Random album reviews


Found in a lost world

This album sees Lee’s synths promoted to a co-equal instrument in the band, a position they will remain in for most of the decade to come. Between this change and the shorter song lengths, some fans felt the band had started to sell out here, while others felt they were finally hitting their stride. You can put me firmly in the second camp.
You can put me in the second camp too.


Found in a lost world
Metal For Muthas (Various Artists)
Sanctuary Records (1980) // total playing time = 40:55


1. Iron Maiden - Sanctuary - This is an early recording of the song and not the version that appears on the 1998 remaster of the debut album. Overall I prefer the later version although this recording features a better guitar solo and some insane drumming!
2. Sledgehammer - Sledgehammer - This song reminded me of a lighter version of Motörhead mixed with early Priest.
3. E.F. Band - Fighting For Rock And Roll - Great typical NWOBHM intro, fastpaced song. Certainly a hidden gem.
4. Toad The Wet Sprocket - Blues In A - Like the songtitle allready says: this is more blues than NWOBHM. The singer sounds like a long lost brother of Geddy Lee and this song wouldn't be out of place on the debut album of Rush.
5. Praying Mantis - Captured City - Ferocious guitar solo in the intro, this is top notch NWOBHM with some Wishbone Ash vibes too. Another guitar solo spices up the song in the middle, makes you want to airguitar. One of the highlights on this compilation!
6. Ethel The Frog - Fight Back - Another fastpaced metalsong we get here but not very strong on the vocal parts.
7. Angelwitch - Baphomet - Doomy intro, but again I'm not a fan of the vocals here. Around minute 2 we get a nice twin guitar riff followed by a faster part where the song turns into a climax. This is NWOBHM as it should be!
8. Iron Maiden - Wrathchild - Again, this is an early recording of the song and not the one appearing on the Killers album. This version is a tiny bit slower, giving it a whole new atmosphere. This song also lacks the famous Di'Anno scream we can hear on the Killers version.
9. Samson - Tomorrow Or Yesterday - No, this is not a song sung by Bruce. It's a slower song, more in the vein of Wishbone Ash.
10. Nutz - Bootliggers - The final track on disc 1 is yet a great faster song with nice guitar work and reminds me of the later Rainbow.

This first volume features some nice tracks and some great ones. Nothing spectacular though. Alot of my favorite NWOBHM songs are missing here.
I'd give it a fair 75 %

Metal For Muthas Volume II (Various Artists)

Sanctuary Records (1980) // total playing time = 43:46


1. Trespass - One Of These Days - Speaking of one of my favorite NWOBHM songs: volume 2 kicks of with One Of These Days, the masterpiece of Trespass. Brilliant twin guitarwork, even in the solo's!
2. Eazy Money - Telephone Man - Mostly known for Marc Storace (Krokus) on vocals and this song features nice keyboards.
3. Xero - Cutting Loose - Alot of 70's Priest worship here. Not a bad song though.
4. White Spirit - High Upon High - This song falls in the "skip" category, I found it rather boring.
5. Dark Star - Lady Of Mars - The highlight of the album! Again a masterpiece of NWOBHM. Gotta love that guitar riff!
6. Horsepower - You Give Me Candy - What if AC/DC played NWOBHM is what you get here.
7. Red Alert - Open Heart - Again, a pretty bland song.
8. Chevy - Chevy - Whispers of Golden Earring and Wishbone Ash, but this song sounds more like an unfinished jam.
9. The Raid - Hard Lines - The fastest song of the album but pretty average to me.
10. Trespass - Stormchild - Like Maiden on volume 1, Trespass also presents 2 songs on this compilation. Storm Child isn't as strong as One Of These Days but it's a great song nevertheless.

This second volume of Metal For Muthas has a terrible cover and although it has a few NWOBHM classics, as a whole far less interesting than volume 1. It also features more average songs than the first volume so I'd give it a fair 70%
Last edited:


Ancient Mariner
Metal for Muthas is a listenable album, and you're correct Captured City is the best non-Maiden track on there.

