazy-catchy vocal melodies makes this one of the best singles by the band. The fact that they manage to riff-off both Iron Maiden and Devo in the same song ("Revizor") proves they were one of the coolest and most talentedl European Metal bands of the time. (The latter is obviously a different version from the one appearing on the "Sex Bomby"-atrocity 8 years later..)
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CITRON - Už Couvám [I'm back] / Koncert
Year: 1985 / Label: Supraphon / Cat#: 1143 3125

A poop on side A for being a disappointing play-by-numbers "power" ballad, though it's worth mentioning it's a different version from the one appearing on the Czech edition of the "Radegast" album. Some twangy guitars starts off the redeeming B-side in a fast Priest/Raven/Kat tempo and so they're back on track and one step further into the land of Traditional NWOHM. Na Zdravi!
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CITRON -
Rock, Rock, Rock / Půlnoční Město [midnight city]
Year: 1986 / Label: Supraphon / Cat#: 1143 3190

"Rock, Rock, Rock" is clearly a song about rockers rocking their rock-rock-rock with extra rock against all things anti-rock and for this bold statement I do salute them. Luckily it's not the case of another "token r'n'r song" but more sturdy Priest/Scorpions standard fare, of which I'm about 84.3% sure is the same recording as on the "Plni Energie" LP. "Půlnoční Město" is a heavier number marching alongside their German comrades Accept without making too bold a footprint.
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CITRON - Kráska A Radegast [beauty and radegast] /
Zase Dál [gone again]
Year: 1987 / Label: Supraphon / Cat#: 1143 3482

This companion to the mighty "Radegast" album shows a distinct development into a more American Heavy/Power sound, at times reminding of early Fates Warning with added Törr-gloom. While it was rerecorded for the English version of "Radegast", this Czech original is exclusive to this 7". Flipside we get the excellent King Diamond-homage "Zase Dál" grabbed straight off the Czech Supraphon-version of the album.
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CITRON - Už Zase Mi Scházíš [we still miss you, Mi] / Sedm Životů [seven lives]

Year: 1987 / Label: Supraphon / Cat#: 1143 3493

Another tiresome ballad on side A, which similarily to the previous single got rerecorded for the English editon of "Radegast", replacing the equally tiresome new version of "Už Couvám". Why, I cannot say since they sound almost identical to my schmallad-sceptic ears. They reconquer the throne (or rather a comfy enough livingroom sofa..) with the flip "Sedm Životů" but it basically sounds like "Radegast" leftovers ...which isn't a total slag-off mind you.
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CITRON - Uragán [hurricane] / Svět Patří Nám [the world belong to us]
Year: 1989 / Label: Supraphon / Cat#: 11 0273-7 3111143 3190

The Citron Singles Saga ends not with a bang ...nor quite with with a wimper either. We're merely presented with 2 tasters (different recordings tho') for the upcoming, disappointing "Vypusťte Psy!" album and I'm gonna ignore the mainstream 'hard' rock of "Uragán" completely, instead giving some credit to this early version of their clap-your-hands-&-sing-a-long anthem "Svět Patří Nám". Belive me, they totally ruined it on the album - here it ascends as the great stadium-filler epic it was ment to be.
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CODA - Tady To Máš [here you go]/ Napůl [half]
Year: 1987 / Label: Panton / Cat#: 81 0327-7311

An overload of fluffy keyboards softens up the A-side a bit more than necessary, though the neo-classical bits blends well with the Purplesque riffing and as a whole I felt this one could at least be worth a mention here, even though we're hardly talking about all-out Metal of any sort. (Now, try to act surprised...) An atmospheric ballad cloggs up the B-side.

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Vilém "Willibal'd" Čok - "Metalinka"
Lážo plážo [beach picnic] / Jdou, jdou, metal hrají [go, go, play Metal]

Year: 1990 / Label: Supraphon / Cat#: 11 0490-7 311

Vilém Čok seem to be quite the profile in Czech rock history, though none of his many bands and projects could really be accused of being Metal, this little joker included. However, my inner Metalploitation-fanboy just couldn't resist including the only (?) bona-fide
Metal-parody-single of the Easern Bloc on this page (regular Corroseum-visitors should be aware of my weakness for these sort of abominations..)
I'm sure the lyrics to the cheesy 'hard rock ballad' "Lážo plážo" are bloody hilarious, but as a foreigner I'm just standing here shrugging my shoulders. It's the wacky "Jdou, Jdou, Metal Hrají" that at least try to resemble our fave genre - intercut by quirky Zappa/carnival/Mr. Bungle-style breaks. Stupid, retarded, offensive, barely on-topic ...but in the end a lot more enjoyable and fun to include than Vilém's mainstream hard rock act NOVÁ RŮŽE.
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DETTO - Zlej Tejden [a bad week] / Tanec Ve Španělských Botách [the spanish dance shoes]
Year: 1990 / Label: Supraphon / Cat#: 11 0413-7 311

"Zlej Tejden" begins with an unpromising VanHalen-style riff but the song as a whole turns out a great, uptempo 'Mainstream Metal' tune spiced with yummy Maiden-solos. Definitely an in-your-head-sticker, this one. "Tanec Ve.." is an entirely different affair, sounding more like early 80s HR/HM in the NWOHBM/Accept-vein albeit with a somber Czech-note - weird calypso-break aside.
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DETTO - "Crazy Metal"
Fade Out / Rychlošalina, Hrozná Konina [?] / Perpetuum Debile / Thrash´N´Roll
Year: 1991 / Label: Percom / Cat#: PC 0001-7 311

A 180° turn straight into Thrash-land for these Brnoians, you really wouldn't have guessed them to be the same band if it weren't for the vocals. They handle the transition well, but I can't help thinking of that corny "Hey we make Heavy Roll thrash good now"-vibe of the 2nd Kruiz LP, especially when listening to the 1st and last tune. Nope, westerners they were clearly not. "Rychlošalina.." is the stand-out tune with a brisk sing-a-long chorus.
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DISTORZE - Fuck Of War I / Fuck Of War II
Year: 1991 / Label: Help! / Cat#: J1 0011-7 311

The existance of the supposed "Distorze/Zrcadlo" debut 7" looks more doubtfull the more I look for it, but I guess I should be happy with at least finding a copy of this particular release. 'Trash Metal' is the order of the day and while they share many similarities with 'big brothers' Törr (esp the "Institut.." LP) they play around with guitar harmonies in a more trad-Heavy/Power fashion. They still maintain that trademark raw Czech-Thrash sound, in part thanx to the luwly rabid singing-through-the-teeth vocal style of I. Kučera.
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DUX - Dobře To Dopadlo [it turned out well] / Brzy Uvidíme [see you soon]
Year: 1987 / Label: Supraphon / Cat#: 1143 3454

Pretty darn powerful, uptempo HardRock with a Heaviest-Band-Of-1979 feel - "Dobře To Dopadlo" definitely deserves a spot on your next proto-Metal mix-tape. "Brzy Uvidíme" is where they're going progressive Hard Rock, still with the same cocky fist-in-yer-face tempo as the A-side. with a little more speed & breaks for added flavour. Yet another band whose debut 7" trumped all that was to follow (...including the dreary "Vladimír Padrůněk In Memoriam" 1986 album, released in '92.)
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DUX - Bez Záruky [no guarantees] / Věřím V Úsvit [I belive in the dawn]
Year: 1988 / Label: Supraphon / Cat#: 11 0058-7311

Continued progish Hard Rock-goodness from these guys, but this time in a slower tempo compared to the debut. BÖC-fans take note. The flip merely offers another ballad. It does have a sligthly more enjoyable bluesy rock-feel to it than your average aor-schmallad though.
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NOVÁ RŮŽE / DUX - Anděl Fantazie [angel fantasy] /Narkoman [addict]
Year: 1989 / Label: Supraphon / Cat#: 11 280-7 311

"Anděl Fantazie" has only the Scottish pipes break going for it, otherwise it's ho-hum radio-friendly hard rock of the mellow sort. I did ponder on incuding NOVÁ RŮŽE's other 7"s here for a while but finally decided not to - I'm sure you can find some info/clips out there yourself and decide if I made the right call or not. DUXwise the new, more raw vocals are awesome and pushes this groovy 70's style hardrocker an extra step up the ladder. So it's not very 'Metal', but somewhere someone is smiling over this neat early Aerosmith/BÖC mixture I'm sure.
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DUX - Narkoman [addict] / Jen Tak Si Hvízdnout [just so you whistle]
Year: 1989 / Label: Supraphon / Cat#: 11 0319-7 311

Coupling the groovy "Narkoman" from their previous split-thingie are "Jen Tak Si Hvízdnout", DUX's heaviest moment thus far (probably ever) and while it's not all-out screaming bloody Metal to the bone it's got a nice'n'dark vibe to it, despite the overenthusiastic organist injecting bits of noisy silliness in all the wrong places.
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DUX - Obraz Co Nemusí Mít Rám [image without a frame] / Poslední Zvonění [last call]
Year: 1990 / Label: Supraphon / Cat#: 11 0492-7 311

One step past the end of the road for this band, "Obraz Co Nemusí Mít Rám" suddenly pushes us into the abyss of mainstream rock mediocrity. Buried in the silt we find the acustic snooze "Poslední Zvonění". Shaking our heads (no, not in
that way) we wonder, 'What the hell happened?'
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EXTRA BAND - Sudé Berou [even they take(?)] / Poslední Zvonění [last call]
Year: 1987 / Label: Supraphon / Cat#: 1143 3418

Following up their similar tune on the 2nd Posloucháte Větrník compilation from the year before, "Sudé Berou" is comfy boogie-FWOCZHM that'll get your foot tappin' - a wee bit closer to their UK-brethren like MORE or CRYS than most of their pub-rock countrymen excluded from this page. Shame on the schmallad flip tho'..
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EXTRA BAND - Van Gogh / Žít S Láskou [living with love]
Year: 1988 / Label: Supraphon / Cat#: 11 0029-7311

Their last vinyl offering from 1988 ain't a too different affair from the 1st 7", but it lacks the proto-Metal edge of the debut so I'm only including it here FYI. Still, the A-side is a good melodic HR tune in its own right that has made me start humming the chorus every time the name Van Gogh comes up. B-side ballad again, though a slightly less sucky one than on their previous single.
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Marian Greksá - Prípad Na Stredu
t [the wednesday event] / Požičovňa Tvárí [rent a face]
Year: 1988 / Label: Opus / Cat#: 9143 0690

This Slovakian rock guitarist has a back history in several off-topic genre bands, but mostly played within the hard rock-sphere. These 2 singles constitutes his handful of respectable Metallic moments. We'll forgive the sappy 'power ballad' A-side since "Požičovňa Tvárí" is a pretty good Accept-meets-Citron HM standard.
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Marian Greksá & DEMIKAT -
Vlastný Názor [own opinion] / Nevytŕčaj Chlapče Hlavu [nevytŕčaj head boy(?)]
Year: 1989 / Label: Opus / Cat#: 9143 0716

EVERYONE likes type-A fast Heavy Metal with that "Freewheel Burning"-J.Priest-touch, so there's no need for me overhype a solid representative of the genre like "Vlastný Názor". Taken from the "Amnestia V Blázinci" LP from 1990, this was the stand-out, fast Metal-tune from what was basically a run-of-the-mill mainstream hard rock album. Once again Marian hid the dark horse on the B-side: the exclusive "Nevytŕčaj Chlapče Hlavu" is a muscular Power/Heavy-Attack of the finest brand, and when re-listening to the "Amnestia.." album it makes perfect sense why they threw this one away - the wimps & posers would have left the mall in a hurry, impairing those precious record sales.
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HEMATIT - Slabý Boxér [poor boxer] / Dvojka Zo Správania [C- in conduct]
Year: 1989 / Label: Opus / Cat#: 9143 0736

"Slabý Boxér" is enticing enough with its exquisite guitarwork and clever composition, but it's the majestic "Dvojka Zo Správania" that'll really shock the shit out of you. This is simply one of the greatest Metal tunes out of the Czechoslovakian 80's. The 'Maiden'-reference is dropped far too often around here, I know, but this really is one of those moments where the smarterst, bestest moments of the Leyton Legends shine through with all their glory. To be precise, the unique heavier parts of "Somewhere.." / "7th Son.." and not just a generic galoppy riff and some half-arsed double-dubbed guitars. The only metallic release from the "Rocklet '89"-series, this is an essential wantlist-addition!
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Jiří Hopp - Zemětřesení [earthquake] / Strážci Majáku [light-keeper]
Year: 1981 / Label: Supraphon / Cat#: 1143 2518

After searching long, high and low for some undiscovered,
early 80's Czech proto-Metal trailblazer single to baffle the collector world with, I haven't come up with much to boast about to be honest. One decent Hard Rock release that did appear is this solo oddity by future Projektil-member Jiří Hopp. Significally heavier than the contemporary releases by more famous countrymen like Citron, Turbo or Katapult, they definitely deserve an honorable mention. "Zemětřesení" is a wild & fast piece of Hard Rock with frantic vocals that couples well with the slower "Strážci Majáku", though neither tracks would have caused much tremors outside the Czech borders at the time I'm sure.
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INDEX Y - Diskotéka 39
Světlo [light] /Jdi Jenom Dál [just go farther]
Year: 1981 / Label: Supraphon / Cat#: 1143 2515

No Czech answer to "Axe Crazy" or "Gotham City" to be found here I'm afraid, but a cool and quite original piece of heavy Hard Rock and definitely the heaviest release out of the 100+ Diskotéka 7"-series. Both songs follow the same pattern - a noodly lead riff interchanged by solid powerchords. A 2nd guitar would have performed wonders with this recording, but it's a comfy enough affair as it is. Their following 3 singles are difficult to cathegorize. Musically they're pretty cool & original melodic rock and could even be classified as Metal-ish at certain moments, but the production and guitar sound is just too soft and flimsy and I'm not even sure it's unintentional.
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IRAS - Mistr Jan / Sahara
Year: 1991 / Label: Primus / Cat#: V1 0007-7 311

What - A - Gem. The storming, distinctly "eastern" Speed/Heavy/Power-attack of "Mistr Jan" reminds me more than anything else of those magical, mucho obscure Russian cultsters VARVAR, mashed up with everyone's faves MAGNIT, i.e. top-technical, original and Epic Steel with celestial-size balls! Still, it pales in comparison to the fantastic flipside "Sahara". A pounding, Egypto-haunting Epic Metal masterpiece on camelback, with guitar- and vocal harmonies so beautiful you'll have a seizure by the final bars. It's bloody ironic, isn't it? If this baby had been an American or UK release it would most likely be one of the most expensive and coveted collector items out there - doG knows it's rare enough to qualify - and yet you've never heard about it until now. Praise hail The Corroseum for once again delivering the goods!

