Judas Priest – British Steel (30th Anniversary Deluxe Edition) (2010)

Judas Priest – British Steel (30th Anniversary Deluxe Edition – 3 Disc set) (2010)

Disc 1 – British Steel (remastered)

  1. Rapid Fire
  2. Metal Gods
  3. Breaking The Law
  4. Grinder
  5. United
  6. You Don’t Have To Be Old To Be Wise
  7. Living After Midnight
  8. The Rage
  9. Steeler
  10. Red, White & Blue (studio bonus track)
  11. Grinder (live bonus track)

Disc 2 –  The British Steel 2009 Tour (Live at the Seminole Hard Rock Arena, Hollywood, Florida, August 17, 2009) CD

  1. Rapid Fire
  2. Metal Gods
  3. Breaking The Law
  4. Grinder
  5. United
  6. You Don’t Have To Be Old To Be Wise
  7. Living After Midnight
  8. The Rage
  9. Steeler
  10. The Ripper
  11. Hell Patrol
  12. Victim Of Changes
  13. Freewheel Burning
  14. Diamonds And Rust
  15. You’ve Got Another Thing Coming

Disc 3 –  The British Steel 2009 Tour (Live at the Seminole Hard Rock Arena, Hollywood, Florida, August 17, 2009) DVD

  1. Rapid Fire
  2. Metal Gods
  3. Breaking The Law
  4. Grinder
  5. United
  6. You Don’t Have To Be Old To Be Wise
  7. Living After Midnight
  8. The Rage
  9. Steeler
  10. The Ripper
  11. Prophecy
  12. Hell Patrol
  13. Victim Of Changes
  14. Freewheel Burning
  15. Diamonds And Rust
  16. You’ve Got Another Thing Coming

DVD Extra – The Making of British Steel Interview

Total Time (Disc 1) = 44:43
Total Time (Disc 2) = 1:15:48
Region 0, NTSC, Running Time (Disc 3 concert) = 1:28:21

What can you say about Judas Priest’s BRITISH STEEL that hasn’t already been said? It is truly a landmark Heavy Metal album that bridged the classic heavy Rock of the 1970s and moved it into the slick and powerful 1980s with it’s pure metallic sound and commercial accessibility to FM airwaves. Look at all the classic songs that still get played on Classic Rock and current Rock radio: ‘Metal Gods’, ‘Breaking The Law’, ‘Living After Midnight’, ‘United’. I’m lucky here in Rhode Island because the local Rock station (94 WHJY) has one of the longest running Heavy Metal programs on Saturday nights called  “The Metal Zone” and I’ve heard plenty of deeper tracks from BRITISH STEEL played over the years like ‘Steeler’ and ‘Grinder’. I grew up with this album, I think I got it in 1983 officially but I had a dubbed cassette, and it’s been one of my favorite albums by Judas Priest and of the ’80s.

Now BRITISH STEEL is 30 years old…..that’s hard to believe! That’s most of my life (I’m 38)! In order to celebrate such a milestone, Judas Priest toured last summer and played the entire album in order, then added a handful of Priest classics and rarities. I caught the show in Mansfield, MA on July 7th and it was a magnificent show, now it’s great to have a commorative document to enjoy it again.

Disc 1 – British Steel (remastered)
There really isn’t much new to say about the remastered album because it’s exactly the same remastered version that the band and label released back in 2001. The two bonus tracks are also the same: ‘Red, White & Blue’ is a studio track from the TURBO sessions in 1985 and the live version of ‘Grinder’ comes from the Long Beach Arena (Long Beach, California) on the 1984 DEFENDERS OF THE FAITH tour. If you already have a copy of the proper album then you might not really notice the remastering, I didn’t in 2001, and the bonus tracks seem out of place. I have always wondered why we got bonus tracks from 1984/85 instead of rarities from 1980. I’m a little disappointed that the label used the 2001 remaster, I was hoping for something more.

Disc 2 – Live in Hollywood, Florida – 7/17/09 CD
Here’s where the entire 30th Anniversary package gets interesting because the whole point of celebrating 30 years of BRITISH STEEL was the band’s tour. This live CD is the exact companion to the Disc 3 DVD except for the omission of ‘Prophecy’ from the NOSTRADAMUS (2008) album. I’m going to assume that the song was left off for time constraints on the CD format and, seeing that NOSTRADAMUS wasn’t the commercial and critical success the band hoped it would be, ‘Prophecy’ seems like the logical choice to cut. It’s a long song too and that is one of the reasons behind the 13 minute time difference between the CD and DVD. It’s all about getting bang for your buck and the audio CD of the show is a true bonus, the official U.S. release was a 2 disc set that included the remastered album and the DVD. The live album sounds good and it’s a solid performance by the band so I’m glad I held out and picked up the Deluxe Edition. I don’t hve 90 mins to sit around the TV and watch the DVD all the time so putting the live album in the iPod and enjoying a classic Priest tour is a major plus for me.

