HEAR 'N AID (1986) VERTIGO (CDR)

  1. Stars - Various Artists
  2. Up To The Limit (live) - Accept
  3. On The Road (live) - Motörhead
  4. Distant Early Warning (live) - Rush
  5. Heaven's On Fire (live) - Kiss
  6. Can You See Me - Jimi Hendrix
  7. Hungry For Heaven (live) - Dio
  8. Go For The Throat - Y&T
  9. The Zoo (live) - Scorpions
  1. exclusive track
  2. from the album 'Kaizuko-Ban'
  3. previously unreleased live version of "Built For Speed" from 'Orgasmatron'
  4. previously unreleased live version of the track from 'Grace Under Pressure'
  5. taken from the home video 'Kiss: Animalize Live Uncensored'
  6. from the album 'Are You Experienced'
  7. previously unreleased live version of the track from 'Sacred Heart'
  8. from the album 'Open Fire'
  9. from the album 'World Wide Live'

Read more here.

RIGHTEOUS METAL (1987) ARRIVAL

  1. Crucify - Bloodgood
  2. Rock For The King - Barren Cross
  3. Rock On (Remix) - Stryken
  4. Master Of The Metal - Messiah Prophet
  5. Time's End - Saint
  6. In His Majesty's Service - Jerusalem
  7. Wear Your Colors - Rick Cua
  8. Love Comes Down - Rez
  9. Shakin' The House - Petra
  10. You Are Loved - Altar Boys
  11. Rise Up - Daniel Band
  12. Search & Destroy - Philadelphia
  1. from the album 'Detonation'
  2. from the album 'Rock For The King'
  3. from the album 'First Strike'
  4. from the album 'Master Of The Metal'
  5. from the album 'Time's End'
  6. from the album 'In His Majesty's Service - Live In U.S.A.'
  7. from the album 'Wear Your Colors'
  8. from the album 'Between Heaven 'n Hell'
  9. from the album 'Back To The Street'
  10. from the album 'Gut Level Music'
  11. from the album 'Rise Up'
  12. from the album 'Search & Destroy'

I was heavily into the white metal scene back in the mid '80s. But all these compilation albums that came out back then all escaped me. I know they were all a part of people discovering new bands, and sort of complimented the tape trading culture that was so popular at the time. 'Righteous Metal', released in 1987 on the small Arrival label, a sub-label to K-Tel, might not have been the best of these compilation albums. But it was one of the earliest, and it does contain some killer songs. Since I still don't own the original CD version of Barren Cross' debut album, the inclusion of "Rock For The King" is welcome. Cuts from Bloodgood, Saint, Jerusalem (marks the first time this song was ever released on CD, as the album it is from was a vinyl/cassette release only), and the vastly underrated Messiah Prophet are also great. But then this CD somewhat fails to deliver the goods. If you put the word metal in the title, you pretty much have to have an all metal cast, don't you? That is not the case here. Petra and Rez might be excused as they did play hard rock. They were certainly as heavy as Jerusalem. But Rick Cua and Altar Boys?? No, no, no, they are in no way, shape or form metal, by any means or standards, and should not have been included here, no matter how good the song are. Today 'Righteous Metal' does give us a reminder of the scene back then. I might also add that the Stryken track had been remixed for this CD. But it is still a sad song from a sad band.

CALIFORNIA METAL (1987) REGENCY

  1. Deadlock - Barren Cross
  2. Marching On - Gardian
  3. I Need Your Love - Neon Cross
  4. I Surrender - Hero
  5. A Space Called You - Deliverance
  6. Wasn't It Love - Mastedon
  7. Spiritual Warfare - Gardian
  8. Attack - Deliverance
  9. Sing It Out - Hero
  10. Son Of God - Neon Cross
  1. demo version, later released on the album 'Atomic Arena'
  2. from the 'Voyager' demo
  3. from the 'Frontline Life' demo
  4. exclusive track
  5. exclusive track
  6. exclusive track
  7. from the 'Voyager' demo
  8. exclusive track
  9. exclusive track
  10. from the 'Frontline Life' demo

The 'California Metal' compilation is milestone in the Christian metal movement. It helped spawn the careers of many of the better known Christian metal acts, such as Deliverance, Guardian (here they were still called Gardian), Neon Cross, and the by this time the Enigma Records signed, Barren Cross. But what makes this compilation CD special was that back in 1987 none of these bands had yet to get signed by a major label (save for aforementioned Barren Cross). So the songs appearing on this CD are all demos, and in most instances they remained exclusive to this effort for decades. Many of these songs have later surfaced on the bands albums, and some of them have also popped up on various reissues of the bands regular albums. But here they were made available for the first time. Most curious is the track from Mastedon. It was never used on any of the bands 2 full-length LP's. The Barren Cross track is also pretty exclusive here. Sure, the song would later appear on 'Atomic Arena'. But here we clearly get a demo version, probably recorded by the band to use to shop labels with. Both the Guardian, Neon Cross and Deliverance tracks have later resurfaced on numerous reissues and compilation albums over the years. But again, it was on 'California Metal' they started life. And the Deliverance tracks were 2 of the better songs "D" ever recorded! Why they never used them on their debut is a mystery. Hero is the only band that didn't go on to bigger things after this. But their brand of melodic metal is no worse than any of the many signed bands that got attention later on. And they are quite noticeable, as members of the band included Glenn Rogers (Deliverance, Vengeance, Hirax) and Robert Bruans (Holy Soldier). 'California Metal' was Christian metal history in the making. And I am proud to have this piece of history in my collection.

Glenn Rogers sent me an email regarding 'California Metal'. What he told me shares some light on how this album came to be, and also confirms that the songs on this compilation are all exclusive versions:

        Hi, I was just reading your review about California Metal cd. Just a little inside info on that record. All the bands recorded the cd in the same studio one right after the other. We all had 2 days each to record. we also used the same drum set to save time. If you listen you can hear how every band sounds the same... FYI Glenn

EAST COAST METAL (1988) REGENCY

  1. The Sword - Apostle
  2. Reason To Rock - Rage Of Angels
  3. Message Of Love - Arsenal
  4. Tunnel Vision - The Lead
  5. Yesterday, Today And Forever - Taker
  6. (Liberation From) The Blazing Wasteland - Second Chance
  7. Stand Strong - Arsenal
  8. The Chosen - Believer
  9. Living By Faith - Taker
  1. from the 'Hymns' demo
  2. demo, later released on the album 'Rage Of Angels'
  3. from their 1985 demo
  4. from the album 'The Past Behind'
  5. from the 'Mat. 11:12' demo
  6. demo, later released on the album 'Money Mask' (as Armageddon)
  7. from their 1985 demo
  8. exclusive track
  9. from the 'Mat. 11:12' demo

As an answer to the 'California Metal' compilation, released the year before, Regency Records also released this collection of bands from the opposite part of the United States. Aptly entitled 'East Coast Metal', this CD delivers a strong line-up of then unknown Christian metal acts. In fact, I think all of the songs are demo-tracks. And as far as I can tell, only 4 of them ever ended up on any full-length album, but then not in the same versions as presented here. The exceptions might be the Apostle and The Lead tracks. I might be wrong though, and any further info on this would be cool. This is also the first time the world got to hear Believer, one of the more respected Christian thrash metal acts, later to get signed to Roadrunner Records. Taker provides 2 songs here, taken from the bands first demo. They became one of so many promising Christian metal acts during the late 80's that never could make it past demo recordings, and sign a proper record deal. 2 of their members went on to join Second Chance instead. Of course Second Chance later renamed themselves to Armageddon, before releasing their one and only record, 'Money Mask'. 'East Coast Metal' shows a wide span of artist. Rage Of Angles and Arsenal play straight 80's metal, the latter with a female singer. The Lead is a punk/thrash/crossover band, whilst Believer's thrash metal might be the heaviest song on the CD. All in all this is an important part of the Christian metal history, and in my opinion, a darn fine listen still today.

THE AXEMEN (1988) PURE METAL

  1. Shakedown - Rex Carroll (Whitecross)
  2. Hell No - Troy Thompson (Bride)
  3. Returning - Dee Harrington (Saint)
  4. Warrior Of Light - Charlie Wilson (Force 3)
  5. Babylon - Murray Adams (Lightforce)
  6. Covered By Blood - Ulf Christiansson (Jerusalem)
  7. Party In Heaven - Tony Rossi (Daniel Band)
  8. Serve Someone - Rosanna Palmer (Rosanna's Raiders)
  9. Running Home - John Citarelli (Novella)
  10. You Live Fast - Curtis Lee (Scarlet Red)
  11. Come Together - Björn Stigsson
  1. from the 'Triumphant Return' album
  2. from the 'Live To Die' album
  3. from the 'Too Late For Living' album
  4. from the 'Warrior Of Light' album
  5. from the 'Mystical Thieves' album
  6. from the 'Dancing On The Head Of The Serpent' album
  7. from the 'Running Out Of Time' album
  8. from the 'Calling Down Fire' album
  9. from the 'One Big Sky' album
  10. from the 'Don't Dance With The Devil' album
  11. from the 'Together With Friend' album

During the mid- to late '80s there was a flood of compilation albums being released in the Christian metal market. I guess they were great promotional tools for labels, such as Pure Metal, Regency, Intense etc. 'The Axemen' was released through Pure Metal Records in 1988. It has a somewhat different angle as most of the other compilations from that era. Instead of just showcasing the bands from their roster, this one is trying to highlight the guitarists in the bands from the labels roster....

Now, I'm not so sure that all that many people would agree that the Christian metal scene fostered all that many true guitar heroes. So in that retrospect this compilations seems a bit far fetched. The only one featured here that I feel deserves a tag like that is Rex Carroll from Whitecross. They should have at least featured Jeff Scheetz! Sure, there are lots of great players represented here. But I wouldn't call them guitar heroes, and most of them aren't even worth highlighted as excellent players at all. Also, a compilation like this should perhaps foremost contain instrumental stuff, or solo work. But the only instrumental here is Saint's "Retuning".

This album works best as a timeframe picture. This is a glance back at Christian metal history in the making. Some of the favorite bands from that era are here, and Pure Metal did have an impressive line of acts! Several tracks are featured here even before they were released on the bands albums. The Novella track didn't see an album release 'til 3 years later!

'The Axemen' comes with no liner-notes, but some cool artwork from Jeff Spencer.

HEAVY RIGHTEOUS METAL (1988) PURE METAL

  1. Heavy Metal Thunder - Messiah Prophet
  2. Too Late For Living - Saint
  3. Love On The Line - Whitecross
  4. We Are Raiders - Rosanna's Raiders
  5. The Winner - Leviticus
  6. Metal Mission - Tempest
  7. Black Or White - Daniel Band
  8. Metal Might - Bride
  9. Rock For The Rock - Rage Of Angels
  10. In His Majesty's Service - Jerusalem
  1. from the 'Master Of The Metal' album
  2. from the 'Too Late For Living' album
  3. from the 'Love On The Line' EP
  4. from the 'Calling Down Fire' album
  5. from the 'The Strongest Power' album
  6. from the 'A Coming Storm' album
  7. from the 'Running Out Of Time' album
  8. from the 'Live To Die' album
  9. demo, later released on the 'Rage Of Angels' album
  10. from the 'In His Majesty's Service - Live In U.S.A.' album

'Heavy Righteous Metal' was, as far as I can tell, the first sampler CD from Pure Metal Records. The only non-album track provided is Whitecross' "Love On The Line". Previously only released on their 1988 EP tape, this compilation was the only way to hear the song on CD, before the band re-recorded it in 2005. Another first-time-on-CD track here is Tempest's "Metal Mission". Save for the crappy CDR "reissue" entitled 'Limited Edition' Mick Rowe sold through his website, this is the only place this song is available on CD. Other choice cuts include Messiah Prophet's "Heavy Metal Thunder" and Bride's "Metal Might". All in all a cool compilation CD to put on to listen to some classic Christian metal. Oh, and did Rage Of Angels appear on every Christian metal sampler prior to the release of their album? I also dig the classy artwork by Jeff Spencer.

