Friday, 23 December 2016

Have A Metal Christmas

Since it's my last post before shutting down for Christmas I thought I'd share some Christmas Choons  with you.

 Not surprisingly Bing Crosby is not on the playlist.

 We shall start with this Melodic Rock Version of a Wham song.
I hated Wham - still do in fact - so this version by DAILY GRIND is a vast improvement. 


For some reason a lot of Rock Metal/Bands cover that song.  There's at least  3 others that I know about. 


Power Metal heroes THEOCRACY have a number of Christmas songs.
I picked this one because they managed to make a  Rudolph song that's catchy, amusing and pure Power Metal. 



I posted ORION'S REIGN last year and here they are again with another cheerful take on a traditional carol.
I rather like the operatic duet-y bits and they way they break out some PM shredding for the hell of it.  


In case you're wondering - and you probably are - the girl in red is MINNIVA who has her own channel.


If you're all Christmassed-out then I have the perfect song for you, courtesy of US Loons PSYCHOSTICK.


Somebody needs to give these guys a TV show or something.

And to finish, one of the rare Christmas hits I will admit to liking without apology or irony.

RIP Greg Lake.




That's all folks. 

Sunday, 18 December 2016

The Metal Project: T Is For Thunder

List of metal songs with metal in the title

  We're almost at the end of 2016 and thank The Seven Deities for that because this year has been bollocks.

But I still have time to squeeze in some more metallic tunes for you all so let's have at it.

Today's selection is brought to you by the letter T.  I think I have put together a wide variety of sounds and scenes for your perusal. Enjoy.


Thunderfist - Screamin' Heavy Metal (USA 2012)

(Heavy Metal thundering along at a rate of knots. I approve)




TarthariA - Metal Salvation  (Russia 2014)

(It's interesting how many bands - and fans - treat Metal as a religion.)



Honour to: Igor Anokhin



T.N.T - Heavy Metal Noise (Germany 1984)

(No Frills German HM - but still got some nice touches. I rather like the bass. )

Tchort- Love Metal (Canada 2000)

(Groovy 70s-flavoured Stoner Metal)


Honour to: Kosta5

 By way of complete contrast, here's another Canadian band who sound nothing like the above.  

Tribunal - Pop Métal (Canada 2013)

(Beyond my powers of description. Just listen to it.)


Honour to: Tribunal officiel


Tyrant - Warrior of Metal (USA 1985)

(US Metal from the 80s Underground scene)


Honour to: Sebastian Loredo


Torment Of Abyss - Anti-Human Black Metal (Colombia 2015)

(Harsh and about as un-Christmassy as you can get.)


Honour to: Andres eslava


Titanic - Metalový Svátek (Czech Republic 1989)

(Speedy HM from behind the Iron Curtain.)

Honour to: Novaciny666


Terror Strike - Executioner Thrash Metal (Chile 2009 -I think)

(Typically frantic South American Thrash)

Honour to: Corpse Drinker


Please remember to visit and support the channels I've linked here.
I could not do this project without their hard work.

This has been another episode of The Metal Project: Compiling the Ultimate Metal Playlist 

That's all folks. 

Thursday, 15 December 2016

Book Review: Pat Kelleher - Black Hand Gang (2010)

Book Review:  Genre: WW1 meets SciFi

  On November 1st 1916, 900 men of the 13th  Battalion Pennine Fusiliers vanished without trace from the battlefield.   Their fate has been one of the enduring mysteries of the First World War. 

 The official story is that they were all lost when a massive German mine was detonated, causing the half-mile wide Harcourt Crater. 

 The real story is far, far stranger. 

     I was poking about my local library when I spotted a trio of black-covered paperbacks on the shelf.  A brief look at the striking cover art and intriguing backcover blurb and I was immediately sold. 

  The idea of a group of fighting men being transported to an alien world is not a new one - Pournelle/Niven's Janissaries  and Taylor Anderson's Destroyermen immediately coming to mind - but as far as I know the protagonists are usually either from the remote past or plucky Americans.  Black Hand Gang  is unusual in that the stranded squaddies are British Tommies from the Somme trenches. A Pals Battalion from the North of England, to be precise. That makes this book a little easier for me to relate to. 

  The book starts with the 13th Bn preparing for an attack, introducing us to a variety of characters  that would be instantly familiar to anybody else who grew up reading "Charley's War" before the mists of battle clear to reveal an Alien planet. 
 Not, sadly, the Elysium the Tommies initially think it is.  More of a Hellworld full of vicious predators and man-eating plants. 
 While the Fusiliers are still trying to get used to that, the other intelligent life on the planet makes itself known and the book moves up a gear to an action-packed climax. 