Disc 3 – Live in Hollywood, Florida – 7/17/09 DVD
Exactly the same as the CD version except that ‘Prophecy’ is included. I probably should have reviewed the DVD first but it’s technically listed as Disc 3 in the package so that’s how it will be for the review. Judas Priest toured on the basis of the 30th anniversary of British Steel in the Summer of 2009 and it was basically a basic show of the band just playing. Aside from the backdrop banners, the lights and lasers and the trademark Harley Davidson, there were no real production gimmicks. Basically the band came, on and played BRITISH STEEL note for note, took a quick break and came out with the second part of the set. The DVD is basically the same show I saw in Mansfield and it’s a cool piece of nostalgia for me because I had such a great time at the show. A few things of note from watching the DVD and remembering from the Mansfield show I saw: Halford was a little more animated on stage than he was on the previous two tours, he still has an awesome voice, Glenn & KK are a superb guitar duo, Ian needs to move around a little and Scott Travis is a monster drummer and it’s crazy to think he’s been in Priest 20 years now! All the guys looked like they were having a blast and they really poured everything into the performance. In addition to the concert there is a bonus section that is an interview about the making of BRITISH STEEL. It’s good to watch once but if you have the CLASSIC ALBUMS DVD for BRIISH STEEL then you don’t really need the interview.

Diehards may not be happy with the 2010 version of the BRITISH STEEL album cover with the blood added and the hand missing but it doesn’t really bother me. The digipak folds out revealing the discs, the factory pictures on the left & right panels were used as backdrops during the BRITISH STEEL part of the concert and the booklet is housed inside the right panel. The booklet has the original album cover, plenty of pictures from the concert, liner notes from the show & tour and a 2 page essay from British writer Dave Shack.

Bottom Line:
Judas Priest is my second favorite band (KISS is first!) so buying this was a complete no-brainer. Add the fact that I saw the show in Mansifield, MA ten days prior to the recording and this turns out to be a cool tour souvenir for me. Diehards, collectors and completists are going to pick this package up but the casual fan might not because of the $30 price tag. The 2 disc version was retailing between $15-20 for the album and live DVD but I wanted that extra audio CD of the live show and the deluxe packaging. I like sets like this, for me it’s worth the money. If you don’t have BRITISH STEEL yet and you’ve never caught the band on tour then this is a cool package to have. My only minor complaints lies with the remastered album and the bonus section of the DVD. I understand the point of not remastering the proper album again but why not include some new bonus material? Also, if there is already a DVD out there on the making of BRITISH STEEL, why include a new interview on the same subject? Diehard fans like myself appreciate the effort but would rather have had more footage from the tour, backstage footage, etc.

Anvil announces the U.S. re-release of THIS IS THIRTEEN with bonus material on 9/15/09 via VH1 Classic Records

Press Release:


Los Angeles, CA – July 22, 2009 — Certainly one of the most feel-good rock n’ roll comeback stories of recent times is that of Canadian heavy metal band Anvil. The band, considered a major influence for a generation of hard rockers including Metallica, Slayer, Anthrax, and Guns N’ Roses, was the subject of a critically acclaimed, must-see rock-doc, ‘Anvil! The Story of Anvil,’ directed by Sacha Gervasi. And in the process, the film has made the group (led by singer/guitarist Steve “Lips” Kudlow and drummer Robb Reiner – both founding members) a household name. But the group’s story will certainly not end with the film.

First up for Anvil are U.S. shows opening for Aussie rock legends AC/DC – in football stadiums. “We’re really excited about these shows, we’ve only heard awesome things about playing in football stadiums. I was with the Green Day guys last night, and they were telling me, ‘Man, it’s probably going to be the gig of your life’!”


And then on September 15, THIS IS THIRTEEN will finally see proper national distribution on CD and vinyl via VH1 Classic Records. The CD will feature the newly recorded, never-before released bonus track “Thumb Hang.” The collectible double vinyl LP boasts newly re-recorded versions of Anvil classics “Metal on Metal” and “666.” The album, originally recorded in 2007 and produced by Chris Tsangarides (Judas Priest, Thin Lizzy), was primarily available directly from the band via their website and at their concerts.

