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”
Tags: 1980s, Alice Cooper, Armored Saint, Classic Metal, Classic Rock, Faster Pussycat, Glam Metal, Glam Rock, Guns N' Roses, Hair Metal, Hard Rock, Heavy Metal, Lizzy Borden, Megadeth, Metal, Metal Church, Motorhead, Pop Metal, Queensryche, Rock, Thrash Metal
Newsted – Heavy Metal Music
2013, Chophouse Records
Buy the album
1. “Heroic Dose”
3. “…As the Crow Flies”
5. “Long Time Dead”
6. “Above All”
7. “King of the Underdogs”
9. “Twisted Tail of the Comet”
Jason Newsted − Vocals, Bass
Jessie Farnsworth − Guitar
Mike Mushok − Guitar
Jesus Mendez Jr. − Drums
Producer: Jason Newsted
Former Metallica/Flotsam & Jetsam bassist Jason Newsted returns with a new metal outfit. The simple album title is indicative of what you’ll find on this release — heavy metal music. That’s it. This isn’t “modern” metal, this isn’t alternative metal. It’s meat and potatoes heavy metal influenced by the likes of Black Label Society, Black Sabbath, Motorhead and, yes, Metallica.
Newsted does a fine job on vocals as he snottily growls on vocals in a style similar to James Hetfield and Dave Mustaine and it’s good to have him back front-and-center with his own band. He was underutilized in Metallica and with this new band I hope he’ll be much more visible in the metal scene than he has been for the last decade or so.
Heavy Metal Music is not unique and does not set out to reinvent the metal wheel. It’s quite down-to-earth and basic but that’s okay. That’s all you need sometimes and Newsted has come up with a handful of memorable songs such as “Heroic Dose”, “Soldierhead” (which sounds like it could’ve come from Death Magnetic), “Above All” and “Nocturnus” (Iommi riffing). It’s good to know there are still those out there dedicated to providing an old school sound but they don’t try to pretend it’s still 1985. This is new music rooted rooted in 1970s & 1980s metal.
Highlights: “Heroic Dose”, “Soldierhead”, “Above All”, “King of the Underdogs”, “Nocturnus”
Megadeth – The System Has Failed
2004, Sanctuary Records
1. “Blackmail the Universe”
2. “Die Dead Enough”
3. “Kick the Chair”
4. “The Scorpion”
5. “Tears in a Vial”
6. “I Know Jack”
7. “Back in the Day”
8. “Something That I’m Not”
9. “Truth Be Told”
10. “Of Mice and Men”
11. “Shadow of Deth”
12. “My Kingdom”
Dave Mustaine – Lead Vocals, Guitar
Chris Poland – Lead Guitar
Jimmie Lee Sloas – Bass
Vinnie Colaiuta – Drums
Produced by Dave Mustaine and Jeff Balding
The System Has Failed is one of those situations where it was originally intended to be a solo album for Dave Mustaine but contractual obligations got in the way so it was released as a Megadeth album. This was a part of a very weird time in the band’s history. In 2002, Mustaine abruptly ended Megadeth, citing an arm injury that left him unable to play guitar. He was able to rehab himself to where he could play guitar again but instead of re-starting Megadeth, he set out to do a solo record and recruited ex-Megadeth lead guitar Chris Poland along with Jimmie Lee Sloas and Vinnie Colaiuta to do the session work. I know some people like to say Seventh Star isn’t a Black Sabbath release because that was recorded as Tony Iommi’s solo album but you don’t hear people saying that The System Has Failed is NOT Megadeth. When you’ve got Dave Mustaine playing/singing/writing a heavy metal album (not to mention original Megadeth guitarist Chris Poland contributing guitar solos) — that’s Megadeth. Unlike with Dave’s side-project MD.45, there was no attempt here, conscious or not, to not sound like Megadeth.
After the critical failure of 199’s Risk, Megadeth returned in 2001 with The World Needs A Hero, which was an honest attempt to right the ship and return Megadeth back to its metal roots. The System Has Failed is even faster and heavier and was pretty much well-received from everyone, including me. In fact, I was in love with this album when it first came out and it’s still one of my favorite Megadeth albums. It’s like Rust In Peace, Countdown to Extinction and Youthanasia all rolled into one. The album went a long way to restoring some of Dave and the band’s credibility in the realm of heavy metal. The band just gets heavier and faster from here into the 2010s and it wouldn’t be until 2013’s Super Collider that Mustaine took the foot off the gas pedal a bit.