MEGAHURTZ (1988) EPIC/CBS

  1. In The Fallout - Fifth Angel
  2. Call Out The Warning - Fifth Angel
  3. Die For My Sins - Sanctuary
  4. Battle Angels - Sanctuary
  5. Thundersteel - Riot
  6. Flight Of The Warrior - Riot
  7. Won't Sell Out - Slammin' Watusis
  8. King Of Cha-Cha - Slammin' Watusis
  9. Skt, Skt, Skt (instrumental version) - Slammin' Watusis
  1. from the CD 'Fifth Angel'
  2. from the CD 'Fifth Angel'
  3. from the CD 'Refuge Denied'
  4. from the CD 'Refuge Denied'
  5. from the CD 'Thundersteel'
  6. from the CD 'Thundersteel'
  7. from the CD 'Slammin' Watusis'
  8. from the CD 'Slammin' Watusis'
  9. from the CD 'Slammin' Watusis'

Compilation albums are sometimes a great way to discover new bands. Other times they contain rare tracks from bands you are already interested in. This sampler CD from Epic records didn't really contain any new bands I wasn't already familiar with (except for Slammin' Watusis, but more on them later). What peaked my interest here though was the 2 tracks from Fifth Angel's debut album. At the time I could not find this album on CD anywhere, and I was very eager to hear it. So the closest thing were the 2 tracks presented here. It didn't exactly hurt that it cost under 2$, and that it contained slammin' tracks from Sanctuary and Riot also! But something is really wrong with a record company that finishes of a sampler, filled with stellar heavy metal acts, with a ska band!! Who the heck thought that would be a great idea? did they run out of metal bands? Do they actually think Slammin' Watusis share the same audience as the rest of these bands? As far as I'm concerned, this CD stops after track 6!

UNDERGROUND METAL 2 (1989) REGENCY RECORDS

  1. Kick In The Gates - Zion
  2. Victim Of The Night - Phil Accardi's Challice
  3. Kiss The Black - Knightriot
  4. Lost - Image
  5. The Stranger - IronWrath
  6. Can't You See - Remnant
  7. Listen - Final Warning
  8. Dark War - Xalt
  9. Apocalypse Prepare - Thresher
  1. from the 'Thunder From The Mountain' album
  2. from the 'Take Control' album
  3. from the 'Speak No Evil' demo
  4. unreleased
  5. from the 'IronWrath' demo
  6. from the 'Beast Of Burden' demo
  7. from the 'Time Ran Out' demo
  8. from the 'Dark War' album
  9. from the 'Totally Possessed' demo

Regency Records put out the coolest Christian metal compilations during the late 80's. This is chapter 2 in their 'Underground Metal' series. And just like the title reveals, this is a collection of bands still in the demo stages. Ok, some of them advanced to signing deals, and released proper albums, but sadly most of them never got further than releasing a demo or two. And for other acts, this compilation disc was their 15 minutes of fame. In fact, this CD might be one of the larger collections of obscure Christian metal acts in existence. Thresher, for instance, should have become as big as many of their contemporary Christian thrash metal acts. And their one and only demo, entitled 'Totally Possessed', is one of the most sought after Christian thrash metal gems, that has yet to see a CD release. Another obscure act is Image. I couldn't even find a single piece of information on them anywhere on the internet, but I find their Tempest-esq metal to be quite good. IronWrath is a band I could see have a cult following today, but I'd not even heard of them prior to buying this CD. Their brand of epic and spaced out heavy metal should go right at home with lovers of classic US metal. I've later learned that members from IronWrath went on to form Holy Right, who in turn recorded 'Stand As One', another highly sought after Christian metal gem. Not all of these bands were good enough to get signed, and thus forever bound to the underground. But then again, many other signed acts were way worse than most here. 'Underground Metal 2' works well as a documentary of the underground Christian metal movement during the last part of the 80's. The track listing on the back of the CD is way wrong! I put the correct order of the songs here.

HEAVY RIGHTEOUS METAL CHAPTER II (1989) PURE METAL

  1. Piercing The Darkness - Xalt
  2. Hellcorn - The Crucified
  3. Torn Flesh - Torn Flesh
  4. Madolyn Murray O'Hair - Lust Control
  5. Cross The Line - Legacy
  6. Your Attention Please - Whitecross
  7. Rock For The Light - Tempest
  8. I'm Ready - Rosanna's Raiders
  9. Looney Tune - One Bad Pig
  10. Until The End We Rock - Bride
  1. from the 'Under The Ruins' album
  2. from the 'The Crucified' album
  3. from the 'Crux Of The Mosh' album
  4. from the 'Dancing Naked' album
  5. unreleased
  6. from the 'Triumphant Return' album
  7. from the 'Eye Of The Storm' album
  8. from the 'Clothed In Fire' album
  9. from the 'Smash' album
  10. from the 'Silence Is Madness' album

Collecting Christian metal albums have been a favorite endevour of mine for a long time. And after I got the internet, and discovered all the compilation albums that I missed during the heyday of the movement, it became almost an obsession at times to track down as many of them as possible. Now, many of the earliest Christian metal compilations are essential, as they include material that is still unreleased other places, either by bands that never made it any further than the demo stages, or be it demo tracks from more known bands, that never made it to any full-length albums. But as the movement grew bigger, these compilation CD's became more and more a way for record companies to plug their bands. 'Heavy Righteous Metal II' is more or less such a promotion tool. Not only did Pure Metal Records steal the title from K-Tel, and their 'Righteous Metal'-series, but they have only included 1 song, as far as I know, that never have seen the light of day on any subsequent record. Thus this track, from the band Legacy, is reason enough to own this disc. I must say though, that it is a cool look into many of the bands that was singed to the label at the time.

ROCK AID ARMENIA - THE EARTHQUAKE ALBUM (1990) LIFE AID ARMENIA/MEGA

  1. Smoke On The Water '90 - Rock Aid Armenia
  2. All Right Now - Free
  3. The Spirit Of Radio - Rush
  4. Since You Been Gone - Rainbow
  5. Headless Cross - Black Sabbath
  6. Turn It On Again - Genesis
  7. Owner Of A Lonely Heart - Yes
  8. Fanfare For The Common Man - ELP
  9. Fool For Your Loving - Whitesnake
  10. Heat Of The Moment - Asia
  11. We Built This City - Starship
  12. Jukebox Hero - Foreigner
  13. Run To The Hills - Iron Maiden
  14. Black Night - Deep Purple
  15. Silent Running (On Dangerous Ground) - Mike And The Mechanics
  1. exclusive track
  2. from the 'Fire and Water' album
  3. from the 'Permanent Waves' album
  4. from the 'Down To Earth' album
  5. from the 'Headless Cross' album
  6. from the 'Duke' album
  7. from the '90125' album
  8. from the 'Works Volume 1' album
  9. from the 'Ready An' Willing' album
  10. from the 'Asia' album
  11. from the 'Knee Deep In Hoopla' album
  12. from the '4' album
  13. from the 'The Number Of The Best' album
  14. from the 'Black Night' single
  15. from the 'Mike + The Mechanics' album

Rock Aid Armenia was a humanitarian effort, put together by a group of hard rock and heavy metal musicians. The project set out to raise money to help those affected by the Leninakan Earthquake that struck Armenia on December 7th, 1988. The aid project culminated at the Metropolis Studios in Chiswick, London on July 8, 1989 for the recording of a single. Originally the organizers planned for a benefit concert in Moscow, but plans fell through, and an album was recorded instead. The project was created and coordinated by international charity campaigner Jon Dee and Paul Lowell. The recording consisted of original tracks by several contemporary hard rock artist. The project is mostly remembered for a re-recording of Deep Purple’s "Smoke on the Water", with different vocalists singing each verse. The single made it to the British Top 40. Musicians involved in the recording of the song included Bryan Adams, Geoff Beauchamp, Ritchie Blackmore, Bruce Dickinson, Geoff Downes, Keith Emerson, Ian Gillan, David Gilmour, Tony Iommi, Alex Lifeson, Brian May, Paul Rodgers, Chris Squire and Roger Taylor. John Paul Jones and Jon Lord were credited as "helping" on the track. The rehearsals of the re-recording of "Smoke on the Water" were filmed and released in the same year on video as 'Rock Aid Armenia: Making of Smoke on the Water', along with interviews and a video clip for the single. 'Rock Aid Armenia: The Earthquake Album' and 'Rock Aid Armenia: The Earth Hour Video' were released in 1990. The Japanese version of the album includes a very different track list, with other bands, and even other songs from bands already on the worldwide distributed version. Here is the Japanese track list: 1. Emerson, Lake & Palmer - Fanfare for the Common Man, 2. Bon Jovi - Livin' on a Prayer, 3. Gary Moore - After the War, 4. Iron Maiden - Run to the Hills, 5. Black Sabbath - Headless Cross, 6. Led Zeppelin - Dazed 'N' Confused, 7. Asia - Heat of the Moment, 8. Foreigner - Hearts Turn to Stone, 9. Mike And The Mechanics - Silent Running, 10. The Firm - Satisfaction Guaranteed, 11. Deep Purple - Perfect Strangers, 12. Genesis - Mama, 13. Pink Floyd - One Slip, 14. Rush - The Spirit of Radio, 15. Yes - I've Seen All Good People, 16. Rock Aid Armenia - Smoke on the Water '90. I bought the benefit album because I'd heard of Bruce Dickinson's involvement in it. And although you can clearly hear him sing one of the verses in the song, it isn't even a good cover version of the classic song. However, this compilation includes many famous songs from artists I'd never buy albums from elsewhere. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think this was the first time the original single version of Deep Purple's "Black Night" made it to a CD release.

METAL MISSION - THE SAMPLER (1990) WORD

  1. Medicine - X-Sinner
  2. Beyond The Mountain - Sacred Warrior
  3. See No Evil - Holy Soldier
  4. It's A Jungle Out There - Mastedon
  5. Do You Still Believe In Love - Rage Of Angels
  6. Vile Hypocrisy - Believer
  7. Born Again - Leviticus
  8. Suicide Is A Lie - The Lead
  9. Take Me - Angelica
  10. If Only You Knew - Mercy Rule
  11. No Love - Deliverance
  12. Warfare - Vengeance Rising
  1. from the CD 'Get It'
  2. from the CD 'Master's Command'
  3. from the CD 'Holy Soldier'
  4. from the CD 'It's A Jungle Out There'
  5. from the CD 'Rage Of Angels'
  6. from the CD 'Extraction From Mortality'
  7. from the CD 'Knights Of Heaven
  8. from the CD 'Burn This Record'
  9. from the CD 'Angelica'
  10. from the CD 'Overruled'
  11. from the CD 'Deliverance'
  12. from the CD 'Once Dead'

This might be the first CD I ever owned! Back in 1990 I remember going into a Christian bookstore, and ordered 10 metal LP's. And when I went back to pick them up (back then Christian metal was pretty much a special order in Norway), this sampler CD was given me for free together with my purchase. I'm not even sure I owned a CD player yet! Of course when I did get to hear it, I was already a fan of most of the bands represented here. And those I was unfamiliar with, I went right out and tracked down their albums. Now the CD, besides having a sentimental value for me, function great as something to put on to "rediscover" some great Christian metal bands. The scene really had many great bands back then, and this compilation proves it. From the clean and AOR sounding bands like Angelica and Mastedon, the heavy metal of Holy Soldier and Leviticus, to the thrashing metal from Vengeance Rising and Believer, it isn't hard to spot the quality in it all.

