Monday, 24 October 2016

Heavy Metal Cover Girls: Queen Of The Nile

 Well dammit. That's another late post. I hope you're not mad at me. 

The theme this time is "Egypt"

  Given how Egyptian imagery is both distinctive and eyecatching it's no surprise that designers love using it in all kinds of places. And given that Heavy Metal bands love their history and mythology, it's only natural that several bands have used the Land Of The Nile  as inspiration for their album covers. Iron Maiden's classsic Powerslave album for instance. 
  Now what's the other thing Metal cover artists like using... Oh, that's right. Pretty girls  

   Today I'm going to show you some artwork that combines the lore of  Ancient Egypt with costuming straight out of a sword & sorcery paperback.  Enjoy.

  Dragonland - Starfall  (Sweden 2004)

heavy metal cover girls egypt
   There's a surprising amount of covers on the theme of "Young woman contemplates bloody huge buildings"
  In this case it's "Young woman contemplates bloody huge buildings that are about to get nuked by a pissed-off god."

Now would be a good time to run away.  Or duck. Or do something other than stand there like a muppet. 

I have this album and if you like the catchy side of Power Metal it's pretty good.

Gods of Eden - From The End Of Heaven (Australia  2015)

sexy metal album cover girls
The Ancients had some bloody weird ways of passing the time.
We know from wallpaintings that this gamne involved a giant walnut Whip and being naked
except for a metal hat but sadly, the exact rules have yet to be discovered.

Gods Of Eden are apparently the missing link between Progressive Metal and Metalcore.
The end result is  intriguing

Eden's Curse - Live with the Curse (Multinational 2015)

Egyptian woman on a throne
It's good to be the Queen...Pharoah.. Pharoahess.. .oh sod it...Big Boss Woman.

If you look carefully at the pillars in the background you'll see the bands' earlier album covers.
Which is a nice touch.

Eden's Curse fit into the gap between Melodic Rock and Heavy Metal.
This is a live album; hence the punny title.

Any chance you guys can play Pompey at some point?

Sphinx - Renacer (Spain 2008)

Begins humming that bit from The Lion King....

Sphinx are one of many Spanish bands that I stumbled across while researching The Metal Project.
This lot are very, very catchy and I am impressed.

I was hoping to sneak this last one in as "Egyptian" but the cover gives the game away.
What the hell. Close enough.

Lord Tracy - Deaf Gods of Babylon (USA 1989)

That hat is definitely Egyptian and I reckon the wings are too.
The nudity is universal.
It is entirely possible the artist didn't know what "Babylonian" looked like so just did something ancient and Middle-Eastern.

Lord Tracy are good-time Hard Rock with a sense of humour.
The guys are still going  and almost certainly an entertaining night out.

That's it for this series, at least until next month.
If you ahve anything you'd like to see that doesn't involve chainsaws, zombies or man-butt then please let me know.

That's all folks. 

Saturday, 22 October 2016

Heavy Metal Cover Girls...Pinups.

 Hello again. As promised, here's a second post to make up for the one I missed yesterday.

  Now since the last one I did was all about covers inspired by the pinups that used to decorate USAAF aircraft back in the day - many of which were directly inspired by the art of Gil Elvgen and contemporaries - I thought it might be nice to continue the theme. Some of these are originals, some inspired by the masters.

  Joker - S/T (USA 1990)

   A lady clown is surprised in her changing room. 
This is in the days before "Clown" became synonymous with "Creepy As Fuck" 

Heavy Metal Cover Girls... Decorating Bombers

 Evening all.
Since I managed to miss last night's promised update I shall try to make it up to you with two posts today.

  Neither one is particularly big mind you. Think of it like those Chocolate bar 4-packs that seem like a good deal until you realise each bar is 60% the size of normal.

  Moving on...

 The first batch of pics pay tribute to the legendary bomber nose art of WW2. There isn't much more to say to be honest besides the usual comment that if one cover artist uses an idea, at least three others have as well.  

 Off we go into the wild blue yonder.

Jonny Kreis - Instrument Landing EP (USA 2010)

Pinup nose art Elvgen Vargas
You can imagine a bunch of nervous young men looking fondly at their leggy mascot before taking off.
You can also imagine a group of  German squaddies contemplating the twisted, wreckage
and marvelling at the way the Amis decorated their bombers. 

