"3:an" LP '84
and most interesting in a series of compilations sponsored by Sweden's
largest communal education organization, ABF.
There's 2 bona-fide Heavy Metal acts to be found here, the aptly christened
CHAINSAW being the most eye-catching of the 2, with a neat looking
b/w shot of the band clad in leather and studs on the insert. Both "Metal"
and "Heroes Call" are about as common and straightforward
as 80's HM can possibly get, but I guess lack of originality is preferred
before wimpness any day. The 2nd metallic defenders on this vinyl, TRACE,
is definitely the pic of the pair songwise. The epic "Rain"
borders on MANILLA ROADish greatness and "King's Coming" is
a fine piece of typical Scandinavian, technical and clever Metal. Look
out for a silver/black sleeve with a photo of a mixing desk on the front.
x 2" LP '81
enough this album was released on the very commercial Polar label, but
did include at least one quite good HM/HR act out of 6 pop/rock deadbeats.
The band was UMEÅ SMALL BAND (Umeå is a town in the
northern part of Sweden mostly famous for giving birth to Metal gods
GOTHAM CITY as
well as a quite prolific HC scene in the early 90's) and both of their
compositions display a rather heavy and crunchy form of early NWOBHM
style that should cater to fans of BITCHES SIN as well as JJ'S POWERHOUSE.
They also released two 7"s a few years later (the last one as 'SMALL
BAND'), but these releases are unfortunately cut in a more laid-back
HR/melodic rock fashion.
An early compilation released by the youth organization Aktiv Ungdom
and the 1st in a series that also came to include "3:an" and
"Quattro" (see separate entries). The only interesting band
out of the 4 included would be GAIN, who made 3 quite listenable
but far from essential late 70's/early 80's style HR cuts in the THIN
LIZZY-meets-TOPT vein. They later changed their name and morphed into
a commercial/hair HR outfit in the late 80's and released at least one
7", but thankfully I've forgotten their new moniker.
Major Statement" LP '88
A curious release, recorded live and mostly made up of awful indie/quasi-goth
garbage, but closes with quite a gem. VELVET CHAIN's slow, epic
doom composition "Winds Of Change" lasts for almost 7 minutes
and will put a smile, ahem, I mean mournful frown on many a SOLITUDE
AETERNUS fan. As of now I've got absolutely no other info on the band
but will do my best to find out more.
"Apromus Live" 7" EP '80
A private EP released by the music
organization/rock café Apromus with live recordings of 4 bands
ranging from aor, prog-, pub- and hard rock, representatives of the
latter being PIPELINE. Stylewise they had much in common with
the earliest of the British classics, i.e. a small but noticeable step
away from their 70's influences and into the gray area wedged somewhere
between TOPT and TRESPASS.
This is a slightly more familiar release, at least for manic Swe-metal
collectors, since Double-Up is know for having the majority of it's
26 featured acts somewhere within the hard rock or Heavy Metal realm.
Unfortunately, this still doesn't make "Double-Up" a must-have
item. As the year of release would suggest the majority of the bands
included play utterly dull and wimpy "hair"/commercial HR,
but there's at least 5 bands/songs that stick out a bit from the gayness:
ATTENTION - "Misery" sure grabs your attention - and
by sounding miserable no less. The guitars in the opening chord are
terribly out of tune and the drummer sound like he's not a day over
15, but apart from that the song develops into quite a nice, melancholic/melodic
Metal tune that sort of reminds me of WIZZARD's "Ninya Warrior"
(for those of you fanatic enough to know that ol' evergreen). BLACKBIRD
- "Rise" is excellent powerful, melodic and galloping Metal
in the early RISING FORCE/SILVER MOUNTAIN style that definitely deserved
a better destiny than being buried among the garbage that makes up 80%
of this double LP. BLIZZARD - "Fading Away" is an earlier
and heavier (no keyboards! :) version of the title track of their very
rare MLP and in the same style as BLACKBIRD, only slightly less polished.
Good one! FAIRY TALES - "Beyond The Death" is more
of a Euro-Metal affair in the vein of bands like TYRAN PACE or OSTROGOTH.
Quite annoying nasal vocals on the minus side, but still not a bad effort
for a rather untypical Swedish band. Finally there's METAL AXE
- "Breake Out"(sic) who should of course rawk! with
a name like that and indeed it starts off rather promising with a hefty
powerchord and all, but pretty soon we're let down by limp and lifeless
drumplaying and awful vocals. Not much of a song in there either, but
at least they weren't jumping on the Eüröpë-bandwagon
like the majority of their dickless contenders.
Apparently this was some sort of documentation of a band competition
("Rock-SM") organized by ABF. Possibly with the band BLIZZARD
coming out as winners since their aforementioned MLP from the same year
was sponsored by the same organization. It should also be mentioned
that the track list both on the sleeve and labels are totally mixed
up and you're in for quite a guessing game trying to sort it all out.
