V/A
Heavy Metal

line-up:
SQUETTERS, AXID, STEELMADE, FOGGY TRIP, LUPUZ, NECK ROSE, WIZ, LAROCHE

format: LP Side A:
  1. Heavy Water - SQUETTERS
  2. Climax - SQUETTERS
  3. Drinker - AXID
  4. Reptile Rulers - AXID
  5. Street Child - STEELMADE
  6. Sweet Revenge - STEELMADE
  7. No Zeal - FOGGY TRIP
  8. Rockin' And Rollin' - FOGGY TRIP

Side B:

  1. Lady Lupuz - LUPUZ
  2. Sunrise - LUPUZ
  3. Rockets - NECK ROSE
  4. Graveyard - NECK ROSE
  5. It Hurts - WIZ
  6. Lady Evil - WIZ
  7. Tycker Du Som Jag - LAROCHE
  8. TV Is King - LAROCHE
year: 1982
country: Sweden
label: Pang Records
#: PLP 017
insert: no
edition: ?
rarity: 7/10
 





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What a beautiful title for a compilation! No need to be such a "Templars Of The Dragonfire"-smartass when naming your albums. Just stick to the classics, they never fail. I'm sure there's more comp's as minimalistically christened as this one, but few that could match it in rarity. This particular "Heavy Metal" was the 1st proper Swedish HM-compilation and subsequently it carries 8 utterly obscure acts, of which only SQUETTERS are know to have released an utterly obscure EP. It's hardly surprising to see that the infamous budget-label Pang Records is behind it. They were responsible for some of the best and most legendary FWOSHM-7"s: ZONE ZERO, TREASURE, SHAKESPEARE and many more, but most of their catalogue consisted of mediocre rock & pop bands desperate to release a demo-7" of a few 100 copies to sell at gigs and local shops. Apart from 7"s, compilation albums was their big thing, and this is the only one that consists purely of Hard Rock and Heavy Metal bands.

The overall feel of this record is that of amateurish charm, and plenty of it! If you can't handle a few out-of-tune guitars or vocals, a wobbly rhythm-section or the raw garage-sound of the early NWOBHM 7"s, stay with your Dream Theatre-albums and come nowhere near this one coz you'll hate it. What we have here is a soundbite right out of the cradle of the Swedish Heavy Metal scene. Plenty of flaws, but the spirit is as high as it would ever be, and that's what matters. Well, that and good songs of course and there is indeed a handful of those on this album. Let's start from the beginning...
SQUETTERS play solid Heavy & Hard rock in the school of THE RODS & co. Not the best songwriters on the album, but the raw, growling vocals of Stefan Öhman bring up the spirit of the otherwise rather middle-of-the-road material. AXID is significantly more NWOBHM-laden, the song "Reptile Rulers" being a somewhat seminal galloping Heavy/Power cut that will put a smile on the face and sign of the devil in the hand of any Metalfanatic. STEELMADE could be the 15-year-old kid-brothers of RIOT. Even vocalist Dick Börtner sound like a young Guy Speranza. They may be next to clueless about how to handle their instruments, but we forgive them since they at least knew how to churn out some decent Metal riffing. FOGGY TRIP's guitars are slightly out of tune, but for some reason it makes their otherwise quite mundane Heavy Rock sound rather neat in a lo-fi, garagey kinda way, at least on the heavier "No Zeal".
LUPUZ makes great, driving, very NWOBHM-stylish music let down by quite annoying vocals - a reoccurring fallacy of plenty of these compilation-acts, and LUPUZ are far from the worst example. The brilliantly named NECK ROSE is HEAVY Sleaze Metal waiting to happen, the heavier and more enjoyable embryo of something that probably turned into POISON 5 years or so later. Let's rejoice over the fact that they at least managed to cut 2 great crunchy & catchy pieces before the fall. WIZ is the kind of love-or-hate-to-death-affair that makes these kinds of compilations so interesting. I stand firmly on the Love-to-death side of the tracks and it's not only because of the screechy, juvenile fem vox of Bitte Hjälmås, but just as much the wonderful, ultra-melancholic vocal harmonies and guitars, not to mention the jangly playing and noisy mixing. Definitely the highlight for the Basement-Metal fan that is me! I'll even forgive them for the reggae-tempo on "Lady Evil", coz once they put their teen-angst-ridden hands on it, the end result turns out quite doomy (in the most liberal interpretation of the word). LAROCHE ends with very competent, mellow, well-played and catchy a.o.r. with good vocals, in other words totally useless throwaway crap one could definitely have done without. One more song each of AXID and WIZ would have been infinitely more enjoyable to these ears. Well, anything would really.

As a whole it's still hard to recommend this LP to each and every Metal fan out there. Sure, it's a highly coveted item among the most fanatic Scanda-metal collectors, but apart from that you'll have to be quite a fan of the garage-days of early 80's metal to fully enjoy the Metallic teen-beat ruckus that comes with a Pang Records compilation album.


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