“THIS IS THIRTEEN is more like our first three albums,” says Lips, “which represent our real identity. For many of our albums, we went on an ‘integrity hunt’ instead of on a ‘commercial/radio hunt,’ so we became extremely inaccessible to radio. This time, we stepped back and said, ‘What were we originally?’ And we rediscovered ourselves, I suppose.” Reiner adds, “There are three tracks that in my opinion, are definitely, 100% AOR/hard rock/commercial radio tracks – ‘American Refuge,’ ‘Flying Blind,’ and ‘Feed the Greed.’ Catchy melodies, incredible drum feels – they just all rock.”

The title track is about as classic Anvil as you can get – that slow, powerful, heavy backbeat with cool changes. The violent-sounding “Bombs Away” is, according to Reiner, “the almightiest metal track on the entire record,” “Ready to Fight” is pure speed rock ‘n roll – Nugent on steroids – that boasts super-heavy drumming, and “Big Business” is akin, musically-speaking, to Cream’s classic “Sunshine of Your Love.” And then there’s the true classic, Anvil near-anthem, “Shoulda’ Woulda’ Coulda’,” that’s about living life with no regrets.

Reiner points out that the input from acclaimed producer Tsangarides (who produced early Anvil albums) was a major reason for This is Thirteen turning out the way it did. “The last four or five albums, material-wise, were all similar. We had been trying to find the direction back to the classic Anvil style and sound – it’s just that the production hadn’t been up to scratch. Chris was a big missing part on our past albums.”

Despite some zany Spinal Tap-like parallels between Anvil and David St. Hubbins and company in the film, Anvil has always been taken seriously by metalheads, including some very well known rock stars, who praise the band in the film. “Anvil was one of those bands that just put on this really amazing live performance,” said Velvet Revolver/ex-Guns N’ Roses guitarist Slash, while Motorhead singer/bassist Lemmy added, “They were a great band – I always liked Anvil,” and Metallica drummer Lars Ulrich gushed, “These guys were going to turn the music world upside down.”

So, the AC/DC dates, the release of THIS IS THIRTEEN, what else can fans expect from Anvil in the future? Lips was willing to provide a hint: “Working. More recording. More gigs. More – more than ever!”

28 Gillette Stadium, Foxboro, MA
31 Giants Stadium, East Rutherford, NJ

6 Magnetic Hill, Moncton, New Brunswick CANADA

Anvil official website
Anvil! The Story Of Anvil

Lillian Axe – Love + War reissue (1989/2007)

Lillian Axe - Love + War (1989)

Lillian Axe – Love + War (1989/2007 reissue, Metal Mind)

  1. All’s Fair In Love And War
  2. She Likes It On Top
  3. Diana
  4. Down On You
  5. The World Stopped Turning
  6. Ghost Of Winter
  7. My Number
  8. Show A Little Love
  9. Fool’s Paradise
  10. Letters In The Rain

Band Lineup:
Ron Taylor – Lead Vocals
Stevie Blaze – Lead Guitar, Background Vocals
Jon Ster – Rhythm Guitar, Keyboards & Background Vocals
Rob Stratton – Bass, Background Vocals
Danny King – Drums

Additional Musicians:
Michael Berlan – Keyboards

Producer: Tony Platt

Total Time – 47:46

Lillian Axe official website
Lillian Axe MySpace page
Metal Mind Productions

The Music
Building on what was a strong debut, Lillian Axe comes roaring back with LOVE + WAR in 1989, an album that is heavy but seems to be a little more mature in the songwriting department and better as musicians. Things are a bit more streamlined and radio friendly on this album whereas the debut was a little more raw.

‘All’s Fair In Love And War’ is symbolic of the late ’80s as it’s a little silly lyrically today but it worked for the time. It’s a rockin’ tune, definitely one of the heavier songs on the album. Really good harmonies and solid guitar by Blaze, Ron Taylor’s vocals have that gritty grime that makes it sleazy. Things get a little poppy with ‘She Likes It On Top’. What a title! It’s a catchy song but it sounds like a mix of bad Poison and Autograph circa THAT’S THE STUFF (1985). The keyboards distract me a little.