This one is still a classic Megadeth album for me. There’s so many great tracks here. “Blackmail the Universe” is a powerful way to kick off the album. Nonstop aggression and then “Die Dead Enough” sounds like Youthanasia. “The Scorpion” is another great track and I love the lyrics. Then you’ve got “Back in the Day” which is a lyrical nod to old school metal. “My Kingdom” is the only true filler here.
Of course, Megadeth was back full-force on tour with this album but the official new Megadeth line-up was Dave Mustaine along with bassist James MacDonough, drummer Shawn Drover and drummer Shawn Drover. Mustaine had tried to recruit Nick Menza, Marty Friedman, Chris Poland and David Ellefson back into the group at various points before the tour kicked off. Nick signed on but was reportedly not up to performing and sent packing just 5 days before the tour started and no deals could be reached with the other three ex-bandmates.
Highlights: “Blackmail the Universe”, “Die Dead Enough”, “Kick the Chair”, “The Scorpion”, “Back in the Day”, “Something That I’m Not”, “Of Mice and Men”
Megadeth – Risk
1999, Capitol Records
2. “Prince of Darkness”
3. “Enter the Arena”
4. “Crush ‘Em”
6. “The Doctor Is Calling”
7. “I’ll Be There”
11. “Time: The Beginning”
12. “Time: The End”
Dave Mustaine – Lead Vocals, Guitar
Marty Friedman – Guitar, Backing Vocals
David Ellefson – Bass, Backing Vocals
Jimmy DeGrasso – Drums
Produced by Dan Huff and Dave Mustaine
Okay, Risk is what most Megadeth fans will agree to be the band’s worst album. I’m not too sure if I agree with that. There’s a number of tracks here that I like a lot. It was definitely something else though, even further removed from Megadeth’s roots than the commercial Countdown to Extinction or Youthanasia albums were. The album is different, that’s for sure. Different doesn’t necessarily mean bad though.
I’m not really sure how you’d describe this album. There are elements of metal, hard rock, alternative rock and, yes, even pop music. The album is certainly an oddity in the band’s catalog but it does have its charms.
“Crush ‘Em” is the song I remember getting the most push from this album. Megadeth performed the song live once on WCW Monday Nitro and then WCW pro wrestler Goldberg used it as his entrance music for a while. The song was also featured on the soundtrack to Universal Soldier: The Return, which Goldberg also had a role in. I think it was even used at sporting events for awhile. I guess it served its purpose. Mustaine has since called the song “dumb” and says he doesn’t like it. Of course it’s dumb, it’s a sports anthem! It’s dumb, but dumb fun.
If I’m remembering correctly, this album was the source of a lot of strife in the life of Mustaine and the band. Dave still wanted to one-up Metallica but wasn’t totally sure if this alternative rock/pop direction was the way to go, but the label was insisting. Meanwhile, Marty Friedman was becoming disgruntled working within the confines of Megadeth. You’d think he’d have been happier than ever in Megadeth consider this was a light album and he went on to recording pop songs once quitting the band and relocating to Japan.
There’s definitely some off-the-wall sounding songs here when you consider this is Megadeth. “Breadline” is a very good rock/pop song while “The Doctor Is Calling”, “Wanderlust”, “Ecstasy”, “Time: The Beginning” are semi-ballads with a strange almost trippy vibe to them.
Though sales were disappointing at the time, given everyone thought this was going to be the big “breakthrough” mainstream album for Megadeth, the album went on to sell over 500,000 copies. That puts it on level with 1997’s Cryptic Writings so I don’t consider Risk to be a commercial failure when looking strictly at the numbers. And despite negative reviews, it’s actually the last Megadeth album to be certified gold.
Listening to the album now, it’s not as bad as everyone makes it out to be. But I never thought it was bad even when I first heard it. Again, it’s just different. In the Megadeth catalog, I might actually rank it above the hard, fast & bland Thirteen and Endgame albums. Those two album had a handful of really good songs but I daresay Risk is more consistent.
