I was reaching my 20s in the mid-’90s and although my metal journey had started a few years back, at this stage I began to depart from the main bands I listened to. Such bands were the headliners of metal festivals and appeared on the front page of music mags all over the world. You know them: Metallica, AC/DC, G’n’R, Alice in Chains and the whole grunge scene was well underway.
This article places me surely in 1996. Although the albums listed range from 1 to 4 years prior, I´m pretty certain i came about them in the same period of time, whether it´s a year or some months. I used to buy my CD´s from CD Warehouse and there was a store just in the same block as my work. So nearly every day I would spend some time inside the store, running my fingers through the shelves and trying to get as many minutes of playing time in the albums I was interested in. Are you old enough to remember asking for a cd and playing it on a cd player taking the headphones and praying that the guy in the counter would forget about you for as long as possible. That was the only way you could hear an album you wanted to buy. Remember there were no streaming services at the time, no youtube. Napster and the likes weren´t a thing until ´99 or 2000 so you were stuck to either the mercy of the store owner/employee or in bigger music stores, to 10 seconds per song. Which was just fucking rubbish!
MTV was a real thing for metal back then. Headbangers (Latin Mtv) YouTube was one of the ways you could get news about the scene. Magazines were another big source of news also. Metal mags from Spain and Argentina if you wanted in Spanish and if you were lucky or have the money, you could read the American and European ones, they were treasures.
Anyway, as my love for Black Sabbath grew to monstrous proportions, the trademark of that sound kept my curiosity and made me search for options beyond the realms of Iommi´s fingers. And in that search and by my “friendship” (it was more of an alignment of musical tastes) with one of the employees of CD Warehouse, I run across these four albums. In fact, the Trouble one was his own. I don’t remember his name, I knew he went to live in the USA at the time (that´s why he sold his Cds), but wherever you are mate, thanks!
These Cds are now all stored in cardboard boxes since my oldest daughter tried to eat some of them like 7 years ago. Yes, I never took them out again and never played them. I got no Cd player and as I had the albums downloaded on my iPod classic (another thing from the past) I never looked back. Also, my car has a shitty radio and of course my daughter, the oldest, stashed coins in the CD player some years ago and i never had the urge to repair it. I just put on the radio and drive. Weird, yes. Well…
Title: Manic Frustration
Release: 16 June 1992
Label: Def American Recordings
I had never heard of this band before I got hold of this CD and the following Plastic Green Head, both at the same time. This guy gave me both Cds in the store and told me “I think you are going to like these”. I bought both after a few minutes on the Cd player. Eric Wagner´s vocals caught me right away, I have a soft spot for high pitch vocals you know. And the riffs here are amazing. Trouble on a more 70´s psych/stoner approach and I know many die-hard Trouble fans don’t like this one. I came fresh, it was my first taste of Trouble and still is my fave. I never got into the first Trouble albums really. That hard was the blow this album gave to my brain. And I never bought another Trouble album again either. Strange…
Next time it´s raining, play this gem:
Band: The Obsessed
Title: The Church Within
Release: 01 March 1994
Label: HellBound Records
I don´t remember how I got to know THE OBSESSED, but somehow I bought this one and I haven’t played it in years. I did yesterday to write something about it. I like the laid back atmosphere here, although it does not compromise the heaviness, I feel like Wino´s vocals are like relaxed in some strange way. I guess this ain´t a surprise cause this one is a good example of a super cool Stoner Doom album. Mid-tempo heaviness in a hazy atmosphere.
Fields of Hours
Title: The Carnival Bizzare
Release: 29 September 1995
Label: Earache Records
I had the luck to travel to Europe and got to visit cathedrals in more than one country, even in the Vatican. To my knowledge, Lee Dorian´s Cathedral is the best! J
I remember I caught the video for Matthew Hopkins (link below) on MTV and it was an eye-opener. Thinking now, as I try to find words and memories of that day, I see that it was a game-changer. I know it now, cause this is the type of music that is most appealing to me at this very moment, nearly 25 years after. The Sabbathian riffs with the occult theme move my non-existent spirit like no other variant of heavy music. So I was hooked immediately and bought the album, devoured the lyrics and was surprised to read in the booklet that the solo in utopian Blaster was by non-other than our lord and master, Saint Anthony Iommi of Aston. How can I not love this album? And Cathedral is a band that has been with me ever since, cause I continue to buy their albums.
Feast yer eyes and ears
Band: Corrosion Of Conformity
Release: 27 September 1994
Label: Columbia Records
The story repeats itself. I never had heard of this band until I saw the video for Clean My Wounds and it was another love at first sight (listen). Of course, I went to the store around my workplace and bought the album. What got me was the riffs and the clean and edgy solos of Keenan guitar playing. This was all that I loved from Sabbath but in a new band, the cycle of life. To be honest, the C.O.C. albums prior to this one do nothing for me and sadly I didn’t follow the band until in 2005 I came across In The Arms of God. I really don´t know why. I kept playing this album during the years until this day, but never felt the urge to search into their other albums with Pepper Keenan, I guess I followed him into Down and somewhat forgot about them…
Clean My Wounds
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