God Of Vikings

Bertrand Cuquemelle (bs), Corinne Hacquebey (voc), Daniel Hacquebey (git), Pascal Lacroix (dr)

format: LP Side A:
  1. Shelder
  2. Randy Rhoads
  3. Star Mythique
  4. Stranger Solitaire

Side B:

  1. God Of Vikings
  2. Rock'n'Roll Star
  3. Manilla
    (the tracklist on the album misplaces the opening tracks on each side)
year: 1988
country: France
label: private
#: DS 388206
insert: no
edition: ?
rarity: 6/10


Naturally the album you've paid the most for - ever - is the one you'll have the greatest expectations for during the weeks of waiting for it to arrive at your doorstep. Will it blow your mind as one of your greatest discoveries ever? Will it suck so bad you'll solemnly swear never to pay more than $20 for a record again? Or perhaps it will be somewhere in-between? Man I just know it's gonna be either one of those alternatives! Actually, a little slip from the post office just fell down my mailbox today, so give me a few minutes and I'll let you know...

(tam-tam tam-tam tam-tam tam-tam...)

You know, holding a record in your hand of which you haven't got a clue what to expect is pretty much like the Schrödinger's Cat-paradox. Since you haven't played it yet you don't know if it's gonna be good or bad, and at this very instant it's actually both at the same time, just like the cat in the box is both dead and alive. Oh sod the quantum physics and play some METAL already!

(tam-tam tam-tam tam-tam tam-tam...)

Ehr, well... I dunno. I really WANT to dig this album, but SHELDER doesn't make it easy for me. The very first thing that strikes you is the under produced guitars. A little more distortion (and, hrm, another guitarist maybe..) wouldn't have hurt. The second and most incriminating thing is the fucking DISASTROUS drumming. I've heard Brazilian 80's Black Metal albums with better drummers than this guy. I know, that's downright rude, but sometimes the truth hurts. It's like they bullied the guy for weeks to get him to play a totally alien instrument on their oh so important debut album. I can imagine the conversation: "C'mon man, you can do it!" - "B..b..but I've never played drums before in my life!" - "That's just negative thinking, man. Once you're in the studio everything will work out OK" - "But...". After letting him fail miserably at gunpoint they try to cover up their idiotic mistake by adding several drum tracks on top of each other, one of them being a drum-machine! With the bad mixing and weak guitars mentioned earlier this takes the production beyond "bad" to downright "retarded".

Are there no redeeming features at all on this record then, you wonder? Yes, there is one. A very important one. They can actually write great music. "Randy Rhoads", "Stranger Solitaire" and "God Of Vikings" are in themselves brilliant examples of Doomy/epic Metal falling somewhere between very early SOLITUDE AETURNUS, US LEGEND and the last SACRILEGE LP. Frankly the only letdown musically is the opening theme-song, a very average cut with guitars so weak and timid it disqualifies as a hard rock song. Even the ballad "Rock'n'Roll Star" has it's moments. It takes time to discern exactly what language Corinne is using in the different songs, but despite the heavy accent and a slightly nasal voice she's doing a passable job in the vocal department. Still, I wish I could say this is one of those "love or hate"-albums, but it's not. Rather a "tolerate or hate"-affair, of which I'll have to count myself to the former category. For $200 I can't afford not to.

Finally it should be worth noting that this used to be one of the rarest European Metal vinyls in existance, but recently a fair amount of copies seem to have come out in circulation, so the last reason for anyone to pay obscene mega-bux for it is pretty much gone. Then again, people's definition of "obscene" might differ quite severely.

Listen to this record here. (provided by the Vibrations Of Doom webzine)

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