Listening to ‘Diana’ reminds me of my senior year of high school. This was the ballad that got many spins when everyone hung out in the parking lots, usually played when the girls came by. Definitely an underrated ballad and better than some that were big on the radio at the time. The keyboards distract me again when I listen to ‘Down On You’ but it’s still a decent Hard Rock tune. ‘The World Stopped Turning’ is slow and heavy with another strong performance from both Taylor and Blaze and the keyboards being in check. ‘Ghost Of Winter’ keeps things heavy even though it’s a ballad, it’s very similar to the previous song but with a bit more keyboard.

‘My Number’ is sleazy Hard Rock with a cool riff but annoying gang vocals. ‘Show A Little Love’ was the first single and video and it’s my favorite of the album. I always thought this song sounded like Hurricane for some reason. Anyway, I always liked this song, definitely another underrated Hard Rock classic. I’m surprised this single didn’t do more for the band. ‘Fool’s Paradise’ is another great song that would have translated well to Rock radio, lots of guitar and hooky chorus. I like the drum and guitar intro to ‘Letters In The Rain’, the song is an undiscovered Metal gem. This is the direction the band should have stayed on with two guitars and less keyboards, stay heavy and not try to pander to the MTV/Pop audience.

The Package:
Like the other reissues from Metal Mind, each reissue is limited to 2000 copies (mine is #1232). Full-color digipak and color booklet with additional liner notes. The music is remastered using 24-bit technology on a gold disc.

Bottom Line:
LOVE + WAR is a solid album that got a lot of airplay back in ’89 and it seems to be one of those lost classics now, kind of like the band itself. I hadn’t listened to this CD in a long time (I own the original MCA release) and I was surprised that I remembered all the words and the solos! What bothers me is the keyboards, they are a little annoying on some songs and they make them sound too pop-ish. It’s a small complaint because I’m hearing it with fresh ears and heavier tastes. Favorite songs: ‘Show A Little Love’, ‘Letters In The Rain’, ‘Fool’s Paradise’, ‘Diana’, ‘All’s Fair In Love And War’.

Reissue Report: Kamelot to release Ghost Opera – The Second Coming

From Bravewords.com:

Kamelot - Ghost Opera: The Second Coming (2008)

One of music’s premier and prestigious rock/metal acts Kamelot will reissue its classic Ghost Opera. For countless Kamelot fans, Ghost Opera is a milestone in the band’s history.

March 28th, 2008 (Germany), March 31st, 2008 (Europe) and April 8th, 2008 (USA/Canada) will see the re-release of this classic recording under the title of Ghost Opera-The Second Coming, enhanced with lots of interesting features. The album will be released as a double CD limited edition slipcase design, proving again that Kamelot is among the most important representative of its genre worldwide.

This sophisticated and comprehensive package includes the CD featuring all the songs from the regular album, plus ten additional live tracks recorded live in Belgrade Serbia during the bands Worldtour 2007, plus the bonus tracks – ‘Seasons En’d, ‘Pendulous Fall’, ‘Epilogue’ and the remix of ‘Rule The World’. Additionally the two videos for ‘Human Stain’ and ‘Memento Mori’ (live) and on top of that, the package features new artwork and a comprehensive booklet.

CD1 : Ghost Opera
‘Solitaire’, ‘Rule The World’, ‘Ghost Opera’, ‘The Human Stain’, ‘Blücher’, ‘Love You To Death’, ‘Up Through The Ashes’, ‘Mourning Star’, ‘Silence Of The Darkness’, ‘Anthem’, ‘EdenEcho’, ‘Memento Mori’ (enhanced Video Live Belgrade, Serbia),
‘Human Stain'(enhanced video).

CD 2: Live from Belgrade
‘Solitaire’, ‘Ghost Opera’, ‘The Human Stain’, ‘Mourning Star’, ‘When The Lights Are Down’, ‘Abandoned’, ‘The Haunting’ (with Simone Simons/EPICA), ‘Memento Mori’, ‘Epilogue’, ‘March Of Mephisto’.
Studio cuts: ‘Seasons End’, ‘Pendulous Fall’, ‘Epilogue’, ‘Rule The World’ (Remix).