  I was very impressed with Black Hand Gang.  Pat Kelleher takes an idea that's been used before and puts enough of a spin on it to make it interesting. The story takes a while to hit it stride but the necessary scene-setting doesn't drag and the dazed reaction of  the Pennines to their new surroundings was, I thought, really well done. Liked the punchup at the end too. 

   There's two more in the series. I have them sat on my shelf back home and I'm looking forward to reading them.  

 The author has a webpage here: http://nomansworldblog.blogspot.co.uk/
I wonder how many people stumbled across it and thought they'd found a genuine WW1 mystery?


Tuesday, 13 December 2016

Heavy Metal Cover Girls: Sad Angels

  Heavy Metal Cover Girls: Where I post a bunch of album covers that are interesting, well-done and starring attractive women.  Truthfully, the last is probably the most important element.

 I've covered angels before in their guise as heavenly messengers and enforcers. (See Album Covers tab for more details)  However today we're looking at angels that are having a hard time.

  For some reason there's a lot of angels looking sad and a little defeated by life in modern art. I'm not entirely sure why this is. Maybe the idea of a being that's used to soaring through the sky sat down in the dirt with the rest of us is a powerful one.
 Not surprisingly this carries over to metal album cover artwork. If you think about it, the artist is combining two longstanding trope that metal artists absolutely love: women being artistically miserable and women with wings.

 As we shall see, there's a lot of ways this particular theme can be interpreted. The girls we're about to meet today range all the way from "a bit fed up" to "Heartbroken and lost."

  Enough of me trying to sound erudite. You're here for the pictures and I'm happy to oblige.

 Liberty - Sunrise (Ukraine 2007)

He said he would come and he didn't. 
I wore my pretty dress and he didn't come.
Bloody Metatron. Always too busy. 

Thursday, 8 December 2016

Terrible Metal Album Covers XXIV

  I haven't done one of these in a while so what the hell, here's a selection of album covers that have bad ideas, bad execution and occasionally bad use of fonts as well.
 
I do have one disclaimer though. Just because the cover is terrible does not mean the band suck.

 Remember that Black Sabbath, Iron Maiden, Riot, Fates Warning and a host of other great bands all put out CDs with covers offensive to the eyes.

Now read on.   

Profanator - Libido Clerico

terrible metal album cover art
I only just realised that she's supposed to a metal version of  The Virgin Mary
Even before that I just thought this cover was tacky as hell

Tuesday, 6 December 2016

The Metal Project: S is (Also) for Samain

The ultimate metal playlist, The Metal Project.

  The Christmas songs have already started playing on the radio.  Christmas isn't for another 18 frigging days!  Christ knows how I'm going to retain my sanity.

 But I know something that will help.  Heavy Metal and lots of it. 

  Now I know I've already done S in this current run through the metal alphabet but I deliberately restricted myself to one word so it doesn't really count. Plus I have a whole pallet-load of metal mayhem to deliver to you lovely people.  Plus it's my blog and my Metal project so I can cheat if I like. So bollocks. 

It's Finland's Independence day today so how about we have some Finnish metal for the opening salvo?

Steel Mammoth - Metal Infant (Finland 2007)

(70s style Heavy Rock)


Honour to: Steel Mammoth Topic


Ok, that wasn't what I expected either.
Let's try again.

Sargeist - Anti-Human Black Metal Wrath (Finland 2001)

(Exactly what you would expect from the title.)


Honour to: Inactive - For now


Sinawe - Metalizer  (South Korea 1990)

Tagged as Hair Metal but on this track they're full on Heavy Metal 



Honour to: Penzalpain


Seax- Forged By Metal (USA 2016)

(Frantic Speed Metal. Bit of an Agent Steel vibe maybe?)


Honour to: Seax Metal

Samain - The Metal Breaks My Senses (Germany 1984)

(Teutonic Heavy Metal that gets under your skin)



Honour to: Magus Daoloth


Sign of Evil - Venom Metal (Italy 2011)

(Somewhere on the border of Black Metal and Thrash)


Honour to:SUMMRAK666

I just had to get some Spanish Language Metal in here somewhere.

Siberia - Dosis De Metal (Spain 2012)

(No frills Speed Metal)

Honour to: Necroziur


Sanctuar - Heavy Metal (Romania 2011)

(Heavy Metal sung in Romania. Don't get that very often, do you?
Some nice guitar work too.)

Honour to: Sanctuar

And finally...

