Category Archives: Lizzy Borden

The Decline of the Western Civilization Part II: The Metal Years [Album Review]


The Decline of the Western Civilization Part II: The Metal Years (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)
2011, Capitol Records
Originally Released: 1988, Capitol Records
Buy the album at Amazon

1. “Under My Wheels” – Alice Cooper w/ Guns N’ Roses
2. “Bathroom Wall” – Faster Pussycat
3. “Cradle to the Grave” – Motörhead
4. “You Can Run But You Can’t Hide” – Armored Saint
5. “Born to Be Wild” – Lizzy Borden
6. “In My Darkest Hour” – Megadeth
7. “Prophecy” – Queensrÿche
8. “The Brave” – Metal Church
9. “Foaming at the Mouth” – Rigor Mortis
10. “Colleen” – Seduce

Any metal-head worth their weight in steel is well aware of this documentary that was released in 1988. It’s a truly fascinating look at life as rocker in the 1980s. For better or worse, warts and all, it absolutely captures a time and a vibe & scene that can never truly be replicated no matter how “retro” a band may act.

As it stands, the soundtrack to The Decline of the Western Civilization Part II: The Metal Years is a solid compilation. Sure, bands like Seduce and Rigor Mortis didn’t stand the test of time but when it comes to the ’80s metal scene, you can’t really argue against the inclusion of bands like Motorhead, Lizzy Borden, Megadeth, Alice Cooper, Guns N’ Roses, Metal Church or even Faster Pussycat. It was all metal one way or another.

The documentary itself was actually what turned me on to Megadeth as they performed “In My Darkest Hour” in the film and it certainly made an impression on me.

The lack of Ozzy Osbourne, Aerosmith, Poison, KISS or W.A.S.P. is a bit odd given how their stature and appearances in the documentary but the soundtrack isn’t meant to be all encompassing. If it was, we’d be putting up with having to listen to the likes of London, Tuff and Odin, too. A few tracks either start or end with audio clips from the film.

We could argue for hours over who truly deserves to be included on a compilation of ’80s metal but this soundtrack is just a taste of what that era had to offer and is meant to tie in most closely with bands featured in the documentary. Keep that in mind and what you’ve got is a good collection of ’80s rock & metal that will fit right in with your retro denim vest.

Highlights: “Under My Wheels”, “Bathroom Wall”, “Born to Be Wild”, “In My Darkest Hour”, “Prophecy”

Lizzy Borden – Visual Lies

Lizzy Borden – Visual Lies (1987, Metal Blade Records)

1. “Me Against The World” … 5:03
2. “Shock” … 4:35
3. “Outcast” … 4:21
4. “Den of Thieves” … 3:48
5. “Visual Lies” … 4:05
6. “Eyes of A Stranger” … 4:27
7. “Lord of the Flies” … 5:41
8. “Voyeur (I’m Watching You)” … 4:32
9. “Visions” … 5:24

Lizzy Borden – Vocals
Gene Allen – Guitar
J. Holmes- Guitar
Michael Davis – Bass
Joey Scott – Drums

Producer: Max Norman

The band delivers another great slice of heavy metal except this time the power metal is toned down and there’s a much more glammed up, commercial element thrown in. Still, Visual Lies remains one of my favorite Lizzy albums. “Me Against the World” is easily one of their best songs, a truly great metal anthem, made even more legendary by its inclusion in the Black Roses movie and soundtrack.

Lizzy Borden (the singer) was trying very hard to be the ’80s answer to Alice Cooper but who cares? There’s room for more than one soldier in the shock rock army! I love the cover, it looks like something you’d have seen on a VHS box in the horror section at a video store. It’s complete ’80s schlock and Lizzy is one of the great metal singers of the ’80s with his whiny and theatrical vocals.

This album very definitely sounds like a precursor to 1989’s Master of Disguise. Slickly produced heavy metal with a flair for theatrics, sleaze and violence. As a rule, you really can’t go wrong with Lizzy Borden and Visual Lies is no exception.

