Exciter – Long Love The Loud
The fantasy style album covers always get me interested.
So Exciter is basically the NWOBHM, played faster, with a lot of double time drumming, alternate picked guitar riffs and banshee wails.
And as I’m nearing the last three songs, all of the previous songs have bled into each other, apart from the first song, the instrumental “Fall Out”.
But then when I was about to give up, “Born To Die” started, a slower groove and more like a hard rock cut with a chorus hook that reminds me of “Balls To The Wall”.
“Wake Up Screaming” moves around my headspace, like a doom metal cut. The bass groove in the first verse is excellent. Vocally, the banshee wails have gotten just too much and they detract a lot from the music.
“Feel The Knife” sounds like “Neon Nights” but I reckon Adrian Smith was influenced by its simplicity for “The Wicker Man” many years later.
Check it out.
Vicious Rumours – Soldiers In The Night
The guitar playing on this is excellent.
The instrumental song “Premonition” is less than a minute and it’s perfect. And of course, it had to be Vinnie Moore.
For those who don’t know, “Mind’s Eye”, Vinnie Moore’s first solo release in 1986, is one of those essential guitar instrumental albums that people of the genre should own.
And in his time so far he worked with other artists the main ones being Alice Cooper and for the last 15 or so years, he’s been the guitarist in U.F.O.
The band is on Shrapnel, so you get an idea that there’s going to be a lot of guitar.
“Ride (Into The Sun)” could have come from the “Kill Em All” album, while “Medusa” could have come from “Shout At The Devil”. Over the riffs, Moore burns his way through the Dorian and Aeolian scales.
“Soldiers Of The Night” could have been a Judas Priest cut and “Murder” could have come from the “Diary Of A Madman” album. “March Or Die” feels like a “Ride The Lightning” cut and “Blitz The World” is like a Motorhead cut, think “Overkill”.
And then there is “Invader”, which is Vinnie Moore’s “Eruption” full of classical lines, arpeggios, volume swells which sound like a violin and all the other guitar techniques like tapping, legato lines, fast picked alternate lines, string skipping and anything else he could find.
Finally, “Blistering Winds” sounds like a song from the “Bark At The Moon” album.
In other words, the band merges all these different hard rock, metal, NWOBHM, speed metal and LA Metal styles into a cohesive album. The great Martin Popoff mentioned em in “The Collector’s Guide to Heavy Metal: Volume 2: The Eighties”.
And in the same way that “Steeler” and “Alcatrazz” were used to launch Yngwie Malmsteen, Vicious Rumours was used to launch Vinnie Moore.
Black N Blue – Without Love
Geffen tried really hard to break the band to the masses. Apart from teaming the band to work with outside writers, they also got Bruce Fairbairn to produce. Bob Rock is there as well as an engineer/mixer and so is Mike Fraser as an additional engineer.
“Rockin’ On Heaven’s Door” written by Jamie St. James and Tommy Thayer kicks off the album, a light metal cut, influenced by “Lick It Up” in the intro, before it gets rocking into an AC/DC style groove. And the Chorus, man I swear Bon Jovi used it for “Edge Of A Broken Heart”. Maybe Bruce Fairbairn recommended it to Jovi.
“Without Love” is a co-write between Jaime St. James and Jim Vallance. It’s written for the charts and the hearts of the teens.
“Stop The Lightning” brings back the St. James and Thayer partnership, so you get more guitars and more rock.
“Miss Mystery” is basically a pop song. A co-write between St. James, Thayer and Vallance. It could have come from a Bryan Adams album.
“Bombastic Plastic” has this “Stormbringer” like riff which is cool, but the song is so/so. “We Got The Fire” has Mike Reno on backing vocals and it sounds like a Loverboy cut on steroids.
Magnum – On A Story Tellers Night
I got into the band in the late 80’s and worked backwards. This is their fifth studio album, the first one on Polydor after parting with the notorious non-royalty paying Jet Records.
From the opening guitar riff of “How Far Jerusalem” I was hooked. And then the vocals from Bob Catley came in, a cross between Steve Walsh from Kansas, Paul Rodgers from Bad Company and his own style.
“Just Like An Arrow” is a pop song dressed up with metal guitar licks and power chords. Listen to how guitarist Tony Clarkin makes it all work. “On A Storytellers Night” starts off with some chords on the keyboards, a calm before the melodic rock takes over.
“Before First Light” has a Van Halen riff. Can you guess it?
“Les Morts Dansant” has a major key riff that reminds me of a Don Henley song, but when it kicks in to distortion, it reminds me of those 70’s acts like Sweet, Slade, Styx and Angel.
Other songs to check out are “Two Hearts”, “Steal Your Heart”
Running Wild – Branded and Exiled
These guys always had riffs which I liked. Nice head banging riffs.
To know what I mean, check out the main riff to opening track “Branded And Exiled”. Or “Realm Of Shades”.
The guitar lead break on “Realm Of Shades” is also worthy, starting off with a memorable harmony before it moves into separate solos.
“Fight The Oppression” is a Metallica cut from the “Kill Em All” album. “Marching To Die” is Scorpions, just a bit harder and faster.
Vocally it’s raw and the drumming is very metronomic, but hey, no one said that Running Wild is a pop act.
And the series is nearing completion. I have one more post for 2000 (the twelfth post) and one more for 1985.
1977 is already finished up within 10 posts.