Johnny Kreis used to be drummer for Hollywood Rose - one of the bands that merged to form Guns 'n'Roses. This is an album of instrumentals. 

Bang The Union - American Dream (USA 2004)

You have to admit, the 1940s pinup art by people like Gil Elvgren and Alberto Vargas had a lot of charm.
The fact that USAAF crew were able to replicate it on Aluminium fuselages is impressive.

I've mentioned this before but it fascinates me how certain themes apply to different sorts of bands.
 A woman in a floaty dress hanging about a forest is likely to adorn a Gothic metal album. While a leggy femme fatale? Hard Rockers every time.

Bang The Union clearly hanker after the old LA Sleaze era.

Dezire - A Rock Band Named... Dezire (USA 1992)

A more cartoony pinup but nothing wrong with that.

There were two different bands called Dezire. This lot were based in Philadelphia.
(A fact I blatantly cribbed from their  BANDCAMP SITE)

Sadly there doesn't seem to be any of their music available on Youtube, beyond a brace of live clips of questionable quality.
 So pop over to the Bandcamp site mentioned above and check them out.

Golden Earring - Tits 'n' Ass (Netherlands 2012)

 Subtle. Really Subtle.

These Dutch veterans continue to make good Rock music.

If you want to know more about the artwork on USAAF bombers, here's a few links you might like.

Exhibition Of Nose Art

Aviation Museum Nose Art Gallery

USAAF Nose Art Research Project.

That's all folks. 

Thursday, 20 October 2016

Heavy Metal Cover Girls..Ghosts in White

 Day four of my attempt to clear out my "To Do" folder and at this point I'm finding album covers faster than I can post them.  Oh well. Everybody needs a hobby and this is one of mine.

  The theme today is things that go "Whoooo" in the night. 
No, not Ric Flair.  Ghostly girls who all seem to have a thing about white clothing. 

Can you feel a chill on the back of your neck?

Midnattsol - Where Twilight Dwells (Germany 2005)

Album cover beautiful ghost woman
That smile isn't sinister at all.
It has definite overtones of "Just follow me into this lake, my dear. What could go wrong?"

It's interesting how each theme I choose can lead to such a variety in bands.
Yesterday leaned heavily to Glam/Hard Rock while I'm betting today will be heavy on the Power & Symphonic tags. 

Midnattsol are Symphonic/Folk with female vocals. 

When Nothing Remains - As All Torn Asunder (Sweden 2012)

metal album cover ghost
One of those covers that make you wonder what the story is.
Is she saying goodbye or inviting him along?  And where to?
If you take a closer look at the horses' eyes, it adds an extra layer of creepy.

If you like your Metal dark,  doomy and melancholic then these guys might be right up your alley.
 Their site may be found here:

Instanzia - Ghosts  (Canada 2010)

Ghosts with a passion for moping theatrically around old ruins, clearly. 

Despite being North American Instanzia have a very European Power Metal sound.

Speaking of Euro Power Metal...

Waverly Lies North - A Soul In The Void (France 2013)

Heavy metal cover girls ghost
The idea that I might spend eternity hanging around an old house, lonely and hurt scares the everliving shit out of me.
 Too dark? too personal? 
Ooh look at that wallpaper. Ghastly.

Waverley Lies North describe themselves as PM but clearly try to do more than galloping singlaongs.

Damnation Angels  - Shadow Symphony EP (UK 2009)

 "Could you lot stay still? How the hell can I conduct you when you keep spinning around me?"
What he doesn't know is that his brass section were exorcised last night. The inconsiderate sods.

Damnation Angels are British Power Metal so I really want them to get some more attention.

Band website here:

And finally, somebody not the haunter but the hauntee.
She doesn't seem to mind.

Sleeping Romance - Enlighten (Italy 2013)

Heavy metal cover girls spooky
She could be a ghost I suppose.
There is a definite glow to her but that could just be because it's a really good book.

It would be weird if this band turned out to be Metalcore, wouldn't it?
They are, in fact, Symphonic Metal with female vocals but a bit punchier than some I can mention.

I'd love to know what you thought of all these bands and album covers so drop me a line below.