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KABÁT [Coat] - Koleda, Koleda [carol, carol] / Spadla Klec [busted]
Year: 1990 / Label: Supraphon / Cat#: 11 0434-7 311

If you're also one of those who got put off by the fun-core bits of their early albums and the mainstreamlining of their later career, don't let these mishaps scare you away from this one. What we have here is simply one of the best Thrash 7"s of the Eastern Bloc - meaning thorny & very Czech with moments of both Korrozia Metalla-darkness as well as clever King Diamond-Power.
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KARAMEL, Petr Čejka - Vzácný Nápoj [precious drink] / Básník S Barevnou Křídou [poet with colored chalk]
Year: 1982 / Label: Supraphon / Cat#: 1143 2656

Unremarkable softrockers KARAMEL deserves an inclusion here solely on the merits of this their debut 7" - the B-side "Básník S Barevnou Křídou" to be specific. It's more than an honorable mention though, since this song is pretty ace. Imagine an epic 80's take on SBS-era Black Sabbath with equal parts Flower Travelling Band- and Manilla Road-flavours stirred down in the pot. Out of the handful of early 80's Czech Hard Rock/proto-HM releases in existance, this is probably my fave so far...
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KERN - Blízko Nás [near us] / Oči [eyes]

Year: 1988 / Label: Supraphon / Cat#: 1143 3474

If one were to dub one song The Czech Metal National Anthem, my vote would go to KERN's "Blízko Nás" and I'm sure a fair share of olde native metalheads would agree. Don't get me wrong, it's not graceful swordwaving Manowar/Epic Metal-stüffs were talking about here, but rather a simply stunning piece of Heavy Metal with a 50 000-heads' stadium, fist-to-the-heavens chorus. Silly ballad B-side? Yes of course, but you won't care one bit I assure you.
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    Posloucháte Větrník sleevebaby sleevegalaxie sleeve
KERN - Není Větší Síly [no greater force] / Sprinter
Year: 1988 / Label: Supraphon / Cat#: 11 0142-7311

Continued awesomeness washes over us from KERN's sophomore release, with "Není Větší Síly" trying to emulate the sing-a-long vibe of the debut A-side. This time they're on a slightly darker trip and embraces that Eastern Bloc-grit with open arms, boots of lead pounding a hole in the Czechoslovakian soil. "Sprinter" sprints miles above the sea-level with a fast, teutonic (think Tyran Pace meets a less mellow Helloween) Power Metal scorcher.
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KERN - V Sobotu Ne [the saturday sun] / Exploze [explosion]
Year: 1989 / Label: Supraphon / Cat#: 11 0225-7311

Any way I look at it I can't help feeling a bit disappointed with KERN's 'difficult third'. The performance and spirit are as high as ever, but "V Sobotu Ne" just sounds like an unoriginal Accept-style filler with merely some strong vocal leads going for it. B-side "Exploze" had but one flaw. Guess which one. Begins with a 'B'...
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KERN - Jsme Lidé [we the people] / Hvězdám Už Nevěřím [I don't belive the stars]
Year: 1990 / Label: Supraphon / Cat#: 11 0489-7 311

Following the great "Od Narození" LP from the same year, KERN managed to churn out one more solid Metal release before going toot-toot-
krrrraayyyyzie awful. While the debut LP was a rather slow/heavy/epic affair, this speedy fellow is but a few mutant cilia short of pure Power Metal! One can't help wondering what a superb follow-up they could have followed this excellent piece of Czech Steel with...
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    baby sleeve
KERN -
To Jsme My [this is us] / Hledám Stále Ráj [still looking for paradise]
Year: 1991 / Label: Supraphon / Cat#: 11 0530-7 311

So it turns out this 5th and final KERN single really does exist after all. Unfortunately I can't say for the moment if any of the versions here differs in any way to the ones on the "Lovci Žen" album because I've yet only seen pictures of this one and not actually been able to put down a needle in it's grooves. It's quite possible - likely, even - that we're talking about exclusive version here though, since this is mostly how Supraphon have done things in the past. The music? Brace yourself: Not one but two ballads this time! ...though on the upside, the pompous & sing-a-long'y "To Jsme My" is by far the best slow song in the band's career.
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KOBRA - Posledný Bál [the last dance] / Správa O Počasí [weather report]
Year: 1989 / Label: Opus / Cat#: 9143 0706

Like the "Rockmapa" and "Posloucháte Větrník" series on Supraphon, "Rocklet '88" was a similar 7"-series on Opus, tied to a music competition with the same name. AFAIK this was the only single from the '88-edition featuring anything Metal-like (..not counting the compilation LP with the same name that I've written about in the past) and it's a pretty decent one. Heavy hammond Hard Rock in the solid Purple/Rainbow/Dio-tradition, no more no less, but the na-na-na chorus of the A-side will make you smile.

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KREVEL [Bloodstone] - Unnecessary Life / Perfect Trap / Terror

Year: 1994 / Label: View Beyond/Napalmed / Cat#: none

It's nice to see such a late contender stay true to the multiple-sleeve-variations tradition of their older comrades - apparently 500 numbered copies were pressed, 100 of each variant. Too bad the content is a plainer-than-plain Thrash snoozefest, amateurish both in performance and production. While the songs are fairly well put together it all falls flat thanx to those paper-thin drums and guitars (it really does sound like they're playing on paper instruments). The grunting Hetfield-fan in front of the mic hardly improve matters. Seems to be the first (?) release of the more extreme-to-be View Beyond label.
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MAKAR ČUDRA - Pán Pasteur [mr. pasteur] / Nám Stačí Tak Málo [we only need so little]

Year: 1990 / Label: Opus / Cat#: 9143 0751

Making a late discovery like this, after having spent 2+ years of hard research into the field of Eastern-Bloc HM singles should indicate what level of obscurity we're talking about here, especially considering this was released on a state-owned label. Oh, and did I mention it's also imprinted with bloody great Metal music? With zillions of hymns out there dedicated to various warlords and serial killers I guess it was about time that someone made one dedicated to the founder of modern medicine, and with a verse in the style of Manowar's "Hail And Kill" coupled with a Maidenesque chorus it really does deserve the rank of Hymn. To top things off the B side is one of the best examples of Epic Semi-Ballad I've come across from this country, so yes, very well worth the hunt I'd say.
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MARKÝZ JOHN - Lesní Muž [mossback] / Ve Stínu Slovanské Lípy [in the shadow of the slavic lipy]

Year: 1989 / Label: Supraphon / Cat#: 11 0346-7 311

Since I found their full-lengt album from '91 a bit too soft for my tastes, this release was never a high-priorty item when I started working on this page. The old raving review at metalpage.de kinda stuck in the back of my mind though, and when someone at the corroseum forum recomended this single I figured I'd finally make an effort to hunt it down. With said release in hand, I have to 2nd at least the first half of the old metalpage write-up - "Lesní Muž" is indeed an awesome piece of heavy-hearted, pompy melodic Hard Rock with a great chorus. The B-side on the other hand is awful - or at least it became awful after the Metal-hating producer raped this otherwise decent melodic power metal song with an absolutely horrendous elevator-music-production.
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MASTER'S HAMMER - "Klavierstück"
Cards Do Not Lie / Satrapold

Year: 1991 / Label: Poserslaughter Records / Cat#: PSR 004

Despite the fact that these are the 2 crudest versions of the tracks in question (yes, it's a different recording to both the demo and the "Jilemnice Occultist" album), I'd still rate this the finest Czech 7" ever made. How could that not be when it includes one of the greatest, most majestic Epic Metal tracks of all time, "Já Nechci Mnoho Trápiti.. [I Don't Want, Sirs To Pester...]". Yep, for some reason the Poserslaughter guys decided to rename this and the A-side "Mezi Kopci Cesta Klikatá [Among The Hills A Winding Way..]" but take note that these are in essence the same old immortal masterpieces we've learned to love through the decades.
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MERLIN - Nevada / Posledni Boj [last flight]

Year: 1990 / Label: Supraphon / Cat#: 11 0440-7311

As far as Melodic Hard Rock tunes go, I rarely enjoy them as much as I enjoy "Nevada" by MERLIN. No greater magic to it really, just a catchy chorus, great hooks no artificial sweeteners added. "Posledni Boj" shows the band in a more (Melodic) Metal mood and they handle this style with equal grace. Oops! Did the lead riff to "Running Free" just fly by the window? Aw well, I'll just pretend I didn't see it and enjoy the ride. Both songs are different from the later LP versions btw.
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METALINDA - Každý Chce Ľúbiť [everyone wants to love] / Klub Milionárov [millionaires club]
Year: 1988 / Label: Opus / Cat#: 9143 0679

Warning! OT rant on source criticism ahead:
Several different sources mention a 1985 "Únik/Klub milionárov" debut single, but I'm having doubts weather this release really exists. Here's the thing: The word 'single' doesn't always mean 7" Vinyl Release in every corner of the world, but could just as well refer to a demo tape, radio session or even a promo video clip. Also, "several different sources" can often mean one (1.) original source of dubious repute copied indiscriminately. On the other hand it's absolutely possible it really does exist but is too bloody rare to yet have left a mark on the web. While this happens all the time with early 90's stuff it is quite rare for pre-'89 Czechoslovakian releases though..
About this
confirmed possible debut 7" then, it's really not half-bad driven & youthful Hard Rock. Well, except maybe for parts of the B-side which definitely falls within the half- or even full-blown-bad pop-HR territory, but as a whole it carries a certain homely charm, even though it's definitely lighter of the weight than even their softest LP material.
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METALINDA / KONVOJ - Loď Pre 5 Miliárd [a ship for 5 billions] / Dážď [rain]
Year: 1988 / Label: Opus / Cat#: 9143 0696

Bratislavská Lýra was a yearly Czechoslovakian song contest that ran from the mid 60's up until the end of the 80's, spawning a series of singles and compilations along the way. This should be the only one of those releases at least semi-interesting to HM collectors. And I really mean 'semi' since this is basically pure, radio-friendly, keyboard-dominated aor. And Konvoj's calm, melodic/classic rock will be of even less interest to you, so file this one under For Completists Only.
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METALINDA - Kovový Kráľ [metal king] / Jago [champion]
Year: 1989 / Label: Opus / Cat#: 9143 0789

It's official: Opus' 'denim-series' of singles in not only a mark of fierce rarity but also of outstanding quality. So "Kovový Kráľ" might reek of 80's stadium/MTV-Metal, but Metalinda were so bloody good at this there's no way anyone with half a Metal heart to keep from headnodding along to that chorus. Representing the more Power Metal side of the band is "Jago", a song that makes you wonder what would have happened if Helloween had relocated to Slovakia before the release of "..7 Keys". While the difference between these and the debut LP versions of the songs aren't staggeringly obvious they are still clearly two different recordings = another reason to add this to your Slovakian want list today.
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MORAVA - Heavy Metal / Zakalení Oceli [opaque steel]

Year: 1990 / Label: Bestia / Cat#: J1 0005-7311

With a title as beautiful as "Heavy Metal" you just can't fail, right? (Come to think of it, Judas Priest almost did..) MORAVA held the banner high with a solid, speedy Trad-Metal number, though not nearly as catchy and memorable as the Motorband namesake. It's the B-side that's the dog's bollocks here and what mighty fine balls they are! One of them goosebumpsy oh-ahh-ahh-Power Metal-epics that'll melt the heart of any true Metal fan, meaning it's not that wimpy shit you first thought of when reading the PM-monicker. In other words: absolutely no similarities whatsoever to that doGawful debut LP from a few years later.
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MOTORBAND - Fajnovej Den [cool day] / Je To Špás [it's a toy]
Year: 1989 / Label: Supraphon / Cat#: 11 0228-7311

"Fajnovej Den" may not be as shameless a "Heaven & Hell" rip-off as the WULCAN 7", but that lead sure sounds familiar. I guess if you wanna 'rework' a classic and add your own touch to it, this majestic piece will serve as a great canvas. In this case it's the oozing aah-ah's that makes the song both unique and highly enjoyable. On "Je To Špás" they start sounding like you'd expect a 'motorband' to sound - not necessarily like Motörhead but plenty like Judas Priest on a motorbike. (*cough*
Freewheel Burning*cough*)
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MOTORBAND - Heavy Metal / V Říši Ptáků [the empire birds]

Year: 1989 / Label: Supraphon / Cat#: 11 0228-7311

With equal shares sturdy sideways-banging/playing-air-guitar-with-the-mic-stand Hard Rock and proud, marching Heavy Metal, MOTORBAND makes their very own contribution to the legacy of songs called the latter. An excellent addition the family! "V Říši Ptáků" once again displays the band's knack for nickin' from the best, though this time it's just one tiny riff ("Pricess Of The Dawn" as it happens) and little do we care since this is the band at their absolute best - a true epic with spinechilling harmonies bringing such revered Eastern Bloc legends as Aria and Credo to the table for a feast of solemn glory.
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MOTORBAND - Mejdan [party] / Životní Styl [lifestyle]
Year: 1990 / Label: Supraphon / Cat#: 11 0441-7 311

It may sound like stock HR on first listen, but "Mejdan" is actually one of the better, uptempo 'party-Metal' tunes I've heard in a while. Might be the Dio-sounding parts and that speedy break in the middle that saves it. "Životní Styl" sounds like more stock at first, until we're presented with an excellent melodic chorus and from there on the it's another win for MOTORBAND's consistent streak of goodness.
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MOTORBAND - Máš Všechno All Right [you're all all right] / Rudej Blázen [rudej fool(?)]
Year: 1990 / Label: Bestia / Cat#: J1 0001-7311

