The eight volumes of Metal Massacre released by Metal Blade Records in the 1980s were massively instrumental in chronicling (and furthering) the burgeoning heavy metal movement, particularly in the United States. Here, the earliest songs of Slayer and Ratt, for example, stood side by side each other as a declaration of intent: that HEAVY METAL was here, and it was here to stay. Those who grew up in the ’80s and heard these compilations have fond memories of them, as each song was almost always exclusive and almost always exciting – a new stone to unturn, a new head to bang.
For the members of October 31, these compilations are so cherished and enduring that they’ve recorded a covers album comprising songs all exclusively on these comps, appropriately titled Metal Massacre. For over 20 years now, October 31 are no strangers to the heavy metal fight, so it’s a no-brainer that the US quintet would reverentially cover the revered likes of Omen, Hallow’s Eve, Sacred Blade, and America’s Tyrant alongside the more obscure likes Aloha, War Cry, Final Warning, and Canada’s Death Dealer among others. From early, more melodically inclined traditional metal to heads-down proto-thrash and speed metal, October 31 cover all bases on Metal Massacre, rendering the record a veritable time-machine back to the early-to-mid ’80s. However, with erstwhile Deceased frontman (and scene legend) King Fowley on the mic, the band brims with the confidence and elan to make these songs their own – or, at least, songs that could easily be among their original repertoire – serving as a fully satisfying stopgap album before their next full-length for Hells Headbangers. All you metal merchants, step forth and prepare for October 31‘s Metal Massacre!
Tracklisting for October 31’s Metal Massacre
1. Cross My Way (Death Dealer)
2. Forbidden Evil (War Cry)
3. Torture Me (Omen)
4. The Awakening (Titanic)
5. Dead Of The Night (Demon Flight)
6. Heavy Metal Virgin (Aloha)
7. The Alien (Sacred Blade)
8. Metal Merchants (Hallow’s Eve)
9. The Warrior (Final Warning)
10. The Battle Of Armageddon (Tyrant)
“The video has been filmed by fans on September 12th, 2015 at ProgPower USA festival. We would like to thank Dan Pate, Haik Kalantarian, Anthony DeCrisantis, Kenji Kobayashi, YT channel s684913574 (subscribe and see more of his videos), YT channel dreadsbearfor (subscribe and see more music videos) for being great “camera men” and providing us with the footage. We also thank Dave Sinclair for doing color correction.
We would like to thank all our fans for their unconditional support and great feedback: it means a lot to us. Please stop by and share your thoughts and spread the word.”
Dirkschneider – “LIVE – Back To The Roots” 2CD / 3LP (AFM Records)
Battle Helm Rating
Probably the last time for anyone wanting to hear famed front man Udo Dirkschneider sing Accept songs, this gargantuan 25 song live package captures the essence of why the “Dirkschneider” tour has pretty much sold out and owing to even more demand from fans and promoters around the world, will continue to roll until the end of this year! Recorded at one such sold out show in Memmingen, all the glory of Accept is captured across classic numbers like ‘Flash Rockin’ Man’, ‘Metal Heart’, ‘Balls To The Wall’, ‘Breaker’, ‘I’m A Rebel’, ‘Princess Of The Dawn’, ‘Losers And Winners’ and of course, my personal all time favorite ‘Fast As A Shark’. Grandaddy Udo is still in top form and clearly having a ball, joined by the enthusiastic “Kaminwerk” crowd who need no invitation to singalong back to the man himself! “LIVE – Back To The Roots” certainly brought back a lot of memories for me, as I’m sure it’s done for Udo himself, who’s finally closing this monumental and defining chapter of his career, indeed life. An absolute pleasure to review and be part of this legendary vocalist’s personal way of saying goodbye.
Given that ‘Forever Young’ from Tyketto’s 1991 debut “Don’t Come Easy” is still my all time favorite AOR song, the news of a 7th release had me in mixed emotions of both joy but also nervous at to whether it could compare. The band have certainly endured a fair number of hiatuses and line up changes, but with the original core of Danny Vaughn and Michael Clayton still in Tyketto, my confidence grew with every minute. “Reach” was recorded at legendary Rockfield Studios in Wales, following in the footsteps of musical icons such as Queen, Led Zeppelin, and Prince, and easily rates quality wise to Tyketto’s prior material – and amazingly still retains that unmistakable 90s’ AOR sound! In fact, after five years of solid touring following the release of their comeback album in “Dig In Deep”, “Reach” sounds as fresh as when I first heard these guys on the ‘Forever Young’ video! Danny Vaughn must be in his mid 50s by now but his voice is eternally youthful, with some performances making me wonder whether these were ‘lost’ tracks from “Don’t Come Easy”! Equally, he has built a solid band around him, and in Chris Green has found a worthy partner capable of delivering the riffs for kick ass hard rockers like ‘Kick Like A Mule’ while soloing with spirit on the hard n funky ‘Sparks Will Fly’ along with bassist Chris Childs deep, resounding plucking. One of the things I’ve always respected Tyketto for is that their music always sounds good however played and on ‘Letting Go’ they continue their fine acoustic tradition while on the power ballad of ‘Scream’ Vaughn & co show how they’ve expanded their musical boundaries by including some subtle orchestral strings. But for me, the one that takes it right back has to be ‘Remember My Name’ with its country element mixed in with hard stomping rock, heart grabbing melody and of course, utterly catchy chorus made all the more killer by those echoing vocal harmonies. Tyketto are a band simply too good to be ignored by the uninitiated but thanks to Frontiers Records, on “Reach” they’ve done just that!