Monday, October 6, 2008

Break Out: German Metal Tracks No. 1 (1985 D&S Recording)

Getting back to the theme of label debuts, here is the first offering from a very obscure German label. This LP started a whole series of compilations which I will address later. Overall, the bands on this one sound like a combination of NWOBHM with early German speed/power. Every song is exclusive, though the two Not Fragile tracks were rerecorded in 1989 for their One Way to Glory LP which was not released until 1992 in Japan (as Hard to Be Alive) and 1993 in Europe (as Lost in a Dream).

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1. Not Fragile – "Too Fast": Not Fragile is the only band on this compilation who would actually go on to be somewhat known. This was their very first release, from before they decided to really sound like Helloween (though there are similarities). The sound is very raw, like most of this album.
2. Satan’s Pharynx – "Necropolis": This sounds like early Satan (when they had Trev Robinson on vocals) running on one less cylinder. Very good, but the singer has trouble with those high notes.
3. Glacial Sun – "Big Feelings": A big let down after the first two tracks, this one sounds like a bad Dragster song being sung with a heavy German accent.
4. Chiolution – "Jaws of Death": Here’s an interesting one. Early Running Wild style metal with some of the most un-metal vocals I've ever heard (in a metal band). The singer almost sounds like Claudio Sanchez from Coheed and Cambria. It’s crazy, but I like it.
5. Breathless – "Duell of Wizzards": Whenever you see a gross misspelling like this, you know it's either a glam band or some really amateur metal. In this case it's the latter. This song is a good example of the kind of NWOBHM-meets-German metal I was talking about. It also has a 70s epic feel, and is one of my favorites from this album.
6. Vengeance – "Hellfire": Typical German metal, sort of like Gravestone with softer vocals. Not the same Vengeance that appeared on the MIR Heavy Metal Sampler LP. This band never released any songs besides the two on this compilation.
7. Vengeance – "Metal in Your Veins": More of the same. Really nothing special.
8. Breathless – "Back from the Attack": A step down from their last song, being more of a generic Accept styled track. Breathless would appear again on the third compilation in this series before changing their name to Glory Anthem.
9. Chiolution – "Moving Circle": Another great song, this time with more of an epic feel. The vocals also make a bit more sense now with some Kreator like screams mixed in. Unfortunately, the song ends abruptly leaving it feeling unfinished.
10. Glacial Sun – "Burning Love": Glacial Sun's second offering is still bad, but this time it has a bit of charm. Parts of it actually remind me a lot of early Witchfynde, especially the harmonies.
11. Satan’s Pharynx – "Rock 'n' Roll": Is this the same band? Unlike their other song, this is basic hard rock. However, they do manage to make it sound heavy (almost as though it were a cover).
12. Not Fragile – "Hard to Be Alive": After the last song, Not Fragile's second offering is a bit shocking, sounding like something straight off of Walls of Jericho (though Torsten Buczko's vocals are still rough and uncontrolled and don't really sound like Kai Hansen's yet). Great song but, as with "Too Fast", quite inferior to the rerecorded version.

Break Out is highly recommended and thankfully not too expensive yet, but still very hard to find. If you prefer the highly polished German power metal of today then it's probably not worth the effort, but if, like me, you find magic in hearing young musicians who haven't mastered their instruments but have a vision and a passion for metal then seek this out. Note that there was another German compilation called Break Out that was released in 1988 on Rockport, and has no relation to this album.

Available Formats: Vinyl only.

Value: $15-25


Anonymous said...

Good job - but with a little mistake: Vengeance, the German Hevy Metal Band from Hamburg, did release their first demo in 1984 including following songs:

Metal in your veins
Devils contract
Guardians of Hell

Keir said...

Hi! Most of the bands that I say "never released anything else" probably had a demo or 2, but I haven't been counting them. Thanks for the info though.

dajjal said...

Hello Keir, I am an huge fan of Satan's Pharynx and i want to know if possible sharing this album or at least the two songs:
Satan’s Pharynx – "Rock 'n' Roll"
Satan’s Pharynx – "Necropolis"

thanks anyway!

The Malcontent said...

That first Not Fragile track is so great. The "Hard to Be Alive" version here is MUCH different than the album/re-recorded, but equally cool in its own right.