Lillian Axe – s/t (1988/2007) reissue

Lillian Axe - s/t (1988)

Lillian Axe – s/t (1988/2007 reissue, Metal Mind)

  1. Dream Of A Lifetime
  2. Inside Out
  3. Vision In The Night
  4. Picture Perfect
  5. The More That You Get
  6. Misery Loves Company
  7. Nobody Knows
  8. Hard Luck
  9. Waiting In The Dark
  10. Laughing In Your Face

Band Lineup:
Ron Taylor – Lead Vocals
Stevie Blaze – Lead Guitar, Background Vocals
Jon Ster – Rhythm Guitar, Keyboards & Background Vocals
Rob Stratton – Bass, Background Vocals
Danny King – Drums

Additional Musicians:
Michael Dorian – Keyboards
Nate Winger – Background Vocals
Paul Winger – Background Vocals

Producer: Robbin Crosby

Total Time – 48:43

Lillian Axe official website
Lillian Axe MySpace page
Metal Mind Productions

Lillian Axe is one of those Melodic Hard Rock bands from the late ’80s that I thought was going to be huge but somehow success bypassed them. I heard about the band because Robbin Crosby from Ratt was producing their first record. I was a big Ratt fan so I kept an eye out for the debut album. I bought this album on cassette way back when but I never replaced it with a CD. The original release was on MCA Records and the first (and only) pressing of the CD is hard to find and commands big bucks in collector’s circles. There is an official Japanese issue from 1992 but this is widely bootlegged. What is interesting to note is that the Japanese version and the bootleg contain five additional songs/demos from the band’s pre-Lillian Axe days as Stiff. It seems that Metal Mind has produced two versions of this reissue: the regular 10 song album (that I am reviewing) and the version with the five Stiff songs. I haven’t received any additional information from the label as to why there are two versions but I have noticed that there are copies for sale on Amazon and Ebay. The photos clearly show the extra songs.

The Package:
Like the other reissues from Metal Mind, each reissue is limited to 2000 copies (mine is #410). I have noticed from the Ebay photos that the copies with the extra tracks start after #1000, not sure if that helps. Full-color digipak and color booklet with additional liner notes. The music is remastered using 24-bit technology on a gold disc.

The Music:
Lillian Axe’s self-titled debut has been considered a lost classic for a long time, I remember seeing the video for ‘Dream Of A Lifetime’ on MTV and thinking what a great song it was. The music is what you expect from Melodic Hard Rock from the late ’80s: guitars, excellent vocals, solos, melody, catchy hooks, and big background harmonies. You can compare the band’s sound to their peers of the decade: Dokken, Winger, Black ‘N Blue, and Hurricane. The first single, ‘Dream Of A Lifetime’ still rocks like I remembered it and ‘Picture Perfect’ has to be the catchiest song on the album. Take a listen to the opening riff of ‘Misery Loves Company’ and tell me that it’s not a close rendition of the main riff from Dokken’s ‘Breaking The Chains’. A small complaint on “borrowing” the riff but the Dokken influence is obvious, not a bad thing in ’88 as Dokken were pretty successful. ‘Nobody Knows’ is one of the best ballads no one knows and ‘Hard Luck’ is a heavy mid-tempo rocker that is almost a throwback to the early ’80s if it wasn’t for the Europe-esque keyboard intro.

Bottom Line:
Lillian Axe is a great band that is truly under-rated and relatively unknown compared to their peers. The reissue is top notch, as are all Metal Mind reissues, and the music takes me back to a really fun time from my youth. The album rocks a little more than I remember and there are some really great songs here: ‘Dream Of A Lifetime’, ‘Picture Perfect’, ‘Nobody Knows’, and ‘Waiting In The Dark’. It’s an album of really good Melodic Hard Rock with strong vocals, melody, and excellent guitar. I would have liked to review the version with the Stiff songs/demos because I’ve never heard them but it’s been great rediscovering this album.

Reissue Report: The Stuff – s/t (1993) possible re-release by band to be “affordable”

From TheStuffMusic.com:

A Piece of Indie CD History!

The Stuff - s/t (1993)

You’ve seen the FRENZY on Ebay for original copies of this rare CD. Now is your chance to own a new, high quality, re-issued CD at a bargain price! We’re scrambling to produce enough to keep up with demand, but we’re NOT cutting corners on quality!

With an intro track called “The Hunt” similar to “Ginger Snaps” from Danger Danger on the Screw it! release, you know this one will please all.

Includes some great rockin’ tracks like “Open Season”, “Touch Me”, “Learn By Living” and the massive Dokken like epic closing track “Castaway”. Don’t worry no hair rock indie would be complete without some killer tear jerkin’ ballads like “Someone New” and “Love Don’t Live Here Anymore”.

The vocals, lead and harmony, song writing and the blistering guitar work make this one a must.

Once we produce them the price will be $15 plus shipping!