That's all folks. 

Wednesday, 19 October 2016

Heavy Metal Cover Girls... Go For A Ride

 Blimey, is it Wednesday already?  
Friday afternoon would be nicer but then I'd have skipped today's post.

 Today's theme is simple but elegant. Cover girls mounted on something.  

Stop sniggering. Not that kind of a blog.
(Although one of these days I will do that Covergirl Bums feature i've been threatening for years.)

What we have here is a selection of young women mounted on a selection of increasingly 
outlandish animals with nary a riding  hat or high-vis vest in sight. 

Mount up and let's go.  We shall start with some classic literary stuff.

  Heaven Shall Burn - Veto (Germany 2013)

Album cover - naked woman riding horse
Proof that you can do an album cover with a naked woman and still have some class. 

Tuesday, 18 October 2016

Heavy Metal Cover Girls - In Uniform.

  Welcome to another instalment of Heavy Metal Cover Girls, a semi-regular feature where I post album covers starring attractive women and pretend I'm doing it as some sort of artistic analysis.

   Last time around I did some seriously Bad Girls. I wanted to do "Good Girls" today but as it turns out, you don't get many of them on metal album covers.  In retrospect, this should not have surprised me.

   So instead I'm going to cover the forces of law, order and discipline.   That's right kiddies, tonight we're delving into the world of women in uniform.

  Something vaguely resembling uniform anyway. Half the time, it's just the hat.

  Ready to take the salute? 

 Bunker - Cirugia Fatal (Argentina 1985)

Metal album sexy nurse
   I don't think she's a real nurse, you know. 
I only came in to get my blood pressure looked at and she's really not helping with that.
I'm also a little bit worried by the fact that she's locked the door.

Monday, 17 October 2016

Heavy Metal Cover Girls...With Daggers.

                          Hello and welcome. This week I plan to try doing a Cover Girls update every day. 
                       Note the word "Plan". Lord only knows what may happen between now and next Sunday. 

For those of you visiting for the first time, here's the basic idea.

I post a bunch of Metal/Rock/AOR loosley united by a theme but 
all featuring attractive young women who may or may not be wearing clothes. 
I then try and come up with something insightful or witty to say about each one.

Note the word "Try"

Today we're looking at a very simple idea; namely that beauty can hide danger.
There's lots of ways you can convey this but in each of these covers, the artist has gone down the same route. 

Let's meet some  pretty girls, each with something to hide that may come as a short, sharp shock.  

April Fool - Playin' To Win (USA 1989)

Metal album woman with knife
  The first time I saw this cover my reaction was 
"Hey, she's cute.... Hang on, what's that in her hand?
Oh crap."

April Fool were one of many Hard Rock bands doing the club scene in the late 80s who never quite hit the big time. Mini Biography here.

Fist - Danger Zone (Canada 1985)

beautiful woman with dagger
 The most glamorous mugger ever.

Outside of Canada Fist were known as Myofist to avoid confusion with the Geordie outfit.
If you like catchy Canuck Rock you might dig these guys.

Stereo Nasty - Nasty By Nature (Ireland 2015)

sexy girl with big knife
If you're like most blokes, the knife was the second thing you noticed.
God almighty..even Crocodile Dundee would be impressed by that bloody great machete  

Stereo Nasty are, much to my surprise, a new band playing Old-school Crunchy HM that has definite promise.

 Авентайл  - Welcome To Метрополитен EP (Russia 2016)

(Aventail - Welcome to The Metropolitan)
Sexy girl with bowie knife metal album
 Two Three thoughts.
Firstly ; Whoever did this cover is really good.
Secondly: Big knife!  Big, Big knife! Very scared now!
Thirdly: She's not the weirdest thing going on in this scene. Look closely. 

A cursory Youtube search found a live clip. 
I wouldn't mind hearing more of their studio material. 

Victorians -Aristocrats Symphony - Revival (Poland 2012)

blindfolded woman with knife
I think shes trying to cut herself free from that damned corset.
I don't blame her. I get fed up unlacing my boots and I don't have to do that behind my back.
Don't ask me about the blindfold.  Aristocrats do weird shit when they get bored.

Victorians - Aristocrat's Symphony are, unsurprisingly, Symphonic Metal.
Emphasis on the Symphonic.