I prefer this version of the party-tune "Máš Všechno All Right" to the one on their LP - it's better produced yet still dirtier somehow ...but it's a 'party-tune' so who cares, right? It's the Speed Metal of "Rudej Blázen" we're here for. Yep, it's faster than usual for these guys and again this sounds slightly meaner than the LP version, especially the vocals. It seems I'm next to impossible to satisfy though coz now I'm suddenly missing their mesmerizing vocal harmonies instead.
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ORIENT - Už Jsem Zase Poslední [the last to return] / Prázdný Dům [empty house]

Year: 1987 / Label: Supraphon / Cat#: 1143 3445

One of the finest Czech singles made. This is one of those awkward moments where you wanna play the "Catchy Power Metal"-card and namedrop Helloween out of lazyness/lack of cleverer comparisons but then it feels totally off because they neither carry the roughened weight of "..Jericho" nor the insipid smileyface of "..7 Keys". Just take my word for it when I tell you "Už Jsem.." will make you all warm & fuzzy inside. Fudge it - it's Mazo meets Danger Zone so there's your regular Corroseum-obscure-reference you waited for. Down below "Prázdný Důůůůůůůůůům.." marches proud across the battlefield with a jester in the front, carrying Chris Black's guitar.
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PIRILLO - Metalová Diagnóza [metal diagnosis] / Naše Letní Láska [our summer love]

Year: 1987 / Label: Supraphon / Cat#: 11 0020-7311

Well, it has 'Metal' in the title so it can't be a complete aor/boogie-disappointment, right? Right. Chug-chug-chugging Heavy Metal of the type-A Priest/Accept brand with a funny chorus is what "Metalová Diagnóza" delivers. Not bad but not really too memorable either. "Naše Letní Láska" is the pick of the pair - solid melodic Metal with a twist. The band later acted as back-up for female pop/rock singer Věra Špinarová, of which some material tangents hard rock - the key word being 'tangents' here, so no need to put those ultra-rare later singles (that may or may not exist, depending on who you ask) on your wantlist.
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PROJEKTIL - Muž Ze Železných Hor [man of the iron hills] / Planeta Gama [planet gamma]
Year: 1984 / Label: Panton / Cat#: 8143 0222

Cool, original and frantic Hard Rock with great riffing are soaring out of my speakers, when suddenly out of nowhere a jerky, wavy Devoesque chorus comes and, if not ruin, then at least weirden up the mood a tad too much for comfort (Pity the awesome song title!). Still this is heavier than any of their other early material, the following "Madagaskar/Vzpomínky" 7" included, so an honorable mention is well deserved. The slow, psychedelic sci-fi rock of "Planeta Gama" is cozy flummery but can basically be filed under 'B-Side Fillers'.
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PROJEKTIL - Lovci Lebek [headhunter] / Kovárna [forge]

Year: 1989 / Label: Supraphon / Cat#: 11 0238-7311

So, you guys checked out that rare DRAKAR debut single yet? No? Well you're excused coz fate hasn't quite granted us with such a gift, but this swansong by the band PROJEKTIL is close enough. After 5 singles of highly diverse and uneven rock music, guitarist/vocalist Ivan Sekyra wanted to take the band in a heavier direction. I guess the rest of the guys wasn't as enthusiastic about the idea since they seem to have split up shortly after. Ivan then formed DRAKAR and unleashed the seminal masterpiece "Let Draka" one year later. The song "Kovárna" is a most delicious piece of thrashy Mystic Metal that would have fit like an iron glove on the aforementioned album, the only deviating detail being the more 'normal' vocal style of Ivan on this recording. A-side "Lovci Lebek" also carries some DRAKAR-vibes, but its erratic mix of ho-hum midpace metalrock and trademark stale Czech-Thrash sound more like a new band trying to find their comfort zone.
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ŘETĚZ [Chain] - 1415 (I. Část) / 1415 (II. Část)

Year: 1990 / Label: Supraphon / Cat#: 11 0412-7 311

ŘETĚZ' epic "1415" can be heard in all its unedited 8,5-minute glory on the 2nd Rockmapa compilation, but if you prefer your lengthier Metal tunes ruthlessly chopped in half, by all means go for this butchered 7"-version instead. Snideness aside this is a bloody great Metal single on musical merits alone. Foreboding M.Fate/King D.-Metal of the highest order, where newcomers like my fellow countrymen Portrait and In Solitude keeps popping up in my ever-reference-seeking brain. A bloody shame they never reached the album-stage - what a classic that could have been.
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ROOT -
7 Černých Jezdců [7 black riders] / 666
Year: 1990 / Label: Zeras / Cat#: M1 0014-7311

Merely a taster from their debut LP, which I'm sure most of you are familiar with. Both songs are emblematic of that charred Robot-Satan Metal sound of their early career - "7 Černých Jezdců" shows them in their evocative mood while "666" represents their Black Speed Metal side. Nice looking item for us completists.
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SAPON [Soap] - Šance Pro Tebe [chance for you] / Dračí Doupě [dragon's lair]

Year: 1989 / Label: Supraphon / Cat#: 11 0227-7311

Equal parts Deep Purple and Judas Priest are stirred together in a very murky Czechoslovakian cauldron, and out pours a quite haunting and repeated-listening-friendly "Highway Star"-pastiche in the form of "Šance Pro Tebe". "Dračí Doupě" = disciplined, angular Power Metal with no chorus. A very solid HM 7" as a whole, but you can't help feeling that something's missing from the picture.
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SKELET - Doutná Zlo [smoldering evil] / Mor Hnědých Košil [plague of the brownshirts]
Year: 1987 / Label: Supraphon / Cat#: 1143 3359

When I first caught wind of this rather rare (by Supraphon standards) release it quickly became a wantlist-topper. The band name, titles and year of release as well as rumours of 'really dark & evil thrash' content could hardly have provoked a different reaction from me. While it didn't keep many of its promises and would hardly make my Czech Top-10 I wouldn't call it a complete disappointment. "Doutná Zlo" carries a melancholic guitar harmony that's both most typical of the old Czech scene but also of the more somber of our NWOBHM favourites like ANGEL WITCH, WITCHFYNDE, DEMON, DARK HEART etc.. Not an instant hit, but a haunting grower for sure. Both songs are of the slow & simple sort, yet there's something to be said for atmosphere I reckon'. Approach with an open mind.
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TITANIC/SIFON - Vizáž [visage] / Nejsi Na Kolenou [you're on your knees]
Year: 1988 / Label: Supraphon / Cat#: 11 0061-7311

Some credit has to be given to TITANIC for the awesome cover art on their later albums, but other than that they mostly played in the Czech mid-league. Their vinyl debutant "Vizáž" is not a bad heavy Metal cruncher, just a fair representative of this mid-leagueness to come. Note that this song also appeared on the first Rockmapa compilation the following year. SIFON on the other hand came to release one of Czechoslovakia's finest trad-Metal albums a few years later, and while "Nejsi Na Kolenou" doesn't quite reach the highlights of the "100 Hříchů" LP its wiggly keyboards and guitar harmonies will give any 'Exotic Metal' fan his fair share of shivers.
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TITANIC - Figurína [dummy] / Bludnej Kruh [vicious circle]
Year: 1989 / Label: Supraphon / Cat#: 11 0235-7311

The pompy ballad on side A boasts with a pretty nifty "nah-nah-nah"-chorus - great if you're in the mood for it, but "Bludnej Kruh" is the Metal we seek. It starts off a bit on the basic side but improves with a mean, chanting chorus (fist-banging mania!) and heavy end part sounding suspiciously similar to "For Whom The Bell Tolls". The end result is but a few werewolf hairs short of Epic. Both songs are different recordings to the ones on the "Metal Celebration" LP.
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    rockmapa sleevegalaxie sleeveswirl sleeve 1swirl sleeve 2swirl sleeve 3 (w/ rockmapa text)
TÖRR - Kult Ohně [fire cult] / Kladivo Na Čarodějnice [witchhammer]

Year: 1989 / Label: Supraphon / Cat#: 11 0224-7 311

We're not exactly swamped with Celtic Frost-wannabes predating the NWONBM, so calling the music of early TÖRR unoriginal is a plain, damn, straightforward lie. Frankly there's few bands who've managed to celebrate the legacy of our favourite Swizzies with such reverence and still add something of their own to the mix. The haunting "Kult Ohně" sounds downright hateful in its bileful performance, while the more aggressive "Kladivo Na Čarodějnice" oozes of Eastern abnormality. The reference work of Black Czech Steel.
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    WANTED
TREZOR [Vault] - V Srdci Tvém [in your heart] / Pěsti [fists]
Year: 1991 / Label: Best IA / Cat#: ?

"V Srdci Tvém" is the greatest obscure Epic Power Metal hymn of all time - a rare quality only shared with a handful of fellow contenders, like Heathens Rage's "Knights Of Steel", Y Diawled's "Noson Y Blaidd", Detest's "Thundersteel", those sort of tunes.. From the high-pitch scream over
that kind of classic opening riff via the glorious chorus and those spinechilling, subtle background keys carrying the song all the way to the end it's almost ridiculus in its perfection. After my first listening I just stood gaping, staring catatonically into my livingroom wall like an idiot, wondering how the bloody hell I could have missed out on something like this after so many years of Eastern Metal archeological research. Reviews of their later CDs has painted a picture of 'a Czech Helloween-clone', but it's only on the more uppety B-side that I'm hearing the comparison. Currently my #1 greatest want, and you are welcome to use this information to abuse and extort me anyway you see fit.
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TRIUMF - Věčnej Boj [eternal struggle] / Tisíc Tváří [a thousand faces]
Year: 1989 / Label: Supraphon / Cat#: 11 0267-7311

Is that a boogie-riff I hear before me? No, let's be nice and call it friendly Judas Priest-inspired HR stock. Scorpions (and Mr. Meine in particular) would be another reference coming to mind, especially when enduring the tedious ballad flipside. Next!
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TRIUMF - Žádnej Soucit [no mercy] / Chci To Mít [I have it]

Year: 1989 / Label: Supraphon / Cat#: 11 0353-7 311

Triumf #2 starts off on the same ballady note as their debut ended, though "Žádnej Soucit" does develop into a somewhat more proper HR/semi-ballad tune after a few chords. The saccarine levels are way in the red though. Luckily "Chci To Mít" rides in on a white stallion and saves the day with just enough (as in not too little, not too m
uch..) swordwielding, fast Heavy/Power Metal gallantry. Your mental note as far as TRIUMF goes should read something like "Get the white one - skip the blue one."
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TUBLATANKA - Skúsime To Cez Vesmír [I feel it through the universe] / Dnes [today]
Year: 1985 / Label: Opus / Cat#: 9143 0644

Yep, it's that awesome, fast nwobhm'y title track of their '87 sophomore album, though contrary to my previous beliefs a unique version with a bit more restraint vocals and more raw performance. It's not miles away from the LP version but definitely has that superior '1st-take'-feel to it. It's all about those opening riffs, really. It's possible the same goes for the semi-schmallad B-side, but since it's not a real song, who cares, right? With the unevenness of their album output in mind I'd still like to say that if you're only looking to score one Tublatanka-release in your lifetime, go for this one.
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TUBLATANKA -
Pravda Víťazí [truth prevails] / Láska, Drž Ma Nad Hladinou [love, hold my head above water]
Year: 1989 / Label: Opus / Cat#: 9143 0720

Sooo many bands out there were awful at picking the right song for their album-promoting 'hit-singles'. Tublatanka did however not belong in this cathegory, and 'Pravda Víťazí' is perhaps the finest tune off the "Žeravé Znamenie Osudu" LP (their heaviest and most solid release if you ask me) - an incredibly catchy Power Metal number. The ballad B-side is edited down half a minute from the LP-version and is surprisingly solid.
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TUBLATANKA -
Démon Pomsty [revenge of the demon] / Dám Ti Viac [I'll give you more]
Year: 1990 / Label: Supraphon / Cat#: 11 0502-7 311

They continue to pick the pick of the Power-litter with their third single, boasting the excellent opener from their 4th "Nebo - Peklo - Raj" album, another great 'EastEuro-Helloween' moment. The happy-go-silly "Dám Ti Viac" on the other hand isn't bh uytuytkll65666666663e.mk,jio,lki.k,fhbgrfgthguf5yttttttttttyt-lk.<1x<3szartasqsdadse5w2seweq3
Sorry, baby at keyboard. I really don't have anything more interesting to say about that tune anyway, so I think I'll just leave it like that.
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TUBLATANKA - Poďme Bratia Do Betléma [let us go to Bethlehem] / Pásli Ovce Valasi [wallachian sheep herders]

Year: 1990 / Label: Supraphon / Cat#: 11 0512-7 311

Their infamous christmas single presents 2 traditional Slovak christmas carols in a mildly metalized fashion. Unfortunately it's a bit too true to the originals and the end result sound more "Candlemass Sjunger Sigge Fürst" than X-mass Project.
A kooky move, yes, but it's neither heavy nor funny enough to put a smile on the face of even the most open-minded Metalhead. Both songs were re-recorded with another 14 carols and released as a full-length album on Tommü Records in 1993 (...the LP version of which is a humongous rarity.)
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TUBLATANKA continued to release another 8 promo singles between the years 1992-2002, but they were all CD-only releases and thus banished from The Corroseum.
   
   
    frontbackinsert
TUDOR - "Spalovna" ["Incinerator"]
Skeletor / Spalovač Mrtvol [the cremator]
Year: 1991 / Label: Studio PF Music / Cat#: PF 0001-7 311

An old, longer review of mine can be read here.
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VIRUS - Symfonie Smrti [symphony of death] / Brousím Si Kosu Na Tvý Vlasy [we grind your hair in the trash(?)]
Year: 1991 / Label: Best IA / Cat#: J1 0016-7311

Fast, brutal, technical.. sometimes that's just enough to satisfy the average Thrash fan, but for us non-average types it takes a little more to get us up, up and away HM-hunting. VIRUS' got just enough riff-magic and fingerspitzengefühl to please _anyone_ with a taste for "Coma.."-era KREATOR style Thrash Metal, so why complain about lack of originality, really? Sadly, a complete bitch to find.
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    frontback
VITACIT - Já Chci Se Ptát [I want to ask] / Peaceman
Year: 1989 / Label: Panton / Cat#: 81 0388-7311

The term "Melodic Metal" can mean many different things to different people. Bad dealers for instance tend to slap on this sticker to any sort of garbage, hoping to lure good Metal fans into buying lame aor records. Me I've been trying to stay positive and use the term for godly bands like MESSIAH ("Final Warning"-ed.), HIGH SPIRITS, early SARACEN and the likes. "Já Chci Se Ptát" is exactly this - a melodic Metal pearl of the highest order. The B-side "Peaceman" might be both a heavier and faster composition, but it's that A-side that rises to the top of all that the band ever produced. A must-buy.
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    blinds sleeveblinds sleeveblinds sleevegalaxie sleeve
VITACIT - Strach [fear] / Poutník Životem [pilgrim's life]
Year: 1989 / Label: Panton / Cat#: 81 0388-7311

"Strach" serves up good Heavy/Speed-food with comfy riffing that never disappoints, no matter how many times you've heard it all before. Lurking around the corner, "Poutník Životem" is anything but generic. It's devious, atmospheric and VERY 'Czech' with chugging guitars, unexpected breaks and haunting vocals. Great or merely strange is a matter of mood and opinion.
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VITACIT - Spadla Klec [busted] / Drakula
Year: 1989 / Label: Supraphon / Cat#: 11 0402-7 311

"Spadla Klec" follows in the same footsteps as their previous Rockmapa-single A-side, i.e. speedy traditional Metal you know you've heard plenty of times before but couldn't be bother to complain about 'cause the riffing is om-nom-nomnom! However, compared to the effin' o-u-t-s-t-a-n-d-i-n-g "Drakula" it comes off like a B-side filler. Together with the aforementioned "Já Chci Se Ptát" this epic spinechiller shines as the absolute highlight of the band's compiled work and in a way this fact cast a shadow on the more than decent debut LP, which didn't offer anything quite this spectacular.
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A 4th VITACIT 7", "Vzhůru Přes Oceán / Nerovný boj" is seen listed on several resources of dubious repute, but I'm very sceptical about the existance of this one. I'd love to be proven wrong though, since this one could have been a great release.