CLASSIC METAL (1990) REGENCY

  1. Wasn't It Love - Mastedon
  2. Don't Give Up - Rage Of Angels
  3. Marching On - Guardian
  4. Tears - Soldier
  5. Attack - Deliverance
  6. Do You Still Believe In Love? - Rage Of Angels
  7. Stand Strong - Arsenal
  8. Spiritual Warfare - Guardian
  9. The Chosen - Believer
  10. Tunnel Vision - The Lead
  1. from the 'California Metal' compilation
  2. from the 'Rage Of Angels' album
  3. from the 'California Metal' compilation, also released on the 'First Watch' album
  4. from the 'California Metal II' compilation
  5. from the 'California Metal' compilation
  6. from the 'Rage Of Angels' album
  7. from the 'East Coast Metal' compilation
  8. from the 'California Metal' compilation
  9. from the 'East Coast Metal' compilation
  10. from the 'East Coast Metal' compilation, also on the 'The Past Behind' album

Wow! A compilation of compilation albums! Regency sure knew how to make a quick buck! Still, this CD contains so many unreleased gems, it becomes rather essential for collectors of Christian metal if you don't already own the compilation album from which these songs were originally on, that is). Most of these songs never saw a proper album release, thus it's cool to have them collected here. Favorites include "Attack" by Deliverance, "The Chosen" by Believer and the Soldier tune. I cannot believe that these songs were never used on any of the bands full-length albums! Also gotta love the killer artwork by Jeff Spencer.

HOT METAL SUMMER ΙΙΙ HOT LICKS - COLD FACTS (1990) INTENSE

  1. You Get What you Pray For - Tourniquet
  2. Ark Of Suffering - Tourniquet
  3. Weapons Of Our Warfare - Deliverance
  4. This Present Darkness - Deliverance
  5. Master's Command - Sacred Warrior
  6. Bound By Chains - Sacred Warrior
  7. Warfare - Vengeance Rising
  8. Into The Abyss - Vengeance Rising
  9. Take Us Away - Recon
  10. Behind Enemy Lines - Recon
  11. Live Medley - Bloodgood
    1. Demon On The Run

    2. Killing The Beast

    3. Battle Of The Flesh

    4. Black Snake

  12. Kill The Sarx - scaterd-few

  13. Glass God (No Freedom In Basing) - scaterd-few

  14. sneak preview - Time and Time Again - Angelica

  15. sneak preview - Sticks And Stones - Ransom

  16. sneak preview - Blue Ice - Zaffiro

  17. Intense Conversation

  1. from the 'Stop The Bleeding' album
  2. from the 'Stop The Bleeding' album
  3. from the 'Weapons Of Our Warfare' album
  4. from the 'Weapons Of Our Warfare' album
  5. from the 'Master's Command' album
  6. from the 'Master's Command' album
  7. from the 'Once Dead' album
  8. from the 'Once Dead' album
  9. from the 'Behind Enemy Lines' album
  10. from the 'Behind Enemy Lines' album
  11. from the 'Live Vol. I Alive In America' album
  12. from the 'Sin Disease' album
  13. from the 'Sin Disease' album
  14. demo, later released on the 'Walkin' In Faith' album
  15. from the 'Once And For All' demo
  16. demo, later released on the 'In Scarlet Storm' album
  17. Interviews by Pastor Roger Martinez

Compilation albums were a huge part of the Christian metal movement back during the late 80's/early 90's. And the 'Hot Metal' series was a popular one. Here we have the 3rd installment in the series. It contains songs from some of the best bands on the Intense roster. And what a compilation it is! Heavily laden on the thrash metal side of things, it offers some of the better songs from acts like Deliverance, Vengeance Rising and Tourniquet. Choice cuts from Sacred Warrior, Recon and a live medley from Bloodgood is something to salivate offer also. I was never a fan of the trashy post-punk of scaterd-few though. So the skip button is a must for me there. Then we are offered sneak previews from albums and bands that had not yet released their debut albums. The album ends with a conversation track. These are small interview snippets with most of the bands on the compilation. The interviews were conducted by Vengeance Rising's Roger Martinez.

ARGH!!! THE OFFICIAL R.E.X. SAMPLER (1991) R.E.X.

  1. The Calling (Remix) - Haven
  2. Do Not Be Deceived (Remix) - Minier
  3. You Hold Your Heart (Remix) - Nina Llopis
  4. Elisabeth - The Throes
  5. The Empty Sepulchre (Remix) - The Lead
  6. Too Tired To Tremble - Primitive Dance Tribe
  7. Slave to Sin - Sacrament
  8. Progressive Change - Living Sacrifice
  9. Vile Hypocrisy (Remix) - Believer
  10. Frustration - No Laughing Matter
  11. Dead End Street - The Throes
  1. from the 'Your Dying Day' album
  2. from the 'Minier' album
  3. from the 'No Shadow Of Turning' album
  4. previously unreleased
  5. from the 'Burn This Record' album
  6. previously unreleased
  7. from the 'Testimony Of Apocalypse' album
  8. unreleased demo
  9. from the 'Extraction From Mortality' album
  10. previously unreleased
  11. previously unreleased

R.E.X. Records was such a weird company. They signed many of the harder bands in the Christian metal scene, but they also had the softest of the rock bands in their roster. And this sampler gives you an idea, as it handles both Believer and Living Sacrifice alongside The Throes and Primitive Dance Tribe!! Oh well, it's the metal that keeps this heart beating, and we get plenty of it on 'ARGH!!!'. And since many of the songs are presented here in remixed version, and some of them are even demos that never saw later CD-releases, this sampler actually gets to be quite essential. Just be ready to hit the skip-button here and there.

DEEPER INTO THE VAULT (1991) MUSIC FOR NATIONS/MEGAFORCE

  1. Burnt Offerings - Legacy/Testament w/Steve Souza on vocals
  2. Acid Queen - Venom
  3. Black Masses - Mercyful Fate
  4. Across The River/Howling Furies (Live) - Anthrax
  5. Metal Rap - Lone Rager
  6. Blitzkrieg - Blitzkrieg
  7. Sonic Reducer - Overkill
  8. Victims - T.T Quick
  9. Take It Away (Live) - Raven
  10. Ram It Up - S.O.D.
  11. Is This Life - The Beast
  12. The Shape - The Beast
  13. If The Shoe Fits - M.O.D.
  14. Death Revenge - Exciter
  1. from the 'Demo: 1' demo
  2. from the 'Die Hard' single
  3. from the 'Black Masses' single
  4. Live in Texas, May 1985
  5. from the 'Metal Rap' single
  6. from the 'Buried Alive' demo
  7. outtake from the 'Feel The Fire' session
  8. from the 'T.T Quick' EP
  9. outtake from the 'Live At The Inferno' session
  10. outtake from the 'Speak English Or Die' session
  11. from the 'Born To Metalize' split album
  12. from the 'Born To Metalize' split album
  13. outtake from the 'Gross Misconduct' session, previously unreleased
  14. outtake from the 'Violence & Force' session

'Deeper Into The Vault' is one of the finest compilation albums ever made. This is not your average cash-in compilation, with songs you already own somewhere else. Megaforce Records was the first major record label concentrating solely on metal. As such they were instrumental in the rise of bands such as Metallica, Anthrax, S.O.D., Mercyful Fate, Raven, Overkill and a whole slew of other acts. Heck, they practically started the whole thrash metal scene on their own! And on 'Deeper Into The Vault' they have gone where the title says. This CD is filled to the brim with demos, b-sides, outtakes and rare live tracks. Very few of these songs are readily available elsewhere. But the common nominator is that they are important parts of the metal history!

The ball opens with a demo track from Legacy. This was recorded just months before the band changed their name to Testament. This happened after their singer, Steve Souza, left to join Exodus. "Burnt Offerings" was later on recorded for the bands debut album. But this demo version has sounds much more raw, and has Steve's charismatic voice. Up next are 2 single B-sides from Venom and Mercyful Fate, originally released as 7" picture discs. The Venom single marks the very first release on Megaforce Records. Unfortunately they have managed to mix up the Mercyful Fate title. The liner-notes erroneously lists it as "Black Funeral", while in fact it is "Black Masses" that appear on the CD. This songs main riff is a blatant rip-off of the Diamond Head classic, "Am I Evil?"! The live Anthrax tune marks the first ever appearance with Joey Belladonna on vocals. They rarely played this song live after this recording, so it's a treat owning it here. The Lone Rager track is supposedly the first ever mix or rap and metal, recorded by label executive Jon Zazula himself, with help from his friends in The Rods. To me it's just an easily forgotten spoof song. Other highlights includes the T.T Quick track, a band I need to investigate in further, the previously unreleased songs by the crossover acts, S.O.D. and M.O.D. ("If The Shoe Fits" was intended as a title track to the album that later became 'Gross Misconduct'), and the Exciter song.

As you can see, 'Deeper Into The Vault' is an essential compilation of anyone who claims to know their metal history.

ULTIMATE METAL (1990, 1991) 214    

  1. Attention Please - Whitecross
  2. King Of Kings - Barren Cross
  3. To The End - David Zaffiro
  4. Help Me - Zion
  5. If You Will - Deliverance
  6. World Come Crushing Down - Undercover
  7. Waste Your Life Away - Xalt
  8. Dancing On The Head Of The Serpent - Jerusalem
  9. Alone In Suicide - Bloodgood
  10. One Of A Kind - Guardian
  11. Woodpecker Stomp - Jeff Scheetz
  1. taken from the album 'Triumphant Return'
  2. taken from the album 'Atomic Arena'
  3. taken from the album 'The Other Side'
  4. taken from the album 'Thunder from the Mountain'
  5. taken from the album 'Deliverance'
  6. taken from the album 'Balance Of Power'
  7. taken from the album 'Under The Ruins'
  8. taken from the album 'Dancing On The Head Of The Serpent'
  9. taken from the album 'Detonation'
  10. taken from the album 'First Watch'
  11. taken from the album 'Woodpecker Stomp'

214 Records was a short lived company that specialized in releasing Christian rock and metal compilation albums. The 'Ultimate...' series was originally released on the Star Song label. And it gets a little confusing when they released 'Ultimate Metal' in 1989, with the exact same cover as pictures above on the left, but with a completely different track list. Then a year later, they released their 'Ultimate Metal 2' compilation, with a slightly altered cover (pictured above right), but now with the same track list as on this CD. So 214's 'Ultimate Metal' compilation is actually a re-issue of Star Songs 'Ultimate Metal 2' release, using the same cover as Star Song's 'Ultimate Metal' release! Anyway, this is yet another good compilation of Christian metal. There are no exclusive tracks here, or anything you can't get elsewhere. But it is a fine overview of the scene that was actually quite huge back then. I'm not sure Undercover should be on a metal compilation. But that is just one song out of 11. Here you get melodic metal from Guardian, David Zaffiro and Xalt, straight heavy metal from Zion, Barren Cross and Bloodgood, speed metal from Deliverance, instrumental shredding from Jeff Scheetz, and hard rock from Jerusalem. The entry from the latter band is misspelled on the back of the CD.

