Monday, February 18, 2008

Metal Clogs (1982 Rave-On Records)

At the same time that Brian Slagel was doing the New Heavy Metal Revue and starting Metal Blade Records in the US, similar things were happening over in the Netherlands. Stefan Rooyackers, editor of Aardschok magazine, teamed up with Jac Hustinx in 1981 to start Rave-On Records. It was Stefan's work at Aardschok that got Mercyful Fate on the label. Mercyful Fate's 1982 debut EP would be the second album released by Rave-On Records. Of course they have nothing at all to do with the Metal Clogs LP, but since I was making a rather bold comparison between Metal Blade and Rave-On I wanted to point out that Rave-On did at least one significant thing for metal.

Rave-On Records' first release was this compilation consisting of 3 Dutch artists and one from Belgium (Crossfire). All of them play in the typical NWOBHM-influenced heavy metal style of the day. Every song on Metal Clogs is completely exclusive except for "Crossfire", "I Sold My Soul" and "Motorcycles".

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1. Crossfire – "Crossfire": No surprise that these guys would later sign to Mausoleum as they exemplify the generic West European heavy metal sound that the label is known for. This song isn't necessarily bad (except for the vocals which are kind of bad in a good way) but it just goes nowhere and takes a long time to do it. Wait, it's only 4 minutes long? Yikes. Of course, I may be alone in this opinion. Crossfire sounds a lot like a less talented Sweet Savage, who I’ve always thought were overrated anyway. They obviously liked Motorhead a lot as well. The same version of this song was included on the 1985 Rave-On Hits Hard compilation LP, and a live version appears on Crossfire’s 1986 Sharpshooter LP.
2. Impact – "Looking for Trouble": A little better this time with still more of those good-bad vocals. At least they had the sense to end after 2 minutes, 20 seconds.
3. Frankenstein – "I Sold My Soul": This band has more of a 70s vibe to them, which is always a plus in my book. The song ends on a comical note too when they yell "I! Sold! My! Soul! For! [dramatic pause] Rock and Roll!" Originally recorded with a different singer for the 1979 Northern Lights compilation LP.
4. Gilgamesj – "Heavy Duty": Finally, someone to inject some melody into this album. This is a great song, though still not as good as their Take One EP. I love Frank van Stijn's deep vocals, though they are a bit rougher on these tracks. This song has a strong Judas Priest vibe too.
5. Crossfire – "Real Steel": Crossfire gives a better offering this time and the attempts at harmonies are cute.
6. Impact – "Drop Dead": Impact deliver an almost great song here that is only marred by a rather stupid and repetitive chorus. Excellent main riff.
7. Crossfire – "Motorcycles": Any hopes I had after the last Crossfire song were dashed with this, another boring song with some really awkward vocal melodies. And let’s not forget the motorcycle sound effects. On second thought, let’s do that. A live version of this song appears on their 1986 Sharpshooter LP.
8. Gilgamesj – "Ticket to Heaven": Gilgamesj take a slight step back with this one but they're trying and I appreciate that.
9. Frankenstein – "Lady Luck": The second offering from Frankenstein has more of a 70s rock style. It's another exclusive and it's good, but I don't know if it's good enough for me to track down their only other release (a privately issued 7" from 1984 that sells in the range of $50).
10. Crossfire – "Be Crazy": Whose idea was it to give the worst band on here the most songs while Gilgamesj and Frankenstein only get two? They aren't even Dutch!
11. Impact – "Misanthrope": Not as good as "Drop Dead", but I like the break in the middle that starts out all doomy and Sabbathy then gets really fast. Shortly after contributing to this compilation, Impact released their debut LP which consists of 10 new songs of similarly varying quality.

OK, I know I was pretty critical of this record, but it really isn't bad at all. Definitely worth getting if you like any of the bands present or are interested in the early Dutch scene, as almost every track is exclusive. Just don't be suckered by anyone saying it's a top rarity because it just isn't.

Available Formats: Vinyl only release, with 2 different covers – the black and white one pictured here, and a blue and gray one.

Value: $10-$20


Anonymous said...

Nightsblood here.
Interesting review! I've seen this comp but never heard it, so I can't comment on it. Always nice to read a thorough review of an album that I see floating around from time to tim- keep up the good work!

Anonymous said...

This the very first time I see this album on the Internet!!
I've still got it on the shelf.
Even saw Gilgamesj once live!
.......getting old :-)

Anyway, Thanx for your posting!!

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...

Password: metalclogs

Lord Bones said...

Great review!

I remember buying this one when it came out in 1982. I bought it during a Heavy Metal festival in Eindhoven. I think it was called Aardschok Day. In a place (I think) called Dynamo. And the bands on the comp where playing then :) Aaah memories....
And yes I am old LOL.