Lars Ulrich and former Sounds editor Geoff Barton compiled a 10th anniversary NWOBHM compilation double album called "NWOBHM '79 Revisited" which is a great listen as well.
Last edited:


Found in a lost world
NWOBHM (Various Artists)
Union Square Music (2018) // total playing time CD 1 = 76:55
_______________________________ total playing time CD 2 = 75:24


On this 2CD set we get 40 NWOBHM songs and over 2 hours of metal madness!
On disc 1 Venom opens very rough, never been a fan and probably never will. The selftitled song by Blitzkrieg is a classic, years later covered by Metallica. Axe Crazy by Jaguar is a fast song and certainly one of the highlights here. The Dion cover by Fist is well-played. With Hot Lady by Dedringer we have another great one. White Spirit is also featured here with a very Deep Purpelish song. We Have Arrived by Saracen and Ridin' High by Persian Risk are 2 personal favorites. The first feautures a magnificent keyboard solo at the end of the song and the singer of the latter sounds alot like Bruce Dickinson! Angelwitch's selftitled song is another classic. The first disc ends with the awesome Despiser by Gaskin.

The second disc opens again with a song by Venom. Opinions about this band given before, so it's skipping time. The selftitled song of Cloven Hoof is a cult classic in the NWOBHM. Here they aren't ripping off Maiden yet. Hammerhead of Tysondog is the first highlight of the second disc: fast melodic song. Yes, this is how I like my NWOBHM. The quality stays high with the next song: Bitches Sin with Always Ready. The vocals sounds abit like Di'Anno at some parts. Back To The Grind of White Spirit is Deep Purple worship part two. We also get a great track of Warrior followed by the beautiful War Machine by Jaguar. And the song of Death Wish sounds almost like thrash metal!
With The Night Of The Blade by Tokyo Blade we get another personal favorite and highlight. The disc ends with Riding With The Angels of Samson with a certain Bruce Bruce on vocals. Hmmm... He sounds quite familiar, I think if he sang in another band he would be world famous. :devil:

This is a nice collection of NWOBHM tracks, some are decent, some are great, some are forgettable though. But overall it's a pretty good compilation for a very good price. I'd give it 80%
Last edited:

The Dissident

Ancient Mariner
Slowly working through the list, Italics means it is has been ordered. Likely won't do all but I'll be finishing a few discographies or at least as much as I own of them. (Heart, AC/DC, Black Sabbath, Dio, Whitesnake, Rush, Queen and Dream Theater)
  • AC/DC - Blow Up Your Video
  • AC/DC - Ballbreaker
  • AC/DC - Stiff Upper Lip
  • Black Sabbath - Sabotage
  • Black Sabbath - Technical Ecstasy
  • Black Sabbath - The Eternal Idol
  • Bon Jovi - Crush
  • Bon Jovi - Bounce
  • Bon Jovi - Have A Nice Day
  • Bon Jovi - Lost Highway
  • Bon Jovi - The Circle
  • Bon Jovi - What About Now
  • Bon Jovi - Burning Bridges
  • Bon Jovi - This House Is Not For Sale
  • Deep Purple - Slaves & Masters
  • Deep Purple - The Battle Rages On
  • Deep Purple - Purpendicular
  • Deep Purple - Whoosh!
  • Dio - Angry Machines
  • Dio - Magica
  • Dokken - Breaking The Chain
  • Dokken - Tooth And Nail
  • Dokken - Under Lock And Key
  • Dokken - Back For The Attack
  • Dream Theater - The Astonishing
  • Dream Theater - Live At Luna Park
  • Dream Theater - Score [Listened but didn't do a review so this may just get dropped]
  • Heart - Bad Animals
  • Heart - Brigade
  • Heart - Desire Walks On
  • Heart - Beautiful Broken
  • Metallica - Load
  • Metallica - ReLoad
  • Metallica - Death Magnetic
  • Metallica - Hardwired To Self Destruct
  • Queen - Made In Heaven
  • Ratt - Invasion Of Your Privacy
  • Ratt - Dancing Undercover
  • Ratt - Reach For The Sky
  • Ratt - Detonator
  • The Rolling Stones - Exile On Main Street
  • The Rolling Stones - Goats Head Soup
  • Rush - Counterparts
  • Rush - Test For Echo
  • Rush - Snakes & Arrows
  • Velvet Revolver -Libritad
  • W.A.S.P. - Double Live Assassins
  • Whitesnake - Good To Be Bad


Heart - Heart
Format: CD/Digital

Heart's eighth album, and the one that they have finally gotten their pop rock pinacle which they have been striving for since Bebe Le Strange. The first side of this album alone has 4 of the 5 more well known tracks from the album (aka those on the greatest hits and the very clear 2 radio staples). One thing I do appreciate about Heart regardless of their era is that each album is a managable length, roughly 10 songs, and between 35 and 50 mins. Yes the focus is on the hit of the album, but I know what to expect going in.