WHITE METAL WARRIORS - LAST SHIP HOME (1991) EDGE/PURE METAL

  1. Heed The Warning - Seventh Angel
  2. Anybody There? - Stairway
  3. Do Or Die - Lazarus
  4. Subliminal Division - Detritus
  5. Sweet Release - Maverick
  6. Seven Angels - Seventh Angel
  7. Walk Away - Stairway
  8. Overpower - Lazarus
  9. Taste The Blood - Detritus
  10. You'll Shine - Maverick
  1. from the 'Heed The Warning' demo
  2. demo version, later released on the 'No Rest, No Mercy' album
  3. previously unreleased
  4. taken from the 'Perpetual Defiance' album
  5. previously unreleased
  6. from the 'Heed The Warning' demo
  7. demo version, later released on the 'No Rest, No Mercy' album
  8. previously unreleased
  9. taken from the 'Perpetual Defiance' album
  10. previously unreleased

'White Metal Warriors' is a compilation showcasing the British Christian metal scene of the late early 90's. I think most of these bands were still on the demo stage when this compilation was released, and some of them didn't even resurface after appearing on this CD. The styles represented vary from the straight heavy metal of Maverick and Stairway, through the power metal, borderline speed metal of Lazarus, to the thrash metal of Seventh Angel and Detritus. It's the latter two I hold as my favorites here. The Seventh Angel tracks are from the 'Heed The Warning' demo, released in 1990. And this compilation was the only place to hear these songs on CD, prior to the 2005 re-release of the demo on Bombworks Records. I'm not sure about the Stairway songs, if they are demo cuts or not, but both are listed on the reissue of the band debut, 'No Rest, No Mercy'. Both Detritus songs appear on their debut, but the Lazarus and Maverick tracks I've not been able to find any additional info on. They are most likely just demo tracks too. The cover art, as usual I should say with these British metal acts, was done by Rodney Matthews.

HARD 'N HEAVY (1991) QUALITY

  1. Painkiller - Judas Priest
  2. Born On The Sun - Dio
  3. Dirty Weapons - Killer Dwarfs
  4. Holy Wars (The Punishment Due) - Megadeth
  5. Souls Of Black - Testament
  6. Stonewall - Annihilator
  7. Eye Of The Witch - King Diamond
  8. Tattooed Millionaire - Bruce Dickinson
  9. Unskinny Bop - Poison
  10. Lovin' You's A Dirty Job - Ratt
  11. Running Wild In The 21st Century - Helix
  12. Can't Find My Way Home - House Of Lords
  13. How Much Love - Vixen
  14. Short End Of A Wishbone - Haywire
  15. I Remember You - Skid Row
  16. House Of Pain - Faster Pussycat
  1. from the 'Painkiller' album
  2. from the 'Lock Up The Wolves' album
  3. from the 'Dirty Weapons' album
  4. from the 'Rust In Piece' album
  5. from the 'Souls Of Black' album
  6. from the 'Never, Neverland' album
  7. from the 'The Eye' album
  8. from the 'Tattooed Millionaire' album
  9. from the 'Flesh & Blood' album
  10. from the 'Detonator' album
  11. from the 'Back For Another Taste' album
  12. from the 'Sahara' album
  13. from the 'Rev It Up' album
  14. from the 'Nuthouse' album
  15. from the 'Skid Row' album
  16. from the 'Wake Me When It's Over' album

The whole idea behind a compilation album is to showcase different bands. Very often it's a way for labels to plug their own bands. So either you are lucky and like many of the band on that label, or you loose interest in the CD pretty quick. Now I don't think Canadian label Quality Special Products have anything to do with any of the bands presented on this compilation CD. But they sure have picked some stellar acts to showcase! This looks more like one of those mix-tapes we old school metalheads used to make to listen to in the car stereo, or on the boom box! Maybe you made them to show your friends some cool new bands you'd discovered. 'Hard 'n Heavy' takes me back to those days, and I bet this album would go down great at one of numerous parties and/or vorspiels I've been to throughout the years. Just look at the track list here!! The CD sets the tone from get go with one of Judas Priest's better songs. What a start! Then Dio kicks in, not with one of his most know numbers, but a good song nonetheless. After some sleaze metal from Killer Dwarfs, we get a triple-thrash treat! And so the list goes on. I personally could do without some of the softer acts here, like Vixen and Haywire (who?). But that is a personal preference more than a reflection of the quality of the bands. 'Hard 'n Heavy' was worth the 2 bucks I paid for it! How many other compilation albums out there have both King Diamond and Bruce Dickinson solo on them?

POWER BALLADS (1991) EVA RECORDS

  1. Still Loving You - Scorpions
  2. I Remember You - Skid Row
  3. Every Rose Has It's Thorn - Poison
  4. Alone - Heart
  5. High Enough - Damn Yankees
  6. Love Conquers All - Deep Purple
  7. I Don't Love You Anymore - Quireboys
  8. More Than Words Can Say - Alias
  9. Wanted Dead Or Alive - Bon Jovi
  10. Is This Love - Whitesnake
  11. Without You - Mötley Crüe
  12. Heaven - Warrant
  13. Empty Rooms - Gary Moore
  14. Only My Heart Talkin' - Alice Cooper
  15. When The Children Cry - White Lion
  1. from the 'Love at First Sting' album
  2. from the 'Skid Row' album
  3. from the 'Open Up And Say...Ahh!' album
  4. from the 'Bad Animals' album
  5. from the 'Damn Yankees' album
  6. from the 'Slaves and Masters' album
  7. from the 'A Bit of What You Fancy' album
  8. from the 'Alias' album
  9. from the 'Slippery When Wet' album
  10. from the '1987' album
  11. from the 'Dr. Feelgood' album
  12. from the 'Dirty Rotten Filthy Stinking Rich' album
  13. from the 'Victims Of The Future' album
  14. from the 'Trash' album
  15. from the 'Pride' album

During the latter part of the 80's, and the early 90's the power ballad was a strong force. Every hard rock band had to have one, and they were immensely popular, selling millions of singles and album. Compilation albums with nothing but the hits were another rage during the same period. Eva Records was a Swedish based record company, specializing in hits-compilations, known mostly for their various 'Absolute *this-or-that*' series. In 1991 they released their first collection of hard rock ballads, aptly entitled 'Power Ballads' (later also renamed 'Absolute Power Ballads', and released with several different album covers). These power ballads were also very popular with the opposite sex, so finally we has a CD with "our" music that we could play to impress the ladies! A friend of mine bought this CD when it was new, and we used to play it to death. And since I can't actually remember playing it to any girls back then, I just have to admit that we loved these songs ourselves. And what is there not to love? This compilation delivers 15 awesome ballads, all played by multi-million selling bands, with songs that ruled at the top of the Billboard list. Favorites include Skid Row's amazing "I Remember You", Heart's "Alone", Damn Yankees' "High Enough" and Mötley Crüe's "Without You". Not sure why Bon Jovi is represented with "Wanted Dead Or Alive" though, as this song is hardly a ballad all the way through. Strange choice, since Bon Jovi are well known for countless other ballads up through the years. 'Power Ballads' is a fine compilation if you're into the softer side of hard rock. Eva Records released 2 follow-ups to this compilation.

Trivia: "Alone" is a song composed by Billy Steinberg and Tom Kelly. It first appeared on Steinberg and Kelly's pet project, 1983's I-Ten, 'Taking a Cold Look'. It was later recorded by John Stamos (mostly known for his role as Uncle Jesse on the ABC sitcom 'Full House') in his role as Gino Minelli, on the original soundtrack of the CBS sitcom 'Dreams' in 1984. Heart made it a hit in 1987. Twenty years later, Céline Dion recorded it for her album 'Taking Chances'.

MORE POWER BALLADS (1992) EVA RECORDS

  1. Send Me An Angel - Scorpions
  2. Home Sweet Home ('91 remix) - Mötley Crüe
  3. I'll See You In My Dreams - Giant
  4. To Be With You - Mr. Big
  5. Miles Away - Winger
  6. I'll Cry For You - Europe
  7. Wasted Time - Skid Row
  8. Laugh 'n' A 1/2 - D.A.D.
  9. When I'm Gone - MSG
  10. Lover Of Mine - Alannah Myles
  11. Bye Bye Johnny - Return
  12. Mama I'm Coming Home - Ozzy Osbourne
  13. I Still Think About You - Danger Danger
  14. Parisienne Walkways (live) - Gary Moore
  15. Stairway To Heaven - Led Zeppelin
  1. from the 'Crazy World' album
  2. from the 'Decade of Decadence' compilation
  3. from the 'Last of the Runaways' album
  4. from the 'Lean Into It' album
  5. from the 'In the Heart of the Young' album
  6. from the 'Prisoners in Paradise' album
  7. from the 'Slave To The Grind' album
  8. from the 'Riskin' It All' album
  9. from the 'M.S.G.' album
  10. from the 'Alannah Myles ' album
  11. from the 'Attitudes' album
  12. from the 'No More Tears' album
  13. from the 'Screw It!' album
  14. from the 'Parisienne Walkways' single?
  15. from the 'Led Zeppelin IV' album

The success of the 'Power Ballads' compilation made way for a quick follow up. 15 more chart-breaking soft-rockers were picked, and BAM!, 'More Power Ballads' hit the shelves. Several bands from the previous entry in the series are represented again here. This CD also takes us back to the very beginning of the genre, including what might arguably be the first power ballad ever, namely Led Zeppelin's "Stairway To Heaven". There is no denying that power ballads were VERY popular back in the early '90's. Heck, some of these bands were only known for their power ballads! Winger, anyone? There are quite a lot of choice cuts on this CD. I remember discovering D.A.D. because of this disc. Other favorites include Skid Row, Giant, Ozzy, Europe and Mötley Crüe. 'More Power Ballads' is as strong as it's predecessor, and it's a compilation that gets spun every so often in my home.

AN INTENSE HISTORY OF CHRISTIAN METAL (1992) INTENSE

  1. You Get What You Pray For - Tourniquet
  2. Weapons Of Our Warfare - Deliverance
  3. Mulligan's Stew - Vengeance Rising
  4. Dome Of The Rock - Magdallan
  5. Obsessions - Sacred Warrior
  6. Cover Me - Angelica
  7. Exit (Euthanasia) - Ransom
  8. Journey Of Reconciliation - Mortification
  9. Victory - Deliverance
  10. If Ever Maria - Mortal
  11. Black Harvest - Randy Rose
  12. Battle Of The Flesh - Bloodgood
  13. Psycho Surgery - Tourniquet
  14. Give Me An Answer - Shout
  15. Before The Time - Vengeance Rising
  16. Angry Candy - Lanny Cordola
  1. from the 'Stop The Bleeding' album
  2. from the 'Weapons Of Our Warfare' album
  3. from the 'Human Sacrifice' album
  4. from the 'Big Bang' album
  5. from the 'Obsessions' album
  6. from the 'Rock, Stock & Barrel ' album
  7. from the 'Soul Asylum' album
  8. from the 'Mortification' album
  9. from the 'Deliverance' compilation
  10. from the 'Lusis' album
  11. from the 'Sacrificium' album
  12. from the 'Detonation' album
  13. from the Psycho Surgery' album
  14. from the 'In Your Face' album
  15. from the 'Destruction Comes' album
  16. from the 'Electric Warrior Acoustic Saint' album

With it's informative liner notes, telling the stories behind each band on the CD, this compilation is yet another fine absorption into the Christian Metal history. We only get to know bands on the Intense/Frontline roster, of course. But it's still 16 tracks of the finest sort we get treated to. The scene was virtually crowded with class acts back then. I mean, just take a look at the track list! Those were the good times. The booklet also states that the tracks have been digitally remastered. But I can't hear any difference in the sound on this album, from the original CD's.