Highlights: “Insomnia”, “Crush ‘Em”, “Breadline”, “The Doctor Is Calling”, “I’ll Be There”, “Wanderlust”, “Ecstasy”, “Time: The Beginning”
Megadeth – Youthanasia
1994, Capitol Records
1. “Reckoning Day”
2. “Train of Consequences”
3. “Addicted to Chaos”
4. “A Tout le Monde”
5. “Elysian Fields”
6. “The Killing Road”
7. “Blood of Heroes”
8. “Family Tree”
10. “I Thought I Knew It All”
11. “Black Curtains”
Produced by Max Norman and Dave Mustaine
Yes, I know there are many, many Megadeth fans out there who will say that Megadeth was at their best during the 1980’s with 1990’s Rust In Peace serving as their magnum opus. As great as those years and all of those albums were, I disagree in regards to that era being the “best”. 1992’s Countdown to Extinction began Dave Mustaine’s quest to become accepted in the mainstream and I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that. Youthansia continued down the same road. If Countdown… was the blueprint, Youthansia was the finished masterpiece.
Honestly, “Black Curtains” is the only weak link in the bunch. The rest is 11 tracks of hooks, melody and rock/metal greatness: the hammering “Reckoning Day”, the chugging “Train of Consequences”, the dark “Family Tree”, the popular semi-ballad “A Tout le Monde”, “Victory” name-checks previous Megadeth songs and “I Thought I Knew It All and mythology-fueled “Elysian Fields” are two of my favorite ‘deth songs of all time.
See, this is the Megadeth I first became exposed to, so it’s my preference over their ’80s thrash/speed sound. I love the thrash/speed metal they previously had used but I think Megadeth is at their best when Dave is writing accessible catchy hard rock songs with just a bit of metal to them. Youthanasia isn’t a soft album. I still wouldn’t say it’s only hard rock but it’s definitely the most commercial and most polished album they ever released. Yes, even more so than Risk, I think. That album was just… different. Youthanasia is lighter than Countdown to Extinction, the solos aren’t as prolific but the album still retains a metal quality.
I may not be saying enough about an album that easily makes my Top 10 of All-Time, but what else do I have say other than it’s in my Top 10 of All-Time and receives frequent spins over 10 years after I first heard the album?
Megadeth – Countdown to Extinction
1992, Capitol Records
1. “Skin o’ My Teeth”
2. “Symphony of Destruction”
3. “Architecture of Aggression”
4. “Foreclosure of a Dream”
5. “Sweating Bullets”
6. “This Was My Life”
7. “Countdown to Extinction”
8. “High Speed Dirt”
10. “Captive Honour”
11. “Ashes in Your Mouth”
Dave Mustaine – Lead Vocals, Guitar
Marty Friedman – Guitar, Backing Vocals
David Ellefson – Bass, Backing Vocals
Nick Menza – Drums, Backing Vocals
Produced by Max Norman and Dave Mustaine
I’m dating myself as a fairly recent Megadeth fan but my first exposure to Countdown to Extinction was back in the late ’90s or early 2000s when I picked it up from a local pawn shop, along with a few other Megadeth albums.
Following the classic Rust In Peace, I can understand why there would be some backlash in regards to Countdown to Extinction at the time of its release. Countdown is still heavy metal, but it features a bit more polish and hooks than they have previously used. No doubt this slicker sound was achieved with by enlisting the aid of producer Max Norman but Dave Mustaine was also on a quest to prove he could outsell Metallica at any cost. I’m sure his former band’s massive success with 1991’s “The Black Album” convinced Dave that it was time to adopt a slightly more commercial sound. While Countdown to Extinction didn’t reach the insane commercial heights of “The Black Album” but it still managed to go double platinum and that’s something to still be extremely pleased with.
Over time, the album has become generally regarded as one of the band’s best. I agree and that opinion is given merit thanks to stone cold classics like “Symphony of Destruction”, “Sweating Bullets” and “Countdown to Extinction”. But this is not a perfect collection of polished heavy metal. There are a few tracks that are nothing more than filler to my ears such as “Captive Honour”, “Architecture of Aggression” and “High Speed Dirt”.
With a bit of a change in sound, Countdown to Extinction is a great album and another high point for what many consider to be the classic Megadeth line-up. This is the album that put the band on the path to deliver in 1994 what I think is their best album yet: Youthanasia.