Sodomizer - Metal From Hell (Brazil 2004)

(Black/Speed Metal. Possibly recorded with the lead singer in a totally different room.) 

Honour to: necroziur

That's all folks. 

Saturday, 3 December 2016

Cheapo DVD Review: Axe Giant. (2013)

Genre: Slasher/Horror

 Minnesota 1895.  A logging camp is the scene of a violent and spectacularly bloody massacre.



Minnesota. The present day.   A grumpy Corrections Officer and a kindly therapist take a group of young delinquents into the woods in the hopes that a week spent roughing it in the wilderness will knock them into shape.

 We will never know whether that would have worked because some of the youngsters break one of the cardinal rules of Horror Films.

If you find something weird, do not fuck with it.   


  This enrages one of the local inhabitants and unfortunately for the kids, he's not just a deranged, mutant hilbilly with an axe, he's a giant, deranged, mutant hillbilly with an giant axe.

 Turns out the legends of Paul Bunyan were based on reality but missed out the part about him basically being a  murderous troll.

  And now he's pissed off.  Well done campers.     

I picked this one up on a whim, largely because of the cover. Interestingly, it's different from the US version in one key respect.
  Fair enough. Most Brits would have only the vaguest idea who Paul Bunyan and let's face it "Paul Bunyan" is not the scariest name ever. "The Giant Axeman of  Skullface Mountain" - now that's a scary name.
 I digress.
  When it comes right down to it, Axe Giant is a standard backwoods choppy-chop flick except for the rampaging loonie being the size of a house.  The young victims protagonists are the usual motley bunch with a thumbnail of characterisation. The cast do their best with what they have but what they have is a bit on the thin side.  By contrast older cast-members Tom Downey (Mean correction officer) and Joe Estevez (Local crazy fart) get to have more fun with their characters and run with it every chance they get.
  There's also a definite effort to make big, bad Paul a more rounded, even sympathetic character. 
Um....Oooh-kaaaayyy

 So the story is simple but effective, the acting is on the right side of decent and there's some good axe-murdering in this film. I am, however going to have to mark Axe Giant down on a couple of things. 

While the physical FX for Paul Bunyan aren't bad, some of the CGI and greenscreen is really not good. 
Not Asylum  movie bad but still weak enough to look jarring.

  I also thought the ending was somewhat contrived as it relies on massive outside interference in events. At least they didn't pull the old "Let's lure him to somewhere with lots of explosives" schtick.

How much did I pay for this? £2
Was it worth it? A reserved "Yes".  I was kept entertained if not thrilled. This is the sort of movie I buy, watch once then take back to CEX a week later.  
Axe Giant is a low budget affair. As long as you're OK with this and aren't expecting anything clever, you might find yourself entertained.  

 Screenshot time. 
 Some people consider this sort of thing fun. 
Personally I think they're mental but each to their own. 

Oh look, it's a creepy old guy. 
I bet he will provide useful exposition at some point. 
Or public masturbation. Could go either way.

"Now did I leave my keys at that last stop?
And was it this bit of forest where people disappear or the next one over?"

"What's everybody staring at me like that for?"
"Oh. Thanks for warning me you dicks. "

And to finish, I have a question that the film never explained to my satisfaction. 
 
Where the fuck did Paul get his giant-ass axe from? 

That's all folks. 

Sunday, 27 November 2016

Film Review: Gladiators of Rome (2014)

Genre: CGI Animated Movie.
About Gladiators.
In Rome. 

When Pompeii was destroyed Timo was left orphaned and homeless. Given a home by famous Gladiator trainer Chirone, Timo quickly becomes inseparable from Chirone's daughter Lucilla.
 But when Lucilla goes away to be educated Timo loses interest in life.  Years later, Timo is a pudgy slacker and the worst trainee gladiator in Rome. 
 When Lucilla returns, Timo has to become a real gladiator in a hurry and luckily there's somebody who can help...

 Apparently this is the msot expensive Italian aniamted film ever made. It's also, as far as I can tell, a complete box office flop.
 I think a lot of that might be down to marketing - because there doesn't seem to have been any. Christ knows I'd never seen or heard anything about this film until I stumbled across it while looking for something else. 
 And if it was ever released in the UK nobody bothered telling me.

 I think that's a shame because I enjoyed Gladiators of Rome quite a lot. 

You can probably guess the reason I checked the film out in the first place. 

I'm a sucker for a brass brassiere.
   While personal trainer Diana is fun to watch, I was pleasantly surprised by the rest of the film.  Considering that studio Rainbow Animation doesn't have the finances of Pixar or Dreamworks, the end result looks pretty good. The facials are good, the movement is good and the backgrounds look good.   The English cast do a stellar job with their dubbing (Italian film, remember) considering there's no "names" whatsoever. 
 Nobody is ever going to watch this movie and go "How the hell did they do that?" but the job gets done. 