HOT METAL V - SCREAMING TRUTH (1993) INTENSE

  1. Words To The ... - Deliverance
  2. Saviour Machine Interview
  3. Carnival Of Souls - Saviour Machine
  4. Randy Rose Interview
  5. Hide - Rose
  6. Eden - Die Happy
  7. Mortification Interview
  8. Distarnish Priest - Mortification
  9. Mortal Interview
  10. Above And Beyond - Mortal
  11. Pathogenic Ocular Dissonance - Tourniquet
  12. Tourniquet Interview
  1. from the 'Stay Of Execution' album
  2. interview
  3. from the 'Saviour Machine' album
  4. interview
  5. from the ' Intensive Live Series Vol. 3' EP
  6. from the 'Volume II' album
  7. interview
  8. from the 'Post Momentary Affliction' album
  9. interview
  10. from the 'Fathom' album
  11. from the 'Pathogenic Ocular Dissonance' album
  12. interview

The 'Hot Metal'-series has come to it's 5th incarnation. The first 3 were named 'Hot Metal Summer' I, II and III, while number IV was a VHS video release. This time we get to know some of the current (in 1993, that is) bands on the Intense rooster. And in addition to songs from the bands latest releases, we also get some interviews with most of the artists. I've owned every single album represented here, but have over time gotten rid of some of them. That is due to the fact that some of these artists, despite the title on this compilation, are not metal in my book. Rose, Mortal and Saviour Machine are all non-metal artists, and are only loosely related to metal. I have kept the debut album by the latter though, as I've really grown to love their music. And here we get the bands best song, ever. Today I think I keep this compilation mostly for the interview parts.

EVEN MORE POWER BALLADS (1994) EVA RECORDS

  1. Rough Boy - ZZ Top
  2. All I Wanna Do Is Make Love To You - Heart
  3. Cats In The Cradle - Ugly Kid Joe
  4. Another Day - Dream Theater
  5. I Want To Know What Love Is - Foreigner
  6. Wild World - Mr. Big
  7. Hazard - Richard Marx
  8. Don't Let Daddy Kiss Me - Motörhead
  9. Edie (Ciao Baby) - The Cult
  10. Take This Heart - Return
  11. Rainbow Child - Dan Reed Network
  12. Soul To Squeeze - Red Hot Chili Peppers
  13. Why Don't You Stay - Glenn Hughes
  14. A Better Man - Thunder
  1. from the 'Afterburner' album
  2. from the 'Brigade'
  3. from the 'America's Least Wanted' album
  4. from the 'Images And Words' album
  5. from the 'Agent Provocateur' album
  6. from the 'Bump Ahead' album
  7. from the 'Rush Street' album
  8. from the 'Bastards' album
  9. from the 'Sonic Temple' album
  10. from the 'V' album
  11. from the 'Slam' album
  12. from the 'Coneheads Soundtrack' album
  13. from the 'From Now On...' album
  14. from the 'Laughing on Judgement Day' album

In 1994 grunge had killed just about every other rock genre out there. Some even suggest it was in direct opposition to the bands represented on these 'Power Ballad' compilations. Still, Eva Records decided to milk the cow one more time, so here is the third installment, entitled 'Even More Power Ballads'. It's pretty evident that the genre is all but buried when the brother part of the songs picked for the compilation were no longer current by the time of this release. The only song produced the same year as this CD is the one from Glenn Hughes. Another revealing factor that something isn't right anymore is the fact that many of the artist used aren't even hard rock bands! Red Hot Chili Peppers, Dan Reed Network and Richard Marx? I think not! There are some radio favorites present though. But that only lessens the appeal for me. I just have no desire to listen to "Cat's In The Cradle" or "Wild World" on a CD, as they are on various radio stations every day, even today! They should have picked original songs from Ugly Kid Joe and Mr. Big instead. The only songs that I really enjoy here is "Another Day" from Dream Theater, and "Don't Let Daddy Kiss Me" from Motörhead. The latter was the first ballad the band ever recorded. And the last one too for all I know. To sum things up, this is not a very good compilation, and I own it mostly to have the complete 'Power Ballad' series in the collection.

ŲREVOX (1994) GRŲNN MUSIKK

  1. Deep Purple-medley - Artch
  2. Citizen - Immer Neant
  3. Born To Be Wild - A Rock 'n Roll Adventure
  4. Fire In The Night - One More Cup Of Coffee
  5. Detroit Rock City - Loader
  6. Sinners Of Love - Southern Revolvers
  7. Korrupt Prest - Ludder I Lake
  8. Cold Turkey - Witchhammer
  9. Psyk Kjęrlighet - Eventyr
  10. Paul Stanley - Douglass Furs
  11. Aphordite - The Nude
  12. Vinterlandet I Nord - Ragnarok
  13. Voices - Nexus
  14. Lies - Flux
  15. Wish Me Luck - Vombat
  16. No Key To Peace - Toxicate

All songs on this compilation are either demo tracks, live recordings,

or otherwise exclusive to this release.

The music scene in the town where I live was very much alive during the 80's, and in the start of the 90's. Several metal bands have made at least some impact on an international scale. This compilation is a showcase of the diversity of the scene back in the early 90's. My primary reason for owning this, other then the fact that it is a part of my closest musical history, are the metal bands on here. Most of these recordings were done live in a studio located in a youth club center here in Sarpsborg. And except for Loader's cover of "Detroit Rock City", none of these songs were ever released on any full album afterwards either. Artch contributes with a Deep Purple-medley, consisting of excerpts from "Speed King", "Burn" and "Highway Star". It was recorded at the bands farewell concert in Folkets Hus on December 17th, 1993. The Witchhammer and Ragnarok tracks were later re-recorded on demos the bands released. But this is the only place you can get them on CD. There is many different styles represented on 'Ųrevox'. From punk to hardcore, straight up rock music to some early gothic metal. I have little interest for most of it, but I do like tracks from Southern Revolvers, Douglass Furs and A Rock 'N Roll Adventure (featuring members from Artch and Wig Wam). My booklet is signed by various contributing members.

RUGGED CUTS (1995) RUGGED RECORDS

  1. Thrill A Minute - Bride
  2. Bitterness - Neon Cross
  3. Gluepot - Reflescent Tide
  4. We The People - Ken Tamplin
  5. St. Vitus Dance - Dale Thompson
  6. Momma - Bride
  7. Came The Time - Reflescent Tide
  8. Video Smut - Neon Cross
  9. Thought I Met The Devil - Dale Thompson
  10. Say A Prayer - Paul Falzone
  1. from the 'Drop' album
  2. from the 'Torn' album
  3. from the 'Reflescent Tide' album
  4. from the 'We The People' album
  5. from the 'Dale Thompson And The Religious Overtones' album
  6. from the 'Drop' album
  7. from the 'Reflescent Tide' album
  8. from the 'Torn' album
  9. from the 'Dale Thompson And The Religious Overtones' album
  10. from the 'Paul Falzone' album

Christian metal underwent such a transformation during the 90's. Sadly so many of the bands that paved the way during the 80's felt that they had to change to fit with the trends in the 90's. Personally I have come to the conclusion that many of these bands were more about the message than the music. When metal became a dirty word, they adopted the modern rock tag instead, and carried on as if the 80's never happened. This compilation album is a perfect example of this. Band like Bride and Neon Cross were Christian metal pioneers in the 80's. But here they deliver contemporary modern rock instead. The sound is completely different, and quite frankly I could never truly appreciate those bands after their transformation. I have much more respect for Dale Thompson's solo efforts during this time, then anything he released with Bride. Here you get 2 cuts from his second solo effort. It was going to be entitled 'Concept Blues', and the cover art is even shown in the booklet for this compilations. But when the finished result was released, a new altered cover was used, and the album was now entitled 'Dale Thompson and the Religious Overtones' instead. The original title and cover art would have been a better match, in my opinion, as the 2 tracks presented here are definitely blues oriented. Ken Tamplin delivers his usual mix of hard rock and soul. Reflescent Tide was at the time a new alternative rock band, and Paul Falzone was just about to release his debut album, filled with melodic, acoustic AOR. The ballad presented here is actually quite good. He later changed his name to Eli Stone, and released several pop/rock album under the eLi moniker. 'Rugged Cuts' is a sampler from Rugged Records, showcasing the labels roster. It's not my most played item, that is for sure.

NEW MEXICO ROCK COALITION SAMPLER VOL. 1 (1996) NMRC

  1. 99 And Double Time - Stone Soul
  2. De-sad'-e-me - 23rd Hour
  3. I'll See You There - Rumbleseat
  4. Overdose - Intrinsic
  5. You And I - All Eyes
  6. 3 AM - Void Cathedral
  7. Ghost Town - Paris Blue
  8. Freedom - Cybicus
  9. Knowledge - Mua' Dib
  10. Babylon - Masque
  11. Tears - First Strike
  12. Remains - Mad Havok
  13. Chin Ups - M:13
  14. Darkest Void - Ultimatum
  15. Red Sea  - SevenThsign
  16. Lost In The Rain - Future X
  17. Possession Of My Depression - Zyxter Scat
  18. A Way Out - Phantom Fury
  19. Why - Dark Truth
  1. demo?
  2. from the album 'Immortal Coil'
  3. demo?
  4. from the album 'Valley Of Fire'
  5. from the 5-track demo EP
  6. demo?
  7. taken from the album 'Get Out Alive'
  8. from the 'Progressive Order' demo
  9. demo?
  10. demo track
  11. from the 'First Strike' demo
  12. demo?
  13. demo?
  14. from the album 'Symphonic Extremities'
  15. from the album 'Perpetual Destiny', edited version
  16. demo?
  17. demo?
  18. demo track, later released on the 'A New Dimension' album
  19. from the 'The Rhythmic Sound Of Crushing Bone' album

Being the total Ultimatum freak I am, Scott Waters (singer) sent me this compilation album, containing a song from their debut. The CD also contains tracks from a total of 19 bands from the Albuquerque era, or New Mexico in general. The only common nominator here is the word Rock. Most every imaginable version of modern rock is represented, be it gothic metal, progressive hard rock or thrash! I haven't even heard of any of the bands before, save for the already mentioned Ultimatum, and SevenThsign. And frankly, these two bands offer up the best songs on this compilation. While most of these songs appear to be demo-tracks only, at least some of the bands went on to record full albums after this album came out. Cybicus f.ex., recorded the 6 track demo, 'Price Of Power' in 1998. Other choice cuts are the opening hard rocker "99 And Double Time" from Stone Soul and "Lost In The Rain" by Future X. The latter is pure heavy metal, with loads of flash and balls! Too bad that band disappeared afterwards, but I guess this kind of music wasn't exactly marketable when this song was recorded back in 1995. It's a fun compilation to own, but not one I will be listening a whole lot to, I reckon.

MASSIVE FREQUENCY OVERLOAD - U.S. HARD COMPILATION (1997) ROWE

  1. Innocent Blood - Covenant
  2. Five - Noiszgate
  3. Alone - Erase
  4. Torturer - Frank's Enemy
  5. Scars Of Brutality - Amnos
  6. Nothing - Slamcat
  7. Nevertheless - S.O.G.
  8. World Of Sin - Ultimatum
  9. Coronation - Vindication
  10. Ripped - Dead Pharisees
  11. Dead To The World - Corpse
  12. Sacrifice - Antithesis
  13. Image - Sovereign
  14. The Down Road - Faithbomb
  15. Dissection - Crimson Thorn
  1. unreleased
  2. unreleased
  3. from the 'Mental Overload' album
  4. from the 'Neoblasphemies' album
  5. unreleased
  6. from the album 'El Gato de la Slam'
  7. unreleased
  8. from the 'Symphonic Extremities' album
  9. from the 'Exhume The Grave' demo
  10. from the 'Knock Me On My Face' demo
  11. from the '1993 Demo' demo
  12. from the '8 track demo tape' demo
  13. from the 'Empowered By god' demo
  14. from the 'The American Jesus' album
  15. from the 'Dissection' album

In the beginning of the Christian metal movement compilation albums were a great way to get to know new bands, and discover what the scene had to offer. And I guess that is the same mindset Steve Rowe of Mortification had in mind when he released all these compilation CD's on his Rowe Productions label. The only problem was that there was a lack of genuinely good bands at this point in time. The Christian metal movement was over flooded with mediocre death metal acts. And it's no wonder why most of these bands are no longer active, and that most of them never got past the demo stage. Sure, there are some honorable exceptions, such as Ultimatum (the demo version of "World Of Sin" is the reason why I own this disc) and Crimson Thorn, both of whom went on to record multiple albums, and gain a reputation also in the secular market. I will also like to bring attention to a great band called Noiszgate, which sadly never got any further than a demo album, released after the band broke up. This entire compilation is dedicated to the memory of their singer, Juan Reyna, who sadly passed away, after a long stint with leukemia, in November 1996. Noiszgate's brand of thrash metal sticks out as one of the better songs on the CD. Also notice that the Antithesis band featured here is not the same Antithesis that later got singed to Massacre Records, and released 3 excellent progressive metal albums.