Works for me! Just like the Surrender CD, this CD by The Stuff has brought a ton of money at auction and the band members took notice. I would always like to have an original CD but when the band puts the effort into reissuing it themselves, you know they care about the music and the fans. $15 is very reasonable no matter what the shipping will be. I’ll pick up a copy.

There are samples at their website for everyone to check out.

—- Steve

The Great Kat – Beethoven On Speed reissue (1990/2007)

The Great Kat - Beethoven On Speed (1990)

The Great Kat – Beethoven On Speed (1990/2007 reissue, Metal Mind Productions)

  1. Beethoven On Speed
  2. Ultra-Dead
  3. Flight Of The Bumble-Bee
  4. Revenge Mongrel
  5. Funeral March
  6. Kat-Abuse
  7. God!
  8. Made In Japan
  9. Sex & Violins
  10. Beethoven Mosh (5th Symphony)
  11. Gripping Obsession
  12. Paganini’s 24th Caprice
  13. Worshipping Bodies
  14. Guitar Concerto In Blood Minor
  15. Total Tyrant
  16. Bach To The Future: For Geniuses Only!

Produced by: The Great Kat, John Matthias, & Monte Conner

Total Time – 32:39

The Great Kat official website
The Great Kat on MySpace
Metal Mind Productions
Roadrunner Records

Three years after her debut, WORSHIP ME OR DIE!, the Metal goddess, The Great Kat, is back with her vision of bringing Classical Music back to the public eye by bludgeoning them with her guitar! BEETHOVEN ON SPEED is billed as “the LP of the 21st Century”, the ultimate album by the ultimate musical genius of out time. The Great Kat is talented, there is no question about that, her degrees from the Juilliard School in NYC speak volumes of the musician she is (or should be). One has to wonder why, with all the talent and training, Kat has decided to uses Thrash Metal as her forum rather than her natural Classical talents.

The Package:
Metal Mind Productions has a great reissue series going right now, licensing many out of print titles from Roadrunner Records and making them available again to the Metal masses. All reissues in the series are strictly limited edition to 2000 copies, each CD is numbered (mine is #1995). Metal Mind provides a nice full color digipak and booklet (with liner notes) and the CD is fully remastered. Like the first Kat album, there is no bonus material, a small disappointment as I can’t see any bonus tracks making the overall musical content any better.

The Music:
The whole point of the album is so Kat can take the music from her main inspiration, Ludwig Van Beethoven, and re-invent it through the ear-splitting shred of her guitar. I enjoy Beethoven and to hear the Kat’s interpretations of his compositions at least made the album mildly interesting. It’s important to note that The Great Kat tightened up her sound a little, there are some actual basic riffs that sound decent enough. It’s not all frantic, out of control, shredding for the sake of shredding. The good news is that I found a few songs that were actually listenable: ‘Ultra-Dead’, ‘Funeral March’, the acoustic half of ‘Sex & Violins’,and parts of ‘Beethoven’s Mosh (5th Symphony)’.

Bottom Line:
For disciples of The Great Kat, it’s another great package by Metal Mind, the music made available again after a long hiatus being out of print. BEETHOVEN ON SPEED is a marked improvement compared to Kat’s debut, WORSHIP ME OR DIE!. The songs are tighter, sound better musically, and Kat’s shouting vocals are improved. What is obvious is that Kat has talent but it’s possible she is going in the wrong direction. It’s obvious that she can play and arrange Classical Music but it’s a mystery to me why she wouldn’t want to pursue her calling in true Classical form. Pairing Heavy Metal/Hard Rock and Classical influences has been done by some of the best guitarists of the genre: Ritchie Blackmore, Yngwie Malmsteen, Uli Jon Roth…..the difference is that they do it better than The Great Kat.

The Great Kat – Worship Me Or Die reissue (1987/2007)

The Great Kat - Worship Me Or Die (1987)

The Great Kat – Worship Me Or Die (1987/2007 reissue, Metal Mind Productions)

  1. Metal Messiah
  2. Kat Possessed
  3. Death To You
  4. Satan Goes To Church
  5. Worship Me Or Die
  6. Demons
  7. Speed Death
  8. Kill The Mothers
  9. Ashes To Dust
  10. Satan Says
  11. Metal Massacre

Produced by: Kurt Shore & The Great Kat

Total Time – 30:15

The Great Kat official website
The Great Kat on MySpace
Metal Mind Productions
Roadrunner Records

I took notice of The Great Kat when this album was released back in ’87 but I never paid much attention. Here was a virtuoso musician that graduated from the Juilliard School in New York City that decided to incorporate her love of Classical Music with the power and fury of Speed Metal. Right away I knew it had to be a gimmick, from the over the top “metal goddess” image Kat uses, to the pairing of two specifically different styles of music at such an extreme. One look at this album cover and I knew that I wouldn’t like The Great Kat, I thought of her as a speedy rip-off or Lita and Doro. Never bought the album and never heard a note until now…..