 The story isn't too complex but again, the job gets done. Timo starts off as a total loser, screws up one time too many and needs help to turn his life around. Lucilla doesn't want to marry star gladiator Casio. Casio...is a dick for the sake of it. Nothing too difficult to follow.  Really, it's there to hang a series of gags onto.
 In particular Diana's training camp gives Timo lots of opportunity to hurt himself in amusing ways. And I was amused, especially when two particular characters shown up. They come close to being the most fun part of the film. 
  I could have done without the mascot bunny personally, but this is family movie so whatever. 

You may also not find the farting horse as funny as the writers did but again, whatever. 

  Sounds like I'm damning Gladiators of Rome with faint praise but really, this is a movie that delivers 95 minutes of good entertainment and I found myself really getting into it.  I don't ask a movie to do anything else. 

 To sum up: A pleasant surprise that was well worth my time. 

Screenshot time!

  Does this look like a man who is enjoying his life? 
Are we having fun yet?

 The lovely Lucilla.

Casio. 
A card-carrying wanker.

Diana and Timo share a moment. 
One of these people is in for a nasty shock. 

And here's the trailer:

That's all folks. 

Wednesday, 23 November 2016

The Metal Project: S Is For Steel

list of metal songs about metal. Metal playlist.


 I've been thinking that maybe I need a new header for these posts. Maybe something with skulls and chainsaws perhaps. What do you think?

For today's batch of songs we have reached the letter S and I think you can agree that we're in prime hunting country. I could probably do an entire post just using bands called "Steel Something Or Another".

You know what? I think I will. 

So without further ado let's meet some proper metalheads. 

Steel Assassin - Heavy Metal Soldiers from Hell (USA 2009)


Honour to: Forty To One


Steel Angel - For The Metal (France 1985)



Honour to: Nik Rattlehead

Steel Hammer - Heavy Metal Damnation (Colombia 2016)

(Can you picture Mid80s Maiden with Udo Dirkschneider singing? Then have a listen to this.) 

Honour to: Steel Hammer

Steel - Heavy Metal Machine (Sweden 1998)



Honour to: Indoctrination16

And finally...

Steel Warrior - Power Metal (Brazil 2002)


Honour to: Andiara Bonissoni

If you liked what you heard here, please visit and support the channels I linked.

That's all folks. 

Monday, 21 November 2016

Been Reading: C J Skuse - Monster (2015)

"At sixteen Nash thought the biggest fight she'd have to face would be the battle to become Head Girl of prestigious boarding school Bathory. 

  Until her brother's disappearance leads to Nash being trapped at the school over Christmas with Bathory's assorted misfits.

   As a blizzard rages outside, strange things are afoot in the school's dark, dangerous hallways. and the girls will have to stick together if they hope to survive."

  I was on a quick hit & run raid on my local library, grabbing new reading material before scuttling off to get something for my tea, when this leapt out at me.

  I realised quite early on that "Monster" is aimed at a demographic I don't belong to - my guess would be much, much younger and lacking in chest hair -  but after some initial scene setting "Monster" sucked me in deeper and deeper as it kept getting darker and more tense.

  Without giving too much away, this book might start off as a Girls School Drama but by the end it was a bloody thriller.  It also pulled off the neat trick of repeatedly turning out to be a different book to what I was expecting, all without throwing in unnecessary supernatural elements.

  C J Skuse doesn't go overboard with her descriptions. She's better at letting you into heroine Nash's head than letting you know what she looks like and the other characters are also painted in sparse strokes. It works quite well but then again I always prefer it when a writer gets stuck into the story.
   I think Skuse also deserves praise for turning characters that should be a total anachronism into interesting, contemporary characters.  Nash and her crew are an interesting lot and I wouldn't mind a sequel or two.

To sum up: A pleasant surprise and well worth my time.

Monday, 14 November 2016

The Metal Project: R is For Ritual

The Internet's largest collection of songs about metal

  For tonight's post we're leaping ahead to the letter "R" because it turns out that there's an unurprising lack of metal bands that A) Start with Q and B) write songs with "Metal" in the title.

 If you check out my Song list you'll find the ones I've discovered so far but really, it was a thin seam to begin with and I may have mined it out.

  So "R" gives us all sorts of suitably Metal words: Razor, Rage, Revenge...

I would actually love to see if there's a band called Razor Rage Revenge. If there isn't somebody should start one.