TRUE METAL TRIUMPHANT VOLUME ONE (1999) SENTINEL STEEL

  1. Kindness Of Stranger - Onward
  2. Waterfall Enchantress - Onward
  3. War In The Sky - Gothic Knights
  4. Keeper Of The Gates - Gothic Knights
  5. Leonelda (edit) - Legend Maker
  6. Sands Of Time - Legend Maker
  7. Zero Hour - Attacker
  8. Captives Of Babylon - Attacker
  9. Princess (edit) - Axehammer
  10. Sands Of Time - Axehammer
  11. Wrath Of Nevermore - Attacker= $34.88
  12. Disciple - Attacker
  13. Burning Starr - Burning Starr
  14. Death By The Hammer - Manilla Road
  15. Haunted Palace - Manilla Road
  16. Shadow Out Of Time - Sacred Oath
  17. Magick Son - Sacred Oath
  1. from the CD 'Evermoving'
  2. from the CD 'Evermoving'
  3. from the CD 'Kingdom Of Knights'
  4. from the CD 'Kingdom Of Knights'
  5. from the CD 'The Path To Glory'
  6. from the CD 'The Path To Glory'
  7. from the CD 'The Second Coming'
  8. from the CD 'The Second Coming'
  9. from the CD 'Lord Of The Realm'
  10. from the CD 'Lord Of The Realm'
  11. from the CD 'Battle At Helm's Deep'
  12. from the CD 'Battle At Helm's Deep'
  13. from the CD 'No Turning Back'
  14. from the CD 'Mystification'
  15. from the CD 'Mystification'
  16. from the CD 'A Crystal Vision'
  17. from the CD 'A Crystal Vision'

With the subtitle "The Sentinel Steel Collection", it's not hard to understand that this is a promo sampler CD from mentioned label. Most people might know Sentinel Steel as one of the earliest, and best, web based mail-order outlets for metal music. But not only have they been purveyors of true metal longer than most, they also release their own albums. And of course it's true metal we're talking about here also. But do not think they've dug up every Manowar clone band around. No this is pure heavy metal, mostly with a US power metal leaning. Bands like Onward and Attacker are fine examples of great US metal, and both were already included in my collection. The nice thing about compilation albums like this, is that you can discover new bands. And this sampler certainly made me aware of other stellar acts, such as Axehammer and Manilla Road. And lest not forget about Legend Maker from Colombia! I recommend most of these bands to any lover of the US metal scene, be it heavy metal, thrash metal, power metal or speed metal. The slim digipak cover also comes with information on all the bands, and the releases all the songs were taken from. A great compilation disc indeed.

2000: THE SECOND COMING - A CHRISTIAN METAL COMPILATION (2000) DWELL

  1. Spiritual Matrix - Sculpture
  2. When No One Cares - Oil
  3. Never (remix) - Ultimatum
  4. No Where To Run - Tyrant
  5. She Kissed Jesus - Solace
  6. Cain - Midnight Orchestra
  7. Healing To My Soul - Sons Of Thunder
  8. House Of Cards - 3rd Day Rising
  9. Gateway To Heaven - Lost Angel
  10. Today Is A Good Day To Die - Modus Operandi
  11. Rise Above - Faithbomb
  12. Martyrdom - Devout
  1. taken from the 'Spiritual Matrix' album
  2. taken from the 'Oil' EP
  3. taken from the 'Puppet Of Destruction' album
  4. taken from the 'King Of Kings' album
  5. taken from ?
  6. taken from the 'Land Of Nod' album
  7. taken from the 'Metal Praise' EP
  8. taken from the 'Spiral' album
  9. taken from the 'Destination' album
  10. taken from the 'Modus Operandi' album
  11. taken from the 'The American Jesus' album
  12. Taken from the 'Martyrdom' demo

A secular record company releasing a compilation of newer Christian metal bands is not an everyday event. Still, that is just what Dwell Records did back in the year 2000. Dwell might be mostly known for their cover albums, and in all honesty, that was also pretty much all they did before going under. Christian metal was never a lucrative business in the first place. But someone must have thought that the new millennium would see the coming of a second wave of this otherwise dying breed. One can always argue if this is a good representation of the underground Christian metal scene back in 2000. But I can't really think of that many bands that are missing either. Genre wise this is scattered all over the place, from straight up heavy metal, to death metal. But, on further investigation, not all of the bands on this CD play metal (Midnight Orchestra), nor are all of them Christian bands (Lost Angel)!! And one of the bands is so unknown, I couldn't even find anything about them when doing a search for the on the internet (Solace). I've later discovered that the band name is either wrong, or they changed it, as a band called Silent Shadows has the track "She Kissed Jesus" on their MySpace page.

My main reason for owning this compilation is the Ultimatum track. Originally released on the 'Puppet Of Destruction' album, this version of "Never" has been remixed, and features newly recorded bass lines. I like the first 5 songs presented here the most. Incidentally 4 of them are of the thrash and/or power metal variety.

HEAVY METAL HITS OF THE '80S (2000) FLASHBACK

  1. We're Not Gonna Take It - Twisted Sister
  2. It's Not Love - Dokken
  3. Wait - White Lion
  4. Set Me Free - Heathen
  5. Badlands - Metal Church
  6. To Hell With The Devil - Stryper
  7. Hit And Run - Girlschool
  8. Invasion - Magnum
  9. Hungry - Winger
  10. Lay It Down - Ratt
  1. taken from the 'Stay Hungry' album
  2. taken from the 'Under Lock And Key' album
  3. taken from the 'Pride' album
  4. taken from the 'Breaking The Silence' album
  5. taken from the 'Blessing In Disguise' album
  6. taken from the 'To Hell With The Devil' album
  7. taken from the 'Hit And Run' album
  8. taken from the 'Kingdom Of Madness' album
  9. taken from the 'Winger' album
  10. taken from the 'Invasion Of Your Privacy' album

Flashback Records, a division of Rhino Entertainment Company, seems to specialize in releasing cheap compilation albums. Their other titles include 'Racing Rocks', 'Wrestling Rocks', 'Power Ballads' and 'Heavy Metal Head-Bangin' Hits', to name a few. Compilations like these seldom peak my interest at all. Bu this one was truly an exception. The first thing I noticed was the inclusion of a Stryper track, and not one of their sappy ballads either! Then I saw that one of my all time favorite Metal Church songs was here, namely "Badlands". Add to that choice cuts from Ratt, Dokken, White Lion, Twisted Sister and Heathen (a really odd inclusion here!), and you have the perfect party album! This is actually one compilation album worth listening to from beginning to end, no skip button necessary. Just bring out that ol' air guitar, throw your fist up in the air, and start headbanging!

IN THE SHADOW OF DEATH - A SCANDINAVIAN EXTREME MUSIC COMPILATION (2000) ENDTIME

  1. Chrysalis- Parca Pace
  2. Fall Of Man - Vaakevandring
  3. Revival - Lengsel
  4. Purple Filter - Schaliach
  5. Stone - Sanctum
  6. Blood Covered My Needs - Crimson Moonlight
  7. Spiritual Disease - Antestor
  8. Inferno (European Version) - Extol
  9. Your Dying Soul - Mental Destruction
  10. The Second Incarnation - Anaemia
  11. Riket (The Empire) - Sanctifica
  12. Footprints Of Thunder - Vardöger
  13. Wisdom - Absurd2
  14. Trellebaand Maa Briste - Drottnar
  15. Enough - Nebulon
  1. previously unreleased
  2. previously unreleased
  3. taken from the 'Solace' album
  4. previously unreleased
  5. previously unreleased
  6. previously unreleased
  7. from the 'Martyrium' album
  8. from the 'Undeceived' album
  9. from the "Straw" album, edited version
  10. from the 'The Second Incarnation' album
  11. from the 'Spirit Of Purity' album
  12. previously unreleased
  13. previously unreleased
  14. previously unreleased
  15. previously unreleased

When the extreme metal scene exploded in Scandinavia, Endtime Productions was the best record company for the Christian part of the scene. And 'In The Shadow Of Death' helped showcase the labels roster, much like the 'California Metal' and 'East Cost Metal' albums did for the Regency label, back in the early days of Christian metal. Not only does it deliver some of the best bands from this scene, it also covers a wide spectrum of bands. From the ambient opener from Parca Pace, and the industrial metal of Mental Destruction, Sanctum and Nebulon, through the tech-thrash metal of Anaemia and Absurd2, and of course the death and black metal from the rest of the band. Some band even defy classification, like Extol and Lengsel. The common stamp between all of the band is that they are all at the top of their game. They don't stand anything back compared to the secular scene, and some of them are even way ahead of contemporary secular acts. What I love about this compilation, besides the stellar music of course, is that most of these tracks are pretty exclusive to this release. Or at least they were upon the time of it's release. Not all the bands went on to bigger things, but most of them are today cemented into the Christian extreme metal hall-of-fame.

THE BEST OF NORWEGIAN HARD ROCK (2000) OSLOVE RECORDS

  1. Still In Love - Stage Dolls
  2. Bye Bye Johnny - Return
  3. This Town Ain't Big Enough For the Both Of Us - Ole Evenrude
  4. 10.000 Lovers (In One) - TNT
  5. Tarquinia - DaVinci
  6. Cowgirl - Sons Of Angels
  7. Hot Legs - Dream Police
  8. Drums Of War - Tindrum
  9. Take Me Back - Heaven
  10. Intuition - TNT
  11. Change The Attitude - Return
  12. Broken Heart - Ole Evenrude
  13. Forever In My Heart - DaVinci
  14. I Was Made For Rock And Roll - Tindrum
  15. Could It Be Love - Sons Of Angels
  16. Movin' - Dream Police
  17. Children Of Our Time - Heaven
  18. Hard To Say Goodbye - Stage Dolls
  1. from the 'Stage Dolls ' album
  2. from the 'Attitude' album
  3. from the 'One Size Fits All' album
  4. from the 'Tell No Tales' album
  5. from the 'DaVinci' album
  6. from the 'Sons Of Angels' album
  7. from the 'Dream Police'
  8. from the 'Drums Of War' album
  9. from the 'Take Me Back' album
  10. from the 'Intuition' album
  11. from the 'Attitude' album
  12. from the 'One Size Fits All' album
  13. from the 'DaVinci' album
  14. from the 'How 'Bout This' album
  15. from the 'Sons Of Angels' album
  16. from the 'Dream Police' album
  17. from the 'Children Of Our Time' single
  18. from the 'Stories We Could Tell' album

Norway has a pretty solid stable of hard rock, melodic metal and AOR artists. Not all of them are well known in the rest of the world, but a surprising amount of bands did enjoy oversees success. This compilation does an excellent job in presenting what was, and is, out there in the Norwegian hard rock jungle. TNT, Stage Dolls and Sons Of Angels should be household names to any fan of the genre. And bands such as Dream Police, Tindrum and Return are of the same caliber, quality wise. Those bands were/are also noticeable names here in Norway. Unfortunately by the time of the release of this compilation, the albums by some of the lesser known acts were virtually impossible to come by. Thus AOR fans from all over the world had to pay ridiculous amounts for CD or vinyl versions of albums from Evenrude, Dream Police and even Stage Dolls. But thanks to this compilation, fan demand and websites such as Rock Of Norway and Melodic Rock.com, most of these albums have now been reissued. As far as I can see, we're only waiting for the 2 excellent albums by Tindrum to be re-released. 'The Best Of Norwegian Hard Rock' is an excellent overview of the genre. It comes with a nice booklet, with write-ups of every band, and full discographies (at the time of release).