The Package:
Metal Mind Productions really has a great reissue series going right now, licensing many out of print titles from Roadrunner Records and making them available again to the Metal masses. All reissues in the series are strictly limited edition to 2000 copies, each CD is numbered (mine is #1863). Metal Mind provides a nice full color digipak and booklet (with liner notes) and the CD is fully remastered. The only complaint is that there is no bonus material but, after hearing the album, it’s not a big deal.

The Music:
There really isn’t much to say, the songs are fast, over the top, and…..bad. What I heard coming out of my stereo sounded more like a really bad demo from a talentless early ’80s Thrash band than a classically trained, and self proclaimed, musical genius. The songwriting is juvenile and Kat’s guitar is very fast but it’s nothing special or amazing, I’ve heard faster shredding, and better songs, from many bands in today’s Black and Death Metal scenes. Add Kat’s wailing shriek that she calls “vocals” to the music and it’s a total disaster. Lucky for me the album clocks in at just over 30 minutes because this was an unbearable listen.

Bottom Line:
If you’re a fan of The Great Kat, you will like the reissue, Metal Mind puts out good product and her music is readily available again. To the uninitiated, the music is shocking because it’s so bad. To think that Roadrunner actually signed The Great Kat to a deal is amazing in itself, I can’t imagine future albums being any better. It’s a good thing to have a gimmick and exploit it for self-promotion, KISS has done it for years, but if the music doesn’t hold up then it’s all a big waste. Listening to this record was 30 minutes of wasted time.

Reissue Report: Metal Mind Productions to reissue first two Crimson Glory albums

From Metal Mind Productions:

Metal Mind Productions present re-release of two Crimson Glory albums – the self titled debut album and the follow-up “Transcendence”.

Crimson Glory emerged on the 80’s metal scene as quite a phenomenon, delivering a groundbreaking mixture of glam and power-metal, with a progressive twist to it. Their debut album “Crimson Glory” from 1986 has brought them a huge acclaim from the fans, to whom they would refer to as The Crimson Militia. The album’s success was not surprising – the unique collaboration of heavy, yet melodic guitars, brilliant drumming and amazing vocals brought a true masterpiece onto the prog/metal soil. But the band did not rest after the release of their debut and immediately begun working on a follow-up. And so in 1989 Crimson Glory’s finest achievement was born… “Transcendence” took almost two years to create, but the result was simply astounding. Crimson Glory managed to come up with an album that featured all the unique elements found in the debut and took them to the next level.

Both titles include a bonus track and will be available on the 4th February 2008 in Europe and on 15th April in US (via MVD). Classic material from Roadrunner Records archives in a new digipak edition, limited to numerated 2000 copies. Digitally remastered using 24-Bit process on golden disc.

Crimson Glory - s/t

Crimson Glory – s/t (remastered + bonus tracks)
1. Valhalla
2. Dragon Lady
3. Heart of Steel
4. Azrael
5. Mayday
6. Queen of the Masquerade
7. Angels of War
8. Lost Reflections
Bonus track:
9. Dream Dancer
Crimson Glory - Transcendence
Crimson Glory – Transcendence (remastered + bonus tracks)
1. Lady Of Winter
2. Red Sharks
3. Painted Skies
4. Masque Of The Red Death
5. In Dark Places
6. Where Dragons Rule
7. Lonely
8. Burning Bridges
9. Eternal World
10. Transcendence

Bonus track:
11. Lonely (remix)

Reissue Report: Mortal Sin to reissue Mayhemic Destruction & Face Of Despair with bonus tracks

Australian thrash masters, Mortal Sin, are reissuing their first two albums with bonus tracks on Armageddon Music. MAYHEMIC DESTRUCTION (1987) & FACE OF DESPAIR (1989) are both being reissued as special 20th Anniversary versions, more information on the bonus tracks soon.

Mortal Sin also have a new album out on 11/16/07 called AN ABSENCE OF FAITH.

Mortal Sin official website
Mortal Sin on MySpace
Mortal Sin – An Absence Of Faith E-Card

Reissue Report: EMI Records to reissue UFO albums Phenomenon, No Heavy Petting, & Force It with bonus tracks 1/28/08

From the official UFO website:

EMI is set to re-issue UFO’s first three Chrysalis albums, with a provisional release date of January 28th, 2008.

