Friday, 28 December 2012

The Metal Project: 2009

The Metal Project is an ongoing quest to find every song on Youtube with "Metal" in the title and gather them in one place. Even the crap ones.

  2009 saw another two Rock festivals added to the calendar: Sonisphere at Knebworth (Headlined by Linkin Park and Metallica) and  the somewhat smaller Hammerfest at Prestatyn Pontins (Headliners: Opeth and Saxon)
 However,  an attempt to stage an indoor event in Dudley ended in acrimony. Headliners Evergrey pulled out after arguments over payment and nobody ended up happy, least of all the promoter.
  Download Festival took the unusual step of packing Sunday's mainstage lineup with rock veterans - Def Leppard, Whitesnake, Journey, ZZ Top and Skin - although those hoping that this would be a regular feature continue to be disappointed.
 This year's rockumentary featured Iron Maiden. "Flight 666" covered the British metal legends on their 2008 world tour and was received with almost universal acclaim.
 The year ended with possibly the biggest chart upset in history. In a bid to stop the Simon Cowell industry claiming the Xmas #1 spot yet again, Jon and Tracey Morter launched a facebook campaign to get Rage Against The Machine's profanity-laden "Killing In The Name Of" to the top of the charts.
 And by all that is holy, they succeeded!
While Simon Cowell gnashed his shiny, shiny teeth, rock fans across the country laughed their bollocks off.
   And on that note, time for some music.

This first band has at least 4 other songs that I could have chosen.

Abigail - Metal Bitch Inferno (Japan)

 Honour to: PartyWithSatan

Atomic Roar - Metal Patrol (Brazil)

(Still rough and ready but not quite so frantic)
Honour to: astronito666

Dagon - Ocean Metal (USA)

(Full-throttle Melodeath that sneaks in some 3IOB elements)
Honour to: FellSoul
See what I mean about the 3 Inches Of Blood bits?

Gangrel - Metal Hunters (Peru - Demo) 

(Enthusiastic Thrash)
Honour to: starrstuff

Hazy Hamlet - Forging Metal (Brazil)

( Trad Metal with a definite touch of the 1980s Teutonic sound. )
Honour to: Christcrusher1

Hysterica - Metalwar (Sweden)

(There's not that many female bands that do "Metal - F*** Yeah!" songs. 
So this trad metal singalong  is a nice change. )
Honour to:  93diofan

Joe Thrasher - Metal Forces (Canada)

(If this one doesn't get you headbanging -are you sure you're looking at the right blog?)
 Honour to: sbstefin

Lion's Share - Full Metal Jacket (Sweden)

(Rapid fire riffing + catchy chorus = me happy
Damn. I like this one)
Honour to: shockwaveradiorock

And now for something completely different.

Misguided Aggression - Metal Horn Bessy (Canada 2009)

(Apparently this is Deathcore. Hmm.)
Honour to: ArcanixUnited

Let's finish up with some bombastic Euro Power Metal

White Skull - Heavy Metal Axes (Italy)

Honour to: santoxky

 As always, this project would not be possible without all the Youtube chaps digging these things out and posting them in the first place. All I'm doing is cataloguing them.

Anyway, that's it for now. See you again soon.

Wednesday, 26 December 2012

It's not just Mums who make Christmas happen.

Over the Christmas period I couldn't help noticing a couple of adverts along the lines of  "Mums , you're wonderful and Christmas couldn't happen without you." and fair's fair, appreciation for hard work done is never amiss. But I couldn't help noticing the absence of something.
 Not a single advert mentioned Dads at all. They show up at the end to eat the Xmas dinner in a couple but that's it. The obvious implication being, they're sat around scratching their balls while Supermum busts a gut. 
 And I thought that more than a little unfair so... 

 To all the Dads that slogged away throughout the year so their families could afford Xmas...
 To all the Dad's that nearly did themselves a mischief fetching decorations down from the loft..
 To all the Dads that spent hours out in the cold putting up the lights on the house and garden..
 To all the Dads who had to elbow their way through crowds to find the toys their kids wanted...
 To all the Dads that got up at 3am to put the pressies under the tree...
 To all the Dads that cooked Xmas dinner ...(More of those about than people think)
 To all the Dads who spent Xmas day putting together toys...
 To all the Dads who took their kids outside to try out their new bikes...
 To all the Dads who've been driving their families from one relative to another...
 To all the Dads that had to sit through the "Eastenders" Xmas special...
 To all the Dads who put up with family rows and sniping in-laws without chinning somebody...
 To all the Dads who did all the above and then have to sit through yet another advert that paints them as bumbling idiots who cannot be trusted to choose their own socks...


