Metal Power II


format: 7" EP Side A:
  1. King Of The Midnight Fire - EAR DANGER
  2. The Spy - ATOMIC ROCK

Side B:

  1. Steel From The Rich - SCUM
  2. Battle With The Beast - ANWAR

year: 1984
country: Holland
label: Iceman
#: IR 28401
insert: no
edition: ?
rarity: 7/10


On the 2nd volume of these extremely obscure Dutch compilations things have developed ever so slightly away from the most rudimentary Hard Rock/NWOBHM-ish moments of the 1st volume. It's also most likely the most cult/"exotic" volume of the whole series. I'll soon elaborate further on that issue...

Seeing the title "King Of The Midnight Fire" on the track list made me flinch at first. Could this be some unknown original version of the old RUNNING WILD demo-classic? I had to play the German's version directly after EAR DANGER's to be absolutely sure and I'm sorry to say: no, it's just a fluke. It's however still a decent piece of old-school, epic Heavy Metal, starting out with an excellent, catchy riff, it transforms into an acoustic verse and then back to a heavy chorus not quite as catchy as RW's ol' gem, but you can't win 'em all. ATOMIC ROCK doesn't try very hard to hide their English influences. "The Spy" is a pure NWOBHM-imitation straight off some 1980 DIAMOND HEAD/TRESPASS/SWEET SAVAGE-rehearsal. The only thing indicating this is recorded a few years later is this dark, spinechilling twin lead break somewhere in the middle of the song. On the B-side is where things get a bit more exotic though. I don't really know what to make out of SCUM's "Steel From The Rich"(sic). Lyrically this song is probably the most 'politically aware' 5 minutes in 80's Metal history. Few punk-bands of the time could have topped the blatant socialist rantings of this piece. Check this out: "More money more money more money, for the people who are unemployed. If they don't give what we want, we have to go out to steal - Steal from the rich..." Then it gets more radical. Despite the crappy playing and rather simple, prostest-song like song structure it's actually an extremely catchy and likable tune. The extremely unlikely amalgamation of Iron Maiden c:a '79 and Joe Hill???
...AND THEN IT'S PURE FUKKING EPIC METAL-TIME!! HrmpfwwAAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!! Oh man, you cannot possibly believe how extremely, utterly, immensely fucking BAD ANWAR is. I pride myself with having heard a lot of odd & unusually crappy Metal, and ANWAR are right up there with the "masters" like LOCH NESS, KUSTER and SECRET METAL. The intro does make promises of MANILLA ROAD/CIRITH UNGOL-like epicness, but then: pure fucking kollaps! The musicianship, the production, it's... Oh forget about it. The thing that still makes the song interesting (apart from being hilarious) is that had any other band nicked the best ideas of it, it could have been a pretty neat piece of Steel. Why did they turn up on the EP then? I hear you wonder. The obvious answer: It's the producer/labelowner Tiny "Iceman" V. Stiphout's very own band. How very typical... If by some surreal coincidence they ever recorded an album that the collector world not yet have discovered, I don't think there will ever be a Metal vinyl out there I'd pay more for. Seriously, if it's out there, name your price. The amount of laughter that this hypothetical album could generate is simply priceless. Pure fucking CULT!

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