Utan Droger" LP '80
Another oldie with at least one band worth mentioning. ARLEEP
does quality, melodic HR of the good old kind so dreadfully forgotten
nowadays:,( "City By Night" is a galloping, moody rocker with
a cool, melancholic chorus, sounding like something out of KISS's "Dynasty"
or "Unmasked" albums, minus the keys. "Golden Town"
is you average HR ballad and only mentioned here for completist sake.
The title of the album translates to something like "Groove without
drugs" and some of the other bands included prove that's pretty
much a contradiction in terms. That would not include WARPIGS though,
who churns out a rather cute punk-meets-blues-meets-Motörhead style
ruckus, but not nearly as close to Metal as to make this album any less
Utan Droger II" LP '81
the first volume got a 2-out-of-5 on the necessity-scale, this 2nd volume
will be honored with a full 5/5 rating. Not because it's major contributor,
THE DUKE, produced 2 unforgettable Metal anthems of humungus
excellence or originality, but because they most likely were the first
pure NWOBHM-style, raw & hard Metal with absolutely zero
70's influence to be released on vinyl in Sweden. Recorded already in
February of '81, both "Fighter" and "Street Survivor"
sound as they were taken straight off IRON MAIDEN's "Soundhouse
Tapes" session and they're a bloody great set of 2min+ tunes to
boot. Fans of BLITZKRIEG, JAGUAR and MOTÖRHEAD are gonna love these
guys! In the light of THE DUKE's excellence, CHEERNES barely
deserves a mention for their middle-of-the-road, uppity heavy rock.
On a totally off-topic and purely anecdotal note I'll just mention that
this record also includes the strangest and most twisted version of
The Stones' "Satisfaction" ever recorded (and yes, I'm well
aware of the sick versions recorded by both Devo and The Residents...)
Band" LP '87
A local compilation from my old hometown of Västerås - Hooray!
Or? Well, there's only one band of interest here, but UNCHAINED's
"Victims Of Paradise" is an awesome, epic piece of hammond-driven
Heavy/Power Metal that should make this not too rare compilation a must-buy
for anyone who comes across a copy. They (UNCHAINED) also had a very
rare 7" on
their conscience well worth looking for, even if "Victims.." have to be considered their Biggest Hit.
Spelar Och Sjunger" LP '88
Holy cow-fuck. Here's the the ULTIMATE proof that Heavy Metal can live
and thrive in the most unhabitable environments. This local compilation
from the Färgelanda-commune consists solely of vocal groups, folk
music, 'talented' youngsters on violins etc. The kind of album any self-respecting,
smalltown culture counsil seemingly wants to boast with when claiming
they've "really done something for the music scene of this town
you know...". Not one iota of "populärmusik" in sight
...except for junior-highsters WILDNESS and their pretty darn
tasty, ACCEPT-like Metaller "Quasimodo" (!). It's catchy and
melodic stuff, rather amateurish, but well worth checking out. It may
be hard to believe, but this young band actually had their own private 7" out as
early as '87 and despite the rough edges it's a surprisingly good piece
of 'Brat-Metal', way better than other juvenile recording artists from
the time and area (RAZORBLADE, T.N.T., SUPERSTITION etc..)
(Musik från Järfälla 1983)" LP '83
This appears to
be the first in a mini-series of records documenting the small but youthful
music scene in the Järfälla-area outside of Stockholm. This
debut volume should mostly be treasured for it's contribution by classic
Heavy Metal warriors HYDRA
and their quaint but charming "Cross Of Iron". Despite being
a rather stale and straightforward piece, it's surprisingly likable
and catchy. MERLIN will have to live without any special credit since
their pedestrian hardrocker "Heta Blickar" is incredibly boring.
'84" LP '84
Following last year's success, the Järfälla community spewed
forth at least one other volume of local pop'n'rock celebs (there could
be a Förortsrock '85 and further on, but I've never found any).
There's 2 bands on this album worth a few words. DARK ICE's "Förödande
Tidevarv" ("Disastrous Times") is an instantly catchy
and powerful piece of original & epic Hard Rock which really justifies
some thorough research. STORMWARNING is a completely different
story musicwise. Their "Barn Av Gatan" ("Street child")
is a raw, pounding 3-riff-wonder with some really fuzzed out guitars
- simple but cool. Oh, and they were the embryo of what was to become
COUNT RAVEN a few years later if anyone gives a hoot.
Fabulous Freaks" LP '87
Serious must-buy alert here, folks! The hopelessly named VIRGIN
may be the only band out of the 4 featured worth a listen, but man do
they kick ass! Opener "Woman in Black" is TOTAL face-pounding
METAL of the highest order, and the following "Battle Of Pride"
is just as awesome as the title would suggest - pure Power Metal, fast,
tight & furious! These 2 masterpieces will totally make you forget
their 3rd and last offering, the awful, glam-fucked "Hotel Rendezvous"
so update those want lists pronto.
This album came out in a number of different vinyl colors and I don't
really know which one is the rarest or most common, but even though
it's quite rare it won't cost you one 10th the price of the rarest Swedish
7"s and the music will most likely be just as great. Or better.