   
   
    frontback
VZTEKLEJ DĚDEK [Rabid Old Man] - Král A Klaun [king and clown] / Osud Na Dlani [the hand of fate]
Year: 1992 / Label: Best I.A. / Cat#: J1 0023-7 311

Uptempy Heavy/Hard Rock that's unfortunately a lot more mellow than the cool cover art would make you think. They're not a complete hair-abomination thank doG, but Metal with a capital M? No, but we'll award them some extra points for the Škoda-sponsorship. Fold-out sleeve with bandpic + lyrics on the inside.
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    frontbackback
ZVRATOR - "Asphyxiation"
Paranoid Schizophrenia / Sexual Deviation
Year: 1992 / Label: Soggos Records / Cat#: SOGGOS ATROCIOUS 001

Old School deathlike Thrashing RAGE! ...leaning more in the Thrash-direction than the gory cover art or the "Death Metal"-proclamation on the insert would make you think, at least by today's standards. A slightly muddled sound aside it's nice & tight stuffs with a couple of neat tempo changes and heavy breaks. My only complain would be that they don't sound particularly 'Czech' at all (even less so than the aforementioned Virus), more like a Scanda-SoAm-Germano concoction. For fans of early Pestilence, Minotaur, Protector and the likes..
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REJECTED:

With such a large scene to choose from, there's bound to be plenty of borderline releases out there. Singles by the following bands were either too soft, too mainstream or too classic hard (?) rock:

ARENA - all 7"s
JOHN DOVANNI - Nejde To/Tvá vůně V Mých Dlaních '91
EXPONENT - Slecny Zo Slovenska / Kam Cert Nemoze, Nastrci Zenu '89
KATAPULT - all 7"s
LADISLAV KŘÍŽEK - Zlatej Chlapec / Poslední Den Jsi Má '91
MICHAL PENK - all 7"s
NOVÁ RŮŽE - all 7"s
ODYSSEA - all 7"s
PUMPA - all 7"s
TANJA - all 7"s
TURBO - all 7"s
Petr Štěpánek & UNISONO - Nechal Jsem Si Narůst Dlouhý Vlasy '90

The excellent PULS 7" was also excluded since it's a demo reissue from 2003 and not a contemporary release, as was the MASTER'S HAMMER "Dry Blood" bootleg 7" and the "1558" 7" by TUDOR.

   
   
Bulgaria / Czechoslovakia / East Germany / Hungary / Poland / Romania / Soviet Union / Yugoslavia  



 
   

Old DDR Metal vinyls are precious few and to the best of my knowledge these are the only 6 singles of any relevance...

   
   
   

front
BABYLON - Geisterstunde [witching hour] / Wir Rocken Los [we go rocking]
Year: 1986 / Label: Amiga / Cat#: 4 56 601

If the typeset of that logo didn't give 'em away, I will confirm the fact that BABYLON are indeed huge Ac/Dc-fans, most obviously so on the uninspired "Wir Rocken Los". "Geiserstunder" on the other hand leans slightly more towards the typically 80's middle-of-the-road stuff like Helix or the less exciting Saxon-material of the day. Heavy? Yes. Metal? That's a matter of opinion and a clash-of-generations discussion waiting to happen. AFAIK these are the same recordings that turned up on their LP.
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BERLUC - "Wie Ein Regenbogen"
Wie Ein Regenbogen [like a rainbow] / Segelnd Mit Dem Wind [sailing with the wind] / Ganz Nah [real close]/ Nach Haus [at home]
Year: 1988 / Label: Amiga / Cat#: 5 56 188

This old 'ostrock' act that formerly played in the rock/pomp/medium-hard rock league earns their inclusion here from the fact that on this their final vinyl release they did steer towards a more typical 80's mainstream Hard Rock/quasi-Metal sound. "Wie Ein Regenbogen" couldn't be a more obvious tip of the hat to the 80's career of Mr. Ronnie James Dio and it's a fairly honorable tribute, but my fave track is "Nach Haus", a slow sing-a-long rock tune so bloody catchy the sugary finish never gets a chance of ruining it. The 2 power ballads squeezed inbetween are just easily ignored padding.
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    frontback
BIEST - "Crash Trash"
Crash Trash / Grab im Moor [grave in the swamp] / Manne [man] / Motortraum [motordream]
Year: 1989 / Label: Amiga / Cat#: 5 56 214

Greatest DDR Metal vinyl ever. Period. The rigid zombie-moon-stomp-Thrash of "Crash Trash" almost touches BOMBARDIER-territory of Eastern Block Kült. "Grab Im Moor" is a neat enough, epic Metal semi-ballad, but it's the riveting B-sides that truly shines - top-notch & ultra-catchy MetalPower where their hairy Motörhead-flavoured vocals and speed favours them the most, taking absolutely no prisoners at all.
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FORMEL 1 - 18 Jahre Sein [to be 18] / Mach Keine Wellen [make no waves]

Year: 1985 / Label: Amiga / Cat#: 4 56 577

Some 10 years ago I was told this band sucked balls so I never bothered to properly check them out until I started the research for this page. Well paint me pink and bugger my bellybutton if this didn't turn out to be quite the find! "18 Jahre Sein" is a more-than-solid, melodic-yet-ballsy NWOBHM-style rocker with Maiden's guitars and Scorpions' hit factor. Even more Maiden-harmonies are presented in the superior flipside. An Oktoberfest-Metal groove-a-thon that should be mandatory on All Tomorrow's Germal Kult Festival mix-tapes. Both recordings were reissued on the massive "Edelrocker" 5-LP box in 2008.
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frontfront
V/A -
Denke Daran [remember] (DIALOG) / Hiroshima-Kranich [Hiroshima crane] (FORMEL 1) / No Bomb [BERLUC] / Krieg Oder Frieden [war or peace] (ROCKHAUS)
Year: 1984 / Label: Amiga / Cat#: 5 56 072

Of marginal interest. It features an exclusive FORMEL 1 track, but while they did present a stylewise capable NWOBHM-sounding tune on a different compilation one year before, here they mellowed out a bit and merely offers us one sappy HR ballad. Like with the tracks from their debut 7" this was also reissued in the "Edelrocker" Box in 2008. (For the record, the 3 remaining acts all play in the poprock-to-pubrock field.)
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    frontback
DIE PUHDYS - Hell Raiser / Highway Star
Year: 1973 / Label: Amiga / Cat#: 4 65 964

At first glance this doesn't look like something belonging on this page at all, but as an East-Rock artifact this 7" is just too cool to ignore. All the way back in 1973, in one of Europe's most strict communist regimes, these kings-to-be of DDR Rock managed to churn out 2 covers of some of the most raging Hard Rock tunes of the early 70's. The Sweet track on side A is the one most true to the original while Purple's immortal proto-Metal gem gets a more East-Euro-filtered treatment, sounding both restrained and bewildered at the same time. With their own material, Die Puhdys never reached the same level of heaviness before or after (file under Pop-Rock) but my doG do they deserve some credit for this ballsy move!
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REJECTED:

MAGDEBURG - all 7"s (Classic Hard Rock and non-exclusive to their albums)
PRINZIP - all 7"s (Too soft)

   
   
Bulgaria / Czechoslovakia / East Germany / Hungary / Poland / Romania / Soviet Union / Yugoslavia 


 
   

Surveying the album-output of the Hungarian 80's and early 90's shows a small but very solid Metal scene with more than a handful of great albums from cult acts like POKOLGÉP, OSSIAN, STRESS etc. When looking for 7"s on the other hand the classics are few, bordering on non-existant. I've chosen to be very lenient in the qualification-process for this subsection, with several traditional Hard Rock incusions, mainly because these borderline-releases are few and poorly documented elsewhere. Most sleeves came with blank back sides and have therefor not been scanned.

   
   
   


CARAT - III. b / Ringasson El A Zene [rock to the music (?)]
Year: 1983 / Label: Start / Cat#: SPS 70582

For all its great uses and benefits, Metal Archives is a lousy style reference when it comes to more obscure bands. It has a tendency to lead you on wild goose chases for completely redundant, weak HR/boogie rock platters in the faint hope that they just might be an undiscovered Metal treasure. This particular disappointment showed it's true colors when I finally found it on iTunes out of all places. As said, run-of-the-mill, boogie'ish yet mellow HR, lodged somewhere between AC/DC and Def Leppard. Mystery solved.
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FÁRAÓ - Elég Volt [that's enough] / Állj Mellém [stand by me]
Year: 1986 / Label: Pepita / Cat#: SPS 70708

BALLSY Heavy Hard Rock Metal is what we get from the A-side of this Hungarian rarity, kinda like Judas Priest meets The Rods in a Hungarian bierstuge. Flipsidewise "Állj Mellém" is sweet, sweet melodic NWOHM charm with a homey GASKIN/MORE feel ...and yes, mega-moustache-man in the line-up pic does indeed verify that this is pre-LORD. In this case the saying Older = Better rings very true.
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HIT-ROCK / SOLARIS - A Vén Csavargó Halála [the death of an old tramp] / Solaris

Year: 1980 / Label: Pepita / Cat#: SPS 70449

"Rock Hullám" ("Rock Wave") was a festival/talent contest taking place in Budapest in the spring of 1980. 4 live singles were produced as prices in the contest, 3 of which are represented here (the 4th one, featuring 2 songs by prog rockers East felt off-topic for The Corroseum). Hit(-Rock)'s contribution both impresses and disappoints, the former because I can't remember ever hearing such raw guitars in a Hard Rock ballad before, the latter since I get the feeling they had plenty of heavier material to offer. Solaris = heavily keyboard-oriented instrumental prog.
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HIT - Rock And Roll Szerelem [rock and roll love] / Üveghegy [glass mountain]
Year: 1982 / Label: Pepita / Cat#: SPS 70541

Even as a ballad, "Üveghegy" came off as the heaviest cut off their very annoying pop/not-so-hard rock "Oké!" LP and this 2 years younger version is even heavier, close to epic but not quite the cigar. The A-side is 70's Judas Priest with a classic R'n'R beat, resulting in something rather NWOBHM-sounding though surely nothing close to the hardest material of the era. Still you could tell this act had a much more interesting beginning than end.
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KORÁL - A Kőfalak Leomlanak [the crumbling of the stone walls] / Ne Állj Meg Soha [don't stop it]
Year: 1980 / Label: Pepita / Cat#: SPS 70433

With its fast chugging guitars and high-pitch screams, the B-side of Korál's third 7" (out of a total of 5, one split-single included) stand out as a proto-metallic pinnacle between the more classic hard rock earlier singles and the later hard/soft prog rock albums. Of course this does not Korál a Metal band make, but loud & soaring 70's-organs aside "Ne Állj Meg Soha" is still one of the most interesting tunes in this here Hungarian subsection.
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LORD - Akarom Őt! [I want her!] / Tépett Álom [torn dream]

Year: 1986 / Label: Start / Cat#: SPS 70706

One of Hungary's most popular (domestically, at least) Hard Rock acts. Me I'd never file their Purple-influenced quasi-aor under the 'Metal'-banner, but their early albums (and indeed these singles) does include its fair share of decent, catchy HR tunes and these two 7"s are little know outside of Hungary so obviously they deserve a mention on this page.
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SZEPTEMBER/LORD - Hol A Híd [where is the bridge] (SZEPTEMBER) / H
olló-Róka [raven-fox] (LORD)
Year: 1986 / Label: Start / Cat#: SPS 70751

On a series of split 7"s presenting music from a pop/rock competition on Hungarian TV, LORD represented with "Holló-Róka", a type-A melodic HR tune in no way sidestepping from their beaten path. Szeptember sounds like Modern Talking.
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METAL COMPANY - Dongó [(flight of the) bumble bee] / Szép Társaság [beautiful company]
Year: 1986 / Label: Favorit / Cat#: SPS 70770

The 'Metal'-adaptation of "Flight Of The Bumble Bee" reminds me a lot of the corny cover versions on fellow countryman Ferenc Gerdesits' cult Metalploitation LP "Ös-Metál" from '89 - meaning it's more fun than good to be honest. The single proper tune from this one-off project of P. BOX/P. MOBIL founding member Bencsik "Samu" Sándor is "Szép Társaság", a decent heavy rocker quite similar to the material of his other projects, albeit a bit more 80's sounding.
NOTE: The A-side recording appeared shortly after on the "Gitárpárbaj" LP, an instrumental classic/hard rock project comprised of the Hungarian rock-guitar elite of the day.
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MISSIÓ - Egyszer Lent, Egyszer Fent [as above so below] / Ő Csak Álmodozott [he's only dreaming]