Highlights: “Me Against the World”, “Shock”, “Outcast”, “Visual Lies”, “Eyes of a Stranger”, “Voyeur (I’m Watching You)”

LIZZY BORDEN – Love You to Pieces

Lizzy Borden – Love You to Pieces [Remastered] (2002, Metal Blade Records)
Original Release: 1985, Metal Blade Records

1. “Council for the Cauldron” … 3:13
2. “Psychopath” … 3:38
3. “Save Me” … 4:05
4. “Red Rum” … 3:53
5. “Love You to Pieces” … 4:29
6. “American Metal” … 5:54
7. “Flesh Eater” … 4:52
8. “Warfare” … 3:49
9. “Godiva” … 2:29
10. “Rod of Iron” … 4:31
11. “Wild One” [demo] … 3:17
12. “Whiplasher” [live demo] … 2:24
13. “Warfare” [live demo] … 2:27
14. “Dirty Pictures” [demo] … 3:44

Lizzy Borden – Vocals
Tony Matuzak – Guitar
Gene Allen – Guitar
Michael Davis – Bass
Joey Scott – Drums

Producer: Lizzy Borden

The first Lizzy album I ever heard was Menace to Society and it was disappointment in my eyes and I felt the more recent Appointment With Death was basically an album of filler outside of a few notables. It is only my love for Master of Disguise that has compelled me to dig through the rest of their catalog. Love You to Pieces is the band’s first LP and it’s a classic that’s chock full of solid heavy metal/power metal with an Iron Maiden influence as well.

There’s just something about Lizzy’s voice that I really enjoy. I can see how some people would be turned off by his high nasal, operatic delivery but it’s unique and I guess that’s one of the reasons I’m a fan of it.

As you can tell by the cover, there’s a good amount of sleaze involved as well (not only do we get a chick in lingerie but in the mirror you’ll see an ax-wielding Lizzy) but what’s a Lizzy Borden album without some sex & violence? Lyrics from the song “Flesh Eater”:

“I growl for my meat
While you bark for the bone
I plunge in so deep
You swallow me whole

You lust for my tongue
It makes me feel mean
I bound your arms
And lick you clean”

Romance? Bah, who needs it! However you may feel about those lyrics (I personally find them to be gleefully juvenile and trashy), the actual song is very good and probably the song where Iron Maiden’s influence is most felt on this album. The rest of the album continues to deliver great metal music whether it’s the heavy metal anthem “American Metal”, the love-gone-psycho tale of “Love You to Pieces” or just the plain psycho in “Psychopath”. This comes pretty close to being my favorite Lizzy album but I still have a soft spot for the theatrics of Master of Disguise. Great release anyway you hack it though.

The 2000 reissue features a few bonus track demos. “Wild One” is good but sounds a bit commercial and could’ve been on almost any glam rock band’s album. “Dirty Pictures” should’ve made the album. I’m not sure when these songs were recorded. “Dirty Pictures” features a lyric that mentions “visual lies” which is the name of the band’s 1987 album. I hate when reissues seem to get random bonus tracks that have no relation to the album they are on.

Anyway, this is a great album but if anyone is going to pick it up, make sure you get the reissue.

By the way, can anyone tell me what Lizzy is saying at the beginning of “Council for the Cauldron”? Sounds like whatever he said was being played in reverse.

