Metal Power


format: 7" EP Side A:
  1. Burn Like Hell - BLACK OUT
  2. Low Spirit - SHELTER

Side B:

  1. To Hell By Mistake - FRESH MEAT
  2. Kick It Out - DISTORTION
year: 1983
country: Holland
label: Paludium Records
#: PR 260883
insert: no
edition: ?
rarity: 7/10


This refutes my theory about there not being any unsigned Metal bands from Holland in the 80's. Let's face it, with so many labels, zines, festivals and other heavy scene-activity going on in this country at the time, it is quite a revelation to find a series of compilations of almost exclusively unknown and unsigned underground bands. It just goes to show what an infinite ocean of bands that were out there.

It was the reviews on Kusare Metal that first opened my eyes to this series of EPs a few years back. My knowledge of the Japanese language is rather weak to say the least, and even after having found 3 of the supposed 5 volumes to date I'm not that much wiser about their origin. It's the mystery as much as the simplistic graphics that got me excited in the first place, and when finally hearing the music I didn't feel let down by a longshot, even if it's somewhat uneven. I've learned as much as that the man behind them was a certain Tiny "Iceman" V. Stiphout, who also played in some of the bands included, in this case the opening act BLACK OUT. Their "Burn Like Hell" contribution is a nice enough nwobhm-like standard with raw, twangy guitars reminding me of MYTHRA. The demented spoken part in the middle of the song sound extraordinary silly though. Please don't do that again! SHELTER's "Low Spirit" is a whole lot more enjoyable, sporting some really fine Maidenesque leads and harmonies and ends in a haunting, almost HAWKWINDy space rock fade out. Quite interesting once you ignore the weak production, which is sadly ever-present throughout the EP. FRESH MEAT blend some late 70's heavy rock with some SAMSON-like harmony soloing. Not total Heavy Metal balls, but they fit in nicely with their other proto-Metal buddies here, and some diversity isn't a bad thing, is it? DISTORTION lives up to both their name and title, really gut-kicking HARD Rock power. Once again a more powerful mix would have strengthen the feel of their material, but you'll just have to let your imagination fill in the blanks. Even though there might not be any revolutionary, outstanding stuff here, "Metal Power" is still enjoyable and could be the perfect soundtrack when you're lying on the sofa, eyeing through those early 80's fanzines in an attempt to rekindle the spirit of the underground HM-scene of yore.

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