Year: 1982 / Label: Start / Cat#: SPS 70549

Could this be the very first Hungarian Metal put to vinyl? Their LP from '89 was a disappointment to all of us who adored the early versions of some tracks appearing on the Robbanásveszély! compilation. Maybe this could be that ultra-raw, steelclad embryo that slowly got domesticated as the years passed by? Nah, not quite. "Egyszer Lent.." is your basic, late 70's style HR-light with little to offer us headbangers. "Ő Csak.." on the other hand display the band's knack for outstanding melodies in the form of an excellent, epic semi-ballad bringing classic americana like Legend, Sorcery and early Manilla Road to mind.
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DELFIN/ÓCEÁN - Embernek Születtél [a man born] / Fáj, Hogy Elmentél [it hurts, that you left]

Year: 1980 / Label: Pepita / Cat#: SPS 70447

As a mere precursor to their upcoming trailblazer, Óceán's heavy rock ballad offering on this split debut isn't half bad if you enjoy similar 70's classics like "Child In Time", "Planet Caravan" or "Catch The Rainbow". Not quite in the same league of course, but who expected otherwise? Apparently they toured with a very heavy repertoire as far back as the mid 70's, so you can't help feeling a bit cheated when presented with a mere ballad here. Delfin = boogie/classic rock with quirky keyboards.
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ÓCEÁN - Szabadon Szeretni [free to love] / Engedd El Magad [let yourself go]
Year: 1981 / Label: Pepita / Cat#: SPS 70465

Utter coolness! I'll dub this Hungary's - if not best - then at least very first (proto)Heavy Metal single. Both songs oozes of very Trespass/Jameson Raid-flavoured NWOHM with a more distinct step forward into the 80's than their brethren in P. MOBIL and P. BOX. It's a screaming bloody fuck of a shame they went for a complete change of style with their 2 last singles, there heading in a pissawful parody/novelty pop-rock direction. The road to oblivion is indeed paved with bad decisions.
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P. MOBIL - Kétforintos Dal [two-forint song] / Menj Tovább! [go on!]

Year: 1978 / Label: Pepita / Cat#: SPS 70291

Out of the late 70's-to-early-80's Hungarian scene, P. MOBIL stood out as the heaviest (and in my personal opinion, best) band in the classic/hard/prog rock niche. On this the very first release by the band we're presented with pretty cool (as in 'laid-back') 70's Hard Rock in the ever-popular Purple/Rainbow-tradition. Nothing for die-hard Metalheads though I'm sure..
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P. MOBIL - Forma 1 [formula 1] / Utolsó Cigaretta [last cigarette]
Year: 1979 / Label: Pepita / Cat#: SPS 70376

"Forma 1" continues the slow & bluesy Purple-style of the debut 7" with perhaps a few ounces of lead added to the guitars, but it's the B-side that's the pick of the litter here. Total Uriah Heep/Sir Lord Baltimore crunch in the style that later got refined on their excellent debut LP "Mobilizmo". Both songs are recorded live and this version of "Utolsó Cigaretta" is a different, earlier versions than the one appearing on the "Honfoglalás" LP.
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P. MOBIL - Miskolc [(a city in Hungary)] / Csizma Az Asztalon [boots on the table]
Year: 1980 / Label: Pepita / Cat#: SPS 70416

If the label and runout etchings are to be believed rather than the front sleeve, the A-side is "Miskolc" and it's safe to say it's one of the finest tunes in the band's stable, with an immensely catchy chorus. No wonder they picked live versions of this one on both this single and the "Honfoglalás" album (2 different recordings) - it must have gone down a storm in a live environment! "Csizma.." = instrumental piece with some jazz/fusion rock breaks that's a bit of a filler.
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PANDORA'S BOX - Halálkatlan [?] / A Bolond [the fool]

Year: 1981 / Label: Pepita / Cat#: SPS 70483

Formed by ex-P. Mobil members, PANDORA'S BOX (a.k.a. P. BOX) are unsurprisingly similar in sound to their predecessors. If we're to point out some minor differences it would be that P. BOX steers slightly more towards both the epic and the lightweight. Luckily we get more of the former on this debut, at least on the very Rainbow/Dio/H&H-flavoured B-side "A Bolond", here in a shorter take than the one on their eponymous debut LP. I'm almost tempted to drop the 'Doom'-label on this one but I'm afraid that would simultaneously make Purple's "Child In Time" Doom too and we can't have that can we?
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PANDORA'S BOX - A Zöld, A Bíbor És A Fekete [green, purple and black] / Valami Rock And Roll [some rock and roll]
Year: 1982 / Label: Pepita / Cat#: SPS 70553

Quite similar but clearly different recordings from the ones appearing on their 2nd album "Kö Kövön", both "A Zöld.." and "Valami Rock And Roll" are straight-as-a-ruler, inoffensive Hard Rock. Good craftmanship and all but mostly really included here since their 1st 7" was kinda cool ...And the fact that the primitive b/w sleeve looks misleadingly NWOHM - the sort of deception that The Corroseum always takes great pride in detecting.
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POKOLGÉP/SMOG - "Ki Mit Tud?" ["Do You Know?"]
Zsíroskenyér [bread and butter] (SMOG) / Robot (SMOG) / Kegyetlen Asszony [cruel woman] (POKOLGÉP)

Year: 1983 / Label: Start / Cat#: SPS 70579

In their early days, a couple of years before the Timebombs/Deathmachines discovered TRUE Heavy Metal they did what many a Metal behemoth did before them and meddled some with generic pub/boogie/"semi-hard" rock. The proof of their corny, meagre beginnings lies immortalized on this surprisingly common split 7". Not much to say about "Kegyetlen Asszony" really, it's a boogie rock standard you've heard a million times before, neither better nor worse than average, despite the wiggly keyboards adding a bit of fun-ness to the mix. SMOG = silly wavy poprock in case you wondered.
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POKOLGÉP [Time Bomb] - A Sátán [satan] / A Maszk [the mask]
Year: 1985 / Label: Start / Cat#: SPS 70664

The fact that POKOLGÉP's debut LP "Totalis Metal" ranks as one of the finest Heavy Metal legacies of the Olde Eastern Bloc shouldn't be breaking news to most of you reading this page. Traditionally this their debut 7" should be the Metal MONSTER that slays all that was to come. It isn't. This (and the song off the 1.2.3...Start comp, which I assume is from the same session) sounds more like a half-decent precursor of the greatness to come. It's still solid Accept/Judas Priest-like Euro-Steel - Xtra credits to the bruque chorus of "A Maszk" - but qualitywise neither of the songs reach the level of the "Totalis Metal" material imho.
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ROCKWELL - Egy Màsik Vilàg [a different world] / Utazàs Maryvel [travelling with Mary]
Year: 1981 / Label: Pepita / Cat#: SPS 70488

A rather peculiar and atypical release for the Hungarian early 80's. The dusty 70's rock/prog-vibe is clearly absent and instead it carries the subtle punk-vibes of the NWOBHM circa '79. It's catchy, upbeat, youthful and friendly on the ears without feeling annoyingly mellow, just the way we like it. Unfortunately ROCKWELL seem to have been a one-song affair with the flipside thrown away into the hellish pit of acustic schmallad fluff.
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ROLLS / IKARUS - Már Megtanultam Rég [I've learned long ago] / Barát, Vagy Ellenség [friend or foe]
Year: 1980 / Label: Pepita / Cat#: SPS 70448

The slow, atmospheric intro to "Már Megtanultam Rég" leaves you expecting another ballad, but wastes no time delivering its pounding yet melancholic Hard Rock crunch after only a few seconds and a fine piece of HR workmanship it is. Unfortunately, after this debut release ROLLS never again touched on anything remotely heavy, but went in a more new wave-like direction. IKARUS on the other hand is a one-off-release enigma. Raw and quirky in both a prog- and punk sort of manner it's not really heavy in a typically Metal sort of way, but Hard as Rock nontheless, making this the heaviest of the 4 "Rock Hullàm" series 7"s.
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STRESS - Acélkerék [steel wheels] / Séta Éjfélkor [midnight walk]
Year: 1986 / Label: Start / Cat#: SPS 70704

An old, longer review can be find in the regular reviews section.
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REJECTED:

None of the 7"s by DINAMIT, KARTHAGO, OMEGA, PIRAMIS, SKORPIÓ or TAURUS Ex-T: 25-75-82 are included since they're all a bit too too 70's rock/prog/etc, and the FIX - Tiszta Diliház/Jó Vagy Nálam Édes 7" from 1988 I haven't included since it's more sleazy Hard Rock and I'm almost certain they're the same recordings as on the LP (possibly remixed..)

   
   
Bulgaria / Czechoslovakia / East Germany / Hungary / Poland / Romania / Soviet Union / Yugoslavia 


 
   

There's some really great stuff to be found from this solid Metal country. Unfortunately, few releases came with proper sleeves and the generic Tonpress wrappers you see below might differ to other copies of the same single out there. I'm not sure if this would necessary indicate a different pressing though, it might be that they either get switched around on the 2nd hand market or were picked radomly already at the production stage. In any case it will take some twisting & turning and squinting-of-the-eye when out Polish HM Hunting in stores or fairs.

   
   
   


AZYL P. - Twoje Życie [your life] / Chyba Umieram [I think I'm dying]
Year: 1983 / Label: Tonpress / Cat#: S-473

While this band later made a career in the ambivalent 'Quasi-punk/Outdoor-festival/semi-hardrock' area, their first 2 singles definitely deserves a mention on this page. There's plenty of overhyped nwobhmISH mega-rarities (Shock Treatment, Tracer, Amazon etc..) that have made it into the collector hive-mind before, so why not AZYL P? Here, at their moment of birth they're catchy, energetic & embryonic Heavy Rock in a raw punk tempo, just the way we likeses it.
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AZYL P. - Och, Lila [Oh, Lila] / Kara Śmierci [death sentence]
Year: 1984 / Label: Tonpress / Cat#: S-503

On their 2nd single AZYL P were as blatantly 'Hard Rock' as they ever got - just check out that promo-clip of "Och, Lila" on youtube for raw, party-crashin', spandex-wearin'-while-still-not-completely-ghaey-proof. After this (B-side ballad included) it all went downhill - or at least off-topic.
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BUDKA SUFLERA - Za Ostatni Grosz [for the last grosz] / Memu Miastu Na Do Widzenia [the city of my farwell]
Year: 1981-82? / Label: Tonpress / Cat#: S-423

After some consideration I've come to the conclusion that this single simply cannot go unmentioned on a page dedicated to East-Euro Metal 7" history, even if this just happen to be a one-off excursion into the proto-Metal sphere by a more traditional rock band, and even if it's just a regular promo-tool for a contemporary album. Written already back in 1974 and then re-recorded for the 1981 "Za Ostatni Grosz" album in a strike of well-fitting nostalgia, "Memu Miastu Na Do Widzenia" is a delicious, UFO-tasting and way ahead of its time NWOBHM-precursor with some simply superb leads and harmonies. With a going price of 1-2 euros there's zero reason for not picking this up on you next Polish discogs order.
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DEEF - Zmowa Milczenia Wokół Jane [the conspiracy of silence around Jane] / Tse, Tse W Mojej Głowie [tsetse fly in my head]
Year: 1984 / Label: Tonpress / Cat#: S-504

While lacking the Metal-edge of the follow-up, this debut 7" has enough of a solid Hard Rock-feel to it to warrant an inclusion here. The A side offers a bland, from-smooth-to-rough rock semi-ballad, but the B side is a pretty sweet pounding rocker ...or rather a 'hopping' rocker perhaps as some parts rub shoulders with jerky The Clash-type punk/wave. Still not too sucky at all.
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DEEF - Zaczyna Się [starting up] / Diament Kraje Diament [diamond cuts diamond]
Year: 1985 / Label: Tonpress / Cat#: S-574

With a previous, easier-to-find single of the weaker, semi-HR kind and a design next to identical to said predecessor I guess you're excused if this little pearl has passed you by. Zero originality aside, "Zaczyna Się" is a runaway freight-train of thundering double bass drums and guitars screaming/spitting obscenities a few inches from your face like the drill sergeant from Full Metal Jacket. Proto-Speed Metal seldom felt so refreshing! The semi-ballad flipside isn't a complete pile of rubbish but as usual a heavier companion would have been prefered.
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KAT [Executioner] - Ostatni Tabor [last caravan] / Noce Szatana [satan's night]
Year: 1985 / Label: Tonpress / Cat#: S-525

I shouldn't need to tell you about this one. I'm sure I'm not the only one who ranks this as one of the finest European debut singles made, right up there with those by Witch Cross, 220 Volt, Blitzkrieg, Brainfever etc.. The early version of their 'TANK-tribute' "Noce Szatana" is way superior to the one on their "666" LP, not only because of the better production - it's also delivered with a high dose of youthful energy and ompf I'm sometimes missing on the otherwise excellent full-lenght debut. The 100% exclusive "Ostatni Tabor" is equally outstanding. A powerful, classic HM anthem of which there's a superb live clip to check out on youtube.
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KAT - "Metal & Hell / 666 Tour '86"
Metal And Hell / Oracle
Year: 1986 / Label: Tonpress / Cat#: S-001 U

Unfortunately just 2 tracks picked off the "Metal And Hell" session. "Metal And Hell"s top-class darkened Speed and "Oracle"s chanting, sinister Metal crunch aside, it would have have been so much more rewarding to at least have been presented with different, less muddy recordings than the originals. Aw well, it is after all just a promo. Or a fanclub-only release. Or a special tour giveaway item. The details are still a bit blurry on that matter.
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KAT - "Szczesliwego Thrash-Metalowego 1987 Roku Zyczy Kat" ["Happy new Thrash Metal-year 1987 from KAT"]
Time Of Revenge / Czas Zemsty [time of revenge]
Year: 1986 / Label: Tonpress / Cat#: U-002