Highlights: “Psychopath”, “Red Rum”, “Love You to Pieces”, “American Metal”, “Flesh Eater”, “Rod Of Iron”, “Wild One”, “Dirty Pictures”

LIZZY BORDEN – Terror Rising/Give ‘Em the Axe

Lizzy Borden – Terror Rising/Give ‘Em the Axe (1995, Metal Blade Records)
Original Release (Give ‘Em the Axe): 1984, Metal Blade Records
Original Release (Terror Rising): 1987, Metal Blade Records

1. “White Rabbit” … 3:38
2. “Don’t Touch Me There” … 3:36
3. “Catch Your Death” … 4:21
4. “Terror Rising” … 2:26
5. “Give ‘Em The Axe” … 2:55
6. “Kiss of Death” … 2:24
7. “No Time To Lose” … 2:38
8. “Long Live Rock ‘n Roll” … 5:59

Well, I’ve finally found another Lizzy Borden release that I really like (Master of Disguise so far had been the only true winner I’d heard). You could actually say I’ve found TWO releases because this is a compilation of the band’s Give ‘Em the Axe and Terror Rising EPs.

Though the band has always been steeped in shock rock, this release as a whole comes closer to epic Master of Disguise than anything else they’ve done, I think. Kinda funny, because these albums were released quite a few years and albums before that one.

I’m not too thrilled with the cover of Jefferson Airplane’s “White Rabbit” because I’ve never cared for the original, but it’s an appropriate enough song given that I’ve always thought it was creepy sounding.

“Don’t Touch Me There” is another cover (The Tubes) and I’ve always loved this song, having heard it a few years ago online. It’s got that over-the-top charm that Master of Disguise has and sounds like something that belongs on a Meatloaf album or in Rocky Horror Picture Show. Lizzy (the singer) and Betsy from the band Bitch go all in on this one and really have some fun with it.

“Catch Your Death” is a good rocker and the Terror Rising portion of the album ends with “Terror Rising”, which is mostly a strange and creepy spoken-word piece.

The Give ‘Em the Axe portion is much more heavy and metallic with the band’s signature mix of glam metal, shock metal and Maiden-influenced sounds. The album closes with yet another cover, this time Rainbow’s “Long Live Rock ‘N’ Roll”. It’s a suitable cover, but despite Lizzy’s great voice, his shrill sounds can’t match the power of Ronnie James Dio.

Overall, this is an essential Lizzy Borden release. You get to hear the band’s beginnings and then get to hear the even more theatrical turn the band was starting to take heading into Master of Disguise.

LIZZY BORDEN – Menace To Society

Lizzy Borden – Menace To Society (1986, Metal Blade Records)

1. “Generation Aliens” … 4:30
2. “Notorious” … 4:14
3. “Terror on the Town” … 5:23
4. “Bloody Mary” … 4:40
5. “Stiletto (Voice of Command)” … 3:32
6. “Ultra Violence” … 4:09
7. “Love Kills” … 5:23
8. “Brass Tactics” … 3:27
9. “Ursa Minor” … 4:00
10. “Menace to Society” … 4:08

Lizzy Borden – Vocals, Backing Vocals
Alex Nelson – Guitar, Backing Vocals
Gene Allen – Guitar
Michael Davis – Bass
Joey Scott Harges – Drums

Produced by: Lizzy Borden and Jim Faraci

Okay album. The band is kind of generic at this point and I don’t think Lizzy’s theatrical voice really fits the L.A. metal music sound all that well. Menace To Society is pretty much a mixture of W.A.S.P., glam metal and NWOBHM and it just doesn’t work for me.

The only true standout is “Ursa Minor” which sounds more like what you would hear from the amazing Master of Disguise album (when the man/group had turned more to shock & theatrical rock). There are a few other decent songs, but I prefer later Lizzy albums. I bought this along with Master of Disguise a few years ago and I quickly tossed this to the side.