THE METAL MERCHANT - CHEAP, HARD & HEAVY VOL. 12 (2001) MASSACRE

  1. Lost In The Garden Of Eden - Mystic Circle
  2. Plenty Of Power - Anvil
  3. The Last Thing Undone - Blackend
  4. Lost In The Shadows - Human Race
  5. We Are Gods - Highlord
  6. Out Of Noland - Demolition
  7. River Of Hate - Mystic Prophecy
  8. Time - Thunderstorm
  9. Temple Of The Spirit (demo) - Ultimatum
  10. Hell Is Open - War Hammer
  11. Hunter/Killer - Quo Vadis
  12. Feel Your Pain - Repent
  13. Deepest Fear - Mesentery
  14. Enslavement - Skinless
  15. Perishing Black Light - Encryption
  16. La Salida - Azeroth
  17. Seven Seals - Bastard
  1. from the CD 'The Great Beast'
  2. from the CD 'Plenty Of Power'
  3. from the CD 'The Last Thing Undone'
  4. from the CD 'Dirt Eater'
  5. from the CD 'When The Aurora Falls'
  6. from the CD 'Out Of Noland'
  7. from the CD 'Vengeance'
  8. from the CD 'Sad Symphony'
  9. from the CD 'The Mechanics Of Perilous Times'
  10. from the CD 'The Doom Messiah'
  11. from the CD 'Day Into Night'
  12. from the CD 'Escape From Reality'
  13. from the CD 'Blood Rain'
  14. from the CD 'Foreshadowing Our Demise'
  15. from the CD 'Perishing Black Light'
  16. from the CD 'Azeroth'
  17. from the CD 'Falling To Pieces'

Metal Merchant is one of the largest metal distros in Germany. They are a division of Massacre Records, and this is a sampler CD of some of the bands in their rooster anno 2001. This CD was a gift from Scott Waters, vocalist in ultimatum. He knows I'm a die-hard collector, and this piece of Ultimatum history was missing in my collection (thanks, Scott). So it is no secret that my initial interest in this CD was for the demo version of "Temple Of The Spirit". But there are other choice cuts here too. Everything from the AOR influenced Human Race to the black metal of Mystic Circle is represented. My favorites, aside from the aforementioned Ultimatum tune, include the power/thrash metal of Blackend, Anvil's always great heavy metal and Mystic Prophecy's excellent "River Of Hate". Incidentally these are all songs from bands already in my collection. Can't say that I discovered many new acts I'm dying to check out here. The Highlord track started out like an interesting Euro-power metal song, but the singer ruined it, with his thick accent, and mediocre voice. Thunderstorm is yet another band that sounds promising, but their blend of doom metal and epic metal is just ok, and nothing groundbreaking at all. The only band I was unfamiliar in that peeked a little interest was Quo Vadis. This Canadian band play technical melodic death metal. And they do it well! At least the track represented here is on par with other acts in the genre, such as The Absence and Gardenian.

METAL POWER - VOLUME 1 (2002) MASSACRE

  1. Godless And Wicked - Beyond Twilight
  2. Stigmatized - Lanfear
  3. Kill The Devil - Cage
  4. Eternal Life In Lies - Seventh One
  5. Raise The Metal Fist - Sacred Steel
  6. Holy Wood - Anvil
  7. 6-4-5 - Powergod
  8. The Sun Will Rise Again - Rob Rock
  9. The Last Straw - Hellion
  10. Tomorrow Can Wait - Firewind
  11. Silence - Tunnel Vision
  12. Just A Shadow - King Diamond
  13. Throne In The Sky - Metalium
  14. Twyster - Twyster
  15. Reflections - Stormwind
  1. from the album 'Devil's Hall Of Fame'
  2. from the album 'The Art Effect'
  3. from the album 'Darker Than Black'
  4. from the album 'Sacrifice'
  5. from the album 'Slaughter Prophecy'
  6. from the album 'Still Going Strong'
  7. from the album 'Nemesis - Evilution Part III'
  8. from the album 'Rage Of Creation'
  9. from the album 'Will Not Go Quietly'
  10. from the album 'Between Heaven And Hell'
  11. from the album 'Tomorrow'
  12. from the album 'Nightmares In The Nineties'
  13. from the album 'Hero Nation - Chapter Three'
  14. from the album 'Lunatic Siren'
  15. from the album 'Reflections'

Another Massacre Records sampler CD. I picked this one up for cheap because I loved the album cover, just like in the good old vinyl days. And I must say the track-list here is rather impressive too. Massacre used to house some stellar second wave power metal bands. Today they are all about the metalcore and whatnot. But here we get a glorious metal anthem from Sacred Steel, a blistering melodic power metal track from Firewind, and spooky horror metal tune from King Diamond, to name a few. The fact that I own albums from most of the bands presented here must say something about my preference in metal. Of the acts I didn't know much of before I think Hellion peaked my interest the most. This female fronted power metal band are semi-legendary, and I have to see about getting some of their albums soon. 'Metal Power - Volume 1' is a good compilation album, serving as a great way to check out Massacre Records stable anno 2002.

THORNS OF REDEMPTION - THE CHRISTIAN METAL REALM COMPILATION VOLUME 1 (2004) CMR (022/300)

  1. Heart Of Metal - Ultimatum
  2. I Won't - Faithbomb
  3. Deliverance - Missionary One
  4. Sands Of Time - Betrayer
  5. Ripped In Two - Metanoia
  6. Sackcloth And Ashes - Benevolence
  7. It's My Surrender - Time Spent Burning
  8. The Light - Illuminandi
  9. Wounded Angel - Neviah Nevi
  10. Fallen World - Troglodyte Dawn
  11. Hyposcrisy - Mindkor
  12. Devil Run - Angry Little Freak
  13. 6 Feet Under - Elijah's Ride
  14. Scapegoat - Feast Of Frozen Ignorance
  15. Before My Eyes - F.O.G.
  16. Take It Back - Liberty 'N' Justice
  1. Demo version
  2. taken from the 'Bleed' album
  3. taken from the 'The Future's Already Known' EP
  4. taken from the 'Rusted Icons' album
  5. Unreleased demo
  6. Unreleased demo
  7. Unreleased demo, later released on the 'Time Spent Burning' album
  8. taken from the 'Demo II' demo
  9. taken from the 'Burned' demo
  10. Single edit
  11. Single release
  12. taken from the 'Angry Little Freak' album
  13. Unreleased demo
  14. Unreleased demo
  15. taken from the 'Visibility Clearing' album
  16. Previously unreleased

The Christian Metal Realm is an online discussion board. It was started as sort of a community for people interested in Christian metal music, but has never been a Christians only "club". Amongst the hundreds of members on the board, there is at any time quite a lot of musicians active also. Thus the owner of the board took upon him to create a compilation CD, reflecting on the various members bands and projects. The task was not easy, and many other acts wanted to participate also, but here are the first 16 entries, collected on 1 CD. It's quite a wide span on these artists, going from the softer side of the scale with bands like Elijah's Ride and Liberty 'N' Justice, on to heavier act, such as F.O.G. and Angry Little Freak. On the other side of the spectrum we have the death metal of Metanoia and Benevolence. Some are of the more modern variety, like Time Spent Burning and Neviah Nevi. In between we get the industrial Feast Of Frozen Ignorance, the gothic Illuminandi, a ballad from the thrash metal band, Betrayer and many, many other bands, style's and genres. My favorites include the demo version of "Heart Of Metal", from Ultimatum, the previously unreleased demo track, "Ripped In Two", by Metanoia, and the mentioned Betrayer tune. But I also like the entries from Benevolence, Illuminandi and Troglodyte Dawn too. The Time Spent Burning track is erroneously entitled "You'll Like It" on the track list. That particular song didn't appear until part 2 of the CMR compilation series. Only 300 hand numbered copies of this compilation were pressed. I own #22.

96% PUDDEL ROCK (2007) UNIVERSAL

  1. In My Dreams - Wig Wam
  2. 10.000 Lovers (In One) - TNT
  3. Rock The Night - Europe
  4. Drums Of War - Tindrum
  5. Still In Love - Stage Dolls
  6. This Town Ain't Big Enough For The Both Of Us - Evenrude
  7. Bang - Gorky Park
  8. Cum On Feel The Noise - Quiet Riot
  9. Bye Bye Johnny - Return
  10. Wind Of Change - Scorpions
  11. The Secret Of My Success - Night Ranger
  12. Forever In My Dream - Da Vinci
  13. Cats In The Cradle - Ugly Kid Joe
  14. Get It On - Kingdom Come
  15. Hungry For Heaven - Dio
  16. Heaven Tonight - Yngwie Malmsteen
  17. Go On Fast Partymix - The Heavys
  1. from the 'Hard to Be a Rock 'n' Roller.. in Kiev!' album
  2. from the 'Tell No Tales' album
  3. from the 'The Final Countdown' album
  4. from the 'Drums Of War' album
  5. from the 'Stage Dolls' album
  6. from the 'This Ole Town' album
  7. from the 'Gorky Park' album
  8. from the 'Metal Health' album
  9. from the 'Attitudes' album
  10. from the 'Crazy Word' album
  11. from the 'Big Life' album
  12. from the 'Da Vinci' album
  13. from the 'America's Least Wanted' album
  14. from the 'Kingdom Come' album
  15. from the 'Sacred Heart' album
  16. from the 'Odyssey' album
  17. from the 'Metal Marathon ' album

2005 was the year Wig Wam represented Norway in the Eurovision song contest. They ended up as number 9, and the whole country went Wig Wam crazy. Of course the record labels wanted in on their success, and launched the return of hair metal (or poodle rock, as a translated version of the Scandinavian term for hair metal is) as the next big thing. Albums from Evenrude and Da Vinci were reissued, bands like The Kids, Stage Dolls and Return were reunited, and this compilation album saw the light of day. 96% is the Scandinavian equivalent of 100% Proof in the US. It is mostly used as a loose term for moonshine. So this is meant to be a party album. And as such, it works great! If you can sit still all the way though this album, then you're rock and metal license is revoked! The songs represented here makes me miss my long hair! But I still have my air guitar! Sure, not all of these bands are hair metal. But that is besides the point. I love how many Norwegian artists are represented, and I wish more people worldwide could discover such great bands as TinDrum, Return and Da Vinci, because they don't stand back at all compared to their international piers in Europe, Night Ranger and/or Kingdom Come. Forget the spandex and hair spray stereotypes of hair metal, take out that old and worn air guitar, and enjoy some good times with this party pleaser!

