L.A.
s/t

line-up:
Jan Achmann (voc / bs), Lars Impgaard (git), Jens Impgaard (git), Søren Impgaard (key), Kim Christensen (dr)

format: LP Side A:
  1. Gates To The Sky
  2. Hunted
  3. 20th Century
  4. Second Dawn
  5. Time's Comin' Up

Side B:

  1. Breakdown
  2. The Oldest World (part I)
  3. Winners'n'Sinners
  4. The End
year: 1985
country: Denmark
label: Telaeg
#: 661551
insert: very few w/ lyrics
edition: 1000
rarity: 7/10
 





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This band is a total mystery. No line-up info on the sleave, song credits or other info apart from it being produced by René Taagehøj and remixed by Michael Brenner. The only other Metal album exclusively on this label I know of is the rare debut by ALIEN FORCE, which had the label number following this LP, so one would assume it was released the same year. (Telaeg also released licenced versions of JUDAS PRIEST and other foriegn bands as well as domestic rock & pop). I don't know what you'd make of that sleave, but to me it had "A.O.R.-alert" written all over it at first glance. So much actually, that the 1st time I had it I traded it without even bothering to give it a spin (so many records, so little time..). Shortly after it left my hands I overheard a discussion about the record and the words "...pure IRON MAIDEN-clones" hit me like a ton of lead-poisoned, dead baby seals. Doh! Luckily I came across another copy just recently and finally got a chance to hear it. Yeah, the Maiden-comparison is quite accurate, although I don't think they deserve the "clone"-monicker half as much as many other bands.. "Hunted" has taken more than a few ideas from "2 minutes to midnight" and songs like "Gates To The Sky", "The Oldest World" (dig that flamenco-solo!) and the brilliant, Galloping Metal-hit "Winners'n'Sinners" could have been forgotten leftovers of the "Piece Of Mind"-sessions, with Bruce on a bad throat day. A much too bad throat day unfortunately, and this is the major letdown of the record. If it weren't for the below-average vocals L.A. could have been one of the better Danish Metal albums. It's not a total disaster, but just enough to be annoying, especially when the songwriting is of this high level. There's some MERCYFUL FATE-like musical and vocal twists and turns in here as well, especially in B-side opener "Breakdown". The brilliant RISING FORCE-like "20th Century" could've been their hit single and displays L.A.'a fine musicianship and great sense of harmonies. All in all the songwriting on this album is some of the best I've ever heard on a mid-80's Scandinavian Metal release. Classy as hell, but the thin production and those damn' dodgy vocals drags the whole album down to an average level. Seems like this album is rare as hell outside of Scandinavia, but up here I've found it for an equal of a few euros a couple of times. Should you find a karaoke-version, don't hesitate.

Vocalist Jan Achmann himself adds further info:
"After the LP was released the band was picked together with a Swedish band as the Scandinavian entry for the International Yamaha competition in Japan. We never went any further though, and I don't know if some of our songs were released in Japan. BTW the record was recorded in the summer of 1984 - before Maiden's "PowerSlave" was released :-) When the record was finally released in the spring of 1985, the band had already recorded 7-8 demos for the second LP - however Telaeg (Telefunken/AEG) closed their activities in Denmark and we were signed to SkyLight, which bankrupped a few months later. We shopped the recordings around. We're offered some opening slots for major bands thru' overseas people who believed in us. But unable to complete a European record deal there really was no point and finally we disbanded in 1986. After a brief reunion in 1988 doing one demo in a more AOR/hairy kind of metal style the band finally went seperate ways to other projects. Now, 15-20 years on, we are corrently concidering releasing the LP on CD, possibly together with the 1985 demoes which were much better than the LP - productionwise and vocally :-) BTW...The band was formed in 1981. And for the gems: Ronnie Atkins of PRETTY MAIDS was at some point....around 1982...with the band for a few months, but split as The Maids finally took of. We did do some opening shows for them though later on. /.../ ...the record was also released as a tape called "Heavy Rock" featuring a sleeve with a picture of Angus Young!!"


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