If Looks Could Kill kicks off the album, this track is a prime example of how their guitar sound has become less of a focus over the more recent albums, because this track should be heavier like Barracuda instead we have a catchy pop rocker with added synths dating the song effectively. It is one of 6 tracks not written by the Wilson Sisters. Throughout the track Ann sounds pretty good but also plays it fairly safe throughout the track. I do quite like the guitar solo, it is nice and calm while still being fitting of a rockier track. Enter the band's radio staple to end all radio staples, What About Love has been used as the bands introduction for a large chunk of those born after its release and likely those born before as well had they not heard the 70s early work of the band. What I can say is this track is catchy like the previous and Ann emotes quite well throughout this cover track this is prime sappy power ballad territory and the band nails it completely from start to finish.

Never is another of the albums singles, continues on the synth filled 80s earmarked track, the track isn't really a ballad but it isn't fast by any means, the chorus is gang vocals central, this was the albums 2nd single following the previous track in the succession of 5 singles, this one lacks the hook for me and dives too far into the pop territory for my overall liking. The track isn't bad it just doesn't rock in any real sense of the word. These Dreams is the albums third single, featuring Nancy on lead vocals, and written by Bernie Taupin the famed cowriter of Elton John where What About Love was an in your face power ballad. These Dreams is a much more stripped back atmospheric ballad, while having a bit of an in your face approach for the chorus. The ballad is ethereal and beautiful, one of my favourite Heart tracks. The Wolf is the only non-single track on this side of the album and it does not disapoint, the introduction comes in hard and heavy in a way that I didn't expect from this album based on well the 5 pop soaked singles, the first track featuring the Wilson sisters on writing credits. Ann delivers some stellar howling vocals... pun intended... it shows glimpses of a very different album which could have been and likely would have been a stronger rock approach that would have been possible especially on the opening track of the album. A very welcome and stellar surprise. I have no idea why this song wasn't a more rock oriented single especially when they release such a weak one like Never.

If Looks Could Kill - 8/10
What About Love - 9/10
Never - 6/10
These Dreams - 10/10
The Wolf - 9/10

All Eyes opens side 2, it continues on as probably a balance between the previous track and the more poppier tracks, the introduction of it falls into the harder catagory while the verse and chorus shows the pop approach. This track is one which I think will grow on me more as time goes on, provided I don't skip it like many of the poppier tracks when I'm driving in the car. Nobody's Home slows down once again, piano/synth based with a slow vocal introduction, it loses the momentum brought up thus far and the track doesn't really have much of a hook or any real emotional connection to be had.

Nothin' At All is the final single from the album, just based on the overall layout of the album I think they should have put all 5 singles on one side of the album it just seems more logical if you're going to release half the album may aswell have it be the half you listen to together. It is a better ballad than the previous one by far and the track fills the role of single quite well, catchy and memorable throughout. Not a stellar track but an enjoyable one! What He Didn't Know opens with a calm guitar lick, and the song very quickly becomes another ballad, it is quite clearly about cheating right off the bat. I'm not a fan of this track. Shell Shock is the album's closer, it adds a bit more of a rock edge its sound once again. A poppier rock track. It works pretty well.

All Eyes - 8/10
Nobody's Home - 6/10
Nothin' At All - 7.5/10
What He Didn't Know - 6/10
Shell Shock - 8/10

Adjusted 78%
Overall 78%
3 Stars

The Dissident

Ancient Mariner

Exit... Stage Left - Rush
Format: Vinyl

Rush's second live album, like many bands which transitioned into the 80s and acquired a more commercial sound their live album reflects only the change to a more commercial sound in the track listing, lacking any tracks featured on their previous live release and only featuring 2 tracks from the first 4 studio albums. Also where is Limelight?

