Thursday, September 25, 2008

Cleveland Metal (1983 Clubside Records)

I’m back! After Evie was born back in March (yes, we’re up to 3 now) I didn’t have time to post any new reviews. Now that things are settling down a bit, I hope to get back into it.

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Here's an earlier compilation of bands from the Cleveland metal scene. This one is a bit easier to find but just as good. Comes with an insert, as shown above. Clubside Records would change their name to Auburn Records before releasing anything else.

1. Black Death – "Taken By Force": The album starts off with this awesome raw Priest-ish power metal song that grabs you right away and never lets go.
2. Black Death – "Until We Rock": Black Death’s second contribution is slower but still very heavy and just as over-the-top. Both tracks are exclusive. The band would go on to record a full length LP and 7" that were sold together on the Auburn Records label.
3. Sacred Few – "Sacred Few": Sacred Few’s anthem is a decent song with a simple hard rock beat. They would get much better on their 1985 Beyond the Iron Walls LP, and not just because they replaced the whiny vocalist with a capable female singer. This was also released as a single in 1983 on their own Skull Records label.
4. Cerberus – "Rampage": Very cool instrumental similar to Iron Maiden’s "Losfer Words (Big ‘Orra)". Exclusive track.
5. Jagged Edge – "Eyes of Fire": This is an unusual song that sounds uncannily like a sped up version of Black Sabbath’s "Hand of Doom". I remember hating it when I first heard it, but it has grown on me a little. Now I consider it one of those classic "so bad it’s good" songs. Exclusive track.
6. Mistreater – "Without You": Another Black Sabbath influenced song, only this time with a vocalist sounding rather a lot like Vince Neil. It sounds like an interesting combination, but ultimately I find it completely unlistenable. I’m sure I’ll get some crap for saying that, since this band does have a few rather dedicated followers, but that’s how I feel. Exclusive track.
7. Breaker – "10 Seconds In": Everything I said about Breaker in my last review holds true for their early material as well. A great main riff and chorus keep me coming back to this song. Also released on their 1987 debut LP Get Tough, but in different form. I prefer this version, though it’s probably a case of whichever one you hear first will be your favorite.
8. Breaker – "Walking the Wire": A slower song that could be called a ballad, and therefore not surprisingly is where their Scorpions influences show through most clearly. It’s also a great song which did not originally appear on their first LP. Both this song and the original version of "10 Second In" were rereleased on the 2000 2CD reissue of Get Tough.
9. Shok Paris – "Go Down Fighting": This is an early version of their classic song recorded with a different vocalist. It’s a good song, but it lacks the power of the version from their 1988 Steel and Starlight LP. Also, Vic Hix makes this singer seem quite bland in comparison. This version was rereleased as a bonus track on Auburn Records’ 2004 CD reissue of Go for the Throat.
10. Sorcerer – "Bloodline": This song reminds me of Witchfinder General: heavy NWOBHM sound with 70s influences, but too upbeat to be called doom (except perhaps for the guitar solo). Unlike the other 70s sounding bands on this compilation, Sorcerer seems to draw as much from Scorpions as Sabbath. Their only other release is the track "Strike of the Raven" on the 1984 compilation LP Etched in Steel. However, guitarist/vocalist Pat DeLaney did release a single in 1980 called Dreams of Life, under the name Pat DeLaney and Friends, which is perhaps a better representation of Pat’s Uli Roth influences.

Available Formats: Vinyl only. There are 2 versions of the sleeve, with the only difference being the Sorcerer logo and band photo on the back. The first edition was limited to 1,000 copies. The second edition is pictured above and was limited to 1,500 copies.

Value: $15-25