An even less conspicuous item, offering the same track on both sides but in different language versions. That is to say the English "Metal And Hell"-version on side A and the Polish "666"-version on side B. (One of the longer, more epic tunes from the album/s)
The title gives the impression of a greeting card of sorts, perhaps sent out to fanclub members around the time?
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LORD VADER - Inna Twarz [another face] / Łaknienie Ciała [body cravings]
Year: 1986 / Label: Tonpress / Cat#: S-631

The sole vinyl release of this Polish cult band (no, no relations to Polish fellow Deathsters VADER) ...until Karthago Records released their retrospect album "Goliath" in 2001. (The tracklist of that LP is completely wrong btw, but it does include both tracks from this rarity. FYI "Inna Twarz" is the last song on side A and "Łaknienie Ciała" the first song on side B, despite what that mixed-up back sleeve says.) "Inna Twarz" shows the band worshipping at the altar of very-early-ACCEPT, meaning a mean chorus + pounding Heavy riffing a broadsword's length away from dreary Ac/Dc-territory, while "Łaknienie Ciała"s twisted & abrasive doomness is crawling around the neighborhoods of oldest ANGEL WITCH, M.FATE and SAINT VITUS. Cultcool sound? Yes - Memorable songwriting? Only half-way there I'm afraid.
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SUPER BOX - Biała Dama Niesie Śmierć [white lady bringing death] / Szkolne Problemy [school problems]
Year: 1986 / Label: Tonpress / Cat#: S-623

Perhaps my favourite out of the super-ugly/kült EastEuro 7" sleeves, but do the music match up? Well a´ho and a´hum and a sort-of maybenots.... "Biała Dama.." is a way above average semi-ballad, meaning it's not great but enjoyable enough with a sweet chorus that justifies repeated listening. They heavify some on the B-side and the lead of "Szkolne Problemy" is rather similar to HOLOCAUST's "HM Mania", but merely pointing out this fact is giving this triviality of a song waaaaaay too much credit. For once my vote falls on the ballad A-side.
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TSA - Mass Media / Wpadka [knocked up]

Year: 1982 / Label: Tonpress / Cat#: S-427

Poland's premier Hard Rock act. Their importance to the birth and development of the Polish Metal scene cannot be overrated, but at least to these narrowminded ears their legacy hasn't aged as well as their heavier, younger brethren. On their vinyl debut we get 2 anonymous, boogie/70's style HR standards in the style of AC/DC, Krokus or such, "Wadka" being the preferable pick of the pair thanx to a vague Gaskin/TOPT-flavoured nwobhmish streak.
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TSA - Zwierzenia Kontestatora [confessions of a rebel] / 51

Year: 1982 / Label: Tonpress / Cat#: S-431

Despite the eye-catching (by Polish standards) picture sleeve, the band's sophomore EP is basically the same average boogie-style Hard Rock as on the debut, with the exception that they (shock! horror!) decided to pair the decent A-side with a ballad on the flip.
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TSA -
Na Co Cię Stać? [take it easy] / Nocny Sabat [night sabbath]
Year: 1982 / Label: Polton / Cat#: PS-002

While this release is merely a promo for their self-titled debut LP (or was the "Live" LP first? Sources differ on the matter..) it is at least one step up on the ballsiness-ladder. Could be the improved production too, but in any case their generic AC/DC-protoMetal has my foot tapping with just an ouce more ferver than from previous releases - DESPITE the disappointing fact that the song 'Night Sabbath' doesn't sound the least bit more Black Sabbath than the rest of their material :(
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TSA -
Wielka Fiesta [great fiesta] / Francuskie Ciasteczka [french cookies]
Year: 1985 / Label: TSA U.P./Tonpress / Cat#: S-001

Their 4th and final 7" single was also a promo, but for some reason the release of their fourth album "Rock'n'Roll" from which these songs were taken was delayed a couple of years. To clearify: the English version of their
third LP "Heavy Metal World" depicted on the back sleeve, released on Mausoleum Records in '85 (ironically the hardest-to-find TSA LP) is not the source of these 2 songs. Music? Same old, same old.... *strikes Poland off the safe-vacation-spots list*
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TURBO - W Środku Tej Ciszy [in the middle of the silence] / Byłem Z Tobą Tyle Lat [I've been with you for so many years]
Year: 1980 / Label: Tonpress / Cat#: S-369

Compared to, um.. let's say TSA I ever so slightly favour this debut release by Poland's Finest. It's much more heavily rooted in the 70's and not Metal even by a longshot, yet their shades-wearing, heavy blues rock comes with a cool swagger and stiff upper lip I'm often missing from most EastRock elders. Worth picking up if you're a true fan of the band and wants the whole picture of their fascinating A-to-Z journey through practically all forms of Hard & Heavy music.
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ZANDER - Rotterdam / Positano
Year: 1986 / Label: Tonpress / Cat#: S-620

Merely a metallic side-step from Piotr Zander's ordinary duties as guitarist in Hard/classic/wavy rock band LOMBARD, which might explain why this Polish obscurity has gone unnoticed until now. Even if both songs are instrumentals, luckily we're not talking about the most vile form of self-indulgent guitar-wankery here. Instead both the snappy "Rotterdam" and the more diverse "Positano" could have fit in perfectly as above average filler material on the albums of any ol' American Maiden-wannabe at the time. "Positano" gets reprised on Piotr's full-lengt cassette album 2 years later, but unfortunately the rest of the material on "Pora Na Seks" is terribly dull melodic rock.
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REJECTED:

All MECH 7"s (70's Heavy/Prog).

   
   
Bulgaria / Czechoslovakia / East Germany / Hungary / Poland / Romania / Soviet Union / Yugoslavia 


 
   

So far this is the one and only semi-on-topic 7" I've managed to dig up from the old Romanian scene. If any Romanians (or anyone else) knows more, don't hesitate to contact me.

   
   
   

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CARGO -
Ana / Doi Prieteni [two friends]
Year: 1990 / Label: private / Cat#: CA 0001

This melodic Hard Rock act came to release their debut LP 2 years later on the indigenous Electrecord label. The 2 tracks from this earlier private release are featured on said album, but at the moment I don't know if they're the same recordings or not since I don't have this 7" in my collection atm. The back sleeve says they're recorded in France, May 1990. It could be the whole debut full-lenght was recorded there also since no such info is found on the LP, so at the moment the 'exclusive'/'non-exclusive'-trivia is followed by a '?'. In any case these 2 songs represent the softer, more radio-friendly side of the band. It's decent, type-A melancholic EastRock/melo-HR/aor, but not quite as anthemic and goosebumps-inducingly epic as some of the finer moments of the "Povestiri Din Gară" LP.
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REJECTED:

MAGIC - Povestea Codrului / Odă '77 (70's psych/prog)
PANSAMENT/TECTONIC - Revoluție? Underground Romania split '93 (crossover)
PHOENIX a.k.a. TRANSSYLVANIA PHOENIX - all 7"s (prog/folk rock/alternative)

   
   
Bulgaria / Czechoslovakia / East Germany / Hungary / Poland / Romania / Soviet Union / Yugoslavia 


 
   

Despite the gargantuan output of the Melodia label and the enormous geographical area in question, these 17 releases just might represent the complete 7" discog of Olde CCCP HM/HR, though I'm not yet ready to place any bets on the matter. After all, at least 2 of these titles didn't come to my attention until I started some more hard-core research for this page. It's also worth noting that many of the LPs released by Melodia came in several different pressings, mostly distinguishable by different labels, sleeve quality and small text deviations on the back sleeves. This is also the case with some of these singles but at the moment I will not go into detail about these variations here.

   
   
   

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АЛЕКСАНДР НЕВСКИЙ - Александр Невский / Звезда / Русью Вскормлен
ALEKSANDR NEVSKIJ - Alexandr Nevskij / Zvezda [star] / Rus’ju Vskormlen [rus suckled(?)]
Year: 1989 / Label: Melodia / Cat#: C62 29131 007

The greatest Russian Metal 7" made - and undeniably one of the coolest/cultest line-up shots EVER! ...AND they're almost as doomy as the design would imply, from the omnious church bell intro of the epic "Alexandr Nevskij" via the mourful and quite decent semi-ballad "Zvezda" to the pounding Doom Metal of "Rus'ju Vskormlen". We're clearly talking about a must-buy item here.
Some fun facs: All songs were taken from the band's 2nd tape album recorded in 1988; The name Alexandr Nevskij is NOT a name of one of the band members but the name of a Russian 13th century saint and thus a 'proper' band name; The vocalist later went on to the similar and more familiar NOVY ZAVET/NEW TESTAMENT.
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ГАЛАКТИКА - Все, Как В Сказке / Вещие Сны / Старший брат
GALAKTIKA - Vse, Kak V Skazke [all like a fairy tale] / Veŝie Sny [prophetic dreams] / Staršij Brat [the elder brother]
Year: 1988 / Label: Melodia / Cat#: C62 27871 001

Even though it's a mixed affair to say the least, both in styles and quality, I'm still a big fan of their debut LP. This earlier EP lives up (and down) to ones expectations: "Vse, Kav V Skazke" is a total snoozefest of a ballad that never seems to end, the closer "Staršij Brat" a redundant trad R'n'R-bore but inbetween these 2 disappontments lies the great "Veŝie Sny", an excellent melodic Metal tune complete with those odd & unique flavours that they later refined on the better half of the upcoming "Glasnost Atmosphere" album.
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ГРАН-ПРИ - Маски Прочь / Меня не тянет в Рай небесный... / К Теологии
GRAND-PRIX - Maski Protch [mask off] / Mjenja nje tjanjet v Raye njebjesnyye [I'm not going to heaven] / K Tjeologii [according to theology]
Year: 1988 / Label: Melodia / Cat#: C62 27337 002

Seems like one of the hardest-to-find CCCP Hard Rock 7"s - I had certainly never seen or heard about it until it got uploaded over at metalrus.ru a while back. The 'good news' however is that we're talking about completely Metal-free hard rock here, only of interest to us Russian completist bastards, so no need to shed any tears over it missing in your collection (unless you're a die-hard fan of wimpy, mainstream HR like 80's Whitesnake etc..)
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КЛИНИКА - Токсикоман / ПТУ
KLINIKA - Toksikoman [drug addict] / PTU [college]
Year: 1990 / Label: Melodia / Cat#: C62 29715 006

Another quite rare release and arguably the heaviest Melodia single. Unfortunately the heaviness = mid-pace "bay-area"-Thrash in this case, much like their mediocre countrymen HELLRAISER, or to be frank, 90% of all other mainstream 'tallica/Megadeth-clones at the time. "PTU" regurgitates some decent riffs & rhythms and might appeal to all you die-hard fans of the genre but me I'd rather stick to my Korrozia Metalla albums, thank you.
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V/A - ЛЕЙСЯ, ПЕСНЯ / КРУИЗ / ПОЮЩИЕ СЕРДЦА - Время Зовет / Музыка Невы / Первая Любовь Моя
LEJSJA, PESNJA - Vremja Zovet [calling time] / KRUIZ - Muzyka Nevy [new music] / POJUŜIE SERDCA - Pervaja Ljubov’ Moja [my first love]
Year: 1983 / Label: Melodia / Cat#: Г62—10263-4

Before having their first vinyl of their own out on the market, КРУИЗ were featured on 2 compilations already back in 1983: the song "Волчок" on the "Парад Ансамблей" LP and "Музыка Невы" on this here flexi thingy. This mellow, upbeat hard rock (?) tune won't leave any lasting impression even on the fans of the genre, but fans of the band will wanna keep an eye out for this one out of mere kult/obsküre value. ЛЕЙСЯ, ПЕСНЯ deserves a special mention since their tune is surprisingly raw boogie rock in the Status Quo-vein and not at all as schlager'y as rumoured.
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КРУИЗ - "Волчок"
Музыка Невы / Волчок / Великий Секрет
KRUIZ - Muzyka Nevy [new music] / Volčok [top] / Velikij Sekret [the great secret]
Year: 1985 / Label: Melodia / Cat#: C62 21669 005

Mostly a curio for us CCCP Metal-fanatics, I still think the debut
vinyl by Russia's 'first' (not really..) HM band deserves a few words. In case you didn't know, KRUIZ made plenty of middle-of-the-road rock/pop recordings before they Metalized and this was where these sessions first materialized into a proper band relese. All songs were taken from the 1981 tape-reel album with the same name, and it reprises 2 recordings featured on compilations from the years before. Here's the run-down: "Muzyka Nevy" = Happy, upbeat, ah-ah mainstream rock/HR / "Volčok" = Funky disco-rock with silly keyboars / "Velikij Sekret" = The closest thing to hard rock on this release, but the keyboards and lazy tempo just screams 'Disco!'.
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CRUISE - Distant Light
Year: 1987 / Label: Zafiro / Cat#: P-172

The reason there is such a thing as a 1-sided Spanish promo 7" of an 80's Russian Metal band has a surprisingly simple explaination: In 1987 Spanish indie label Zafiro wanted to cash in on the perestroika/CCCP-hullabaloo by releasing a compilation of Russian rock - mostly of the heavier kind. The title was "Rock'n'URSS", the cover pretty much the same as on this single and the other bands featured were BLACK COFFEE, AUGUST and AUTOGRAPH. No exclusive tracks, but a fun item to pick up for CCCP Steel collectors. The music? Well, "Distant Light" was one of the best tracks off the band's debut, sounding a bit like the mellow side of 80's Priest with a KKK (Killer Katchy Korus) attached to it.
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МОНОМАХ -
Я Ждал / Грезы / Ностальгия
MONOMAH - Ja Ždal [I waited] / Grezy [dreams] / Nostal’gija
Year: 1989 / Label: Melodia / Cat#: C62 29561 008

This band is generally considered more of an aor affair, but they did produce a handful of great melodic Metal tunes on their albums, so this quite unknown single does at least deserve a mention. The shortened version of the debut LP track "Ja Ždal" is frightfully upbeat, almost schlager-sounding aor/melo-HR. "Cheese" is a terribly mis/overused expression that I try to use as seldom as possible, but here it definitely fits - and not entirely in its most derogatory form mind you. "Grezy", the one exclusive treat here is also the heaviest: half-decent galloping melo-Metal/HR. "Nostalgija" wraps things up the schmallad-way, though it's slightly less sucky than usual. Get it for the awesome cover art.
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ОЛЬГА КОРМУХИНА И "РОК-АТЕЛЬЕ" КРИСА КЕЛЬМИ - Время пришло / Усталое такси / Я не твоя
OLGA KORMUHINA & "ROCK-ATEL'E" KRIS KELMI - Vremja Prišlo [the time is now] / Ustaloe Taksi [taxi-fatigue] / Ja Ne Tvoja [I'm not yours]
Year: 1989 / Label: Melodia / Cat#: С62 27689 005