& Boys - Helge's '87" LP '87
Oh my... I - really - don't know quite how to start describing
this record. Let's just set the mood for you by explaining that "Girls
& Boys" is thee strangest album ever released in Sweden.
On the surface it looks just like any other local compilation, perhaps
with the exception of the hilarious, extra corny cover art, but when
impaling side A of this peculiar platter on your turntable you are in
for quite a ride. You see, the good people at Helge's youth café
in the town of Gävle though it would be a great idea to let the
younger kids (probably about 9-13) fill up the 1st side of the album
with their musical projects. To spice things up a bit, why not let them
run rampant with preteen creativity and give them no directions whatsoever
of how to compose and produce a rock song? The result became one of
the most special albums I've ever had the fortune to come across, and
as much as I'd like to dissect the insane lolita-pop of PINK BABYCATS,
the minimalist melancholic disco of MINIMAX, the haunting, all-girl
'unintentional Goth-rock' of HERINS etc, I will try and stick to the
more HR/HM oriented acts in order to keep the Metal-puritans reading.
However, distinctions can be hard when we're talking about music this
kinda hard to tell if the kids in ZERO ZONE (no relation to Zone
Zero whatsoever) had Metal in their mind when writing their 50 second,
lead-heavy, instrumental fuzz-monster "Good", even if the
riffing sure invites to some serious headbanging. Or if the fucking
intense rocker "Let's Go" by MIX MUSIC is an attempt
to kick the shit out of the 10 years older garage rock mob or hard rock
community. And I can't really say if ATOMIC really meant
to go so all-out Doom-Dark-Epic Metal on their "Windrider"
or if they just wanted to make a basic, slow rocker under all those
wind-effects and reverbs. I guess OUR METAL had HM on their mind
when recording their 1:40 instrumental "Let's Kill", but the
riffing is so generic it could be classified as just about anything.
Not bad for what looks like three 9-year-olds, though. The ultimate
cult-piece on this LP is however the incredible "The Cop"
by the young 'geniuses' in SECRET
METAL. This stumbling piece of anti-authoritarian Metal weirdness
defies all description and alone makes the whole album into a curiosity.
also a side B on this album, mind you. This side seem to be dedicated
to the older high-school kids, but unfortunately all of these bands
fall into the abyss of below-average normality. The heavier acts are
as follows: WILDERNESS = instrumental guitar jack-off stuff for
muso bastards, RED'N'BLACK VIPER = substandard attempt at Hard
Rock/NWOBHM-styled 'hit'-making, MANITOU = totally forgettable
instrumental Metal, and finally OZARK = so bloody awful HR/HM
it'll crack you up. OK, it's funny stuff, but unlike the A-side acts
these babies are no longer cute, if you know what I mean.
used to own a copy of this compilation many years ago but was foolish
enough to trade it away before taping the 2 metallic acts featured
and it's only until recently that I've been able to get my hands on
another copy. The real treat here is 2 rare, later pieces by the
mysterious HELS, who released the doomy "Birth/Death"
7" two years earlier. Neither "Chaos On Earth" nor
"Living Dead" are anywhere near the Doom on their 7",
but we're still talking Heavy, classic Swedish Metal not to be missed
by fans of HEAVY LOAD, TORCH, MINDLESS SINNER etc. The other interesting
band is STEEL ARROWS, who I'm pretty sure had nothing to do with
the other Swedish band with the same name who recorded the "Loud
Guitars" 7" a few years earlier. "Love Is A Game"
is excellent Melodic Metal with a great chorus which makes you hunger
for more, so why the fuck did they want to waste their precious time
and place in the limelight with a useless ballad like "Man Of Loose"?
Great career move, assholes.
vol. 2" LP '83
IRONSIDE's mighty Metal masterpiece "The Ironsides"
is simply one of the finest Swedish Metal songs ever. The raw perfection
of early MAIDEN mixed with the power of MOTÖRHEAD and ACCEPT combined
will produce greatness however you mix the ingredients. "Fight...
Kill... Lord of destruction, Rape and steal... at the sound of HEAVY
METAL!" - even their lyrics were super! Please someone track
'em down and offer them a record deal today.
Their sole metallic brothers in arms on this LP, BMT, can hardly
match them with their amateurish rocker "Who Killed This World".
Still, "Kristianstadsrock vol. 2" is an essential album thanx
to those first mentioned. I should mention that "Kristianstadsrock
vol. 1" from the year before doesn't offer much of interest for
us Metal fans. There's a few boogie-oriented HR bands on it, but nothing
that will entice the neck muscles of even the least demanding metalhead.
'82" LP '82
An album that surely would have gotten lost in hopeless obscurity if
it weren't for the fact that it includes the best AXEWITCH track
ever recorded. "Nightmare" is an awesome, pounding Metal monster
with an impressive guitar sound and excellent, super-heavy leads. Although
this track never turned up on any of their official releases, a different
demo version of it is available on the CD reissue of "Pray For
Metal". This more intense version is however still not re-released
in any form, so update that want list pronto!