 I digress. Here's some songs. Enjoy.  

Ritual Steel - Metalbeasts (Germany 2004)

(Chestbeating, bombastic Heavy Metal)

Honour to: Forty To One


Rising Moon - Swedish Metal (Italy 2005)

(Some sort of tribute to the Swedish scene, maybe?)


Honour to: István Sutyinszki


Rockaway Drive - Burning Metal (USA 2012)

(Channeling the spirit of 80s US Underground heavy metal)



 Honour to: farbeyondhell13


Rob Rock - Metal Breed  (USA 2007)

(Melodic/Power Metal)


 Honour to: Henry Fernández


Rigor Mortis - Metal Hardware (Germany 1985)

(No frills Teutonic Metal.)

 Honour to: Metalavenger78


Resistencia - Guerrero De Piel Y Metal (Ecuador 2007)

(Why does Spanish-language metal always seem to have this call-to-arms vibe to it? Interesting.)


Honour to: canal de ravnwm

And to finish:

Rapid Angel - The Gods Of Heavy Metal  (Germany 2013)

(One of those self-referential songs that seem unique to Metal. )

Honour to: Jackie Stewart

That's all folks. 

Thursday, 10 November 2016

The Metal Project: P Is For Power


The ultimate metal playlist

 I don't normally do posts on current events and fuck it. I'm not going to start now. I think what we all need is a good dose of Heavy Metal goodness so with that in mind, how about we resume our trek through the alphabet of metal?

 Today's post is brought to you by the letter "P

Peace Killers - Green Metal (USA 2016)

(Groovey 70s Style Heavy Rock and a song that deserves more views than it has)

Honour to: FB Metal Groups 5

Band homepage here: https://www.facebook.com/peacekillers/

Powerdrops - Bursting Metal (Greece 1998)

(From the crunchy end of Power Metal)


Honour to:janick.ca

Primitive - Negro Metal Da Morte (Brazil 2016)

(Black/Thrash)

Honour to: Arma mpds

Pokolgép -Metalbomba (Hungary 2016)

(Heavy Metal. In Hungarian, which is cool.)

Honour to: Pokolgepfan

Perversor - Forces Of Metal (Chile 2008)

(Abrasive Black Metal with no frills)

Honour to: Blindness KWxxx

Parcas - Juntos Por el Metal (Argentina - Year unknown)

(According to Metal Archives this band released a demo in 1999 but became active again in 2013)

Honour to: CanalDeParcasHeavyMetal

Band home page here:  http://www.facebook.com/parcas.argentina

Presence - Metal Rage (France 1986)

(Catchy Metal/Hard Rock. I am impressed)

Honour to: scorpiomax73

That's All Folks

Sunday, 6 November 2016

DVD Review: War Of The Arrows (2011)

Genre: Korean Period Drama

  Nam-Yi, orphaned son of a traitor is a dispirited slacker who's only talent is his skill with a bow. When his sister Ja-In gets married to a local aristocrat, Nam-Yi is ready to leave his old life behind and take off...

 But then a Manchu army overwhelms their city and Ja-In is hauled off into slavery. Can one man with a bow fight past an entire army to rescue his sister? 

 I picked this one up on a whim. I'm no great connoisseur of Korean cinema but I've liked most of the films I've seen, especially the historical stuff.

 Turns out that War Of The Arrows is a bit of  a gem. 

  After the initial bloodshed that costs our siblings their home and family, things slow down a bit to establish who these people are.  For a while it looks like we might end up watching a period drama about a young man rebelling against his adopted family, but then the Manchu army shows up and things get interesting. 
 The way the tension builds up for the assault is fantastic. The increasingly alarmed  Koreans realising that something is wrong: the oncoming Manchu  closing in for the kill; Nam-Yi desperately trying to get back. All slotted together for maximum impact.

 We also get out first chance to see the unit of Manchu warriors that will be the primary threat for Nam-Yi  and holy crap, they are badass
 Grim-faced commander Jyuushinta is particularly fearsome and manages to radiate cold, brutal efficiency with the simplest gaze. 

  Eventually Nam-Yi and allies manage to catch up with the Manchu and rescue Ji-An and this is when War Of The Arrows went from being something I was enjoying to a film I was totally caught up in. 
 The chase sequence that follows,with our hero scrambling to stay ahead of the implacable Jyuushinta and his men. is every bit as good as Apocalypto  It's tense, fast-paced, inventive and had me on the edge of my seat.
  The climax itself is equally tense but in a different way. I won't spoil it, except to say that I don't think I've ever seen a film with archery put to such dramatic use.