Side 1
opens with the bands Permanent Waves album's opening track, The Spirit Of Radio Geddy introduces the track and the band instantly jump into the track, sticking pretty close to the original rendition the track with a very prominent bass sound from the bands leader. The sound is good, although it feels very refined and not so much of a live recording but more of a slightly distant studio recording. I know the band had spent a lot of time perfecting their mix and feel the sound is sterile as a result in later days. The performance of the track is great it just doesn't feel that different from the studio version which feels more powerful, still a great performance nonetheless. Red Barchetta is up next, a track from the bands Moving Pictures album, it comes in slowly with some keyboard work as it slowly increases in tempo. The track suffers from the similar stuff from the previous track, it is a good performance just edited a bit too much in the mix. The back half of the track does have a bit more oomph to it which is an improvement. Side 1 closes with YYZ and a Drum Solo, as someone who isn't a fan of instrumentals I'm happy that the two are merged and relatively short in length.

The Spirit Of Radio - 9/10
Red Barchetta - 9/10
YYZ - 8/10

Side 2 dips back into the bands first four albums with a cut from 2112 A Passage To Bangkok the track has a much heavier guitar tone and it is higher in the mix and the songs is quite melodic, one of the tracks I'm less familliar with being that I don't listen to a ton of Rush despite enjoying them quite a bit thanks to these reviews. I guess I'm going to be revisiting 2112. Close To The Heart is up next, the first track to be featured from the bands A Farewell To Kings a lot of crowd participation which makes sense as the track was a massive hit for the band, the track sounds very much like the original however that crowd participation is amazing. A great rendition. Beneath, Between and Behind from Fly By Night is the second and final track from the era of All The Worlds A Stage it comes in directly from the previous track, there is a definite contrast between the early material and the more commercial sounding material from the bands more recent albums. This one is a pretty solid track not amazing but a good performance. Rush were perfectionists and it shows in their performances that they are incredibly talented musicians. Jacob's Ladder closes side 2, a slow introduction leads into the nearly 9 minute epic, Neil drums in a very millitant feel, and Geddy sings in a very story telling like way, this track fits the term epic quite nicely, the three work in tandem as their instruments create a massive sound in which the fact that only 3 people are making this sound is impressive, there is some very atmospheric synths being used here, mostly instrumental this track is a great work of art.

A Passage To Bangkok - 9/10
Closer To The Heart - 10/10
Beneath, Between and Behind - 8/10
Jacob's Ladder - 9/10

Brood's Bane a short guitar introduction added onto the followup track of The Trees opens up the third side. The Hemispheres track begins calm before the band erupts into a powerful fury, an incredible vocal performance and the power of all parties coming together on the instrumental sections of the track is tremendous. Jacob's Ladder showed their calmer atmospheric sounds, whereas The Trees has that and the sheer power of the band hitting you in the face with their prowess. Xanadu is up next, one of the bands more well known epic tracks, a long instrumental which slowly builds, each member shining through at different points, vocally this track is more spoken words and it fits with the feel of the overall track perfectly. Another brilliant composition

Brood's Bane/The Trees - 10/10
Xanadu - 10/10

Freewill opens up the fourth and final side of the album, the poppy rocker quickly gets going. Frankly the studio version has more energy than this recording. It feels like Geddy is holding back on the track, having looked at the setlist for the night this came from the band did put on a lengthy show but this track is the 2nd of the night so he likely isn't warmed up. I feel like a live album should be in the setlist order of the bands average setlist as the jumping around on the setlist can create some vocal desparity. Tom Sawyer comes from the latter half of the setlist, the sound of the original track is amazing and this version like Freewill before it is left in the dust in terms of overall quality, although this track is much stronger vocally as Geddy is quite warmed up by this point. The final track of the album was the bands encore track, the monstrous instrumental La Villa Strangiato the sprawling epic track is quite good but frankly an instrumental as your sole encore track just seems weird to me.