THE NARROW PATH - THE CMR COMPILATION VOLUME II (2007) CMR (202/300)

  1. Variation On A Theme by Sir Oz Fox, T.H.W.T.D. No. 6 - Valediction
  2. Holy Ghost - Pacto De Sangre
  3. You'll Like It - Time Spent Burning
  4. Illusion - Venia
  5. Convince You - T˙kkus
  6. You're The One - Neon Cross
  7. War Machine - Jon Hooper
  8. I'm Not Alone - Unforsaken
  9. Psychotropic Terror - Incarnate
  10. Jesus Stomp - Pastor Brad
  11. Breaking The Silence - Enduvus
  12. Shed My Skin - Liberty N' Justice
  13. Embers - Still Small Voice
  14. Killing For Convenience - Jump Ship Quick
  15. Unloved - Skyliner
  16. Death On The Cross - Grave Forsaken
  1. Previously Unreleased
  2. taken from the 'Alerta' album
  3. taken from the 'Time Spent Burning' album
  4. taken from the 'In Our Weakness' album
  5. taken from the 'Ümlaut' EP
  6. Previously Unreleased
  7. taken from the 'Doorways To Other Worlds' album
  8. taken from the 'Not Alone' album
  9. taken from the upcoming 'Apotheosis' album (never released)
  10. taken from the 'Shred' album
  11. taken from the 'Enduvus' album (never released)
  12. Unreleased alternate version
  13. Previously Unreleased
  14. Previously Unreleased
  15. taken from the 'Light Comes Out Of Black' demo
  16. Demo version, later released on the 'Beside The River Of Blood' album

So here you have it, the second Christian Metal Realm compilation CD! And this time they've upped the ante just a tad. There aren't as many demo versions of songs this time, but rather finished products. Now many of these artists release their material themselves, or on small independent labels, so some might consider the brother part of these songs to be just demos still. But that is just what these compilation albums are for; to give the artists a showroom! Again it is a broad specter of bands to be heard here. Punk, thrash, death, hard rock, prog-metal, nu-metal and even a lot of instrumental tracks are given space. Of the highlights on volume 2 I want to bring attention to the brand new Neon Cross track. The band have been working on a follow up to their 1995 album 'Torn' for quite a while, and this is the first song the public gets to hear. It's also way cool to hear an alternative version to "Shed My Skin", from Liberty N' Justice 'Welcome To The Revolution' album. And I already owned the album form witch the songs from Venia, T˙kkus, Skyliner, Jon Hooper and Unforsaken are picked. I've later acquired the album version of the Grave Forsaken track. 'The Narrow Path' is yet another great CD to hear what is moving in the Christian metal circuits, be it in the underground or in the more mainstream areas. This time I got #202 of the 300 hand numbered CD's. A huge thanks goes out to Arttie Parker for putting together these projects.

SPEED KILLS... AGAIN (2007) HEAVY ARTILLERY

  1. Merciless Death - Merciless Death
  2. Tombs Of The Dead - Merciless Death
  3. Enemy Attack - Avenger Of Blood
  4. Affliction - Avenger Of Blood
  5. Evil Attacker - Enforcer
  6. Mistress Of Hell - Enforcer
  7. Created To Kill - Toxic Holocaust
  8. War Is Hell - Toxic Holocaust
  9. Aggression - Hatred
  10. Warsexbeer - Hatred
  11. Hell On Earth - Warbringer
  12. Born Of The Ruins - Warbringer
  1. previously unreleased
  2. previously unreleased
  3. previously unreleased
  4. previously unreleased
  5. taken from the 'Evil Attacker' demo
  6. taken from the 'Evil Attacker' demo
  7. previously unreleased
  8. previously unreleased
  9. previously unreleased
  10. previously unreleased
  11. taken from the 'One By One The Wicked Fall' EP
  12. taken from the 'Born Of The Ruins' demo

With the growing hordes of new thrash metal bands, it was only a matter of time before a brand new 'Speed Kills' compilation saw the light of day. Heavy Artillery Records took it upon themselves to resurrect this classic series from the 80's and 90's. 'Speed Kills... Again' is doing a good job introducing some up and coming acts from the revived thrash metal genre. Bands included are hailing from Italy (Hatred), Sweden (Enforcer) and the US (the rest of 'em), so his is truthfully a global spanning revival. Many of the sub categories in thrash metal are represented here. From the relentless Germanic sounds of Avenger Of Blood to the Slayer-esq Merciless Death, and even some black metal infused thrash metal from Toxic Holocaust and Hatred. But what all of these bands have in common is that they are of the speed-crazed, furious, aggressive side of thrash. The melodic Bay Area thrash, known through bands like Testament, Death Angel and their likes, is not represented here. The closest might be Enforcer, with their early demo-stage Metallica sound. I like the fact that many of these songs had yet to see a proper release before this CD came out, thus making it remind me of the old days of compilation albums. I used to discover so many coming bands through various LP's and tapes like these back in those days. I already own CD's from some of these bands. But 'Speed Kills... Again' offers a fair share of previously unreleased material, so it is still worth getting.

FROM ONE EXTREME TO THE OTHER - THE CMR COMPILATION VOLUME III (2008) CMR (003/300)

CD1:
  1. Mortal Stomp 2008 - Ultimatum
  2. Fearsome Warrior - Temple Of Blood
  3. The Rider - Illuminandi
  4. Midnight Minuette - Valediction
  5. Monkey Dance - Liberty N' Justice
  6. All My Days - The Tifft Project
  7. Prayer Warriors - Faith Factor
  8. Victorious - The Sacrificed
  9. Christ In Us - Promise Land
  10. Two Sparrows - Broken Union
  11. Sledgehammer - Crimson Fight
  12. Perish The Thought - Grave Forsaken
  13. Won't Give In - Stricken
  14. Vendetta - Skyliner
  15. The End Of Suffering - Endless Funeral
  16. Black Illusions - Winter's Dawn
  17. The Dark Romantics - Fragile
  18. I'd Do It All Again (Demo Version) - Mission Of One
 
  1. Re-recorded version, original version on the 'Puppet Of Destruction' album
  2. from the 'Overlord' album
  3. from the 'Illumina Tenebras Meas' EP
  4. Previously unreleased
  5. Alternative mix, original version on the 'Independence Day' album
  6. from the 'Volume 2' digital album
  7. from the '777' demo
  8. Previously unreleased, later featured on the '2012' album
  9. from the 'Promise Land' EP
  10. Previously unreleased
  11. from the 'Deliverance' EP
  12. from the 'Destined For Ascension' album
  13. from the 'Stricken' album
  14. Rough mix, original version on 'Skyliner' demo
  15. from the 'A Second Beginning' demo
  16. from the 'Wandering Through the Realm of Frosted Beauty' album
  17. Originally composed by Ashton Nyte (The Awakening)
  18. Demo version, from the album 'Mission Of One'
CD2:
  1. Willful Death - Oracle
  2. Nail In The Cross - Letter 7
  3. In Heaven - The Sacrificed
  4. Here We Are (Pre-Production Mix) - Saint
  5. Shredded Sweet - Pastor Brad
  6. Prodigal - Incarnate
  7. Stop Throwing Stones - Static Fuse
  8. Black Circles - Teramaze
  9. Taking Ground - Jon Hooper
  10. Goodbye - Breath Of Life
  11. Wolves - Oracle
  12. C.M.R. - Pastor Brad & The CMR All-Stars
 
  1. 1990 demo, previously unreleased
  2. from the 'Follow The Light' album
  3. Previously unreleased, later featured on the '2012' album
  4. Pre-production mix, original version on the 'In The Battle' album
  5. from the 'Shredded Sweet' album
  6. CMR edit, from the 'Incarnate' album
  7. from the 'Static Fuse' album
  8. from the 'Anthology' compilation album
  9. Previously unreleased
  10. from the 'Goodbye (Proud World)' EP
  11. 1992 demo, previously unreleased
  12. CMR mix, from the 'Heavenly Shred' album

'From One Extreme To The Other' is the title of the third compilation album presented to us by The Christian Metal Realm. This time the first 100 people who ordered the CD got a bonus disc! And since I have #3 of the 300 numbered editions, I just about secured one of the first 100! lol

As usual, the bands featured here include people who were active at the Christian Metal Realm message board at the time. So the two key words here are Christian and Metal! 'From One Extreme To The Other' is the heaviest effort of the 3 discs released, so far. There is still plenty of variation found here, with bands ranging from pop/rock (The Tifft Project) to black metal (Winter's Dawn), and every genre in between. There will be no surprise when I say that my favorite song here is the one from Ultimatum. They re-recorded their classic, "Mortal Stomp" for this release. Still, there are plenty of other choice cuts here also, and pretty much all the bands I've added a link to in the track list offers songs that I really like! Temple of Blood's blend of US power metal and thrash is tasty, and so is Skyliner's unique take on power metal, Or how about some progressive power metal from The Sacrificed? If you own the 2CD version, you have 2 tracks fro them. At the time of this release, they were both still unreleased. And that is also true for several other cuts here. On the bonus disc we are treated to 2 unreleased demo tracks from Oracle. Both have later been released on the Divebomb Records anthology release, but they appeared here first. Other exclusive tracks includes a pre-production mix of a Saint song, a previously download only track from Teramaze, and the song "C.M.R." from Pastor Brad and the CMR All-Stars.

The only drawback with this CD is that so many of the tracks are only demo recording, and they don't exactly have pristine sound or production. Still, this is a snapshot in the history of the message board, and, dare I say, the Christian metal movement anno 2008. I, for one, love these compilations.

PONDUS - FLAT FUZZPEDAL (2008) UNIVERSAL

  1. Holy Diver - Dio
  2. Dr. Feelgood - Mötley Crüe
  3. Get The Funk Out - Extreme
  4. New Your Groove - Ace Frehley
  5. We're Not Gonna Take It - Twisted Sister
  6. See The Light - Jeff Healy
  7. You've Got Another Thing Coming - Judas Priest
  8. Get It On - Kingdom Come
  9. Knocking At Your Back Door - Deep Purple
  10. Waiting For An Alibi - Thin Lizzy
  11. Shady Lady - Status Quo
  12. Lights And Thunder - White Lion
  13. Still Loving You - Scorpions
  14. All Night Long - Rainbow
  15. Unskinny Bop - Poison
  16. Ace Of Spades - Mötorhead
  17. Paranoid - Black Sabbath
  18. You Shook Me All Night Long - Karaoke From Hell
  19. 10.000 Lovers (In One) - TNT
  20. Shout It Out Loud - Kiss

Norwegian comics are a little different from the Marvel superhero comics, or the Disney figures coming out of the US. 2 of the most successful Norwegian comic series consist of characters that have very close relationships with hard rock and heavy metal music. Pondus is the most successful of them all. This series is created by Frode Ųverli, and he is truly a child of the late 70's and 80's. AC/DC, Kiss, Van Halen, Thin Lizzy and many other bands are frequently mentioned in the series, and can be featured either as the object of conversation between the characters, or maybe just as a subtle t-shirt design, or a poster on the wall. So when Frode was asked to compile a CD to go along with his comics, it was pretty obvious what the content would consist of. This CD holds 20 classic hard rock and heavy metal tracks, with a very high part factor going on. There is only 1 ballad here, and the newest tracks are from 1990. 'Flat Fuzzpedal' (translation unnecessary, I would guess?) works well as a party album, or as an introduction to some of the greatest names within the harder genres of rock music. But just as important as the actual music on this disc is Frode's drawings, and commentaries, to each track. I wish I could list them all, but that is of course not possible. So the enlarged photo from the cover art will have to do. My guess is that there won't be many copies sold of this CD outside of the great nation of Norway. But I'm glad I get to enjoy both Frode's artistic work, and his musical taste.

Trivia: AC/DC would be the second most obvious choice for a band to appear on this compilation album, right after Kiss. But AC/DC has a rule never to appear on any compilation albums. And they have never released a greatest hits album themselves even. So the only way to get their music on this CD was to have a cover band do "You Shook Me All Night Long". The "band" Karaoke From Hell consist of members from Cadaver, Madder Mortem, Stonegard, Breed and the AC/DC cover band, Big Balls.