And Friendship" LP '90
Yuck! What an awfully sappy release this is. Some overpretentious youth
café supervisor (of sorts) had an idea about releasing a record
with a message of love, peace & pink fluffy bunnywabbits and scraped
together some local youngsters seemingly ranging from ages 10-17 to
realize his vision. The band MORPHEUS sound more than a little
out of place with their peculiar mix of SKID ROW-styled HR and MEGADETHish
semi-Thrash (no relation to the Stockholm Death Metal outfit from the
early 90's with the same name). Far from essential.
För Miljön" LP '90
An environmental awareness-thingie by the looks of it, sponsored by
the communal education organization Studiefrämjandet, who seem
to have played a part in plenty of these kind of records. 12
bands from the Linköping-area and one of the bands you might or
might not want to know about are thrashers TOTAL DEATH, doing
a pretty average KREATOR-style composition called "Has Time Come...".
I think they were something of an embryo to what was to become death
metallers SEANCE a few years later. For the more conservative Metal
fan there's the excellent DESIRE to check out. Their "Acid
Rain" is a typical example of 1st rate Melodic Scandinavian Metal
not to be missed.
"Musikfest Väsby-78" LP '79
With 50% choir music, 25% jazz- or folk ensembles and 25%
"contemporary" acts you'd think this would be another waste
of taxpayer's money but no, "Musikfest.." does validate its
existence with one of the earliest examples of the metallic 'New Wave'
put to vinyl: "In My Head" by the awkwardly christened WC.
If the album title rings a bell it could be that you've spotted it on
the want lists of many Europe/Swe-melodic-met'l/aor collectors, the reason
being that WC was the first band of "Swedish hard rock legend"
John Norum. This song is of course light-years away from the slickness
of his future projects and all the better for it. It's raw, noisy, brutal
and unpolished, just what you'd expect from a '78 live recording of
a junior-high band. Hardly a genius piece of music by any stretch of
the imagination, but so much more aggressive and fresh than anything
their older siblings may have meddled with, proving that times were
"Musik I Skellefteå 2" LP '82
Shoulder to shoulder with various jazz-quartettes and christian vocal
groups, the northern town of Skellefteå's pride & joy, DREAM,
offers one (1) outstanding early melodic HR song on this very rare local
comp: "Mitt Djup Blir Ditt Djup". This is indeed the same
DREAM who released the excellent but incredibly scarce "Lovely
Rain/Catch The Lifeline" 7" in '79, but this mighty composition
actually overshadows the 2 gems of their earlier release with it's goosebumps-inducing
pomp-HR in the fine style of early SARACEN or mid-period RAINBOW. Another
beautiful piece of music far too many of you will never get to hear.
"Projekt 12" LP '87
Yes, the Linköping rockers liked their compilations, no doubt about
that. Neither the first, last, worst or best of them, "Project
12" is a slippery-slope of an album, ranging from easy-to-ignore
melodic rock/pop via simply appalling aor to one or two half-decent
melodic Metal acts. I guess CARRYON would be it's strongest inclusion
- their track "Searching" shows plenty of potential but Mikael's
nasal whines sort of takes the edge off of it. I guess you could call
FORTRESS 'Perfect Melodic Metal' if you were a total melodic
Metal-fan with little demand for originality, but as for me I'll just
nod my head a little and shrug my shoulders. There's more of that hard
rockin' music for the 'open-minded' rocker: sleazoids WET and FLASHBACK,
melodic hr/aor like SECOND SIGHT, RUBICON (no relation to the great
demo-only band RUBYCON) etc. So now you know.
This is the 4th volume in the same ABF/Aktiv Ungdom-sponsored series
as "3:an" and "Alsterett" (see above). It comes
with 1 Metal band/song only and it may not be the most original piece
of music of the year in question, but WHIRGIN's "Run Run
Run" is heavy as lead and very much in the typical Swedish Metal
mold of early AXEWITCH, TORCH etc. It's worth wondering if this might
be an earlier incarnation of VIRGIN from the "Four Fabulous Freaks"
compilation mentioned here above, but I don't have enough info to confirm
nor rule out the possibility.
Skiva" LP '82
Scanda-Metal-collectors may be familiar with the band NAGAZAKI
and their "You
Can Be" 7" from 86, a rather mellow but catchy, melodic
Metal affair of mid-league quality. Predating the single by 4 years
is the song "Unknown Destination" from this local Piteå
compilation, compiled and released by the music organization Ripp-Rock.
To no-ones surprise this song is more classic straightforward nwobhm
in style, which is of course very nice, but despite the more raw sound
this song isn't quite as interesting as the 7" stuff. For Piteå-Metal
completists only I guess.
"Rock I Umeå" 7" EP '83
Old Umeå act MOGG have
more than their wimpy 1987 7" (featuring 2 ex-GOTHAM CITY members)
on the conscience. Once they were a pretty darn decent Heavy/HR band
and they have the demos to prove it. And the song "Loose You"
on this rare compilation EP. Sure it's not quite the ass-kickin' Metal
that their local competitors GOTHAM CITY was churning out at the time,
but what is really?
