Friday, May 16, 2008

Metal Mix CD: Island Of The Silver Skull

Ever since I got my first stereo tape recorder, a Sound Design 8-Track deck in 1974, I have been putting together my own mix tapes, or now mix CDs. It has been a non-stop part of my life, and I really can't think of anything more fun or creative to do. One of my goals for this blog was to inflict some of these homemade collections on you, much to my sadistic glee. Too bad... You deserve it, and I can finally get some of this off my chest and into the eardrums of folks who would like to hear 'em!

Even though I am an OLD MO and am prone to wax nostalgic at times, I do not live in the salad days of the past, forever stuck in old glorious musical eras. Sometimes I dread reliving certain scenes and sounds, and duly want to stay rooted in the Here and Now. So I do! But there are times I am attracted to an OLD SOUND being recreated and revitalized by YOUNG MO-FO's. Such is "Island Of The Silver Skull." An old sound being revived by newer bands.

I f*&king love Traditional Epic HEAVY METAL, and ate it, drank it, slept it, smoked it, and kissed it back in the glorious 80's, in the proverbial Days Of Yore. Ever so often, I get nostalgic and pull out the old classics, and revere them in all their ceremonious glory. But lately I've been GROOVING on 80's style Traditional Epic Heavy Metal, performed by a bunch of talented young'uns, who bring the bacon home when the bugle is called.

And it kicks my god-damn egg. Actually, I made this disc fast as hell. Once I heard this material, I just *HAD* to get something down on CD as fast as possible. And it had to be really well done, so I was up for the challenge!

Here is the track listing, with the band name linked to a web page where you can learn more about 'em, and possibly hear some more songs. The download links are after the track list.


1. Ironsword - Under The Flag of Rome 4:57 - "Ironsword" <2002> (Portugal)
2. Battleroar - Oceans Of Pain 10:23 - "To Death And Beyond" <2008> (Greece)
3. Crystal Viper - Island Of The Silver Skull 5:43 - "The Curse Of The Crystal Viper" <2007> (Poland)
4. Spirit Web - From A Prince To A Pauper 7:49 - "Far Beyond The Visual Mind" <2003> (USA)
5. Pharaoh - Buried At Sea 7:00 - "Be Gone" <2008> (USA)
6. Crescent Shield - The Last Of My Kind 7:20 - "The Last Of My Kind" <2006> (USA)
7. Rekuiem - Werewolf 8:24 - "Time Will Tell" <2006> (UK)
8. Overstep - Karrig An Ankou 8:04 - "Karrig An Ankou" <2001> (France)
9. Manilla Road - Totentanz (Dance Of Death) 7:56 - "Voyager" <2008> (USA)
10. Sacred Blood - Gates Of Fire 11:41 - "The Battle Of Thermopylae: The Chronicle" <2008> (Greece)

Download Part 1

Download Part 2

The disc starts of with the Neanderthalic Primal Poundations of Portugal's Ironsword, who beckon the listener with the age old proverb, "If you live by the sword, You will die by the sword!" UNK! This is followed by Greecian urns Battleroar, who perform a majestic epic, in three movements. The first is classic Epic Metal gesticulations, followed by a gorgeouoso electric violin interlude that is quite oceanic, all leading to the obligitato and perfectly executed searing majestic guitar solo, rooted in beauty and restraint. Crystal Viper sports a female vocalist that sounds like a much more TR00 Metal version of Lee Aaron, with a healthy dose of Doro thrown in for good measure. Spirit Web shoots this baby into the stratosphere with the righteous "From A Prince To A Pauper," which stands side-by-side with any ultimate 80's Vlassic Classic. Pharaoh then buries me at sea with their mob rules approach to harmony and integrated sounds. The Crescent Shield track sounds like a long lost song off of an old Blitzkrieg/Satan or Jag Panzer vinyl. I really freak out on their "The Last Of My Kind" CD!

Rekuiem turns up the 8 cent nodules with "Werewolf," sung by an old lead singer of Tredegar (Tredegar? Tredegar!). Overstep is from France, they sing in French, and it sounds weird and wonderful. They can crank. "Karrig An Ankou" is an 8 cent gas. And of course, MANILLA F*&KING ROAD do NOT need any INTRODUCTION... This is from their brand new album, and it belongs here to provide some much needed perspective (or too much f*&king perspective!). Mark St. Shelton is GOD! And lastly, things are capped off by the sacred Sacred Blood, who also are Greecian urns, and this is a mighty epic, a proper summative statement, and a place to hang your hat at the end of this glorious ride through the depths and slime of TR00 Epic Metal in the 21st Century!

I post this disc for two reasons: 1) to share the listening experience 2) to expose you to these bands, and their music, which is far, far, far from the mainstream, and quite removed from what is considered to be the hippest movements in the Metal scene. SUPPORT THE BANDS! BUY THEIR MUSIC! Follow the links to their web sites! They deserve your attention!


Give Me 8 Cents,

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