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05 March 2012

Happy 1987

It's 1987 in the Year a Month project, and this month is shaping up to be a good one.

Black Sabbath: The Eternal Idol - Wow, what a mess Black Sabbath was in while this album was being recorded and promoted. They had massive member turnover, apathetic reviews, and poor sales numbers. Then they made the poor decision to tour apartheid-era South Africa, and saw their other European shows cancelled by promoters in revenge. They were subsequently dropped by two record labels. Strangely, despite all the drama, this is a pretty good album. I like the guitars, and Tony Martin (no, I've never heard of him either) sounds enough like Dio to make the sound work pretty well.

Anthrax: Among the Living - I have State Of Euphoria (1988) and Persistence of Time (1990) already, and always wondered what the missing link was between Fistful of Metal's (1984) sound and those albums. Well, I found it. The guitars on this album are amazing, cranking out riff after riff of "screw you" metal goodness. But the vocals are turning into the Ethel Murman belly-holler that pulled Anthrax off of my playlist in the 1990s.

Dio: Dream Evil - I swear I think Dio gets better with every album. He hits it hard right off the bat with some near-thrash guitars on the first track, Night People, which for Dio is about as hard as it gets. Something about his voice makes him the perfect medium-metal singer to represent the 1980s.
Overkill: Taking Over - Overkill has some of the most technical and entertaining guitar licks of any 80s-era band in my collection. The vocals, bass, and drums just kind of follow along like lost children. There isn't anything all that notable about this album, except the extreme level of 1980s-ness clearly apparent on the cover. It rocks, I like it, whatever.

Motorhead: Rock 'n' Roll - this album may contain some of the songs that we heard at the recent Volbeat/Motorhead/Megadeth concert in Chicago. I say "may" because when Lemmy cranked up the on-stage guitar amp and blew one of the speakers, causing the poor sound guy to have to crank everything else to compensate, it damaged our hearing so much that we had no idea what songs he was playing. It took Megadeth three songs before they finally got the mix right again, and even then I couldn't tell you what Mustaine was saying between songs. Sorry, Lemmy, but you can't reach the volume control on my MP3 player.

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