You are awesome.

Sunday, 23 December 2012

Terrible Metal Album Covers - Chapter 9

 I suppose I really should thank the bands featured below. Without them I'd be sat here, coffee growing ever colder, wondering what to write about.
 Thanks guys.
Some of you still need to give your art department a proper slap, however.
 Let's start with a recent example: 
Terrible metal album cover mermaid

Vanlade - Iron Age (USA 2012)

 That's a talented artist but what I'm looking at is:  a painting of an angry man grabbing 
his balls while ignoring the mermaid trying to give him a sword. 
  If you wanted me to think your band is a piss-take then that's the way to do it.

Awful metal album cover Ass

 Vopo's - Conquer (Netherlands 2003)

Tacky and disturbing.
Includes a track called "Speedbanging Babies" by the way.
No, that song isn't on Youtube. Pity.

atrocious metal album cover

 Riff Raff - Give The Dead Man Some Water (Finland 1983)

Another artist who seems to struggle with drawing faces. 

Warminster - Out Of The Ashes EP (USA 1986)

After all those posts devoted to underdressed warrior women, here's one for the ladies.
You're welcome. 
Possibly the least macho barbarian hero ever. 
And what the hell is that he's holding anyway?
A quick poke on Youtube reveals a pretty decent US Metal band.

Virgin Steele - The Marriage Of Heaven And Hell Pt II (USA 1995)

Words fail me.

Shite metal album cover

 Helvede - Anywhere (Italy 1996)

Some sort of Playpus-Man desperately struggles to escape from a swirly space vortex. 
Possibly the least "Metal" album cover I've ever posted here.

bad metal album cover

Custard - For My King (Germany 2000)

Now this is a bit more like it. Is there any doubt that you're looking at a Heavy Metal album?
Of course the band do have other problems .
Like the name. Custard. Seriously? 
As to the cover, I shall just point out that Muscles do not work that way.

And finally, in this age of photoshop it's nice to see people still using the traditional methods.

Dystera - Journey Into The Shades (Switz. 2009)

First time I saw this I thought it was from 1985.
The band are a classy Symphonic Outfit. 
They deserve better.  

Anyway, that's it for now.

Saturday, 22 December 2012

The Metal Project: 2008

The Metal Project: A mission to find every Metal song on Youtube that actually has "Metal" in the title. Up to this point I've found 800+

2008 saw releases from three of the biggest names in rock; Guns N Roses unleashed "Chinese Democracy" - an album that took 14 years, $13 million dollars and several line-up changes to make, 
Metallica came out with their follow up to the disastrous "St. Anger" with "Death Magnetic"  then headlined the Reading & Leeds festivals and AC/DC showed the youngsters how it's done with "Black Ice" .
 The name on everybody's lips this years was...Anvil! The Canadian veterans were the subject of a documentary chronicling their history and a disastrous European tour. "Anvil - The Story Of Anvil" was a worldwide hit and led to something of a renaissance for the band.
  And finally, Neil Buchanan, a staple of UK kids tv for decades with "Art Attack", decided to get his guitars down from the loft and rejoin his NWOBHM outfit Marseille. They continue to tour to this day and if any of them happen to be reading this...Play Portsmouth dammit!
 Now on to the music. I think I've got a decent variety this time around.

We shall begin with some no-frills Trad Metal.

Steelpreacher - Hooked On Metal (Germany)

Honour to: HarisTheLinkPurkovic 

And if that was too slow for you, try this.
The same band have a vid called "Dance Of Mutant Knight"
This I have to see!

Altheniko - Metal Unchained (Italy)

Honour to: isaac36697

By way of contrast, downtuned heaviness in a 1990s vaguely Pantera-ish stylee.

P.O.G.O - Vision Metal (Mexico)

Honour to: TheMetalofficial
He has a blog here:

This one starts slow then shifts into that grinding, relentless rythmn that 
makes me wish I could still headbang.