And finally, form a classy cover to um...
Yeah, see for yourself.

Epic Death - Witchcraft (USA 2015)

metal album cover sexy girl thong
If you're like most blokes...
Shit. Already done that one. 
One of these days I'm going to ask somebody female whether having a shoelace up your buttcrack is as uncomfortable as it looks.
She's got a very shiny bum, hasn't she?

Epic Death are Symphonic Black/Death Metal according to Metal Archives.
Not normally my thing but I can see myself digging them if I caught the band live.

That's all folks. See you tomorrow. 

Saturday, 15 October 2016

Cheapo DVD Review: Armageddon (1997)

Not The Bruce Willis Film!

Reviewing cheap DVDS

The Syndicate

  John Anderson Wade ((Rutger Hauer) is a small-time smuggler ready to retire. On his very last run, wade is betrayed by partner Merrick (Mark Dacascos) and shot in the head. 

 Resurrected by some sciency stuff that's never fully explained, Wade teams up with ass-kicking call-girl Marina K. (Yvonne Scio) to seek revenge on Merrick and his Underworld cabal. 

  For the most part Armageddon is a standard Revenge B-Movie that just happens to have some Sci-Fi elements glued onto it.   As near as I can tell, this was mainly so the director could use some familiar elements while trying to keep them fresh.  There's some stuff about Virtual Reality that's only there to allow for some dream sequences that aren't dream sequences.  Meanwhile Future Science also explains why Wade gets shot in the head at point blank range but still manages to stick around for the rest of the movie.

  A better film could have made better use of the SF toys, as well as the subplot about political corruption, but Armageddon fails to use these elements to any great advantage. 

 On the subject of things not used to their full potential....

  I have long held the belief that both Mark Dacascos and Rutger Hauer deserved better careers than they seem to have had.  If you've seen Crying Freeman or Brotherhood Of the Wolf then you'll know that Mark Dacascos is a fantastic martial artist; so I was hoping for more than the brief display of prowess we got.  He's a decent enough villain though, dubious accent notwithstanding. 

   Rutger Hauer seems to have a knack for being a good actor in a long series of indifferent movies. As always he gets the job done and done well, but dammit, dude, you deserved more than this. 

  I did like Yvonne Scio's turn as a working girl with a great selection of wigs and a talent for violence.  Her and Hauer play well off each other. The scene where wade is fighting a naked woman (don't ask) while Marina takes him to task is quite memorable.

 In all other regards Armageddon  is Ok but nothing special. The story crawls sometimes but not fatally, the action is decent as is most of the cast.  The sort of movie you buy at a car boot because you wonder "What happened to that guy", watch once and then file at the bottom of the DVD pile, never to emerge again. Watchable but not rewatchable. 

 The one thing that did impress me was the location. Apparently Armageddon was filmed in Budapest doubling for Moscow and I have to say, if I ever have the money I want to go there. Damn, but that place has some great looking buildings. 

 So there you have it. After watching this film, the thing I remember is the architecture. Says it all really.  

How much did I pay for this: 25p.
Was it worth it?  I'm going to say yes. Armageddon is not essential viewing but fills the time well enough. 

Wednesday, 12 October 2016

Cheapo DVD Review: Cougar Club (2007)

  Best friends Spencer and Hogan have just graduated from college and are due to start work at a prestigious lawfirm when Hogan's predilection for older women throws a spanner in the works.
  Some hurried string-pulling gets our heroes a job at a firm that specialise in Divorce Law, dodgy legal practices and treating new staff like utter shit.  However in the process Hogan and Spencer happen to meet some older women in need of young male company, and since our boys happen to know lots of young men who would like to meet sexy older women, it seems like there's a lucrative opportunity to bring the two together for pleasure and profit.
  Cougar Club is born.

  I was looking for something lowbrow and funny to while away an evening and since this looked like it was in the American Pie/Road Trip sort of bracket I thought it might be worth picking up.

   I was so, so wrong.

  There's nothing wrong with the cast, except possibly that they deserved better, but watching this film was a bit of a struggle. I kept wanting to go off and do something else instead. I certainly didn't laugh.  

    Sorry, but for a supposed comedy Cougar Club just wasn't funny but was a bit dull.