Highlights: “Skin O’ My Teeth”, “Symphony of Destruction”, “Foreclosure of a Dream”, “Sweating Bullets”, “This Was My Life”, “Countdown to Extinction”
Megadeth – Super Collider [Best Buy Exclusive Edition]
2013, Universal Music Enterprises/Tradecraft/T-Boy Records
2. “Super Collider”
4. “Built for War”
5. “Off the Edge”
6. “Dance in the Rain”
7. “The Beginning of Sorrow”
8. “The Blackest Crow”
9. “Forget to Remember”
10. “Don’t Turn Your Back…”
11. “Cold Sweat”
12. “All I Want”
13. “A House Divided”
Best Buy Exclusive:
14. “Countdown to Extinction” (live)
Dave Mustaine – Lead Vocals, Guitar
Chris Broderick – Guitar, Backing Vocals
Dave Ellefson – Bass, Backing Vocals
Shawn Drover – Drums
Produced by: Johnny K
What’s in a name? Nitpicking here, because it’s the music that matters most, but I find the title of Super Collider to be lackluster and fairly generic (the same way I felt about Thirteen, even with its alternate alpha-numeric spelling). Yes, I know that’s the Large Hadron Collider on the cover (with Vic Rattlehead barely visible in the back there) but it’s all a bit “off” for Megadeth album, in my opinion. Especially with the picture being so bright and colorful. I will say the cover is made a bit cooler with the lenticular insert that comes with the album. I’m not sure if that’s a Best Buy exclusive as well or given to all releases.
So, for a long time, Megadeth has been one of my favorite bands. For a period of time, it wouldn’t have been out of line to say they were my favorite. But, with each passing album, I find myself becoming less thrilled with them. Endgame and Thirteen were both disappointments to me with few bright spots and a lot of filler. So I certainly was not hyped up for Super Collider (and the uninspired album title & cover art only made matters worse). Based off the lead single, “Super Collider”, I figured I had this album already pegged as yet another disappointment.
However, two more songs were released online that really piqued my interest: “Built for War”, which sounds like something that could’ve been on United Abominations. Then there’s “The Blackest Crow”, which is a very unusual Megadeth track that could’ve come from Risk and it has a creepy country/bluegrass vibe to it complete with banjo and slide guitar. Both of these songs got me excited for the album.
And then I kept reading reviews online going “oh, this is a hard rock album, this isn’t heavy metal!” My response? “GOOD!” I’ve always felt Megadeth’s best albums came from the nineties, a time when they were blurring the line on whether they were metal or rock. With the last few albums, Dave seemed to be going in a direction that was heavier and faster than Megadeth had ever been. That’s quite an impressive and commendable feat, even if it didn’t lead to too many memorable songs, but it really isn’t what I wanted from the band. It seems like on Super Collider that Mustaine and lessened the intensity and added a much needed dose of melody & hooks that harkens back to Youthanasia and Countdown to Extinction.
“Kingmaker” – Solid Megadeth metal to kick off the album.
“Super Collider” – I found this one to be disappointing upon first hearing it (as did most people). It’s not a particularly heavy song. Probably about as radio-friendly as Megadeth can get. Sounds like it should’ve been on Risk. It’s actually grown on me with repeated listens but it was a poor choice to be the first released song from the album.
“Burn!” and “Off the Edge” come off like filler to me.
“Built For War” – Great track! This one is a modern Megadeth heavy metal classic right alongside “Gears of War”, “This Day We Fight!” and “Sudden Death”. This song is most definitely heavy metal.
“Dance In The Rain” – I love the way this song starts off, with that somewhat creepy vibe Megadeth songs can have. This is actually Dave as a motivational speaker though (somewhat) — “you better learn to dance in the rain/instead of wait for the sun/dance in the rain/the sun will never come”. Disturbed/Device vocalist David Draiman appears on this track as well. Is that a selling point for you? It’s not for me.
“The Blackest Crow” – Like I said, an unusual Megadeth track but I’m loving it. It’s bluegrass meets heavy metal!
“Cold Sweat” – Pretty cool to hear Megadeth cover Thin Lizzy. Of course, it’s much more powerful than the Thin Lizzy version but it’s a faithful cover.
