IN ROTATION: Our most played albums in August 2019


2019 has seen me primarily on the sidelines, so great to be back with all of you lunatics! Saying that I’ve continued to purchase and play the underground as always and in my absence this past month I needed some real motivation to get my mind right for my return to BAZ. For the record the newer albums that have spent the most time on my turntable were definitely; Witch Vomit, Imperium Dekadenz, Suicidal Angels, Immortal Bird, Detherous and the outstanding “Awakening” from Sacred Reich! But I needed something more and required me to dig out some of my all-the favorite albums to properly reset the mechanism. So here are my most listened to albums this past month and I can’t thank them enough for helping me to see the light…Hope you NJoy them as much as I needed them!

So let the Healing Begin…

Paradise Lost – Draconian Times
Music For Nations MFN184
June 12th, 1995

**The absolutely flawless “Draconian Times” was an easy place for me to get my head right. Because this isn’t just a great record loaded with amazing vocals, melody and catchy to crushing riffs? It’s an incredible experience that captures the listener and you never want to leave because it just has you. You’re trapped in a perfect world full of landscape, imagery, airiness and emotion. I could do an entire review here as I did nearly twenty-five years ago and keep finding more to speak on for this masterpiece. “Draconian Times” unpleasant mood which is both intentional and fulfilling allows one to wander through this labyrinth of distorted contentment. Easily my favorite album from the band as well as one of my top dozen or so releases of all-time!
Favorite Tracks: (Really the Entire Album) Hallowed Land, Shadowkings, The Last Time, Shades of God & Forever Failure.

Sepultura – Schizophrenia
Cogumelo Records COG 009
October 30th, 1987

*Overall, this album is completely spectacular. Max’s vocal delivery may be slightly less aggressive than on “Morbid Visions” but still venomous. Every ounce of “Scizophrenia” is tight, precise and crushing. It’s ten destructive tracks overflowing with utter hatred and disdain, and remains one of the greatest thrash album releases of all-time. While most would probably choose “Beneath The Remains” or “Arise” as their favorite Sepultura release, and don’t get me wrong they are also superb, it’s here were I rest In Pain (R.I.P.)! Another masterpiece in my opinion were even its flaws are minuscule and can be over looked as the bands ferocious and psychotic delivery is exceptional. Easily one of the best thrash album from the second half of the eighties…Thrash Til Death!

Favorite Tracks: From the Past Comes the Storms, Escape to the Void, To The Wall, Inquisition Symphony(Instrumental), Septic Scizo, R.I.P.

Lääz Rockit – Know Your Enemy
Enigma ST-73305
September 16th, 1987

**Although I may actually like “Annihilation Principle” better than “Know Your Enemy” this the bands third album pushed the band even further towards my preferred thrash style; and this album is one of the better Power-Thrash Metal releases of its time and continues to be a favorite. Clearly influenced by what was coming out of the Bay Area Thrash scene, the band produced this epic release loaded with creative and vicious riffing, delivering a major leap forward with its memorable and more aggressive musicality taking the band further towards thrash without really losing its catchy traditional heavy metal roots. Michael Coons vocals here are even more melodic than the previous recordings and “Know Your Enemy” allows him to flourish as a singer with great performances on tracks like Most Dangerous Game and Means to an End. The aggression is really ramped up on Last Breath, Euroshima and Self Destruct, and the only complaint is the inclusion of the last two throw away tracks which was unnecessary for an otherwise excellent release.

Favorite Tracks: Say Goodbye M. F. , Self Destruct, Last Breath, Means to an End, Most Dangerous Game, Euroshima, Shot to Hell.

Utumno – Across the Horizon (EP)
Cenotaph Records CTR 007

**One of the more underrated and overlooked death metal releases from the nineties, “Across the Horizon” is delivered more like a heavier American sound than the Swedish death dealers of the time, unfortunately only really releasing less than a dozen or so songs on their two EP’s. But what did come out was outstanding! Current At The Gates guitarist Jonas Stålhammar with incredible vocal performance here as he had on The Crown’s “Doomsday King”. The ominous riffs range from somber to dread fueled make this EP amongst the better releases of the time which says a lot considering the spoils of the time. The Light of Day really should be a classic track. If you haven’t heard or played in sometime, reach back for “Across the Horizon” and you will be pleased your did.
Favorite Tracks: In Misery I Dwell, Saviour Reborn, I Cross the Horizon, The Light of Day, Emotions Run Cold.

Manilla Road – The Deluge
Black Dragon Records BD 010
February 25th, 1986

**Manilla Road’s catalogue which is about twenty deep is such an incredible ride and truly challenging to pick a favorite album. But “The Deluge” is about as perfect and perhaps the most complete an offering from the band in its forty plus year career that you’ll get. This is also the recording that separates itself from the bands earlier works with much greater variety, aggression and far more structured and complicated compositions. “The Deluge” with its powerful riffs, fierce soloing, intensified drumming and of course Mark Shelton’s uncanny vocal style. (R.I.P. our friend we’ll miss you until the end!) are a major progression for the band. Throughout its history Manilla Road was able to evolve when it was necessary from it’s early beginnings on through the classic “Crystal Logic” to the more speed driven, sort of thrash yet still NWOBHM influenced “The Deluge”, and again far into the more modern releases of the 2000s such as “Spiral Castle”, “Voyager” and “Mark of the Beast” just to name a few. A favorite album from a band I admire greatly and wish more would as well. Start somewhere or start here you won’t be disappointed with the mighty Manilla Road!
Favorite Tracks: The Deluge, Isle of the Dead, Dementia, Taken By Storm, Shadow in the Black, Divine Victim, Hammer of the Witches, Rest in Pieces.


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