Saturday, 28 October 2017

Heavy Metal Cover Girls In Helmets.

Welcome to another episode of Heavy Metal Cover Girls. 

This is an ongoing series where I post art from Heavy Metal CD that 
a. Has women on it. (Usually attractive. Frequently scar)
and b. Shares a common theme. 

 Some themes I keep coming back to, simply because they are so popular with cover artists. Considering the genre we're talking about here, anything that involves conflict, destruction or trauma is quite common. Bunnies, not so much.

  This is about the sixth/seventh outing for Heavy Metal Warrior Women and I remain confident that there will be more.  As long as artists have a thing for metal bikinis and fierce redheads I will keep sharing them with you lovely people. 

 There is a slightly different twist to tonight's selection though. All of the ladies involved are - just for a change- wearing actual protective headgear. How practical said helmets are remains to be seen.

  Fairyland - The Fall Of An Empire (France 2006)

heavy mmetal cover girls warrior women

    An Elf couple brawl with some... whatever the bloody hell those things are...  and seem to be holding their own.  In traditional fantasy fashion he's wearing full plate from neck to knuckles while she's in a belly dancer outfit. 
  But at least she's wearing a pretty helmet. So there is that. 

It's not really a shock to find that Fairyland are grandiose Rhapsody-esque Power Metal.  

Let's stick with the Winged Helmet theme for a bit.

Anybody who knows their weapons & armour might want to take a Chill Pill about now. 
I guarantee you're going to see things that will make you chip your tooth enamel. 

Blind Man's Gun - Beyond The Darkness (Germany 2016)

  Now this young lady got clever because her helmet comes with some sort of Force field thingie. 
It also seems to let her walk on water. 
Sneaking up on people possibly not an option though. 

Blind Man's Gun are Hard Rock

Claymorean - Songs from A Dying World (Serbia 2017)

Heavy metal artwork women swords
Err miss..your shield is on fire.

On fire

Your..Shield ...Is...On..Fire!

Claymorean are female fronted Power Metal, a genre I'm always pleased to see.

The Armiger - S/T (USA 2013)

female warrior artwork

 Something tells me she's had to put her ensemble together from bits left lying around, 
because let's face it, there are some big gaps in her protection.

After I finished looking up the word "Armiger" (One entitled to heraldic arms) I looked up the band's music. 

The Armiger seem to be the grittier end of Stoner Metal.

 The Deeper Dees  - Tales From Here, Now And Beyond   (Germany 2014)

That's a weird looking horse.

The Deeper Dees aren't exactly Metal, being more Stoner/Grunge Rock but if you like Soundgarden's more metal moments you may dig this.

Now we shall move on to other styles of metal head wear. 

The Great Adventure- To Begin To See The Truth EP (Russia 2014)

  The classic Britannia Pose in full display here.  Very regal.
In case you're wondering he helmet gets pulled down when violence is imminent.
 She might also want to hack about six foot off the end of her dress if she doesn't want to trip over.

The band are Female fronted Symphonic Metal.

Zenobia - Alma de Fuego II (Spain 2016)

History does not record whether the historical Zenobia ever wore a leopard's face as a hat.
History is also unclear as to whether Queen Zenobia of Palmyra was a hottie with a decent rack.

Whatever. This version is cooler and more Metal anyways.

Zenobia sound like a band I can really get behind.

And top finish.

Ethel The Frog - S/T (UK 1980)

 Her frog helmet was not the success she was expecting.
"But frogs are totally fierce" she told people. "They are. Stop sniggering."
So she just cut their kneecaps off.

This NWOBHM crew really needs to reunite.
Come on guys, make it happen.

That's all folks

Tuesday, 24 October 2017

The Metal Project: Metal Knights

metal songs about metal

 Evening all. 

Once again it's time for me to open up my big bag of songs and see what flops out. 

Stop sniggering you. 

There's no thmee tonight, just the obvious one about y'know, having the word "Metal" in there somewhere. 
Frankly even I'm amazed at how many of these I've found. Last time I counted I was up past 1600. 