While Olga K. went on to record more HR/HM with the band RED PANTHER, Kris Kelmi's "ROCK STUDIO" never even got close to something as heavy as this one-off collaboration. If comfy, 80's sing-a-long/stadium Hard Rock is your cup of vodka you can do a lot worse than with "Vremja Prišlo" (check out that promo-clip on youtube if it's still around). Let's ignore the schlager-schmallad vomit "Ustaloe Taksi" and get straight to the goodest stuffs: "Ja Ne Tvoja"! A muchu Sovjetical composition, epic and melancholic Russian Metal, chugging guitars meets melodic vocals with he mandatory saxophone break in the middle.
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СКОРАЯ ПОМОЩЬ - Шаг на эшафот / Время прозреть / Последний визит
SKORAJA POMOSH [First Aid] - Šag na èšafot [step over the treshold] / Vremja prozret’ [time will tell] / Poslednij vizit [last visit]
Year: 1990 / Label: Melodia / Cat#: C62 29545 004

Often compared to ACCEPT, and not entirely undeserving of that parallell mind you, mostly because of the Udo-like vocals of Alexej Polyakov but the music also falls into the same pidgeonhole. Sort of. Yes, this is the band later known as FIRST AID (..though the name could also be translated as 'Ambulance') and this vinyl debut of theirs is well worth looking out for, mostly thanx to the crunchy and quite un-CCCP-sounding "Vremja Prozret’".
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СПРУТ -
Время строить храм / Такова жизнь
SPRUT [Octopus] - Vremja Stroit’ Hram [time to build a temple] / Takova Žizn’ [such is life]
Year: 1990 / Label: Melodia / Cat#: С62 30645 008

It's probably not as much the music as the Total Kült cover art of their LP (just a picture of manager Victor Vekshtein in front of the mixing desk) + line-up shot (vocalist Antonina Zhmakova's "party secretary"-look) that have made these guys + gal a semi-cult act among CCCP Metal fans & collectors of late. They were certainly not a bad группа, not at all, but they were uneven and it especially shows when listening to this bloody scarce promo 7". With just 2 tracks taken out of their natural habitat (the LP) they expose themselves as the trivialities they really are - a decent ballad on side A matched with a ho-hum melodic Hard Rock/Schlager-HM tune on the flip. Weirdly enough I still like 'em...
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СТЕЛЛА - Лестница Фортуны / Коварный Май

STELLA - Lestnica Fortuny [ladder of fortune] / Kovarnyj Maj [wicked may]
Year: 1990 / Label: Melodia / Cat#: C62 29359 009

Much like the similar MONOMAH these wimps'n'posers deserves a mention here solely on the merits of a few riveting melodic Metal anthems from an earlier tape album. Their only other vinyl appearance lies on a mixed comp LP from 1991, which I have still to locate. Not much to say about either "Lestnica Fortuny" nor "Kovaryj Maj" - the former is a keyboard-ridden melo-HR tune reminding me of all those Swedish wimpfests I had to wade through and discard while researching for the old 707" Of Swedish Steel-page (maybe a wee bit more enjoyable..); the latter another schmallad for rock-history's dung heap. All you hipster 'cult album sleeve' collectors will have a field day with this one though I'm sure..
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ТЯЖЕЛЫЙ ДЕНЬ - Берегись Жала / Песенный Суздаль / В Полет
TJAŽELYJ DEN’ [Hard Day] - Beregis’ Žala [beware the sting] / Pesennyj Suzdal’ [song of suzdal(?)] / V Polet [in flight]
Year: 1988 / Label: Melodia / Cat#: C62 26721 007

For some unfathomable reason I've managed to collect every single piece of vinyl this totally mediocre band ever produced - unintentionally I assure you. I guess it's because they're quite cheap and the albums covers looks awesome - especially this beatiful debut EP. Fast-forwarding throught the boogie-Metal "Beregis’ Žala" and the (surprise surprise..) boring ballad "Pesennyj Suzdal" we do get 3 minutes of fast 'nwobhm' fare in "V Polet", so it's not a complete waste of black vinyl plastic...
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ЧЕРНЫЙ КОФЕ - Чёрный Кофе / Зимний Портрет / Листья / Звуки Космоса
ČERNYJ KOFE [Black Coffee] - Čërnyj Kofe / Zimnij Portret [winter portrait] / List’ja [leaves] / Zvuki Kosmosa [sounds of the cosmos]
Year: 1987 / Label: Melodia / Cat#: C62 25731 001

The very first Russian HM/HR vinyl release as I understand it, though personally I never really got into these guys. Too much of that middle-of-the-road, mainstream Hard Rock a la 80's Scorpions or Krokus for my tastebuds. While the upcoming 2 LPs had their share of bright moments, all 4 songs on this EP feel a bit sketchy, like a half-finished debut demo. A bit of a waste considering they had considerably better and heavier songs in their repertoir at the time, judging by the Светлый Металл demo compilation.
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V/A - "Футбол России"
Футбол России (Ф. Михеенко, Е. Поликанин) / Большой Хоккей (МАГНИТ) / Звезда Футбола (И. Кобзон) / Футболист, Улыбнись (В. Коннов)
V/A - "Futbol Rossii" ["Russian Football"]
Futbol Rossii [russian football] (F. Mikheyenko, Ye. Polikanin) / Bol'shoy Khokkey [great hockey] (MAGNIT) / Zvezda Futbola [football star] (I. Kobzon) / Futbolist, Ulybnis' [footballer, smile] (V. Konnov)
Year: 1990 / Label: Melodia / Cat#: C92 29921 001

So you're pretty much earned the title of Kultest Soviet Metal Act Ever already and shouldn't need to impress us any further, yet you still want to go that extra mile and really obscure the shit out of the competition, so what do you do? Well how about signing up for a spot on a compilation single celebrating Russian football - with a song about hockey (!). With 2 minutes of wild and primtive Speed Metal (actually quite similar to "Memorandum" from the "Dies Irae" LP) with zaney keys and mad soloing recorded on what sounds like a 4-track, old Corroseum-faves MAGNIT sound so cosmically out of place among their 3 schlager-contenders on this release it's just mindmelting. The sound of this track generates the feeling of... well, If I wanted to trick someone of lesser learning that there never was any Heavy Metal made in old Soviet "...oh, except for this one song on some obscure sports single", I'm sure I'd get away with it half the times.
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LADY PROWLER - s/t 10" EP
Lady Prowler / Riveted Childhood / The Skirt
Year: 1994 / Label: Senate Publishers & Records / Cat#: -

It wasn't until I finally held a copy of this 10" oddity in my hand and noticed it really said 'debut
single' on the back sleeve, that I decided it should be included in this list (the title of this page is after all 'The Complete Encyclopedia of FWOEHM Singles' and not the '...7"s' dito). So does this supposed Holy Grail of Russian Metal collecting meet the expectations of the hefty pricetag? Well, definitely not after one's first listen to the opening theme song, which sound an awful lot like a parody of what the less educated would expect Russian Metal to sound like. If a US sitcom would feature a Russian rock band playing in some seedy bar, this would be the song performed. By the 3rd listening I was in love with the tune. In stark contrast to the A-side weirdo "Riveted Childhood" is an absolutely riveting piece of obscure Maiden-worship, reminding me of Italian cult acts like Adramelch or Old Yron - prepare for ze Goosebumps of Steel! Last offering "The Skirt" falls somewhat anonymously between those 2 extremes, but it has a nice groove to it. In conclusion it's really sweet to finally have a release which sound matches the obscure vibes of the artwork and the collector-mythos.
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LONG-LOFF - On The Wheels / Heroes Never... / Moonrider / Fairy Secrets
Year: 1990 / Label: private / Cat#: LL-1

I'm sorry if I'm offending any Estonian readers by placing this single under the Soviet banner, but technically this was released while the country was still a part of the soon-to-be dissolved USSR. LONG-LOFF = GUNNAR GRAPSI GRUPP minus Gunnar himself, though they're a bit less Metal and more plain Hard Rock than what GGG did on the great "Polemine" LP 1 year earlier. The sleezoid "On The Wheels" and the more nwobhm'y "Moonrider" previously featured on the "Eesti Pop No. 11" compilation have been re-recorded, but it's only the closer "Fairy Secret" that really stands out - a wonky nursery-rhyme piece reminding me of Italian outsider-epiculsters WYXMER.

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REJECTED:

CORPSE - Remembrance of Cold Embodiments '93 (Death/Grind)
ДИАЛОГ [DIALOG] - all 7"s (pop-rock)
ПАРК ГОРЬКОГО [GORKY PARK] - all 7"s (Westernized, mainstream hr/aor)
MAD FORCE - Mix-Up '94 (Alterno/Funk-"metal")
NECROK.I.L.L.DOZER - Misunderstood '93 (Grind/Death).

   
   
Bulgaria / Czechoslovakia / East Germany / Hungary / Poland / Romania / Soviet Union / Yugoslavia 


 
   

In former Yougoslavia lies without a doubt the cradle of East-European Rock music, with prog/psych/heavy bands releasing albums and singles as far back as in the early 70's. By the late 70's the Hard Rock scene was in full bloom and it's vibe could be heard in the earliest releases (singles, mostly) of artist that later went in a more mainstream direction. Putting together this list has been an exercise in the noble art of hairsplitting and I've had a hard time figuring out exactly how much of the 70's-to-early-80's stuff to include, but instead of an all-or-nothing approach I've once again followed my own aesthetics and listed what felt just a little bit extra-interesting within the concept of this article. It's not entirely impossible that more titles will be added in the future though. What's also interesting about the 80's and 90's releases is how very little Type-A Classic Heavy Metal we find inbetween the 70's style latecomers, the melo/semi-commercialists and the odd thrashers.

   
   
   

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AFERA [Affair]- Bilo Bi Super [it would be great] / Ti Si Moja Dijeta [you are my diet]

Year: 1981 / Label: Yugoton / Cat#: SY-23774

It's neither the coolish logo nor the fast 'seventies rock' A-side that made me include this fence-sitter here but rather the fact that B-side "Ti Si Moja Dijeta" sounds pleasantly similar to early Motörhead (with a shade of Purple) which in turn makes is at least proto-Metal, right? Unfortunately they moved on in a more blues/boogie rock direction with the 2nd (and last?) 7".
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ATLANTIDA - "Sudbina"
Sudbina [fate] / Kraljica Suza [queen of tears] / Kao Zima [like winter] / Ti I Ja [you and I]

Year: 1991 / Label: Coffer Records / Cat#: EP 003

While I wouldn't rate ATLANTIDA a Heavy Metal band per se, their melodic brand of Hard Rock has enough of that melancholic touch I'm weak for and the occational heavy riffs and NWOBHM-style guitar harmonies makes them a whole lot more endurable than your average Eastern aor/quasi-HR. Fans of melo-nwobhm like early Shy, Shiva, Samson etc might wanna check it out, but I'm not sure that's a formal recommendation though.
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BIČ BOŽIJI - Bič Božiji [god's whip] / Usnuli Grad [sleeping city] / Predajem Ti Se [I surrender to you] / Marija

Year: 1991 / Label: Ćao Sound / Cat#: U 00465 E

Home-made/kitchen-sink ..."Metalrock"? I dunno, it's a very silly and primitive recording with digital drums, tuneless vocals and mom's garage/youth centre riffing and it's quite impossible to come up with any band comparisons 'coz frankly, "normal" bands usually don't sound like this once they've reached the recording stage. Presented in a white generic 7" sleeve with the logo printed on the front and a band photo stuck inside it's still a charming little thingy all things considered. Check out their retrospect MySpace page and judge for yourself, but just don't tell 'em who sent you..
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CRIST - "Powerdrive"
Delayed Answer / Visions & Nightmares / Silent Majority

Year: 1988 / Label: No Profit Tapes / Cat#: NPT RD 1

Whith the oldest punk scene of the old Eastern Bloc to back them up, the HC/Crossover scene of former Yugoslavia was in full bloom by the latter half of the 80's. I've come across plenty of recordings tagged as "Thrash Metal" amongst these, but few would qualify in my book. CRIST is a notable exception. There's guitar solos, neat breaks and mosh parts and stylewise I'd call them the Yugo answer to Nuclear Assault, i.e. more metallic than stuff like Broken Bones, Cro-Mags and such. With less grunting vocals, better production and a tighter rhythm section they'd be close to great.
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CRNA UDOVICA [Black Widow] -
Povedi Me [take me] / Pogodili Su Te [they shot you]
Year: 1987 / Label: RTB / Cat#: -

The sizzling guitars, pounding Hard Rock beat and solid, wailing vocals gets sort of stumped by the supersilly keyboard break in the first half of the song, but otherwise "Povedi Me" is a decent enough rocker. "Pogodili Su Te" has that early Twisted Sister feel-good vibe going for it, but there's better songs on the "Sudbina" LP from which both compositions are nicked if you ask me. A seldom seen promo that will probably never be worth the asking price to anyone.
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DIVLJE JAGODE [Wild Strawberries]- Nemam Ništa Protiv [I don't mind]/ Bit' Će Bolje! [it'll get better]
Year: 1979 / Label: Jugoton / Cat#: SY-23561

ExYugo's most famous HR/HM act had a number of 7"s on their conscience before the 1979 LP debut, but it's not until this 4th and last one that we hear them breathing down the neck of the NWOBHM (or is it perhaps the other way round?) "Nemam Ništa Protiv" is by any case a very early example of Steel forged in the mills of old Britannia and it wasn't until their 2nd LP from 1981 that they reached the same level of Saxon/TOPT-style, aspiring metaldom. No swords for the B-side - a butter knife will have to suffice. Go figure.
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DOLAR - Kraljica Divljine [queen of the wilderness] / Daj Mi [give me]
Year: 1987 / Label: RTB / Cat#: NS00038