Serpentine Fire - Metal Magic (Macedonia)

Honour to: BombaRuLz

I don't seem to post much Death Metal.
So... here's some Death Metal

Blastmasters - Twisted Metal (USA)

Honour to: Aantar1

Time for another Trad Metal anthem to the glory that is Heavy Metal

Cast Iron - Leather & Metal (Finland)

Honour to: Dickbauch73

Crunchy yet melodic Power Metal 

Tarchon Fist - Metal Detector (Italy)

Honour to: frozendevil91

Yet more Italians  but these boys are  a tad thrashier.
Think Venom without the cranked -up bass, maybe? 

Bahomet's Blood - Baphometal (Italy)

Honour to: WorldsBlasphemy

Neckbreaker - In The Name Of Metal (Brazil)

Honour to: fernandasabbat

And finally..
This seemed an appropriate sentiment to finish on.
Manowar meets Maiden Trad Metal

Metal Law -Heavy  Metal is Forever (Germany)

Honour to: aerogun18

I'm not sure what I'm doing for the next post. I might post some more from 2008
 or I might scoot ahead to 2009.

Anyway, See you next time.

Thursday, 20 December 2012

Heavy Metal F.A.K.K. 2 (2000)

(AKA: Heavy Metal 2000)
Michael Ironside
Julie Strain Eastman
Billy Idol

Based on a Graphic Novel by Kevin Eastman,
Simon Bisley & Eric Talbot

  Tyler, a deep-space miner working an asteroid belt discovers a strange glowing artefact. Almost immediately it causes him to go crazy, and stage a bloody takeover of the ship. His ultimate objective: a legendary fountain that can grant immortality.
 Having gathered a new crew, mostly heavily armed and violent, Tyler stops off to lay waste to a backwater colony, and hauls the survivors off for medical research and, in the case of buxom schoolteacher Kerrie, a little personal entertainment.
  As it turns out, Kerrie's sister Julie also survived the attack and with the reluctant assistance of Germaine (marooned by Tyler for not being sufficiently psycho) she sets off in pursuit.

   The original "Heavy Metal"  -an ambitious anthology effort - was released in 1981 and was a moderate success. Thanks to all sorts of legal bollocks, a home video release didn't happen for another 15 years, ensuring that "Heavy Metal" acquired a cult reputation. I suspect a lot of people, myself included, eagerly picked up the VHS when it came out  then realised the only two really good segments were: B-17 ("the bit with the zombies on the B17") and Taarna ("the bit with the underdressed blonde on the giant bird fighting green mutants." )

  Anyway, when the time came to make a follow-up, it probably comes as no surprise that it ditches the interlinked stories of the 1981 film in favour of an underdressed brunette fighting space pirates. And lizardmen. And a guy who's sort of a mutant.
 One scene is even a knowing tip of the hat to "Taarna" You'll know it when you see it.

 The animation on "Heavy Metal 2000" is serviceable, (Think TV series with a decent budget) blending traditional 2d  with computer generated spaceships and mostly integrated well. It did lose a lot of points in the last few minutes with a godawful foray into CGI that was apparently animated in somebody's  bedroom.

  I also have a few issues with the soundtrack.
  Now  I currently have the soundtrack for the 1981 film sitting in my LP collection and plan to get the CD one of these days. There's some good stuff on it and the selection of songs adds value to their relevant scenes.Here's an example:

 Really not the case with the followup. What you mostly get is generic early 2000's aggro metal flung vaguely in the direction of the picture with no regard to how well it fits the scene. And the DVD cover is lying to you. Black Sabbath, BOC and Devo were all in the first movie.

  My final gripe is with heroine Julie. She does the asskicking part of the job more than adequately but I find it difficult to warm to her. As reluctant sidekick Germaine points out, her conversations with him mostly consist of  a snarled "Shut the fuck up."

    Still, bad guy Tyler chews the scenery like a champ, the whole thing is reasonably entertaining  and if you thought that the 1981 "Heavy Metal" would have been better with more violence and a heroine with bigger boobs then "FAKK2"might be what you're looking for.
 Time for some screenshots.
Heavy Metal FAKK2 - bad guy
      Tyler decides that sanity has got kind of boring. 
 Isn't it tranquil? 
Obviously doomed then.
Having delivered her allotted portion of blatant fanservice, Kerrie is finally allowed to get dressed.
In case you are wondering,  the first thing we see of the heroine's 
younger sis is a close up of her bum. 
Germaine attempts to protect Kerrie from the other pirates.
It doesn't work and just gets him kicked out of the gang.
Julie's cunning plan. Catch up with pirates then start a firefight in a crowded bar. 
Julie kisses some green troll thingie, purely so the animators can 
let you know how much they hate you. 
Tyler wears somebody's face as a hat.
Feeling his "Nutter" credentials in need of enhancement, Tyler kills 
an alien beastie and wears it's face as a hat. 
Tyler utterly fails to recognise the statuesque brunette who tried to kill him the other day. 
woman with sword
Julie finally gets into the outfit from the DVD cover and breaks out the big lizard-chopper.
  What's the deal with the extra spikes anyway?