Here's some songs for you. Enjoy. 

I''m pretty certain this first lot are a parody. 

Detonator E Os Musas Do Metal: Heavy Metal Fatality (Brazil 2015)

Gehennah - Street Metal Gangfighters (Sweden 1997)

Honour to: metalniece

Killer - Heavy Metal (Switz. 1986)

Honour to: Metalscavenger78

Vesper - Speed Metal Inferno (Italy 2015)

 Honour to: FB Metal Groups 5

Blacklyst - Metal Knights (USA 1991)

Honour to: G. Heathens Rage

Damn, I liked that last one. If they'd been around a bit earlier they might have picked up a bigger following.  

That's All Folks.
See You Soon. 

Monday, 16 October 2017

The Metal Project: Storming Metal

Metal songs with metal in the title

Evening all. 

 I am well overdue for a Project post and my backlog has built up to the point where's about to burst free. So with that in mind, please see below for a small selection of metal songs.  There's no real theme to this collection; I opted for the "Lob dart. See where it ends up" method so even I'm not sure what's happening next.  

As always I hope you find something to like. Enjoy.

Morbid Termination - Metal Child (Demo-USA 1985)

Honour to: SlauterXstroyes

Inferno - Storming Metal (Norway 1996)

Honour to: AlcoholicMayhem

Quickfire Deus Sol Invictus - Metal Destruction (Argentina 2012)

Honour to: Sangwitok Zine

Death's Cold Wind - Satan Metal (Ecuador 2014)

Crossfire - Metal Knives (Belgium 1983)

Honour to: Steve O

That's All Folks. 

Sunday, 8 October 2017

The "Sad Warrior" Pose

 Earlier this week I posted a review of low-budget horror-flick "Land Of The Pharaohs"(It's crap. don't bother) but in the process of writing the review something occurred to me.

I looked at the DVD cover and thought "Why does that look familiar?"

And the answer was "Because I've seen that pose used on a few DVDs lately.  Let me demonstrate.

This is the one that immediately came to mind.

I've decided to call this pose The Sad Warrior pose because let's face it, do any either of these people look like they're having fun.

  At best you have a warrior praying for strength and fortune before an epic battle. Alternatively, here's somebody on the verge of a nervous breakdown because of all the heinous shit they've been put through.

 My theory is that DVD artists like this pose because it suggests a depth of feeling to the hero that might make us care about them a little more. "I'm not somebody that stabs people then parties. I stab people then feel really bad about it afterwards. Such is my fate"
 Problem is I've watched both of these DVDs and neither of the blokes on the cover are in the frigging movie.  
 Not even a little bit.  If it comes to that, the movie on the cover is not the movie on the disk because "Land Of the Pharaohs" is set almost entirely in a municipal museum and "Clash Of Empires" is about Javanese villagers fighting an evil king.

I suspect this is deliberate. 

Still don't believe me? Let's have another one.

Sympathy is not the only emotion being deliberately courted here, I feel. 
It's also  curiously similar to this Red Sonja promo poster. 
 A film we never got to see, sadly. 

 Once again the packaging for "Red Reaper" is deliberately misleading. No chainmail bikini for a starters.
  Beyond the fact that the hero is a pretty redhead, you don't get the film you' paid to see.

Moving on to film's I haven't seen. A five minute trawl through Amazon pulled up all of these adventure movies, coming to a CEX near you. 

  (I did try watching this one but gave up after 20 minutes because it was so dull. I doubt it got better.) 

 A slight variation here. Yay.
 I haven't seen this movie but I'm going to go out on a limb and suggest that it isn't about "one man's fight to destroy an entire empire". It's more likely about a Thracian farmer fighting against the Roman prick that nicked his donkey. 

  One more to finish. 

  Here's a funny thing. When I went looking for this DVD cover I found two different versions. It's interesting how there's such a wide gap between the film you'd expect from this cover and what the other cover suggests.