As far as the three bonus tracks go, “All I Want” and “A House Divided” are decent. “All I Want” is a fairly good headbanger that is about girl — “all I want in a girl…”. Simple, but a cool tune. I would’ve been fine with this replacing “Burn!”. “A House Divided” is another unique song (horns!), coming off like something that could’ve been on Risk or The World Needs A Hero. Both of these tracks are growing on me more and more with each listen. The third and final bonus track (and a Best Buy exclusive) is a live version of “Countdown to Extinction” that was recorded in 2012 at a show in Ponoma, California.
Overall, I think Dave & Co. have delivered the best Megadeth album since at least 2007’s United Abominations. Don’t let the people fool you — this is NOT Risk. You can’t categorize this album as solely hard rock, but it’s not a full-blast trash/speed metal album like the last two have been either. It’s a rock/metal album and that is completely what I want from Megadeth. Megadeth’s stock was dropping with me after Endgame and Thirteen but Super Collider has started to set things right once again.
Highlights: “Kingmaker”, “Super Collider”, “Built for War”, “The Blackest Crow”, “Forget to Remember”, “Don’t Turn Your Back…”, “Cold Sweat”, “A House Divided”
Red Lamb (2012, self-released)
1. The Cage … 3:45
2. One Shell (In the Chamber) … 3:22
3. Standby Passenger … 3:3)
4. Runaway Train … 4:41
5. Puzzle Box … 4:39
6. Get Up … 3:38
7. Don’t Threaten to Love Me … 3:55
8. Angels of War … 4:07
9. Watchman … 4:37
10. Warpaint … 3:09
11. Temptation … 4:00
12. Keep Pushing Me … 4:21
Don Chaffin – Vocals
Dan Spitz – Lead/Rhythm Guitar, Bass, Vocals
Patrick Johansson – Drums
Chris Vrenna – Synthesizers
Producer: Dave Mustaine & Dan Spitz
This is an album that should be of interest to Megadeth & Anthrax fans because it is a project put together by ex-Anthrax guitarist Dan Spitz with Megadeth’s Dave Mustaine co-producing the album with Spitz.
It seems like there’s some confusion and assumptions on the internet as to what Mustaine’s involvement was on this album. At one time, it was assumed that Mustaine was going to be playing guitar and performing lead vocals but according to the Red Lamb bio and recent interviews with Dan Spitz that was never the case or intention. I’ve seen other sites speculate that Dave secretly plays or is singing on this album (and I’ll admit vocalist Don Chaffin sounds a lot like Dave at points) but why would he do that? This project has everything to gain by promoting the fact that Dave played on it. I’m pretty sure if it happened Spitz & Mustaine wouldn’t keep it a secret.
From what I can gather about Dave’s involvement is that the album was written & recorded without Mustaine having anything to do with it. Red Lamb was entirely a Spitz venture. Dan let Mustaine hear the album and then Dave made suggestions and the album was then adjusted accordingly thus giving Dave a co-producing credit.
It’s amazing how much Don Chaffin comes off as Dave though. He’s got the snarl down pat and even the phrasing and emphasis is very similar but then there are other times when you can tell it’s not Dave singing. Maybe Spitz had originally intended to Dave to be the vocalist and went in a similar vocal direction without him?
Vocals aside, a lot of the music sounds like modern day Megadeth so I can understand people thinking Mustaine “secretly” played a bigger than in this than is being admitted. “Angels of War” could have come off any Megadeth album from the last 10 years as could have a number of other tracks. There’s a few duds though. I don’t care for “One Shell (In the Chamber)”, which is nu-metal and features some rapping.
Overall, this is good album worth checking out for fans of that are into modern metal and have been digging the last few Megadeth albums.
Highlights: “The Cage”, “Standby Passenger”, “Don’t Threaten to Love Me”, “Angels of War”
Metallica – Beyond Magnetic (2011, Warner Bros. Records)
1. “Hate Train” … 6:59
2. “Just A Bullet Away” … 7:11
3. “Hell and Back” … 6:57
4. “Rebel of Babylon” … 8:01
James Hetfield – Vocals, Guitar
Kirk Hammett – Guitar
Robert Trujillo – Bass
Lars Ulrich – Drums
Producer: Rick Rubin
Beyond Magnetic is a collection of the 4 songs that didn’t make it onto 2008’s Death Magnetic album. 14 songs were written for that album but only 10 made the cut. So, after debuting these songs live during one of their 30th Anniversary shows, Metallica originally released them to the world through digital retailers (exclusive to iTunes in North America) on December 13, 2011. The E.P. is available in CD form as of January 31, 2012.