Here's the trailer if you're interested.

Tuesday, 18 December 2012

The Metal Project; 2007

The Metal Project: An attempt to catalogue every Metal song on Youtube that actually has "Metal" in the title.   Except for instrumentals (unless I like them), bedroom projects (Unless I like them) and NSBM (, screw that. I'll not have any of that Nazi crap here.  I may have posted some by accident, mind you.)

Today's batch of songs all date from 2007.
  NWOBHM veterans Saxon appeared on a C4 documentary hosted by super-promoter Harvey Goldsmith whereby aging acts were made "relevant" again. Harvey spent the entire programme butting heads with lead singer Biff Byford while Saxon's manager wandered around looking utterly baffled. If you can find it on Youtube I'd recommend seeing it.
 The inaugral "Hard Rock Hell" festival was staged in Minehead, of all places, basically taking over a Butlins for 3 days and turning it into a Metal holiday camp.
 Iron Maiden played Bangalore, India for the first time ever and were welcomed like Gods! In return they invited Indian metallers Parikrama onto the bill at this years Download Festival, an opportunity squandered by putting them on first thing Sunday morning.

2007 saw another two Metal documentaries: The acclaimed"Baghdad Metal" -  about Iraqi band Acrassicauda and their struggle to play music in a war-torn city. - and "Global Metal" -   Sam Dunn's follow up to "A Headbanger's Journey"-exploring the diversity of metal scenes worldwide. To this day it has yet to see any kind of UK release. 
 And finally, a news story that horrified metal and alternative fans across the country,  teenage Goth Sophie Lancaster and her boyfriend were attacked by a mob of chavs. Sophie died from her injuries 13 days later.

 Time for some music. Let's start with some proper Teutonic Power Metal.

Iron Saviour - Metal Invaders (Germany)

Honour to: AveryHayes

Slowing it right down for a Manowar-style anthem.

Witch Hammer - Heavy Metal Machineria (Czech. Rep.)

Honour to:  CrisTekk

I thought Sabaton only sang about War. Here's them proving me wrong with 
a catchy piece of  rapid-riffing PM

Sabaton - Metalizer (Sweden)

Honour to: Exerios

By my reckoning this next track is the 800th song I've posted. 
These guys really like their Venom. 

Power From Hell - Black Metal Gods (Brazil)

Honour to: slayerbbk

More Latin Americans playing very fast (but not so punky. )
I  do like this one
How does he scream like that without rupturing something?

Voltax - All The Metalheads (Mexico)

Honour to: SeniorXbackMex

80s style US Trad Metal next.

Stygian Shore - Heavy Metal Queen (USA)

Honour to: avzthergoth

Lemmy loves this next band. You can sorta see why. 

Skew Siskin - Metal In Your Face (Germany)

Honour to: shujumi

 Moving on now, to a Greek band who make it perfectly clear what sort of music they like.

Emerald Sun - Heavy Metal (Greece)

Honour to: GiwrgosKoklas

With a name like that, I just had to post these guys. 
The song itself is a decent slice of Trad Metal with a definite Hispanic groove to it.
Warning: Cuts off a bit early for some reason.

Six Beer - Demonios Del Metal (Mexico)

Honour to: TheASSDEPICAS

And lastly: Something suitable for the festive season.

Psychostick - Jingle Bell Metal (USA)

Honour to: Schlpp

See you next time for more of the same.

Sunday, 16 December 2012

The Art of Warrior Women in Literature.

  Obviously I use the word "Literature" in the loosest sense. The books featured below are all the sort of cheap paperback you don't seem to get anymore.  Personally I miss the days when a fantasy writer could tell a story without it spilling out across five volumes the size of housebricks but nevermind.
 Let me take you back to the days when fantasy artists considered two saucepan lids and a silk scarf perfectly acceptable garb for battling mutants, snakes and blokes called Grogor.

woman riding panther
  An early example that sets the template. Brass bikini - check. 
Weird choice of mount - check.  Getting stuck in like a good 'un -check. 