Highlights: “Terror on the Town”, “Bloody Mary”, “Love Kills”, “Ursa Minor”

LIZZY BORDEN – Master of Disguise

Lizzy Borden – Master of Disguise (1989, Metal Blade Records)

Track Listing:
1. “Master of Disguise” … 7:20
2. “One False Move” … 3:19
3. “Love Is a Crime” … 4:56
4. “Sins of the Flesh” … 5:30
5. “Phantoms” … 5:40
6. “Never Too Young” … 4:47
7. “Be One of Us” … 4:03
8. “Psychodrama” … 4:38
9. “Waiting in the Wings” … 5:31
10. “Roll over and Play Dead” … 4:05
11. “Under the Rose” … 2:41
12. “We Got the Power” … 4:28

Lizzy Borden – Vocals
David Michael Philips – Guitar
Ronnie Scott – Guitar
Mychal Davis – Bass
Joey Scott – Drums
William Kidd – Keyboard

Additional Musicians:
Mike Razzati – Guitar
Joey Vera – Bass
Brian Perry – Bass
Elliot Solomon – Keyboard

Produced by: Elliot Solomon & Alex Woltman

GREAT album! I got into the band in the fall of 2007 and I ordered this and American Metal at the same time. Out of all the Lizzy albums I’ve heard since then, this is still my favorite and is unlike anything else the band has done.

The album is incredibly atmospheric and gets downright creepy on the one-two punch of “One False Move” and “Love Is a Crime”. The whole album is just a great ride through debauchery and Lizzy himself does a wonderful job on vocals. I also love the use of horns throughout this album.

There are some albums that I love to play during certain times of the year, and this is a definitely a fall/winter-feeling album for me (as is Judas Priest’s Painkiller). When the weather starts getting cool and I’m enjoying cold weather in the mornings on my way to work, I pop this one in.

Sad but true, when I first bought the original CD version, I didn’t realize there was a remastered version released in 2007 with two extra tracks plus a DVD. =( I’ll have to track that one down at some point.

Highlights: “Master of Disguise”, “One False Move”, “Love Is a Crime”, “Sins of the Flesh”, “Never Too Young”, “Waiting in the Wings”, “Roll Over and Play Dead”, “Under the Rose”

LIZZY BORDEN – Appointment With Death

Lizzy Borden – Appointment With Death (2007, Metal Blade Records)

Track Listing:
1. “Abnormal” (5:12)
2. “Appointment with Death” (3:47)
3. “Live Forever” (5:00)
4. “Bloody Tears” (4:48)
5. “The Death of Love” (5:17)
6. “Tomorrow Never Comes” (4:22)
7. “Under Your Skin” (5:06)
8. “Perfect World (I Don’t Wanna Live)” (4:52)
9. “Something’s Crawlin'” (5:43)
10. “(We Are) The Only Ones” (4:03)
11. “The Darker Side” (6:19)

I got into Lizzy Borden the during the fall of 2007. I absolutely love Master of Disguise and from what I’ve heard from them so far, I can still say that’s my favorite album from them. Still, this album is decent but a definite depature from the band’s earlier works. I haven’t listened to Deal With the Devil, so maybe this heavier sound is right in line with that album.
For me though, Appointment with Death hasn’t really clicked with me. I know it’s got rave reviews, but I was hoping a more of the theatrics from Master of Disguise. My problem with a lot of current heavy metal is that it all just kinda sounds the same to me, and that’s the big problem I’m running into here. The album many of the songs sound the same throughout. I will say that Lizzy’s voice is still in fantastic shape and he’s one of the better vocalists in all of rock.
My two favorite tracks (and the only reason I keep pulling the CD out on an inrregular basis) are “Under My Skin” and “The Darker Side”. “Under My Skin” has “radio hit” written all over it. Obviously, Lizzy Borden isn’t going to get any radioplay in this day and age, so maybe they should’ve just sold the song to Papa Roach instead, because that’s that band that this song reminds me of. “The Darker Side” is a nice slow song that shows off Lizzy’s screams, the lyrics & music kind of remind me of something you’d hear in a H.I.M. song.
The band photos for the album insert are absolutely ridiculous and a far cry from anything the band has looked like before. They look like some Scandanavian death metal act.
Highlights: “Appointment with Death”, “Live Forever”, “Under Your Skin”, “Perfect World (I Don’t Wanna Live)”, “The Darker Side”
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