From what I understand, these are only rough mixes of the songs (I’m assuming final mixes do exist). I just hope they don’t try to pad out the next Metallica album by throwing completed versions of these songs on it and calling it a day.
As expected, reaction to this Beyond Magnetic has been mixed. I’ve read everything from “It’s worse than Death Magnetic!” to “Why the #&$% weren’t these songs on Death Magnetic?” to “It sucks!” to “They’re playing thrash again!” to “At least it isn’t Lulu!”
I’m not one of those “fans” that takes the stance that everything the band has done since …And Justice For All (or the Black Album) sucks. I’ve talked about making the ultimate Load & Reload compilation in the past. And I quite liked Death Magnetic. I listened to it again recently and it still holds up. With the songs from DM still fresh in my mind, I’m in the camp that’s wondering why these songs weren’t included on the album. In fact, that album only had 10 tracks, what’s wrong with bumping it up to 14? Still, “Suicide & Redemption” and “The Judas Kiss” could’ve easily been left off DM to make room for at least “Just A Bullet Away” and “Hate Train”.
“Just A Bullet Away” comes the closest to sound like old school Metallica. I don’t really think we’ll ever see a true return to that era but this is about as close as these guys can get these days. So, yeah, your mileage may vary but I think this is a good little E.P. with on “Rebel of Babylon” kinda just wandering around for a bit.
If you’re a Metallica hater, you’ll probably hate Beyond Magnetic but that’s expected of you. As for anyone who actually enjoyed Death Magnetic, this is worth checking out.
The album art looks like a butterfly.
Highlights: “Hate Train”, “Just A Bullet Away”, “Hell and Back”
Buy Beyond Magnetic [CD Edition] at Amazon.com
Elm Street – Barbed Wire Metal (2011, Massacre Records)
1. “Barbed Wire Metal” … 3:45
2. “The Devil’s Servants” … 4:00
3. “Elm St’s Children” … 5:41
4. “Heavy Metal Power” … 5:44
5. “King of Kings” … 4:50
6. “Leatherface” … 5:06
7. “Merciless Soldier” … 3:55
8. “Metal Is The Way” … 6:14
Ben Batres – Vocals and Rhythm Guitar
Aaron Adie – Lead Guitar
Brendan Farrugia – Bass Guitar
Tomislav Perkovic – Drums
Producer: Ermin Hamidovi
Melbourne, Australia’s Elm Street are a band that plays good old fashioned heavy metal and are proud to do so! At first glance of the cover art and logo (and knowing they are on the Massacre label), I thought maybe they were going to be a brutal-sounding thrash band but don’t let that artwork by the legendary Ed Repka fool you! Yes, this band does have some thrash moments (such as the relentless opening number) but they describe themselves as traditional heavy metal and also display a great sense of melody and New Wave of British Heavy Metal/traditional metal influence. The melody aspect is evidenced on the second track “The Devil’s Servants” and it also reminds me of Black Veil Brides. Don’t worry, it’s not metalcore.
Another thing that stands out about this band is that they are horror movie fans. I mean, the band’s name is Elm Street and they have songs called “Elm St’s Children” and “Leatherface”. These guys are all about delivering fun, powerful heavy metal — “Barbed Wire Metal”? “Heavy Metal Power”? “Metal Is The Way”? You betcha!
There’s lot of good solos and riffs throughout this album and singer Ben Batres has that necessary roughness that wells work with traditional metal. His voice reminds me of Mr. Lordi. I love the gang vocals, too, by the way!
The band knows their way around a melody but they are heavy and fast enough that you won’t think they are wimping out. So, if you want some fun and recent heavy metal to bang your head to Elm Street’s Barbed Wire Metal is just what you need!
File this under “Albums I Wish I Had Heard In 2011”!
Highlights: “Barbed Wire Metal”, “The Devil’s Servants”, “Elm St’s Children”, “King of Kings”, “Metal Is The Way”