Almost like one of these covers is lying to you.,

Here's my tip. If you see The Sad Warrior pose on a DVD, save yourself time, money and frustration and walk on by.  Maybe then the people who perpetuate this bullshit will finally stop taking the piss. 

 That's All Folks. 

Tuesday, 3 October 2017

Cheapo DVD Reviews: Land Of The Pharaohs (2017)

"Land Of The Pharaohs begins in ancient Egypt, where Isis and Osiris ruled the land. All were happy for the couple except one, Set, a jealous man who killed Osiris in order to take over his kingdom. Isis snuck into Osiris' tomb and tried to raise him from the dead using her black magic. Set caught Isis in the act and had Osiris cut to pieces, with each piece buried in a different part of the land, so Isis could never again raise her husband. Isis vowed to avenge Osiris' death and return with him to rule over all the worlds. Now, six college students Kyle, Dustin, Felicia, Jay, Serena and Amy take their last course in archaeology in anticipation for graduation. Their last assignment is to uncover and document the museum's new acquisitions with their teacher, Professor Shields and world-renowned Egyptologist Dr. Nasir. During the night they haphazardly awaken the ancient spirit of Isis' lost soul and her wrath is unleashed on the group. As students start to disappear one by one, they must band together to stop Isis from rising her dead lover Osiris and his evil army of the dead, and exacting their revenge upon the world." 

 Before I go any further I need to get my customary DVD cover rant out of the way.  Stick with me. I'll try to be brief.

 Issue#1 is the pose our cover star is holding.
Correction. Issue#1 is the fact that the guy on the cover isn't in this film.
Issue#2 is that for a  film called "Land of The Pharaohs" you see very little of Ancient Egypt beyond some painfully obvious green screen backgrounds.
 Hmm. It's almost like the cover artist is trying to fool you into thinking this is a different film to the one the producers remember making. Maybe in a bid to cash in on the success of a recent Egyptian-themed fantasy about Gods? Who can say.
For Issue#3 we're back to Egypt-boy's pose on the cover.   For some reason DVD artists love that whole "Mopey Warrior Contemplating His Sword" image . I've seen at least 4 movies using it and you know what, they were all a bit crap.

 Two minutes Googling pulled up the original movie title and movie cover. It's quite a bit different.

  I'm no expert on Egyptian myth but I don't remember anything about Isis having ginormous knockers.

  Priya Rai is best know for movies that demonstrate her ability to bend over and make faces, if you get my drift.

 She makes bongo films, OK?  

  You have to wonder how many people bought "Isis Rising" and spent the entire film waiting for the porn to start.

  Moving on to the actual film itself, this is a low-budget affair that barely scrapes 80 minutes. A group of college stereotypes are locked in a museum overnight, accidentally awaken a porn-actress slightly past her commercial prime   pissed-off goddess and get picked off one by one before an anticlimax of an ending. That's it.

 I can't say I was impressed by the story or pacing, thought the acting was nothing special and the SFX were just crap. The characters are hard to like, with one male lead in particular coming across as a bitter jerk.
When the douchey Jock is easier to root for than the lovelorn nerd, your writing has gone a bit wrong somewhere.
 Music is minimal, besides some Dubstep that must come cheap from a local basement DJ and grates like you would not believe.
 "Shock" final scene isn't that shocking, either.

How much did I pay for this?: £2.50
Was it worth it?: Nah. Besides being annoyed at the bait&switch, this just isn't a good movie. Don't bother.
At least this guy enjoyed himself.

That's all folks. 

Sunday, 1 October 2017

Five Songs About Rain

I was listening to the rain the other night. Lying in bed while a heavy downpour hissed against the pavement and torrents of cold water poured out of the gutters.

 Here's a random fact about me: I like rain (or at least I do when I'm not out in it.)  Always have.
 I know rain makes some people sad but I've always found it strangely soothing.
Sometimes I open my kitchen window and lean out to watch the rain coming down on my garden. Then I go and curl up on my couch with a big mug of tea and something with unhealthy levels of sugar.

  That's where I got the idea for this post. "Why not post some songs about rain" I thought "I can share some music I like and maybe talk a little about the bands and the songs. Brilliant!"