Saturday, 15 December 2012

Soulless - The Manga

   Alexia Tarabotti is resigned to being a spinster forever. She's unfashionably dark, unfashionably buxom, far too plain (allegedly), far too interested in unladylike things such as science and her tolerance for idiots is minimal.
 Then one night she is attacked by a rogue vampire and after that she finds herself involved in a nefarious plot featuring devious vampires, grumpy werewolves and mad scientists.  Luckily Alexia Tarabotti is armed with her quick wits, a sharp tongue and of course her trusty parasol.
 And Miss Tarabotti has one more trick up her well-tailored sleeve.  Born without a soul, her touch can make werewolves and vampires mortal. No wonder she makes them worried.

Wednesday, 12 December 2012

The Metal Project: 2006

I'd better start posting these more often. I'd rather like to post some songs from 2012 when it is still 2012...
 Anyway, this particular year is best remembered for one thing: Ordinarily the Eurovision Song Contest is an exercise in cheesy music and tactical voting, but in 2006 the established order were given the fright of their lives when rubber-suited Finnish loons Lordi won by a frigging landslide.
 Further amusement was provided by the various tabloid hacks who insisted on calling Lordi "Death Metal"
 In other news, a brave attempt was made to revive the legendary Monsters Of Rock festival with a Classic-Rock friendly lineup ( Deep Purple, Alice Cooper, Journey, Thunder, Queensryche, Ted Nugent and Roadstar.) Although I can attest to it being a good day's entertainment, the attendance was nowhere near what was hoped for and there has never been a sequel.
 On the subject of festivals, The Bloodstock Festival was held for the last time at Derby's Assembly rooms and was marred by ugly incidents during the "Deathstars" set. After this the promoters would concentrate on the increasingly popular Bloodstock Outdoor Festival.
 And finally, veterans Saxon were due to play Dubai's Desert Rock Festival until local authorities found out they'd recorded a song called "Crusader" . This went down about as well as you'd expect and the Yorkshiremen were unceremoniously ditched from the lineup.

Enough waffling. Time for some music.

 We shall start with some Gallic fans of the 1980s.

Black Rain - No Life Till Metal

Honour to: Insrc

Breaking my "No instrumentals" rule here - 
partly because it's a nice, smooth little number,
mainly because I like the band name.

3D In Your Face - Metal Fears (USA 2006)

Honour to: JoeEduard

Picking up the pace with a Power Metal band infused with a touch of Prog

Landsemk - Angeles Del Metal (Venezuela)

Honour to: stratovariuss2009

The next two are also South American but go in for differing flavours of Thrash Metal. 
First, heads down, neckbreaking stuff.

Necrolisis - Devastador Metal (Costa Rica)


This next lot remind me of Kreator - the vocals mainly.
They also mix up the tempo to good effect.

Witchtrap - B.L.M.D (Black Leather Metal Damnation) (Colombia)

Slowing it down again with these crunchy-but-melodic Germans
Probably my favourite track out of this batch

Redkey - Metal Head (Germany)

Honour to: GiwrgosKoklas

I'm honestly not sure how to classify this next one. See what you think

Lions - Metal Heavy Lady (USA)

Honour to: mufasa999o9

Have some MeloDeath

Kalmah - Bitter Metallic Side (Finland) 

Honour to: TheLastZombieFreak

If I hadn't seen the track info I'd swear the next came out in about 1980.
NWOBHM with a touch of Boogie.

Helvetets Port - Heavy Metal Night (Sweden)

Honour to: petrankaras

And finally, the band  that inspired Metallica, among others, to take 
Metal and make it faster and nastier.

Venom - Metal Black (UK)

Honour to: CountMozenrath

That's it for now folks. See you next time for more of the same.

Sunday, 9 December 2012

A grumpy man's guide to a better gig experience.

I've been going to gigs for over twenty years now so I feel I have some experience in the area. Allow me to make some suggestions that will benefit everybody.