Freewill - 8/10
Tom Sawyer - 8/10
La Villa Strangiato - 8.5/10

Adjusted 90%
Overall 89%
4 Stars

The Dissident

Ancient Mariner

Black And Blue - The Rolling Stones
Format: Vinyl

Black and Blue kicks off with Hot Stuff the track has a very familliar groove right off the bat and it serves as a good hook to pull the listener into the track, the title is repeated a fair bit as the intro continues, the track is pretty decent, the band jams a fair bit on it and thats the real part of it that shines. Lyrically the track is pretty weak, not the most impressive track. Hand Of Fate comes in more direct and the song has a more traditional approach, it has a nice instrumental component and the track has a solid hook that pulls you in, and the track keeps the attention of the listener, a really enjoyable rock track. Cherry Oh Baby takes a more laid back approach, this track is a cover of a reggae track by Eric Donaldson, I could see this track being listened to while relaxing in a pool with a drink, but frankly I will never seek out this track but it is a pleasent listen while it lasts. Memory Motel closes out the first side, a 7 minute ballad, this track features both Mick and Keith on lead vocals, following the piano based introduction, a really pleasent track, not the most powerful ballad but it is quite calm and features some good harmonies, it would be a cool track for them to pull out live at some point since most songs from this album don't get featured at all on setlists, but when you have such a massive catalog things are gonna fall by the wayside.

Hot Stuff - 7/10
Hand Of Fate - 8.5/10
Cherry Oh Baby - 7.5/10
Memory Motel - 9/10

Hey Negrita opens up side 2, a track which Ronnie Wood was more involved in the writing of, the vocal delivery isn't that strong and the track itself isn't really that strong. It has the reggae feel from the earlier stuff on the album as well. Melody opens with some piano work this track has an inspiration from an R&B singer named Billy Preston, a slow track without much of a hook, pleasent and calm not too much variation. Fool To Cry opens with keyboards, this was the albums lead single, a slower track much like the majority of the album, it has some nice backing vocals throughout the chorus and the track is a decent step up from the previous two tracks. Nice calm and pleasent but I could see why it wasn't the strongest of singles. Crazy Mama closes out the album it picks up the pace a fair bit and really adds in some energy, the vocals have a dirty feel to them and Mick delivers it with swagger and some aggression. Not bad. Probably could have given some of the 7's a lower score but there are 3 good tracks 1 decent and then 4 so so ones.

Hey Negrita - 7/10
Melody - 7/10
Fool To Cry - 8/10
Crazy Mama - 8.5/10

Adjusted 78%
Overall 78%
3 Stars


Found in a lost world
Limelight isn't on the remastered version either. Passage To Bangkok wasn't on the original edition.
That happens when you don't listen to Rush that much anymore. I have a live version of Limelight but that's on a rock compilation.

The Dissident

Ancient Mariner

Tooth And Nail - Dokken
Format: CD/Digital

Dokken brings forth their second album Tooth And Nail the slow building introductory track fades in slowly building up excitement as it does so before segueing into the Title Track. The latter of which comes in with a swift drum based introduction the melodic vocals of Don cut through the bands commericial sound perfectly. George Lynch plays phenomenally right from the start, and the rythmn section keeps a nice underlying groove going throughout the track. An excellent opening combination a stellar solo continues on this hook ladened track, the build up from the intro track into this straightforward rocker is done exceptionally well. Up next is Just Got Lucky which screams single, Don's vocals are so clean and melodic on this track's verses and it keeps the momentum brought up from Tooth And Nail and builds upon it, I can see this being a live staple and a great crowd pleaser. Yes the track is totally filled with 80s cliche style lyrics and sounds but it does it perfectly. The outro would be a good way to segue into an extended guitar solo.

Heartless Heart comes in sounding a bit like Ratt's Round And Round, however once the verse comes under way the similarities begin to disapear, this track doesn't have quite as strong vocals from Dokken but he still sounds good. On the bridge there is some really good vocal harmonies, overall this is a fair step down in quality from the previous two tracks, it just doesn't have the same. Don't Close Your Eyes has a roaring opening, blazing drums and a furious guitar assault to match, the band slows down on the verse and the more smooth vocal approach returns. The quality has increased on this track once again, the track has a commercial sounding chorus and it really is a good rocker. The first true scream/high note is featured at the end of this track.

Without Warning/Tooth And Nail - 9/10
Just Got Lucky - 10/10
Heartless Heart - 7.5/10
Don't Close Your Eyes - 8.5/10

When Heaven Comes Down opens up the second side of the album, it comes in slow but thunderous, melodic with a chorus designed for the live atmosphere, the track itself is more atmospheric in a sense of the word. It has this larger than life feel to it despite the track only being three and a half minutes long. The instrumental middle section could set up for an extended drum or guitar solo in the live setting, I get a bit of a Tesla feel from this track. Into The Fire the albums lead single comes in next, the track features a very calm first verse before picking up the pace quickly and the track has the feel of a concert opener, albiet a bit of a slower one but good for energy nonetheless, commercially friendly and catchy. Bullets To Spare is the B-Side to the previous track on the single. It hits hard from the start, much like the previous track it has a very commerical feel and the band sounds tight on it. I think I like this one a bit more than the previous track.