 I suppose there is a plus in that instead of the horny heroes targeting young college girls, they're aiming for older women who know exactly what they want. And there is an unexpected twist in a romantic subplot that had been strictly by the numbers and half-hearted to that point.  Not really enough to justify the time I spent waiting for something funny to happen.

How much did I pay for this?: 50p
Was it worth it?  No. Cougar Club wastes some useful actors and a decent idea in a film that fails to entertain. Don't bother.

Monday, 10 October 2016

My Mate Sigismund

 I live alone and I'm quite happy about that. Call it being introverted, antisocial or whatever; I find being around people a bit of an effort so when I come home, shut the door and kick my boots off into the corner I never feel particularly bad about my lack of company.

 Then one day I acquired a new friend. 

Meet Sigismund.

Plush chicken and balloon
Sigismund and his balloon
  Why I suddenly felt the need to acquire a plush chicken I have no idea.  Then again, I do a lot of stuff on impulse so this is not the strangest thing I've ever done on the spur of the moment.  

  As it turns out Sigismund is the perfect flatmate. Makes zero mess, doesn't hog the shower and never argues over what DVD we're watching tonight. 

 He does like Pizza and Tizer though. 

  As it turns out, my two little nieces were quite taken with Sigismund too.  So much so that they tried to kidnap him. 

   Now a good uncle would have let them take his plushie  away with them.  A good uncle would definitely not have demanded the return of his chicken at swordpoint.  ( You know how I said I but stuff on impulse? A wooden Chinese broadsword is one of those things).  

  I'm fairly certain they knew I wasn't serious but I got my chicken back and he's currently sat on my sofa waiting for me to finish this post and put a DVD on.  Time to go, methinks.


That's All Folks.

Sunday, 2 October 2016

Cheapo DVD Review: City Dragon (1995)

Assorted Thoughts From An Unsorted Mind Reviews

City Dragon movie review

  Life In the city can be murder and in the mean streets there is only one man who can protect the unprotected from the world of criminals. Ray "The City Dragon" is that one man. He is the one man who can bring all challenges to their knees.
 Ray and his friends Philthy Phil and Rick roam the streets in search of justice.  When the trio decide to visit the local club scene, they get far more than they bargained for...

  Going by the picture, the back cover blurb and the fact that the star is calling himself MC Kung Fu.  it seems a reasonable assumption that City Dragon would be a kickass, urban Kung-Fu flick about revenge and stuff. Right? 

  What actually happens: Ray and his homies are a trio of  wannabe playas sleazing their way through the city's local female population until one day Ray meets that one special girl who he doesn't want to pump 'n' dump.  Her abusive ex-boyfriend is somewhat displeased about this and gets violent. 
  Fast forward a few months. Ray and the lovely Tina are now married but things are not going well. Tina is pregnant and feeling neglected, Ray is struggling at work  for all sorts of reasons, and the psycho ex is about to escape from the State Asylum.  

  Kung-Fu does happen occasionally but most of the time seems to have been crammed in just because a film starring MC KUNG FU needs to have some spin-kicks in there somewhere. 
   Climax aside, fights happen because somebody randomly decides to mess with Ray for the hell of it.

 Christ knows the punchups are nothing special. MC Kung Fu spins a mean set of Nunchucks but the fight choreographer phoned it in. 

  The major problem I had  - besides the film not being what the cover promised yet again - is that within minutes of Ray being introduced I disliked him intensely. He's a cocky wanker who bounces from one conquest to the next and clearly thinks he's captain Cool Bollocks. 

 Oh, and he delivers 80% of his dialogue in rhyme.  Ugh.

  It's really quite cringeworthy and although he does get a bit better, the initial damage is done. 

  His mates are worse. 

  The end result is a film that can't work out whether it wants to be about a trio of hip-hop hustlers, a drama about relationships or a martial arts movie and ends up being a dogs breakfast. 

  You get the impression that somebody wanted to make a movie about their great alter-ego that the ladies love and the guys don't mess with.  That rarely works. 

How much did I pay for this: 50p 
Was It Worth it: Did you even read the rest of the review?  City Dragon is a dull mess with an obnoxious hero and a terrible soundtrack. Avoid. 

That's all folks. 

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