Album Reviews (1986) vol. 2

A bunch of reviews from 1986…

Sinner – Comin’ Out Fighting

Germany’s Sinner was chasing trends with the Comin’ Out Fighting LP (the band’s fifth album).  The songs’ commercial dressings included copious use of synthesizers.  All in all, it would seem Mat Sinner and crew were vying for an “American” sound, but the inclusion of an anthem called Germany Rocks kind of shoots down my hypothesis a bit.  Maybe Sinner were trying to bring the American “glam” rock sound to Germany’s virgin ears?  The results were mixed.  Lead track Hypnotized definitely hits its mark; expertly splicing AOR accessibility with a not-so-well-hidden lust for metal.  Lost In A Minute is also a catchy little tune, though a bit on the wimpy side.  But with the winners there are also losers (you ‘ll find ’em).  Many songs feel generic, especially in terms of the clichéd lyrics.  My score: B-

Cinderella – Night Songs

That cover photo is a first ballad Hall Of Shamer.  Looking like a quartet of syphilitic whores, Cinderella debuted with the smash hit Night Songs LP in 1986.  Tom Keifer had a knack for writing metallic blues with nice, greasy riffs.  It was all very derivative, sure, but most music is.  As a writer, Keifer was pretty good at what he did.  Where he and Cinderella shit the bed, IMO, was in the presentation.  Of course the look was ridiculous, as was the band’s name, but Keifer’s singing style was the biggest joke.  Here’s a guy trying to sound like some world-weary, hardened blues soul with his “rough” voice.  But the whole girlish image schtick kind of farted in the face of any notion of authenticity.  So that’s my two cents on Cinderella, I think they had some good songs but lacked proper presentation.  Anyway, Night Songs went multi-platinum (of course it did).  The hits: Shake Me, Nobody’s Fool and Somebody Save Me.  Best deep cut: Nothin’ For Nothin’.  My score: B-

Candlemass – Epicus Doomicus Metallicus

Here’s what it says in the liner notes: “To hatred, bitterness, pain, depression and hangovers: without you this album would never had been possible.”  Well, there you go folks.  Consider Epicus Doomicus Metallicus the soundtrack to your impending suicide.  This LP (Black Dragon Records) was the debut from doom-merchants Candlemass.  Consisting of slow and depressing dirges, Epicus Doomicus Metallicus should find favor with those of you prone to making disturbing journal entries, or perhaps collecting the fingernail clippings of unrequited loves.  In all seriousness, I think Candlemass’ first chapter was a bit primitive.  I much prefer their sophomore effort Nightfall.  Please don’t cut yourself.  My score: C+

Ravage – Wrecking Ball

I patrol the universe looking for anything and everything that looks like eighties metal.  I search for castaways and long forgotten relics in my noble (insane?) quest to hear as much eighties metal as possible before I die.  And so it was by another of my dumpster dives that a cassette by the band Ravage found its way into my hands.  As I often do when I find something I’ve never heard of, I peruse the net for some background info.  For Ravage’s Wrecking Ball (Shrapnel Records) I found remarkably little helpful info.  So as I press play for the first time on Wrecking Ball, I feel like I am one of the few to ever do so. ..

A few weeks later…

Okay, not bad at all.  This is straight up metal with nice solos (no surprise, it’s a Shrapnel Records release) and clean, powerful vocals by Kyle Michaels.  Certainly above average, well-executed heavy metal.  On the downside, a few songs are a bit plodding, and the songwriting is not spectacular.  Style-wise, bands such as Vicious Rumors and Leatherwolf come to mind, however Ravage falls short of those two bands in terms of song quality.  Wrecking Ball is a serviceable record, and a better record than some of the stuff passing as “cult classics” these days.  My score: B-

Maninnya Blade – Merchants In Metal

Maninnya Blade’s Merchants In Metal is somewhat noteworthy as it was one of the first metal albums of its kind to come out of Sweden.  That being speed/thrash metal (truth be told, it’s mostly speed metal, not much thrash).  Merchants In Metal was released by a U.K. label called Killerwatt Records.  This label only released a handful of metal albums in the eighties, most notably by the band Angel Witch.  Outside of Sweden, Maninnya Blade’s one and only album shouldn’t kick up too much of a fuss, as it doesn’t hold up very well compared to its competition outside the fishbowl.  The vocals weren’t too great, nor was the production.  And the songs on Merchants In Metal can only be considered average at best.  My score: C

Omen – The Curse

I don’t consider Omen’s The Curse to be an essential album.  Basically, if you liked Omen’s first two albums, you will like The Curse also.  Yet, if Battle Cry (1984) and Warning Of Danger (1985) didn’t do much for you, there’s little chance The Curse will blow your mind.  This is more of the same Omen; traditional mid-eighties metal with plenty of power, but light on great hooks.  To their credit, Omen remained unbowed and unbroken by the advent of thrash in 1986.  I would like to point out that there is one exceptional track to be found on The Curse, it is called Holy Martyr.  To me, it is the quintessential Omen track, and anyone who hasn’t heard Omen would be well served to start with Holy Martyr.  My score: B-

Accept – Russian Roulette

You really can’t go wrong with any of the Accept albums released from 1981-1986, beginning with Accept’s third album Breaker (1981) and ending with this album in 1986.  Russian Roulette was the final Accept album with Udo Dirkschneider on vocals (until 90’s reunion).  For many fans, Russian Roulette was also the last album of Accept’s “glory days”.  As with albums previous, Accept varied velocities and made a record with a fair amount of dimensionality.  Russian Roulette included fast numbers alongside ballads and mid-paced chuggers.  While I think Russian Roulette is a solid chunk of metal, where it falters a bit compared to previous Accept albums is that it lacks any truly outstanding tunes, though it has several “good” ones.  I think Monsterman is the best track.  My score: B


One thought on “Album Reviews (1986) vol. 2

  1. My sister used to say that Cinderella had prettier hair and wore more make up than she did, liked some of the songs on the album though. Saw Accept open for Dio in 86, they were fantastic

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