So today I present for your approval and entertainment Five Songs About Rain. As we shall see, rain is a perfect tool for songwriters wanting to establish a mood of sadness.

I'm going to begin with the only song in this group that was a UK hit. 

The Cult - Rain (1985)

  The Cult are one of those bands where I know the singles and that's about it. Then again, Billy Duffy and Ian Astbury always wrote great singles.
  "Rain" is from the "silks & scarves" period before they went full-on Hard Rock and shows how The Cult could write songs with a sweet groove that you could dance to, but with enough rock drive for headbangers too.
  On this performance the backup singers  from Doctor And The Medics  have come along to add their support. It works.

The next three tracks are all from bands I found by accident. 

Saga- Images (Chapter One) (1980)

  There used to be a really good second-hand record shop in Stafford in the yard just behind the Astra Cinema. I must have spent hours in there shuffling through box upon box of LPs looking for anything that might be "Cool".  That's where I discovered this LP Canadian Pomp Rock maestros Saga. 
 I took it home, played it...and was immediately baffled. Saga's quirky Prog/AOR was so far away from what I was listening to at the time that I just couldn't get them.
 Six months later I dug the LP out again and this time it clicked. I've been a fan ever since.  

  As you can tell by the title "Images" is part of a song-cycle that Saga have been working on for their entire career. One of these days I plan to sit down and listen to it all in the correct order. 
 In the meantime, sit down and let Michael Sadler's rich vocals and the synths of this majestic, poignant track wash over you like the rain. 

Dragon - Rain (1986)

 Somewhere in the mid-90s I found a small shop that sold old LPs in the back room. I came home with a bagful, including "Dreams of Ordinary Men" by Hunter. I was quite impressed. Hunter were good slick, 80s AOR with a more-than decent vocalist and the standout track was a ditty called "Rain." 

  Years and years later I discovered that Hunter were really a New Zealander/Australian band called Dragon who had been around since the late 70s and the LP I'd picked out of that dusty pile was cobbled together from tracks off at least two Antipodean albums.  Maybe the suits had decided that Dragon sounded too "metal" when time came for a US/UK release. Either way, I wasn't half confused when a Youtube Playlist led me to this song, only under a totally different band name. 

  So, here's Dragon aka Hunter in action. Whatever the name, this is good AOR. Enjoy. 

Platinum Blonde- Sad, Sad Rain (1983)

  Platinum Blonde might have been big stars in Canada but never made any impact in the UK - which might explain why I'd never heard of them until I found an import LP at a record fair.  

 As I tended to do back then, I was willing to risk a quid or two to see if the band were a rock outfit or not.  They definitely had Rock haircuts.  
  Turns out that Platinum Blonde were a rock band but more the spiky, New Wave sound that was popular in North America at the time. Sort of like The Police minus the reggae filtered through a Canadian lens. 

 "Sad, Sad Rain"  is one of my favourite tracks on the "Standing In The Dark" album. A solid drum riff leads into the memories of an  unhappy youngster that hint of heartbreak.

Queensryche- Another Rainy Night (Without You) (1990)

  The Queensryche brand has taken a bit of a knock over the years. Underwhelming albums and interband tensions leading to one of the nastiest band splits I can remember have tarnished their legacy.

 Back in 1990 it all seemed so promising. The Seattle quintet had followed up their political masterpiece "Operation: Mindcrime" with "Empire" - an album that merged slick, melodic hooks with power, dynamics and intelligent lyrics, topped off by Geoff Tate's incredible vocals. There's a reason why he's mentioned in the same breath as Bruce Dickinson add Rob Halford.  

 For a brief while Queensryche were showing the way forward for Heavy Metal and the future was smart.  

  I rediscovered this song recently and I've had it on heavy repeat ever since. Those guitars. The chorus. The drums powering the song along. The way Geoff Tate gets so much emotion into his singing. Listen and marvel.
  Then watch the rain outside and think about the future we never got to see.   

That's all folks. 
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