The albums will contain the following bonus tracks:

Phenomenon: ‘Sixteen’ (Demo produced by Dave Edmunds}, ‘Oh My’ (Demo produced by Dave Edmunds), ‘Give Her The Gun’ (German non LP Chrysalis single A-side), ‘Sweet Little Thing’ (German non LP Chrysalis single B-side), ‘Sixteen’ (Previously unreleased studio track), ‘Doctor Doctor’ (Recorded live 06/06/74).

No Heavy Petting: ‘All Or Nothing’ (Previously unreleased studio track), ‘French Kisses’ (Previously unreleased studio track), ‘Have You Seen Me Lately Joan’ (Previously unreleased studio track), ‘Property’ (Previously unreleased studio track), ‘Sunset Lights’ (Previously unreleased studio track).

Force It: ‘A Million Miles’ (Previously unreleased studio track produced by Leo Lyons at Morgan Studios, Dec 17th 1973), ‘Mother Mary’ (Recorded live at the Paris Theater, London, 11/12/75), ‘Out In The Streets’ (Recorded live at the Paris Theater, London, 11/12/75), ‘Shoot Shoot’ (Recorded live at the Paris Theater, London, 11/12/75), ‘Let It Roll’ (Recorded live at the Roundhouse, London 25/4/76), ‘This Kid’s’ (Recorded live at the Roundhouse, London 25/4/76).


I’ve been a member of the SITN (Strangers In The Night) Yahoogroup for years now and there has been a lot of talk in recent months of this project getting a proper release date. Finally, UFO’s back catalog will get a proper reissue with many bonus tracks, something collector’s like me really enjoy. The last really good CD reissue was the Japanese collection that came out on Toshiba-EMI/Chrysalis in 1999/2000, those are high quality and now out of print. Of course, I have all but two of them: Making Contact (1983) & Misdemeanor (1985)…..these are the two that command the highest prices on Ebay, etc. Of course, being a huge UFO fan and collector, I’ll buy them all again!

To keep up on UFO, please check out the following links:


Strangers In The Night (SITN)

SITN Yahoogroup

—– Steve

Reissue Report: Ozzy Osbourne to reissue Black Rain as a 2 CD Tour Edition on 11/20/07, pre-order available

From Bravewords.com:

Ozzy Osbourne – Who was complaining earlier today (November 1st) that he’s “been suffering terribly from people downloading” his new album BLACK RAIN – will have the album reissued on November 20th as a Special Limited Edition Tour Package featuring a bonus CD of live tracks and B-Sides. The bonus CD tracklisting includes: ‘I Don’t Wanna Stop’ (live), ‘Not Going Away’ (live), ‘Here For You’ (live), ‘Nightmare’, ‘Can’t Save You’ and ‘Love To Hate’.

Click here to pre-order.

Ozzy - Black Rain (2007)

Ozzy spoke to Cameron Adams from Australia’s Herald Sun recently about a number of topics including his current album Black Rain. While Black Rain made No. 3 on the US Billboard charts, like everyone else, Osbourne is battling lower sales in the modern era.

“I’ve been suffering terribly from people downloading it. If they don’t find something to stop it, people won’t be able to make records. There won’t be any new bands. How are they going to survive?

“I’m an old-timer, I’ve been doing it 40 years now, but new bands are going to suffer. It’s ridiculous, you could be doing it for nothing.

“Sharon said I’d be astounded to find out how many bands are touring because you can download a record but you can’t beat a rock show.”


I bought the first pressing of the new Ozzy record (read the review here) and I didn’t like it: everything from the music, to the vocals, to the artwork or lack thereof, and the lack of a booklet. The only thing going for it was the code inside for 2 free Ozzfest tickets that I couldn’t give away!

Then the album is released in Japan with full artwork (see above) and 2 bonus tracks. A third version is released, second for the U.S., with the full artwork (the non-artwork version was “limited edition”). Now we get the “Tour Edition”…..

The good news on this new reissue is that the artwork is the same as the Japanese and second U.S. pressing AND two of the bonus tracks (‘Nightmare’ & ‘Can’t Save You’) are the two bonus tracks for the Japanese version. Honestly, I can’t justify buying this album again but the 2nd CD of bonuses is interesting. If the local shop has it at a low sale price, I might grab it for completist purposes.

— Steve