Rock Rock" LP '84
No less than 3 obscure and otherwise unheard of Metal bands are included
in this low budget compilation from the western suburbs of Stockholm.
BONAROO (huh?) does the best and catchiest piece called "Get
Out Of My Way", which balances perfectly both the classic HM twin
leads as well as the singalong hard rock choruses. CORDIAL ATTACK's
"I'm In Your Mind" is more representative of the kind of blockheaded,
übersimple, chugging HM/HR so often found on German labels like
Hot Blood, Wishbone, Bonebreaker etc. Next. EXOCET's "Will
To Survive" start off with a simply awesome lead and everything
is sounding dandy until the retarded vocalists opens his cockhole and
starts yelping like the Top-10 Worst Metal Vocals Ever contender he
is. Nightmarish! Such a shame on what could have been a really cool
This triple(!)-album documented the bands involved in the rock-organization
Rockslaget, situated in the Blekinge-area in the early 80's. It
includes 4 bands in the heavier territory with 2 exclusive recordings
each: Familiars OVERDRIVE and MERCY as well as the more
obscure INTERACTION and OCEAN. The
OVERDRIVE session is available on the CD-reissue of their debut MLP
"Reflexions", but the MERCY cuts are totally exclusive to
this day (i.e. not available on the TPL-reissues) and most likely
represents the first ever studio recording by the band. What we get
is an early recording of the NWOBHM-oozing "State Of Shock",
later to be re-recorded for their "Swedish Metal" debut MLP,
and the slower and heavier "Love Me Tonight", never to be
recorded again. Not exactly mindblowing material, but worth noting for
the occational MERCY-fan out there. INTERACTION gets a gold star for
'best song of the album' with their "Stuck In Drugs". This
heavy riff-monster actually reminds me of WITCHFINDER GENERAL at times!
Unfortunately the band's 7" and MLP from the late 80's is supposed
to be commercial Hard Rock:( Finally there's OCEAN, who makes pretty
average HR with a tad too much r'n'r for these ears. They're actually
quite catchy after a few listenings, but some heavier material would
make them much more interesting. They did a handful of singles and an
LP between the years '78-81 and shared members with all 3 of the other
bands during the years to come.
hefty release is also considered a collector's item by early punk collectors,
since there's about 6-7 punk acts featured as well as the old FWOSHM
stuff. Unsurprisingly, this makes "Rockslaget" one of the
most difficult to find compilations ever released in Sweden. There's
a couple of other "Rockslaget"-compilations from the 90's
that looked less interesting, but at the moment I doubt the existence
of more volumes from the 80's. I've heard "Rockslaget 1990"
and there's one or 2 sleaze-rock acts in there, but nothing of a heavier
nature to enjoy.
"Scendrag 85 - DM-Rock i Halland"
4 songs, 4 bands, 12 inches on 45 rpm, local bandstand, looks totally
d.i.y. Ofcourse you get curious. I guess 1985 was the last year in rock-history
when you could get away with the melodic hard rock-thing without compromising
heaviness and integrity. DEAD LINE are OK at what they do and
so are ROCK'S (wtf?!?!), only slightly less so. SABOTAGE
sound like they could be a HR band at heart, but their semi-ballad offering
does little to prove it. I'm just mentioning them to let you know that
this band were in no way connected to the Doom-SABOTAGE who released
an excellent private CDS in the early 90's. It's ironic how the last
band, silly popsters MATILDA MUS had the only track on the EP which
stuck in my head after first listening. Someone send me their MLP.
Rock I" LP '82
The 3 volumes of "Skånsk Rock" (Skåne is the southernmost
territory of Sweden) were all recorded in the spring of '82 and released
pretty much simultaneously. The 1st volume is the most well known and
coveted since it includes an exclusive and pretty darn excellent SILVER
MOUNTAIN cut, "She Needs". You
can find this song on the Japanese demo 2CD "Anthology II"
that came out in the mid 90's too, but they're almost as rare as this
compilation nowadays. 2 more regular hard rock bands are also featured:
BLACKROSE and AXID, but there's not much to get excited
about here. AXID is indeed the same band featured on Pang Records' Heavy
Metal compilation from the same year and their "Stadens Lag"
is OK I guess - a pretty decent melodic nwobhm-style effort - but hardly
on par with their killer "Reptile Rulers" from "Heavy
Rock III" LP '82
While "Skånsk Rock II" had zilch to offer us metalheads,
the 3rd and last volume comes with a great, rare SYRON VANES
track called "Violation", which to these ears overshadow most
of their stuff on both vinyl and demo. Killer RAVEN/J PRIESTlike old-school
Metal! HELLMARK also churns out some pretty nice & brutal
MOTÖRHEAD-style HR/HM on "Get Up And Get Wild", i.e.
a quite different sound than on their private A.O.R./commercial HR 7"
from the later 80's.
"Stjärnor I Öster" LP '92
Hm... OK, I'll include this one, but
just as a warning, m'kay? GENITAL GRINDER is NOT a lost masterpiece
from the 2nd Wave Of Swedish Death Metal but the complete opposite.