  There's one particular  scene that smacks of Deus Ex Machina and is also hampered by some average FX but otherwise War Of The Arrows is a well-crafted piece of cinema that I enjoyed immensely.  

If you prefer your Asian period movies minus improbable wire-assisted leaping about then this film might work for you. 

 And if you have a curiosity about Korean archery, well, pick it up and take some notes.

 Trailer here:


Monday, 24 October 2016

Heavy Metal Cover Girls: Queen Of The Nile

 Well dammit. That's another late post. I hope you're not mad at me. 

The theme this time is "Egypt"

  Given how Egyptian imagery is both distinctive and eyecatching it's no surprise that designers love using it in all kinds of places. And given that Heavy Metal bands love their history and mythology, it's only natural that several bands have used the Land Of The Nile  as inspiration for their album covers. Iron Maiden's classsic Powerslave album for instance. 
  Now what's the other thing Metal cover artists like using... Oh, that's right. Pretty girls  

   Today I'm going to show you some artwork that combines the lore of  Ancient Egypt with costuming straight out of a sword & sorcery paperback.  Enjoy.

  Dragonland - Starfall  (Sweden 2004)

heavy metal cover girls egypt
   There's a surprising amount of covers on the theme of "Young woman contemplates bloody huge buildings"
  In this case it's "Young woman contemplates bloody huge buildings that are about to get nuked by a pissed-off god."

Now would be a good time to run away.  Or duck. Or do something other than stand there like a muppet. 

I have this album and if you like the catchy side of Power Metal it's pretty good.


Gods of Eden - From The End Of Heaven (Australia  2015)

sexy metal album cover girls
The Ancients had some bloody weird ways of passing the time.
We know from wallpaintings that this gamne involved a giant walnut Whip and being naked
except for a metal hat but sadly, the exact rules have yet to be discovered.

Gods Of Eden are apparently the missing link between Progressive Metal and Metalcore.
The end result is  intriguing


Eden's Curse - Live with the Curse (Multinational 2015)

Egyptian woman on a throne
It's good to be the Queen...Pharoah.. Pharoahess.. .oh sod it...Big Boss Woman.

If you look carefully at the pillars in the background you'll see the bands' earlier album covers.
Which is a nice touch.

Eden's Curse fit into the gap between Melodic Rock and Heavy Metal.
This is a live album; hence the punny title.

Any chance you guys can play Pompey at some point?


Sphinx - Renacer (Spain 2008)

Begins humming that bit from The Lion King....

Sphinx are one of many Spanish bands that I stumbled across while researching The Metal Project.
This lot are very, very catchy and I am impressed.


I was hoping to sneak this last one in as "Egyptian" but the cover gives the game away.
What the hell. Close enough.

Lord Tracy - Deaf Gods of Babylon (USA 1989)

That hat is definitely Egyptian and I reckon the wings are too.
The nudity is universal.
It is entirely possible the artist didn't know what "Babylonian" looked like so just did something ancient and Middle-Eastern.

Lord Tracy are good-time Hard Rock with a sense of humour.
The guys are still going  and almost certainly an entertaining night out.

That's it for this series, at least until next month.
If you ahve anything you'd like to see that doesn't involve chainsaws, zombies or man-butt then please let me know.

That's all folks. 

Saturday, 22 October 2016

Heavy Metal Cover Girls...Pinups.

 Hello again. As promised, here's a second post to make up for the one I missed yesterday.

  Now since the last one I did was all about covers inspired by the pinups that used to decorate USAAF aircraft back in the day - many of which were directly inspired by the art of Gil Elvgen and contemporaries - I thought it might be nice to continue the theme. Some of these are originals, some inspired by the masters.


  Joker - S/T (USA 1990)

   A lady clown is surprised in her changing room. 
This is in the days before "Clown" became synonymous with "Creepy As Fuck" 

Heavy Metal Cover Girls... Decorating Bombers

 Evening all.
Since I managed to miss last night's promised update I shall try to make it up to you with two posts today.

  Neither one is particularly big mind you. Think of it like those Chocolate bar 4-packs that seem like a good deal until you realise each bar is 60% the size of normal.

  Moving on...

 The first batch of pics pay tribute to the legendary bomber nose art of WW2. There isn't much more to say to be honest besides the usual comment that if one cover artist uses an idea, at least three others have as well.  

 Off we go into the wild blue yonder.

Jonny Kreis - Instrument Landing EP (USA 2010)

Pinup nose art Elvgen Vargas
You can imagine a bunch of nervous young men looking fondly at their leggy mascot before taking off.
You can also imagine a group of  German squaddies contemplating the twisted, wreckage
and marvelling at the way the Amis decorated their bombers. 