1. If you are the same age as I am - and especially if you are the same shape  - please keep your t-shirt on.  Nobody needs to see it and the only thing worse than having a sweaty, fat bloke bump into you is colliding with a sweaty, half-naked fat bloke.
2. Deodorant is your friend. Having a shower before you come out is also polite. And a few of you apparently need to learn how to wipe your arse properly .
3. Dear Promoters: Putting on the opening band 5 minutes after the door opens pretty much guarantees that they will play their first couple of songs to the bar staff. Congratulations on wasting everybody's time.
4. Dear local bands:  Ever wondered why you keep seeing the same faces at gigs?  It could be that your mates are the only people who knew you were playing that night. Try putting up a few flyers.
5. Personally I'd like to watch the band rather than engage in a brawl but if you want to mosh, fine by me.   But grabbing some poor sod from the crowd and throwing him into the moshpit is a dick move. As is lobbing your half-drunk pint across the room.Knock it off.
And finally:
6. Dear soundmen at metal gigs: For the love of Dio, please learn how to mix properly. When Spinal Tap talked about turning the volume up to 11 they were joking.  And dialling the bass up until my fillings vibrate does not constitute a well balanced sound.  I'd like to be able to hear something besides the rhythmn section, thank you ever so frigging much.  I'd also quite like to be able to hear anything the next day.

Thank you. Now go away and have fun.

Friday, 7 December 2012

Mind Wars

Mind Wars cover
The year is 1978 and a very young Big D is on the coach taking us from the swimming lesson back to school. Some kind soul has left a pile of comics on the back seat, including the very issue on the left.
  I pick it up and read through it avidly, particularly enjoying the "Mind Wars" strip.
 But then I hit the last two pages... No that's not right. The last two pages hit me.
 I put the comic down and sit there for a while thinking "Did she really just do that?"

 "Starlord" was a short-lived weekly boys comic, clearly intended as a companion/fallback option to 2000AD. At one point it was actually outselling it's in-house rival and the abrupt cancellation after 22 issues still causes arguments to this day.
 These days Starlord is remembered  for being the place where 2000AD's wildly popular   "Strontium Dog" strip got its start.

Me, on the other hand...I remembered it for a young lady called Ardeni Lakam.
Let me take a moment of your time to tell you about the girl who became a terrible weapon.

  The story opens in 3000AD. Humanity and their allies in the Stellar Federation  are locked in a struggle with the deeply unpleasant Jugla Empire and thus far neither side has been able to deliver the knockout punch. The Jugla can't get past the fleets of the Federal Interstellar Strike Corps, FISC don't even know where the Jugla homeworld is.
  But the Jugla have a plan to win the war. By exposing two young humans to Primary Neural Irradiation they will turn them into mind-controlled puppets with incredible Psionic powers and Earth will be defenceless against them.
  On the farmworld of Vulcrugon teenagers Ardeni and Arlen Lakam suddenly find their lives shattered by a Jugla attack. Their home is destroyed, their parents slain and when the Jugla ship blasts them with a strange shaft of light the young brother and sister find themselves with incredible new powers. With their neighbours now assuming they are Jugla spies the Lakams are forced to flee for their lives.
Lakam twins
  The first part of the story is built around the Jugla steering Arlen and Ardeni ever closer towards Earth while the forces of the Stellar Federation  desperately try to stop them.
  Naturally the youngsters are horrified at the things they find themselves doing but it's only at the last minute  that Ardeni manages to break free from the grip of the Jugla and that leads to the moment that astonished me so much the first time around.
Ardeni Lakam psi power
   British comics have always been keen on death and mayhem, but until about the late 70s the casualties were nameless Germans or established villains.  Having a teenage girl forced to kill her own brother?  That's grim.
    After saving the Earth and burying her beloved brother, a coldly furious Ardeni sets off to find the Jugla homeworld and  - in her own words - "turn it into the biggest cloud of interstellar dust you ever imagined"

 For one reason or another I never found out how this strip ended so I was absolutely delighted when I found several nice people had put scans online. Clearly I wasn't the only fan.
 The ending itself comes across as more than a little rushed, mainly because Starlord was merged with 2000Ad after #22 and you have to wonder where the storyline would have gone if it had been the other way around. Oh well.
  Personally I feel that "Mind Wars" deserves a wee bit more love. For starters, even when I was a kid one thing guaranteed to get my attention was a female character who could take care of herself and Ardeni Lakam is certainly that. She's also easy to like, odd terrifying moment notwithstanding.   
 Oh, and as far as I know, Ms. Lakam is quite possibly the first girl ever to become a lead character in a British Boys comic.
 The story is fairly mature considering the era: The Jugla are a fairly repellent bunch but FISC are not averse to doing ugly things if it will stop the Lakams getting to Earth.  Dan Dare this is not. 
 The most interesting character remains our teenage heroine but there's a few memorable creations met along the way - faithful sidekick Yosay Tilman and the frankly murderous Jugla Cosmol  springing to mind.