Alone Again is the albums first ballad, it is a beautiful ballad, the calm and solemn introduction, slowly begins to build as Don sings incredibly throughout the track. A chilling track, yes it has all the pop-ballad tropes, but done well. The chorus just soars powerful cries for the lover gone away. I can see why this song was a single it is a perfect radio track. The underlying guitar work from George Lynch is fantastic and his solo is roaring and packs a brilliant punch to it as it makes way for the bridge and final chorus. Album closer Turn On The Action's introduction makes it clear that Alone Again is the sole ballad of the album, it comes in at high speed and doesn't drop its intensity, high energy and punchy. A great closer, it could have been a good side opener.

When Heaven Comes Down - 8/10
Into The Fire - 8/10
Bullets To Spare - 8.5/10
Alone Again - 10/10
Turn On The Action - 9/10

Adjusted 88%
Overall 87%
4 Stars
  • Love
Reactions: Jer

The Dissident

Ancient Mariner

Technical Ecstasy - Black Sabbath
Format: CD/Digital

Technical Ecstasy, the seventh album of Black Sabbath and from what I've heard the real beginning of the end for the Ozzy Osbourne era of the band. Back Street Kids opens up quick and as heavy as one would expect from Sabbath, the bands famed singer sings with more aggression than I've from him before. Quite the eclectic track in terms of sounds, it feels both commercial but also very true to the Sabbath roots. A rather promising opening track. The abrupt ending is quite sudden. You Won't Change Me comes in slowly building with keyboards before Tony drops his menacing riff, Ozzy sounds more similar to how we are used to hearing him here, the title properly embodies the themes of the track perfectly, it is the albums first epic track and holy shit is it a beautiful epic track, an incredibly thoughtful and powerful set of lyrics written by Geezer. A masterpiece. A shame it was never performed live.

It's Alright is a ballad written and performed by Bill Ward a track used as the introduction to November Rain on Guns N Roses Use Your Illusion Tour. A poppier ballad and a really distinct change from the bands traditonal sound. I like the track it has a nice solo section quite fitting of the mainly piano track. Thus far the album has started quite strong. Gypsy closes out the first half, it returns to a more traditional Sabbath sound and opens up with a drum solo, Geezer creates a great groove with his bass and the track while being a bit of a step down in overall quality is still quite good, I guess this album is going in a lot of different directions which could have been an issue for fans of their earlier work. I feel this album has been showing that the band could branch out a lot. I have clearly warmed up to Ozzy's vocals, I guess that means I should relook at the earlier work again.

Back Street Kids - 8.5/10
You Won't Change Me - 9.5/10
It's Alright - 9/10
Gypsy - 8.5/10

All Moving Parts (Stand Still) is about if a transvestite becomes the POTUS, which I feel would have been a huge statement back in the 70s, but based on America today, I still think this song would have a huge response if it was dropped today. Musically a strong track, lyrically and vocally a bit more odd. It is enjoyable. Rock N Roll Doctor opens like your, the chorus is pretty repetative and the track as a whole isn't the most original sounding, it is a pleasent straightforwards track.

She's Gone is a ballad, a slow acoustic guitar lick introduces the track, a very somber verse soon comes in, the track has a lot of background synth work on the verse. Following the verse there is a short instrumental bridge. Honestly this track is the worst on the album thus far, it has some good moments but it just lacks the emotional pull and it also lacks some energy. Dirty Women closes out the album, a 7 minute track about hookers, it comes in with the traditional Sabbath sound, decently upbeat. The lyrics aren't veiled at all from this subject matter, this is the most performed track of the album and I don't think it really makes all that sense to me since there is 4 stronger tracks on side 1. Although Tony does have a really nice solo on this track and the groove here is quite infectious... Such a promising start

All Moving Parts (Stand Still) - 8/10
Rock N Roll Doctor - 7.5/10
She's Gone - 6.5/10
Dirty Women - 8.5/10

Adjusted 83%
Overall 83%
3.5 Stars