Johnny Kreis used to be drummer for Hollywood Rose - one of the bands that merged to form Guns 'n'Roses. This is an album of instrumentals. 


Bang The Union - American Dream (USA 2004)

You have to admit, the 1940s pinup art by people like Gil Elvgren and Alberto Vargas had a lot of charm.
The fact that USAAF crew were able to replicate it on Aluminium fuselages is impressive.

I've mentioned this before but it fascinates me how certain themes apply to different sorts of bands.
 A woman in a floaty dress hanging about a forest is likely to adorn a Gothic metal album. While a leggy femme fatale? Hard Rockers every time.

Bang The Union clearly hanker after the old LA Sleaze era.


Dezire - A Rock Band Named... Dezire (USA 1992)

A more cartoony pinup but nothing wrong with that.

There were two different bands called Dezire. This lot were based in Philadelphia.
(A fact I blatantly cribbed from their  BANDCAMP SITE)

Sadly there doesn't seem to be any of their music available on Youtube, beyond a brace of live clips of questionable quality.
 So pop over to the Bandcamp site mentioned above and check them out.

Golden Earring - Tits 'n' Ass (Netherlands 2012)

 Subtle. Really Subtle.

These Dutch veterans continue to make good Rock music.

If you want to know more about the artwork on USAAF bombers, here's a few links you might like.

Exhibition Of Nose Art

Aviation Museum Nose Art Gallery

USAAF Nose Art Research Project.


That's all folks. 


Thursday, 20 October 2016

Heavy Metal Cover Girls..Ghosts in White

 Day four of my attempt to clear out my "To Do" folder and at this point I'm finding album covers faster than I can post them.  Oh well. Everybody needs a hobby and this is one of mine.

  The theme today is things that go "Whoooo" in the night. 
No, not Ric Flair.  Ghostly girls who all seem to have a thing about white clothing. 

Can you feel a chill on the back of your neck?

Midnattsol - Where Twilight Dwells (Germany 2005)

Album cover beautiful ghost woman
That smile isn't sinister at all.
It has definite overtones of "Just follow me into this lake, my dear. What could go wrong?"

It's interesting how each theme I choose can lead to such a variety in bands.
Yesterday leaned heavily to Glam/Hard Rock while I'm betting today will be heavy on the Power & Symphonic tags. 

Midnattsol are Symphonic/Folk with female vocals. 


When Nothing Remains - As All Torn Asunder (Sweden 2012)

metal album cover ghost
One of those covers that make you wonder what the story is.
Is she saying goodbye or inviting him along?  And where to?
If you take a closer look at the horses' eyes, it adds an extra layer of creepy.

If you like your Metal dark,  doomy and melancholic then these guys might be right up your alley.
 Their site may be found here: https://whennothingremains.bandcamp.com/


Instanzia - Ghosts  (Canada 2010)

Ghosts with a passion for moping theatrically around old ruins, clearly. 

Despite being North American Instanzia have a very European Power Metal sound.


Speaking of Euro Power Metal...

Waverly Lies North - A Soul In The Void (France 2013)

Heavy metal cover girls ghost
The idea that I might spend eternity hanging around an old house, lonely and hurt scares the everliving shit out of me.
 Too dark? too personal? 
Ahem...
Ooh look at that wallpaper. Ghastly.

Waverley Lies North describe themselves as PM but clearly try to do more than galloping singlaongs.



Damnation Angels  - Shadow Symphony EP (UK 2009)

 "Could you lot stay still? How the hell can I conduct you when you keep spinning around me?"
What he doesn't know is that his brass section were exorcised last night. The inconsiderate sods.

Damnation Angels are British Power Metal so I really want them to get some more attention.


Band website here: http://www.damnationangels.com/


And finally, somebody not the haunter but the hauntee.
She doesn't seem to mind.

Sleeping Romance - Enlighten (Italy 2013)

Heavy metal cover girls spooky
She could be a ghost I suppose.
There is a definite glow to her but that could just be because it's a really good book.

It would be weird if this band turned out to be Metalcore, wouldn't it?
They are, in fact, Symphonic Metal with female vocals but a bit punchier than some I can mention.


I'd love to know what you thought of all these bands and album covers so drop me a line below.

That's all folks. 

Wednesday, 19 October 2016

Heavy Metal Cover Girls... Go For A Ride

 Blimey, is it Wednesday already?  
Friday afternoon would be nicer but then I'd have skipped today's post.