 The head Jugla feeds another underperforming underling to his pet Pteradactyl.
Clearly not a nice person.

 There you have it. "Mind Wars" may not be everybody's idea of a classic but I remain a fan.
If you want to check it out for yourself it may be found here: 
and here: 

 I'll leave you with the other reason this comic stayed with me for 30+ years. 
Starlord comic psi powers
  Seriously. How badass is that?
 EDIT: If you want to know more about writer Brian Hebden the blog Heroes Of 2000AD has a great profile on his work here:

Wednesday, 5 December 2012

The Metal Project: 2005

  2005 is the year Rob Halford rejoined Judas Priest and released the rather spiffing "Angel of Retribution" album.  It was a year of mixed fortunes for Iron Maiden, however. They headlined the Reading Festival for the first time since 1982 but a stint on the Ozzfest tour ended in an ugly incident when Sharon Osbourne took exception to comments by Bruce Dickinson. As well as cutting the power at awkward moments, Ozzy's fearsome wife arranged for Maiden to be pelted with eggs.
 Eyewitness accounts report that Maiden retaliated by playing an absolute blinder
 The Download Festival attempted to broaden their appeal by adding the likes of Garbage, Feeder and Dinosaur Jr. to the Friday lineup. Since the experiment was never repeated, one can assume the result was not a happy one. Incidentally if you'd told me in 2003 that Nightwish would one day be playing a major UK outdoor festival I'd have assumed you were mental. And yet there they were on the main stage  at Download.
  For those who thought Download was too mainstream, there was the newly created Bloodstock Outdoor Festival (Headlined by Sebastian Bach and Children of Bodom)
   Sam Dunn's excellent documentary "Metal - A Headbanger's Journey" came out this year and picked up quite a few good reviews. It would have been nice if it had been screened anywhere besides London...

     This post is dedicated to the memory of Tommy Vance who passed away in 2005. 
Thanks to his Friday Rock Show I discovered a lot of good music. 
RIP Tommy. 

Let's start with some chestbeating Estonians

Herald - Heavy Metal Wakes The Beast (Estonia)

Honour to: Rott215

Have some full-throttle - yet curiously catchy - Power Metal

Cannon - Metal Thunder (Germany)

Honour to: xBulletRider502x
If Venom were Japanese they might have sounded like this. 

Abigail - Metal Got Sick (Japan)


Next, something equally rapid but a tad more singalong.

Bloden-Wedd - Power Metal Pride (Chile)

Honour to: AztecaBlade

Manowar clearly inspire a lot of bands, stylistically if not necessarily musically.

Goddess of Desire - Scream For Metal True (Netherlands)

(Not female vocals, by the way)
Honour to: TheSadistikBastard

More minimalist Black Metal stuff

Power From Hell - The True Metal (Brazil)

Honour to: BlackThrashAttack666 

Weirdly enough, there's a keyboard solo in this next one despite the rest of the
 song having no audible keyboards whatsoever.

Katarsis - Herederos De Metal (Colombia)

Honour to: ManuWar696

We move on to a band that give us one of the all-time great  song titles

Nocturnal Depression - F*** Off Parisian Black Metal Scene (France)

Honour to: DeathlySilence19

Anybody else in the mood for something a bit more cheerful? 
The vocalist is definitely an acquired taste though. 

Burning Black - Heavy Metal Is My Law  (Italy)

Honour to: Maduqueg

And to finish, a song that includes the wonderful lyrics
" We'll hang you live on stage, with a rusty string
Get ready to f***ing mosh, cause metal is king
A giant f***ing frying pan will smash you to the floor
Promqueens dipped in gasoline will be burnings to the core"

  Terror 2000 - Metal Mosh Massacre (Sweden)

Honour to: MyRobocock

I'm surprised more metal bands don't sing about frying pans. Frying things is totally Metal. 
Frying things while drunk and stark bollock naked is very, very Metal but likely 
to lead to awkward questions in Casualty later on.

That's it for now. See you next time.

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