Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Break Out: German Metal Tracks No. 2 (1986 D&S Recording)

It's time to follow up German Metal Tracks No. 1 with a review of the sequel. The German Metal Tracks series can be hard to follow, since some marketing genius at D&S decided to use the same title and only put No. 2 on the back cover. They did this with later volumes too. Here is the sequence as I know it:

Break Out: German Metal Tracks No. 1 (1985, WK 30.616)
Break Out: German Metal Tracks No. 2 (1986, WK 30.671)
Metal Hour: German Metal Tracks No. 3 (1986, WK 30.698)
Metal Hour: German Metal Tracks No. 4 (1986, WK 30.746)
Metal Hour: German Metal Tracks No. 5 (1987, ?)
German Metal Fighters No. 1 (1987, DS 003)
German Metal Fighters No. 2 (1988, DS 005)
Best of German Metal Newcomer (1990, DS-017, promo only)

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German Metal Tracks No. 2 also came with a Ravage sticker:

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1. Advice – "No Way Out": Fairly typical German metal with very gruff vocals, sort of like a more melodic Tyrant. A good opener.
2. Arkham – "Die Young": These guys were obviously big Accept fans. This song is not bad, it's just not memorable.
3. Necronomicon – "Possessed by Evil": Necronomicon are often referred to as a Destruction clone. They certainly do sound a lot like them, but on this song I find they more closely resemble early Sodom. I can't help but think of "Obsessed by Cruelty" when I hear the chorus. I'm sure the satanic thrash/proto-black metal fans go nuts over this stuff. To me it's only mildly interesting.
4. Ravage – "Coming Alive": Great raw power metal, similar to the old Gama bands like Gravestone or early Stormwitch. This was rerecorded in 2000 for their self-titled CD. Ravage would also release an EP in 1989 called Swords and Heroes on which they sound a lot like Not Fragile.
5. Stained Class – "Recovery": Stained Class plays in a similar style as Ravage or even Dark Avenger from Noise Records' Death Metal compilation.
6. Stained Class – "Back for More": Another excellent track. Unfortunately, there were no other releases by this band.
7. Ravage – "Ravage": More raw German power metal. I get the impression that Ravage wanted their theme song to be something of a sampler of what the band is about. It starts of slow with more of a traditional sound before speeding up. Then, after a melodic, Helloween like part in the middle, you hear the only instance of keyboards in either of their tracks on this album. It finishes with a brief solo from each member making for a pretty interesting song overall. This one is entirely exclusive to this album.
8. Necronomicon – "Blind Destruction": This track sounds more like Destruction, especially with the Schmier like vocals. Both this and "Possessed by Evil" also appear in different versions on their debut self-titled LP which was released the same year.
9. Arkham – "Metal Or Chains": The fist-pounding chorus makes this quite an improvement over "Die Young". Like Stained Class, their contributions to this compilation were to be their only legacy.
10. Advice – "Children of the Dark": Another good song, but it sounds a little too close to their other track on this album. This one was also appeared on their only other release, the Persuer EP, which oddly enough was not released until 1992. I believe that they are different versions.

A bit more predictable than the first Break Out compilation, but still recommended. A great sampler of underground German metal.

Available Formats: Vinyl only.

Value: $20-30

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