 Today's theme is simple but elegant. Cover girls mounted on something.  

Stop sniggering. Not that kind of a blog.
(Although one of these days I will do that Covergirl Bums feature i've been threatening for years.)

What we have here is a selection of young women mounted on a selection of increasingly 
outlandish animals with nary a riding  hat or high-vis vest in sight. 

Mount up and let's go.  We shall start with some classic literary stuff.

  Heaven Shall Burn - Veto (Germany 2013)

Album cover - naked woman riding horse
Proof that you can do an album cover with a naked woman and still have some class. 

Tuesday, 18 October 2016

Heavy Metal Cover Girls - In Uniform.

  Welcome to another instalment of Heavy Metal Cover Girls, a semi-regular feature where I post album covers starring attractive women and pretend I'm doing it as some sort of artistic analysis.

   Last time around I did some seriously Bad Girls. I wanted to do "Good Girls" today but as it turns out, you don't get many of them on metal album covers.  In retrospect, this should not have surprised me.

   So instead I'm going to cover the forces of law, order and discipline.   That's right kiddies, tonight we're delving into the world of women in uniform.

  Something vaguely resembling uniform anyway. Half the time, it's just the hat.

  Ready to take the salute? 


 Bunker - Cirugia Fatal (Argentina 1985)

Metal album sexy nurse
   I don't think she's a real nurse, you know. 
I only came in to get my blood pressure looked at and she's really not helping with that.
I'm also a little bit worried by the fact that she's locked the door.

Monday, 17 October 2016

Heavy Metal Cover Girls...With Daggers.

                          Hello and welcome. This week I plan to try doing a Cover Girls update every day. 
                       Note the word "Plan". Lord only knows what may happen between now and next Sunday. 

For those of you visiting for the first time, here's the basic idea.

I post a bunch of Metal/Rock/AOR loosley united by a theme but 
all featuring attractive young women who may or may not be wearing clothes. 
I then try and come up with something insightful or witty to say about each one.

Note the word "Try"

Today we're looking at a very simple idea; namely that beauty can hide danger.
There's lots of ways you can convey this but in each of these covers, the artist has gone down the same route. 

Let's meet some  pretty girls, each with something to hide that may come as a short, sharp shock.  


April Fool - Playin' To Win (USA 1989)

Metal album woman with knife
  The first time I saw this cover my reaction was 
"Hey, she's cute.... Hang on, what's that in her hand?
Oh crap."

April Fool were one of many Hard Rock bands doing the club scene in the late 80s who never quite hit the big time. Mini Biography here.


Fist - Danger Zone (Canada 1985)

beautiful woman with dagger
 The most glamorous mugger ever.

Outside of Canada Fist were known as Myofist to avoid confusion with the Geordie outfit.
If you like catchy Canuck Rock you might dig these guys.



Stereo Nasty - Nasty By Nature (Ireland 2015)

sexy girl with big knife
If you're like most blokes, the knife was the second thing you noticed.
God almighty..even Crocodile Dundee would be impressed by that bloody great machete  


Stereo Nasty are, much to my surprise, a new band playing Old-school Crunchy HM that has definite promise.




 Авентайл  - Welcome To Метрополитен EP (Russia 2016)

(Aventail - Welcome to The Metropolitan)
Sexy girl with bowie knife metal album
 Two Three thoughts.
Firstly ; Whoever did this cover is really good.
Secondly: Big knife!  Big, Big knife! Very scared now!
Thirdly: She's not the weirdest thing going on in this scene. Look closely. 

A cursory Youtube search found a live clip. 
I wouldn't mind hearing more of their studio material. 


Victorians -Aristocrats Symphony - Revival (Poland 2012)

blindfolded woman with knife
I think shes trying to cut herself free from that damned corset.
I don't blame her. I get fed up unlacing my boots and I don't have to do that behind my back.
Don't ask me about the blindfold.  Aristocrats do weird shit when they get bored.

Victorians - Aristocrat's Symphony are, unsurprisingly, Symphonic Metal.
Emphasis on the Symphonic.



And finally, form a classy cover to um...
Yeah, see for yourself.

Epic Death - Witchcraft (USA 2015)

metal album cover sexy girl thong
If you're like most blokes...
Shit. Already done that one. 
One of these days I'm going to ask somebody female whether having a shoelace up your buttcrack is as uncomfortable as it looks.
She's got a very shiny bum, hasn't she?

Epic Death are Symphonic Black/Death Metal according to Metal Archives.
Not normally my thing but I can see myself digging them if I caught the band live.


That's all folks. See you tomorrow. 

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