Was it Sounds or pre-mediocre Rock Kerrang! that had the regular feature on vinyl rarities?
If the mighty Sounds stood the test of time then I'd like to think that the following album would have made the feature. For this year sees the 25th Anniversary of the release of tonight's main course, the tourdeforceBlack Sanctuary the 1988 debut album release by cult Metal band GENOCIDE nippon. I bought the album out of curiosity about a year after it first came out. I'm rather glad that I forked out the £1.89 back then for the precious vinyl, it still rests pride of place here in the Bothy among my burgeoning GENOCIDE nippon collection.
This is a Heavy Metal band who really should have made it, instead Black Sanctuary was the band's only full studio album release to date (but pilgrims, get this..whispers are afoot of a new album!). It will cost you a full shillings worth but I thoroughly recommend their Destroy and Hell: 30th Anniversary CD/DVD (the package celebrates the band's career up to 2009, contains the remastered version of Black Sanctuary and it is vein rich in live video footage - it was my album of the year in 2009. Indulge yourselves!
I even bent myself out of shape in happy hysteria to get a copy of the limited Disk Union version, thanks to my great friend and fellow GENOCIDE maniac Keiichi.
The original King Klassic Records release of Black Sanctuary was given the classic reissue treatment in 2009 due to Shadow Kingdom Records. I can assure you that from the moment you hear the extraordinary vocal talent of Toshihiro Takeuchi you know you are in for one Hell of a journey!
Over the years I have plagued people to the point of their likely lasting despair with my glowing references on this album's worthiness. Indeed, the essential elements of this review has been pushed, promoted and plugged in all directions of the great internet and previously by pen, by shout and by audio cassette. A perfect excuse then to expand on earlier words by revising and updating my trumpeting the Metal world of GENOCIDEnippon. In fact, earthlets, as with the original writings I was going into the review intent on a balanced, carefully crafted reflection but no, I just cannot hold back with this album, and at the risk of sounding over enthusiastic, like Geoff Barton in days of yore with any KISS album he could lay his hands on, this is a truly outstanding accomplishment, an exploding five star album, for your friend and humble narrator this stupendous metal magic is worthy of excited unholy exaltation!
Musically, what you get on the black vinyl slice of possessed plastic (the 2009 Shadow Kingdom release is actually a two CD set, the bonus disc carrying deliciously unseasoned demonic demo versions) is an epic of horrifying power. A heady mix in the heritage of Satori era A Flower Travellin' Band and sinful original Metal, a battering ram blend all of their own.
This is a cult album spewing out the finest selection of cuts, unharnessed and truly unrelenting, I’ll wager it has been aeons since you heard such a pure, such a devout slab of music. Audibly mesmerising you just have to hear the Metal mindbending of the infectious axe frenzies of Kazuo Amaya and Kouichi Kawakami. It is heavy, melodic and above all riff vintage from start to finish, put simply it is beautiful!
The opener Doomsday, works itself into a raging inferno all at the delightful expense of the listener's eardrums. The title track is another standout, as is Last Confusion, the addictive Midnight (Come She Will), the beautiful haunting ballad Landscape of Life and the showpiece epic Living Legend. And there is the clever A Bullet In The Wrong Heart, with its ingenious switching riffs that literally rips this listener's head and heart from their anchoring sinews. The dual guitar melodies create real wonders, jaw droppingly so.
The darkest of doom Metal arts are at work on this album, a doom laden soundtrack that is more often than not catalysed into searing ferment by the astonishing guitar duo, solid rhythm section and one of the greatest metal vocalists ever! No, really!
Now go, worship at the altar of GENOCIDE nippon your soul (and your ears) demand it!
I'm sorry dear readers for the infrequent blogging, and worse in my book being lax in visiting my favourite blogs as much as I should. I'm still without a proper computer and working via iPhone and iPad which ain't cool in typing confidence. Plus I've been under the cosh (Factory pun).
