Monday, December 28, 2015
Sunday, December 6, 2015
Let's take a look at the second-best David Vincent video available on the net. Old bands are discussed and little kids are perturbed. Unfortunately, no questions about lemon pie or microwaves:
By the way, if you are a Chuck Schuldiner-fellating revisionist, pay very careful attention starting around the 1 minute mark.
Sunday, September 27, 2015
Monday, January 12, 2015
I can think of only two situations where the phrase "righteous metal" would realistically be used:
a) Some sort of white metal reference, such as a songtitle or compilation.
b) Uttered with a surfer accent in the late '80s/'90s by some Bill & Ted/Beavis & Butt-head type moron who should have left the horn-throwing to Dio. WYLD STALLYNS!
Thankfully, this post deals with the first scenario.
Released in 1987, Righteous Metal was K-Tel's (through sub-label Arrival) attempt at a Christian metal compilation. I'm hesitant to say K-Tel really pioneered anything here since their whole business model was based on capitalizing on trends, but 1987 (keep in mind, the same year the original California Metal compilation came out) was still pretty early for a compilation of this type. It also means Righteous Metal pre-dated the release of any of the full-length Christian thrash albums (it's unlikely a label like K-Tel would have even bothered with demo bands, though in 1991 there would be a second volume that included Believer and Tourniquet).
Bloodgood - Though I could do without some of the theatrical elements, one of their better songs and a solid opener.
Barren Cross - I don't know if it's admirable or ridiculous that a band with a singer whose natural voice is as close to Bruce Dickinson as humanly possible chose not to sound more like Maiden. Not a very flattering track for the band, with its ham-fisted "ROCK!" gang-choruses and plodding tempo.
Stryken - Stryken has a certain amount of notoriety online due to their 1986 album cover (with the band members sporting awful spandex/repurposed protective sports padding getups that make The Pack is Back-era Raven outfits look subtle) being featured at the Bizarre Records website. They also hold a certain amount of notoriety with me for completely different reasons.*
Now, I'm not against bands incorporating football pads into their costumes, but at least do it right, like Omen or the Italian Revenge. I was hoping there would be something musically redeeming about a band who dressed and proudly posed in such a ridiculously over the top manner, but I was very disappointed when I heard the album; it reeked of L.A. commercialism. Their contribution here is a corny glam metal attempt at a "We Will Rock You" type anthem, complete with a horrible artificial-sounding drum beat that's made to clap to.
Messiah Prophet - OH LOOK, A SONG ABOUT ME. Good track, much more of a metallic anthem than the last two duds.
Saint - Priest comparisons are inevitable with Saint; Josh Kramer has a lot of vocal mannerisms immediately reminiscent of Halford, and this particular song has a mid-tempo swagger which instantly brings "Metal Gods" to mind, especially coupled with the lyrics. Speaking of which, what's with said lyrics? I can't tell if they're allegorical or not. A guy hiding in the sewers to escape from mutants with lasers doesn't seem overtly Christian, but then there's that line about not taking the mark or bowing to the beast. Anyway, this is great in comparison to some of the dreck on here, but I'm still undecided on whether this is necessarily the best Saint song to showcase on a compilation.
Jerusalem - Not going to complain about their inclusion, since this is quite heavy for them and it's not an unpleasant song. Besides, much, much worse is just around the corner. Hard rock with clear '70s roots due to the keyboard use.
The next 5 songs - Even with some kind of perverse, overly liberal definition of heavy metal, the inclusion of the Petra and Altar Boys tracks are indefensible, and the others are shoehorned-in hard rock tracks at best.
Philadelphia - REDEMPTION! Easily the best track on here, and they would have easily fit in with the early Metal Blade bands. In fact, had these guys been secular, there's no doubt in my mind dozens of Germans and Greeks would be raving about them and/or masturbating to them. That's not to say Christianity was the only impediment. Their first album varied quite a lot in song quality. And then, there's the band name--I get why they chose it, but the only church of Revelation that potentially makes a worse band name is Smyrna.
*from Wikipedia: "In June 1987, the members of Stryken were detained by police after disrupting a Mötley Crüe concert in San Antonio, Texas. Carrying a large wooden cross and clad in full body armor (inspired by the theological teaching of the 'Armor of God' as found in the sixth chapter of the New Testament book, Ephesians), Stryken first proselytized concertgoers outside of the venue and then proceeded inside to the front of the stage. After being detained by police, the band was released without charges."
(Since that would have been Girls Girls Girls era, completely acceptable)
Also, there's a section of Stryken's "Crush the Head of Satan" where the word "crush" is repeated in a way that brings to mind a much later Megadeth song...