Fuck! Once I owned just about every demo tape released from this scene
and none of them were as lame as these 4th-rate Carcass-clones.
Wading through the rest of the crap on this album we come across PARADISE
(the 5th from Sweden?) who sound eerily out of time and place, like
an early 80's pre-Swedish-Commercial-HR-boom melodic Metal band, probably
formed by junior-highsters who's been living in cultural seclusion for
10 years. I bet they're into that new, exciting Seattle-sound today.
Whale Records was another budget label similar to Pang,
but who seemed to concentrate solely on compilations (at least I've
never yet seen or heard of any other form of Whale-release). I've gotten
the impression that they released an album or 2 each year since the
late 70's up until at least the year of this release, and that they
weren't as fond of HM/HR as their competitors at Pang. Out of the half
a dozen or so of their albums I've given a spin there's only 2 that
included anything metal-like, and CROSSFIRE from this one is
definitely the best Whale-offering I've heard so far. Their "Evil
Eyes" is yet another excellent exhibition of Swedish Melodic Metal
craftsmanship, pretty much like the 7th Son-era MAIDEN-stuff.
One of the earliest Whale Records budget compilations includes the oddly
named THE MOOSE. Their one song with the same name is an OK heavy
hardrocker with a 70's touch. I've seen this band appearing on 2 other
compilations from a few years later, but then in a more boogie-rock
fashion and therefore not worth mentioning in this article.
Från Malmö" LP '80
The only track on this local compilation of bands from the southern
city of Malmö worth a listen is "Malmö City" by
the band ZANE. It's basically a pure 70's Heavy cut, but it has
a nice, raw groove to it and deserves a mention purely on the merits of their MONSTROUSLY heavy 7" released in '76. This song is however pretty far from the HAWKWIND-meets-SABBATH bulldozer sound of their early days.
Wräks Poporkester/Östgötarock" LP '82
Exactly like on "Linköpingsrock" (see above), this otherwise
totally redundant album includes a very rare version of an old AXEWITCH
demo-song, their theme-song "Axewitch" in this case. Just
as on "Nightmare" from "Linköpingsrock" and
their "Pray For Metal" debut EP we're dealing with very heavy
& remorseless Metal of the hardest kind.
I just love the poetic justice in the fact that the so-called 'talented'
generic rock act Weine Wräks.. who make up the whole A-side of
this queer split/comp-LP affair (after winning some corny talent show?)
are about as forgotten as the plastic bicycle today, while devoted Metal
fans and/or collectors on the other side of the globe would sell their
souls for this album just for the sake of AXEWITCH's sole metal-offering,
most likely scorned back in the days for being a bunch of noisy misfits
There's also a cut with the band DIZZINES on here who released a very
rare melodic HR 12" a few years later, but this is a ballad and
ballads doesn't count as songs, so never mind that.
001-005 - Full-length releases of various schlager/hillbilly-pop artists)
006 - "Skval" LP '81)
first compilation. A slightly more professional release than the later
comps, but absolutely no HM/HR stuff featured. Mostly pop/rock/new wave.
007 - P F COMMANDO LP '81 - New wave. Never released.)
008 - More hillbylly/schlager crap from Kårsdraget)
009 - "Motala Vindar" LP '82
This early compilation is a bit unusual
in that it's a co-op with a local music organization (Rivoli) from the
Motala area. With a rather small community to chose from, this leads
to the overall musical quality being unusually low even for a Pang-comp.
Opening Metal crew HINDORF actually stand out as the most competent
act on the album. Both their compositions suffer from the not-too-great
vocals of Tommy Adolfsson, but the excellent guitar work more than makes
up for it. We're talking heavy, groovy stuff in the style of AXE WITCH
or GLORY BELLS with some underlying 70's vibes. 2 quite good songs
with riffing that grows with each listen. There's a handful of other
guitar oriented bands on here as well, which at best could be described
as "amateurish melodic (hard?) rock" but nothing worth mentioning
010 - "Made In GBG" LP '82)
Nothing for the Hard Rockin' Metalhead to rejoice over here I'm afraid.
There's one or 2 AORish acts, STEAMROLLER BAND's boogie/punk-rock miscarriage
and 2 songs by QUINZY whose 7"
from 2 years earlier was pretty good 70's style heavy, but here proved
to be a popified and keyboardized disappointment. Avoid.
011 - Even more schlager/country crap)
012 - "Högtryck" LP '82
Definitely not the most happening compilation from the Pang-vaults,
at least for us me'lheds, but SUB LUNA's "Heavy Fog"
is an OK, moody hardrocker with an ample chorus. Their other cut "Knocking
At Your Door" is far too much pub rock for the average True Metal
elitist though. For collectors only.
013 - "Rock Cocktail" LP '82
This one holds some really great hard rockin' stuff within it's folds.
Let's leave the best for last and instead start off with ROCKSLAG.