Anyway I'll make up to you all soonest.
Meantime, here's a gratuitous image of Claudia playing records 'round at my gaff (aye right). If it were true, oh! You'd never leave the house.
And...my album playlist for any working man (and woman for that matter) this coming, gruelling week...
Oh but before I do, a big edge of the world thanks to Metallic brother Mr Mark Rice for the latest of his sumptuous compilation albums....it takes pride of place in the CD grinder this hallowed weekend....Rock Forever!
1978, I had a full head of hair back then. In fact suffice to say it was a healthy mane complimented by a fine pair of seventies sideburns. It's now 2013, I've lost (most) of my locks and the sideburns are but a shadow of their former glory. I went from the style of Ralf Edström circa 1974 to Commissioner Bob Hauk circa 1997. But it's about the music right?
Our bodies will wither but a true classic album lives forever, never ages, always satisfies...like the 1978 mega magic that stands up as Van Halen's debut outing, vinyl made glorious. Upon hearing the raging riffery unbound on this LP for the first time, an audio onslaught so tasty you'd do just about anything for some more.
It's all here ladies and pilgrims, the fast and the furious. Runnin' With The Devil, Eruption, an OTT über ultimate version of the Kinks You Really Got Me, the fan fav Ain't Takin' 'Bout Love, Jamie's Cryin' and the crunching Atomic Punk.
I've been loving this piece of vinyl since 1978 but I'm willing to share...dig in
The enduring image I have of Allen Lanier is seeing BÖC playing live around 1981, he was flitting between the keyboards and guitar resplendent in a OGC Nice football shirt - the Red & the Black...naturellement.
Double Live Albums, and there have been a few are usually things of Gatefold beauty. Dear Readers we have mentioned many of them in the virtual pages of this here caring, sharing blog. The 1970s and greater part of the 1980s are thankfully lined with them.
I must pose a question, has there ever been a finer Side 4 in the realm of double live epics than the Side 4 of ExtraTerrestrial Live by The Blue Öyster Cult?
Riding on the crest of the Cultösaurus Erectus/Fire of Unknown Origin resurgence this live set is a true hair stander upper...
Side 4 offers a three song embrace of the most electrifying heavy music your ears are ever likely to encounter. Make no mistake it will enhance you!
It begins with Veteran of the Psychic Wars and as it stands the greatest, the most frenzied, and yea, the most sublime Buck Dharma guitar workout ever laid down on vinyl, probably.
This version of an already classic song is a truly magnificent marvel of transmitted treasures ever to assault me through a Marshall backline!
And then there is a ripping, rousing version of E.T.I (Extra Terrestrial Intelligence) with a mid section that booms at your senses leaving you a grateful gibbering wreck in the midst of such a sonic sensation. The immersive sounds as they are brings out a Metallic Science Fiction soundtrack feel akin to an out of control and rather noisy StarGate, wholly appropriate given the themes here.
And then the grand finale, the AOR favourite and all round melancholic masterpiece wrapped in dark humour, the delightfully ageless (Don't) Fear The Reaper. It is an astonishing version and in some warped audio way brings the listener back to earth as the crescendo clears. One thing's for certain, you'll be back for more...so load up your Gramophone/8-Track/Tape-deck/CD Player/MP3/iPod and deliver the goods to your malnourished souls.
The world hath need for more BÖC such as Side 4 ETL!
Do you like Michael Moorcock's eternal creation Elric of Melniboné? Such wonderful tales which have endured in my heart since my High Schools days... Playlist fit for a Dragon Prince... Elric of Melniboné - Wolfbane
Regular readers will know of my frequent praise of album covers, particularly those created by design collective Hipgnosis, therefore it was sad news to hear of the passing of Storm Thorgerson. So many albums in my collection bear his genius work; UFO, Scorpions, Sabbath...
Rest peacefully Mr. Thorgerson.