A one-off 7" act (of which there seem to have been quite a few even on the larger old Yugo-labels) serving up nwobhm-laden melodic Hard Rock of the not-too-sugary kind. "Daj Mi" trods along a more metallic path similar to Vatreni Poljubac or Rok Masina but as a whole I'd file this one under HR. A nice enough curio though.
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DRUGI PROGRAM [Second Channel] - Sve Je Krenulo (Nekako Naopako) [it all turned (kind of topsy-turvy)] / Olovni Vojnik [tin soldier]
Year: 1990 / Label: Muzička Omladina Kikinda / Cat#: U 01183 S

Anonymously ugly always was the worst kind of ugly but shit packaging aside, this is a rather unique release in that it's the only true, traditional 80's Heavy Metal single from former Yugoslavia I've come across so far. It's also bloody great. Comparing them to BOMBARDIER would give you a completely wrong first impression, though the digital drums paired with the noisy guitars in the faster "Sve Je Kenulo" makes for a slightly weird, robotic production - the good kind of weird in this case (as opposed to Bombardier's, well, weird kind of weird...) since it's an excellent, rockin' semi-Power piece. "Olovni Vojnik" surprises with not being another bloody ballad but instead a pounding, J. Priest-flavoured hardrocker.
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EPIDEMIC ZONE - Touch Against Normality / Natural Mutations
Year: 1990 / Label: StarToday / Cat#: 002

It's not only the instrumental format that first had me thinking of Gore - they share the old Dutch weirdos' fondness of dischordant riffs and quirky time changes - but the glaringly obvious comparison would be Voivod. Heck, they're pretty much "Nothingface"-fandom first chord to the last and I'm not complaining. Can't help wondering what this could have been like with vocals though... The best Yugo-Metal 7" made perhaps? Unfortunately it's rumoured to exist in a puny edition of only 200 copies and thus dastardly difficult to hunt down.
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GORDI [Proud] - Duga Noć [long night] / Idi Sad [go now]
Year: 1978 / Label: RTB / Cat#: S 51 825

GORDI's fourth album, the superb "Pakleni Trio" from 1981 could be considered the 1st REAL Heavy Metal album from the Easern Bloc and with their equally magnificent swansong "Kraljica Smrti" from the year after they cemented themselves as one of the most groundbreaking bands of the area. It is with respect to this legacy that I'd like to at least mention this debut 7" here, even though they had no less than 3 off-topic 70's rock/semi-HR albums released inbetween. "Duga Noć" is one of their most original and intriguing tunes from their early days and could best be described as folk-psych/rock with a curious (middle)eastern vibe - rock you could belly dance to! ...if that's your fancy. Gotta love that 'Professor Balthazar'-tasting psychedelic artwork too.
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GRIVA [Mane] - Sitnije, Sestro, Sitnije [smaller, sister, smaller] / Tebi Je Važna Samo Lova [only cash is important to you]
Year: 1983 / Label: Jugoton / Cat#: USD 1078

Released as a magazine bonus, the popularity of this single resulted in the band's full-length debut shortly after, on which both songs appear in different versions. "Sitnije.." is the band's adaptation of an old folk song but it's pretty darn heavy and equally enjoyable - I'd imagine this one still goes down a storm at the local rock pubs to this day. The rugged vocals do their part in the magic and pushes it away from the corny "folk rock"-tag and into the more comfortable "beer-swingin' hard'n'heavy rock" territory. The flip represents the group's own material with a groovy, heavy rock standard.
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III KANAL [Third Channel]- Radar / Osamnaest [eighteen]
Year: 1980 / Label: Jugoton / Cat#: SY-23728

Absolutely not Metal or Hard Rock in any shape or form, I still felt this one could be worth a mention considering they had 2 rare and quite underrated HR/HM LPs out a few years later, both self-titled(!). My infatuation with the song "Osamnaest" also had a say in the matter - a stunning, melodic rock tune with somber keys that'll melt your heart, given that you've got one beating for quality rock songwriting in general. Unfortunately the A-side is easily ignored early 80's radio-poprock like The Knack or whatever..
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INVAZIJA - Živana Und Andere Love Songs
Živana / Prolaze Mi Dani [passing days] / Ti (Kad Sve Prođe) [you (when all comes to an end)/ Prava Ljubav [true love]

Year: 1990 / Label: Ćao Sound / Cat#: SY 022

No, the "...und andere love songs"-subtitle is not an outburst of sarcasm from an old anti-poser 80's Thrash band with their hearts in the right place, but unfortunately a very literal and fitting title for this disappointment. The title track is the saving grace of the release, a slightly below ho-hum-level melodic HM tune with some neo-classical guitar-bits, but I guess the only reason it would beg repeated listening is if you're about to review it. The remaining 3 songs are all pomp/aor/melo-HR/schmallad pulp. Pity the neatish sleeve.
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KUM [Godfather] - Oprosti Mi [I'm sorry] / Veruj Mi [believe me]
Year: 1990 / Label: Muzička Omladina Kikinda / Cat#: U 01182 S

Why do I even... OK, it begins with ripping off the opening riff from "Pretty Vacant" and then changes into some sort of melancholic melo-HR which main excuses for existing are some pretty decent melodies - i.e. not of the most insipid pop-rock ilk. Sucky B-ballad. Probably horrendously rare.
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LASER - Autostopist [hitchhiker] / Budi Moja [be mine]
Year: 1981 / Label: Jugoton / Cat#: USD 906

Another one-off curio, this time firmly rooted the early Yugo-Hardrock scene alongside bands like Pop/Rok Masina, Metro and early Divlje Jagode, i.e. a pure 70's HR affair. The humping, thumping A-side sound like something Gene Simmons would have scribbled together on a bad-hair day. Schmallad flip.

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LEGIJA -
Ti Si Mi Suđena [you are destined for me] / Pile Moje [my chick]
Year: 1987 / Label: RTB / Cat#: -

Their one and only s/t LP from which both songs are taken are one of the few rare records I don't regret getting rid of years ago. Why? Because stunning artwork aside it's one of the weakest Yugo-Heavy albums released. The lame boogie HR A-side and silly schmallad flip they've picked for this agreeably super-rare promo makes it an even less desireable item, so unless you're an absolutely bonkers mega-completist, stay away.
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OSMI PUTNIK [Eight Passanger] -
Jovana / Ulična Molitva [street prayer]
Year: 1986 / Label: Jugoton / Cat#: SY 2415

A 'hit-single' containing 2 cuts from their "Ulična Molitva" debut LP (their only decent one imho). "Jovana" starts off as your average crappy ballad but then elevates slightly into a slow but decent melodic HR tune with some downright superb eastern-scale harmonies thrown in the mix. While "Ulična Molitva" (the song) is stupid simple mid-pace HM it is also a stupid catchy one reminding me of my fellow Swedes Mindless Sinner for some unfathomable reason.
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POP MAŠINA - Moja Pesma [my song] / Uspomena [memory]
Year: 1977 / Label: PGP RTB / Cat#: S 51775

If a band changes their name from POP-Something to ROCK-Something you’d think the earlier incarnation would be of a significantly softer brand. This is not the case with POP/ROK MAŠINA who mixed up their classic- and prog rock with plenty of heavy numbers already on their early albums. This their farewell to a most unfitting monicker includes a pounding proto-Metal riff-monster that’s probably the heaviest moment in the band’s career thus far, and simply cannot go unnoticed on this page. Maybe it was a sense of balance that inspired them to put a fluff jazz-rock instrumental on the B-side, but we’ll forgive them since history show that they were walking away from this direction with resolve. Some earlier 7"s also include exclusive material but felt off-topic overall. Still, this is much more than a mere token inclusion.

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ROK MAŠINA -
Vatra [fire] / Bilo Mi Je Bolje [I fared better]
Year: 1980 / Label: RTB / Cat#: 1120573

Not quite as heavy as Gordi, ROK MAŠINA played closer to the Thin Lizzy-style of late 70's HR, at least with mellow A-side "Vatra". "Bilo Mi Je Bolje" lies closer to Metal we love - sort of like UFO meets Motörhead on horseback. Both tracks were taken from the band's self-titled debut LP.
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STIJENE [Rocks] - Sve Je Neobično Ako Te Volim [everything is strange if you're in love] / Tri Svijeta [three worlds]
Year: 1980 / Label: PGP RTB / Cat#: 1120581

It was the female vocals over those killer proto-Metal riffing in "Tri Svijeta" that won me over. Nothing else in particular from this band would raise the eyebrows of any Metalhead, but this is indeed a quite remarkable tune, despite the oh-ah-oh popsy chorus and other silliness. At best progsy proto-Steel with good enough to put on a secondary wantlist, def'. File the following full-lengths under prog/folk/pop rock.
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S-X - "Subotica"
Ne Ostavljaj Me [don't leave me] / Gubim Te [loosing you]

Year: 1989 / Label: RTB(?) / Cat#: NS00049

Hmmm... no, HM it is not, but the guitars on "Ne Ostavljaj Me" are a tad more raw than you'd usually hear accompanying a melodic hard rock standard of this ilk. They level up a bit on "Gubim Te" and I guess it's not too far off in style to earlier exYugo proto-HM like Pomaranča, Divlje Jagode, Rok Mašina etc... It seems to be the only release by the band and in all honesty a for-completists-only item. The name of the band is a confusing subject. Subotica is their home town, meaning the band name could probably be read S-X SUBOTICA as well. On the labels we find them referred to as Grupa „FX”, though I guess a misprint is more likely than a 'misdesign' of the band logo.
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VATRENI POLJUBAC [Kiss Of Fire] -Doktor Za Rock And Roll / Tvoje Usne Su Bile Moj Najdraži Dar [your lips were my favourite gift]
Year: 1978 / Label: Jugoton / Cat#: SY-23395

You and me both deserves a proper kick in the posterior for not discovering this raging trio until now/recently. Perhaps the only truly bad-ass hardrockers from the Olde Eastern Bloc, VATRENI POLJUBAC predated Gordi with a few ears, doing not exactly bona-fide HM, but proto-Metal in it's most true and compelling form. Already on this their vinyl debut they set the pace with headbanging AC/DC-meets-Motörhead-in-the-rehearsal-shack-of-The-Hand-Of-Doom no bs HARD Rock'n'Roll, and at least up until about 1980 they stayed true to the formula. Even better songs were written for the upcoming albums, but the relentless groove of the A-side makes this single a cool place start for the curious. Always be curious!
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VATRENI POLJUBAC - Navrat-Nanos I Na Svoju Ruku [helter-skelter and on my own] / Od Želje Da Te Ljubim (Hoću Prosto Da Poludim) [from the desire to love you (I want to go crazy)]
Year: 1979 / Label: Diskoton / Cat#: SZ 0434

Released between their 1st and 2nd album (I think), this sophomore single offers another 2 exclusive cuts by former Yugoslavia's finest. "Navrat Nanos.." is an unusually mellow number for these fellows, with a chorus sounding almost as 70's-glammy as the corny wrapper line-up shot. "Od Želje.." makes good with a pounding number sounding like a Sabbath '69-take on "In League With Satan", but only almost that good. Not their absolute finest moment but you'll want this baby too once you're hooked on The Mighty V.P!
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VISOKO MIŠLJENJE [High Opinion] - Mačka Iz Solitera [the cat from the skyscraper] / Sve Mi Kaže Biće Dosadan Dan [everything tells me this will be a boring day]
Year: 1980 / Label: PGP RTB / Cat#: 1120174

Great, sturdy & melodic Hard Rock in the Thin Lizzy/early NWOBHM-tradition opens up what seem to be the one single release of this band. A bit of a shame really, since an album’s worth of material this catchy would have been a treat, especially if they’d kept the smooth & mellow 'classic rock' of side B to a minimum.
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REJECTED:

There's loads of late 70's heavy rock singles from former Yugoslavia. A few releases bordered on Metal and are featured above, most didn't and are listed here:

BOB - Tajna Grupa / Poznajem Tu Djevojku '77
DEMONI FIRE - Šarena Mačka / Kad Priđem, Tad Se Osveti '79
DESSERT - Dessert / Lutka Od Gume '80
DRUGI NACIN - all 7"s
GRIVE - Roker/Krvnik '78
LEPTIR - Naopačke Blues / Džemper Blues '79
MAMA ROCK - all 7"s
NIRVANA - Duh / Kome Da Kažem '75
PARNI VALJAK - all 7"s
PROBLEMI SA MILJACKE - Svi Me Zovu Sarajlija / Napušta Me Moja Rajka '79
SAKSIJA - Rastanak / Želio Sam Malo Sreće '79
SOS - all 7"s
STAKLENO ZVONO - all 7"s
TAČ - Jagodinsko Momče/Zabranjeni Rok '77
TETRAPAK - Želela Bih Da Sam Vatra / Gde Je Sad Tvoj Topli Dom '79
TUNINA GLAVA - Bezživotno Življenje / Ovisnik Rocka '83
VATRA - Poljubićeš Me Zar Ne / Isčupaj Mi Srce '79
...Note that some of these are still great and worth checking out in their own rights!

Later rejects includes:
ANESTHESIA - Friend Of Mine/Behind The Mask '93 (modern/proto-numetal)
ATLANTIK - Jutarnji Ples +3 '89 (melodic hard rock/melodic rock)
HEADBANGER - Food For Guns '95 (punk/garage/'action' rock)
PRAGWALD - s/t '91 (quirky prog-crossover).


   
   
Bulgaria / Czechoslovakia / East Germany / Hungary / Poland / Romania / Soviet Union / Yugoslavia 

 

...and of course it wouldn't be a proper Corroseum-special without it coming with a sampler of some of the greatest moments of the covered field. Hence, I give you:


(click to download)


Finally I'd like to extend some gratitude to all the collectors, dealers, fans, friends and knowledgeable authorities in general who (knowingly or unknowingly) has supplied info for this page, with Xtra special mention to the Australian professor of Czech Steel, Andrew Buntine and Monster Nation label-boss Miloš Kratochvíl for sharing their expertise and recordings. The Czechoslovakian section wouldn't have looked as awesome as it does without you guys!

 

* = Obviously not complete, but it's my firm belief that the urge to Prove Someone Wrong On The Internet in an infinitely larger incentive than that of a mere plea for assistance. Proof of my fail go here and/or here.

Take me to the top!