Total Damnation

Bernard Rive (git), Leo Ockeloen (bs), Jacques V Oevelen (dr), Herke van der Poel (voc)

format: MLP Side A:
  1. Demon's Night
  2. Prisoner
  3. We All Praise The Devil
  4. Rock 'n Roll Rendez-vous

Side B:

  1. Hellfighter
  2. Total Damnation
  3. Three Crown Saws
year: 1983
country: Holland
label: Universe Productions
#: DLS-99
insert: no
edition: ?
rarity: 5/10


To the English-speaking reader this is probably elemental, but personally I didn't have a clue what a "Sad Iron" was until I made a search on it only a moment ago. It turns out it's an old-fashioned word for an iron, i.e. the kind of iron you iron out the wrinkles on your IRON MAIDEN-shirt with. Well, that's indisputably a very "Metal" band name. Heavy too. The corny but kinda cool artwork and the teardrops coming out of the band's logo had me thinking they might have concocted this label themselves, but obviously there was a very profound thought-process behind the naming of the band, so I stand corrected.
Sneering aside, I'd rate "Total Damnation" as one of the finest Dutch Metal records of it's time, despite further corniness in the lyrical department. Lines like "We all praise the devil, he is so fine..." had me laughing out loud the first time I heard it, but the sheer heaviness and quality of the song shut me up pretty quickly. SAD IRON play fast, hard, heavy & remorseless HEAVY METAL without one ounce of wimpness. Simple, yes, but very inspiring & uplifting with great leads and riffing + even a harmony or 2, which more than makes up for the small imperfections in the vocals and musicianship. Proto-Speed Metal monsters like "Demon's Night" and "Prisoners", the NWOBHMy "Hellfighter" and especially the monstrous, epic title track all comes with really catchy choruses and rudimentary hooks. Even the token R'n'R song "Rock 'n Roll Rendez-vous" kicks ass, sounding somewhat like a metallized DEAD KENNEDYS. "Three Crown Saws" closes the album in a more intricate manner, with plenty of different fast-heavy-melodic parts scrambled together MERCYFUL FATE-style. The lyrics to this one confuses a little, though. "Never trust the devil.../...He will destroy your life" doesn't quite rhyme with their earlier "praise the devil!"-exhortations, but I guess the man's got the right to change his mind, right? Musically I'd put 'em in the same bunch as early GOTHAM CITY, ACID and even EXCITER at times, so fans of said combos know what to do.
There's a live split-LP predating this one (w/ the Dutch SEDUCER), "Holland Heavy Metal vol. 1", which is in a more Hard Rock vein and not quite as essential, but definitely rarer. I've also been told they recorded a full-length album in '85 called "The Antichrist"(!) that has yet to see the light of day. Now there's an item all you reissue/collector labels should dig up instead of crap like WYZARD or VILLAIN!

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