"Speeding High" is a fine, fast 70's hardrocker á la
PURPLE's "Highway Star" ...and their second song ("Förbud")
is of course, now according to pattern, a letdown into the Generic Rock
sewer. "The Song Of The Wounded Soldier" with the cleverly
baptized PARANOID is a metal ballad which like most ballads don't
give you much of an idea of the band's sound. "Up The Swords"
on the other hand starts out pretty fucking phenomenal with an intro
of a grim voice spewing forth some rad satanic mumbo jumbo. Unfortunately
the weak vocals and sloppy drumming later ruins what could have been
a fucking excellent Epic Metal battle hymn. Not a total disaster though.
"The Shit" (as opposed to the "shit") on
this album is however the magnificent SNÖFALL! Save the
legendary NOVEMBER this could be the best 70's (well, stylewise..) Heavy
Metal ever recorded in Sweden! Both "Farlig Vänskap"
and "Frusna Tår" and fucking devastatingly heavy-as-mastodont-poo-poo
stuff in the style of BANG, Australians BUFFALO or speeded-up SABBATH.
Top-class songs and musicianship that deserved a so much better destiny
than falling into the Pang Records' well of obscurity:(
014 - "Rock Beast" LP '82
one includes no less than 4 bands worthy of mentioning in the same breath
as metal - half of the LP! Still this doesn't make it one of the all-time
Pang must-haves since the bands are more than a little uneven. The one
potential Metal Monster here is TRANSYLVANIA who makes what can
only be described as a total early MAIDEN-rip-off; galloping drums and
excellent, brutal twin leads all the way through both "Straight
Shooter" and "Axman"(sic) - which usually means two thumbs
up from this reviewer and I guess, most of you reading this - but once
again the overall experience is ruined by awful vocals. Terrible, terrible
nasal whines which only makes you wanna smack the guy in the face rather
than bang your head. OVERKILL (the 5th?) on the other hand have
slightly better vocals and makes pretty classy, hard & heavy Metal
of the British tradition. EXIT has a great, upbeat nwobhm-rocker
á la TRESPASS/PERSIAN RISK with their "Lost Woman".
Unfortunately their second offering "Låt Mig Gå"
is an exceptionally silly piece of redundant boogie-rock. What a fucking
waste. SECOND HAND produces more of that silly, happy-go-lucky,
semi-HR/bar/pop-band shite on "Jag Vill Ha", but gets considerable
heavier on "Tunga Droppar" with one or two really great riffs.
In conclusion, "Rockbeast" is neither the best nor the worst
compilation in the Pang-flora, but definitely worth picking up for the
collector of obscure early 80's Metal.
015 - "GöteborgsrockYtterrock" LP '82)
It includes a couple of bands that the greediest of the greedy eBay
pushers might try to sell you as "killer melodic metal!" but
seriously folks, they're all lame, mellow, semi-hard rock/pop throwaways.
016 - "Pangkaka" LP '82)
A 100% Metal-free compilation, although the inclusion of trad punksters
TERROR POP tend to entice the punk collectors. Nothing to see here folks,
now move along...
017 - "Heavy Metal" LP '82
...is the only Pang-compilation with solely Hard Rock and Metal bands.
You can read a more thorough review
of this LP in the regular
018 - "Rock'n'Rock" LP '82
Ohmygod this might very well be the WORST album title in the recorded
history of rock! I humbly apologize for my fellow countrymen's abysmal
lack of fantasy and good taste. And that goes for GLORY's (no
relation to the Swedish A.O.R. band) terrible boogie-rock cut "Våran
Grej" too. The lyrics are so feeble they sound like something your
old kindergarten teacher would have come up with (that inane "we
just wanna play some old time r'n'r and isn't that so very cute of us?"-crap).
To confuse matters their other cut "Hjälp Mej" isn't
a half-bad powerful hardrocker. It's nifty vocal harmonies are about
all this album has to offer us I'm afraid.
019 - "Från Pop Till Ny Våg" LP '83
The title translates "From Pop to New Wave" which doesn't
sound very promising. And sure, this album only includes one real Metal
band, but SFB's very JUDAS PRIEST-influenced Metal is
slightly above the Pang-compilation average. Both "Taste Of Hell"
and "Beyond The Barrier" sound very much like something out
of "Sin After Sin" or "Stained Class" and vocalist
Anders Pettersson sound dead-on like a young Rob Halford stuck in a
particularly high vocal loop. A bit too high for sensible ears perhaps,
but as a whole it's rather neat stuff.
020 - "Rock On, Roll On" LP '83
There's definitely a few nice moments on this 20th Pang album release
to make it worth looking for. My favorite would be SUCCESS' moody
& heavy "Suicide". Great, crunchy, spicy metalfuel for
your everyday HM-breakfast. Their other song "You Got Me"
ain't that bad a slice of NWOBHM/HR either. TZ might not have
been the smartest songwriters/musicians of 1983, but they carry this
special, amateurish X-factor with them that makes both their compositions
stand out just a little from the main part of the HR garage-acts of
the day. Pure juvenile Metal charm. LAZY wraps up this compilation
with some aggressive, very groovy 70's Metal which reminds me of the
excellent American, singles-only band JAGGED EDGE.
