Sunday, 23 February 2014

Doom Chart: Most Paranoid Albums of 02/23/14

Top 30 Albums
#). artist - album title
  1. Satan's Satyrs - Wild Beyond Belief
  2. *The Electric Revival - Pirate Radio
  3. Demon Eye - Leave the Light
  4. Earth Witch - Earthbound EP
  5. Breathe Fire - EP
  6. Naked Brown - Not So Bad
  7. Vykanthrope - The Devil's Waiting
  8. The Great Electric Quest - Chapter II EP
  9. Blackwitch Pudding - Taste the Pudding
  10. Doctor Cyclops - Oscuropasso
  11. Conan Blood Eagle
  12. Grey Widow - I
  13. Buzzherd - On Sinking Ships ... Rats Drown
  14. Moosataur - ST
  15. Blizaro - Strange Doorways
  16. Destroyer of Light - Bizarre Tales Vol. 2
  17. The Vitasound Projects - American Werewolf in London
  18. Wizard Union - Smoking Coffins
  19. Dirt Wizard - No Son of Mine
  20. Nigromante - Black Magic Night
  21. Aleph Null - Nocturnal***
  22. Dwellers - Pagan Fruit***
  23. Goya - 777
  24. Thothamon - Prophets of Doom
  25. Druglord - Enter Venus***
  26. Cave of Swimmers - ST***
  27. October 31 - The Fire Awaits You***
  28. Rainbows Are Free - Waves Ahead of the Ocean***
  29. Grand Magus - Triumph & Power***
  30. Indian - From All Purity
*Album available on itunes
*** New Listing

PARANOID Spotlight on:
OCTOBER 31 – ‘The Fire Awaits You’
From metal mavens Hell's Headbangers Records comes a re-issue / compilation of a band I would only have dreamed existed when the records first came out.  It's not that I would have understood or respected the band's pedigree (drummer/vocalist King Fowley of Deceased; bassist Jim Hunter of While Heaven Wept & Twisted Tower Dire; guitarist Brian Williams of Overlord), but I could only have imagined pure metal of this caliber existing during its initial release.  This was the late 90's, the day and age of Korn, Limp Bizkit and later Disturbed.  Many of us were forced to get by on this kind of metal, but yearned for a return to the days of early Metallica.  If only I'd have found October 31 back then, how different my life would have been ...

This re-issue combines October 31's 1997 debut album with their 1996 demo and a pair of tribute album cover versions of Iron Maiden ("Public Enema Number One") & Ozzy Osbourne ("I Don' Know").  The true stars of the show here are the first eight tracks which comprise the original 'The Fire Awaits You' album.  The opening trio of which ("The Wizard", "Salem's Curse" and "The Fire Awaits You") is worth the $6.66 price of admission you'll find on the Hell's Headbangers bandcamp page for the digital download, but all 14 songs are worth spinning and once you slap this sucker on you won't feel like stopping midway through.  The 'Voyage to Infinity' demo material isn't as strong vocally or musically, but it hardly matters when themetal isthis sharp.  The horror-themed vocals remind me of Wooden Stake, but the vocals remain consistently clean throughout with a rich Pepper Keenan meets James Hetfield timbre.  

The label simultaneously re-released the band's 1999 released second album 'Meet Thy Maker' (which added rhythm guitarist Kevin Lewis to the mix) along with their 1998 EP 'Visions of the End' and four bonus tracks.  This is metal as it was meant to be, as it should always have been. 

Though the album is just entering the Doom Charts now I've been listening to it for a couple weeks now, it's the kind of thing that won't go away or be forgotten about any time soon.  (On a final note: I found this awesome interview with the band from May 2000, in it, front man King Fowley says so much while saying very little.)

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