021 - Hillbilly garbage)
022 - "Kommerciell Kultur" LP '83
At first this seemed like a totally uninteresting release, but after
giving it a 2nd, more thorough listen the vocals of KAMAX seemed
very familiar. It turns out that this band is in fact pre-MANINNYA BLADE!
Or at least some project of main MB-founders Leif Eriksson and Jan Blomquist,
wedged between their early FAIR WARNING-incarnation and the later Swedish
Thrash-instigators. In other words this should rock us to hell and back
and then some, but... no, not quite. "Skapa En Dröm"
is an OK semi-ballad with some heavy guitar work, while "Älska
Hårt" is quite redundant, primitive HR. At least this makes
their godly "The Barbarian" 7" from one year later an
even more impressive achievement. 2 more bands worth mentioning: BLOW
OUT = more redundant HR, and ROCKY MOUNTAINS = 1 decent NWOBHM-style
rocker + 1 lame semi-ballad/a.o.r.-style cut.
023 - Some lame 60's cover band)
024 - "Helgdagsrock Åt Far" LP '83
of the few really essential Pang comps, mainly thanx to the inclusion
of one of Sweden's finest demo-only acts WITCH, hailing from
the town of Umeå. The great "Evil Night" and downright
brilliant "White Death" is dark, heavy & slightly original
Heavy Metal of the highest order, which at their best invokes images
of MERCYFUL FATE and ANGEL WITCH in your mind. Note that these 2 songs
are not included on any of their 3 demos. Even more curious are the
weird THE COSMOS BAND, who has taken such a rare direction as
instrumental prog-metal. Despite the warning signs that this moniker
might produce, they're actually quite heavy, mostly thanx to the absence
of keyboards. "Chipp" include some really outstanding, heavy
& epic CIRITH UNGOL-style riffing, while "Ezalta Zione"
occasionally gets too quirky for it's own good. Less interesting but
worth a mention are WOLF's early-NWOBHM-styled "Het Kärlek"
(but not so much their plainer rocker "Jag Vill Ha Dig") and
TNT's ultra-primitive-bordering-on-humorous hardrockers "Hard
Time" and "Dirty Lady". We're talking an average band
member age of 15 years tops here. This is by the way not the same TNT
as the Umeå-act who made an almost as primitive 7" EP one
year earlier. Closing act RICHIE'S RAINBOOTS will have to live without
an honorable mention for being so chickenshit as to only offer us 2
tired Deep Purple-covers. Lazy bastards>:(
025 - "On The Rocks" LP '83
Man are these Pang-titles sings of pure genius or wot...(sigh). DARKNESS
are my favorite rockers on PLP 025. Both their songs portray a very
melancholic but raw, melodic form of Metal, very 'Scandinavian' if you
know what I mean. On the other hand, if it weren't for their wimpy instrumental
theme-song, HOLY ANGEL would have been Thee Band rocking
'On The Rocks'. Their "Longing For Your Love" comes with one
of those perfect, heavy & catchy Hard Rock riffs and it's just another
bloody awesome song not to be missed. Finally, if you ignore the rather
lame vocal attempts and gayish keyboards, THE LIZZARD aren't
half-bad at their riff-oriented Hard Rock, with special headnoddings
to the darker "Falling World".
026 - "Pang I Bygget" LP '83
Another rare must-buy Pang-item here, and this time it's pretty much
only because of one song, but what a song! I.Q. ZERO's seminal
"Murderer" could be the definition of pure genius, D.I.Y./Basement
Metal charm! The galloping leads beneath an almost timid production
and that fantastic, goosebumps-inducing chorus will melt the hardest
Metal heart in no time. Their 2nd effort "Evil" ain't exactly
dogpoo either. THE LEGACY on the other hand turned out to be
quite a disappointment. With a song title like "At The Threshold
Of Hell" I guess I expected more than very tedious, straight-ahead,
THE RODS-meet-AC/DC style Hard Rock. I actually enjoyed their bluesier/groovier
cut "D.O.M."(Drink's On Me) the most.
027-029 - Crap, crap & more crap)
030 - "Mixed Music For Lonely Nights..." LP '83
The last Pang compilation and home to at least 2 HM/HR bands worth noticing.
TRAZADOR start out very promising with some noisy, droneish,
HAWKWIND-like riffing in the beginning of "Lost Woman" but
of course spoils the mood entirely when they push their piss-poor vocalist
towards the microphone. If you ask me, this is one of the few things
that justifies hating someone you've never met. F-U, Mr. TRAZADOR-"singer"!
And let's just pretend that pointless cover song never happened, shall
we? The singer of INTRUDER isn't exactly a vocal chord magician
either, but at least he doesn't manage to totally ruin their 2 contributions.
The song "Intruder" is a remarkably boring piece for a theme-song,
but on the faster, almost Power Metal "Why Live At All" they
do impress with some fine harmonies and leads. "Mixed Music.."
031-032 - More mellow garbage)