Weyhey, it’s my chance to be a hypocrite again. After slagging off re-issues last issue, I’m going to review some. Now, thing is with these, they weren’t released yesterday and then re-released today. These are out of print classics. From yesteryear. When I were a youngish lad. And there was no barriers in music: you either listened to glam, or thrash! (Sarcasm just in case you missed it.) I was ugly, so I ended up with thrash, despite my protests (“I only listen to Metallica that are thrash”, but I soon got sucked in). Yet I never ended up down the death metal path. Faith No More and “the funk” came in and nicked me away along with that Biafra bloke and his Dead Kennedys. Anyway, this is my first chance to own the CDs. (The Celtic Frost re-issues were acquired last year. Well, it had to be done). And to replace the vinyl. Word of advice. Exploding TVs and the subsequent fire doesn’t do much good for vinyl. Or CD for that matter. Or buildings. Never mind, time to write.

Possessed - Seven Churches

First up are Possessed, who in many respects are now regarded (I believe) as one of the principle proponents behind the death metal scene. And looking back with retrospect it’s easy to see why, and not just because of the track Death Metal which finished the album. The imagery and the lyrical matter were there. But back then see, it was kinda just thrash really. Yeah, it does look cheesy now, the imagery and dress. But no more so than all the Manson wannabes and Chinoabbies look silly to me. The wonders of getting old.

For the most part this stands the test of time pretty well. It’s obviously weird listening back now. It’s not half as “extreme” as it seemed at the time. Besides, Voivod were always the “strangest” band I listened to, though Celtic Frost and the death grunts were up there as well. And they don’t sound half as scary as they did. Anyway, back to this. It’s basically thrash, and if you liked Kill Em All, then there’s no reason you couldn’t listen to this. It’s the same element of cheesiness, the same speed quotient, the same riffing style and then the off the wall guitar solo where speed is the key. But there’s also a fair degree of melody in there as well, as evidenced in opener The Exorcist.

And Larry Lalonde of course went on to star in Primus. Aye, it’s a funny old world. Wonder if that means that Munky is going to rear his head in some kind of jazzwankfusion band in a few years time. Don’t sneer. When this was originally released, the thought that Metallica would headline say Wembley Arena was a “yeah right in your dreams you idiot”.

Available on Century Media.

SOD - Speak English Or Die

Boy did this album cause a kerfuffle when it was initially released. Yep. Lyrically suspect, but hey, did you ever really take it seriously? If so, I despair of your mental capacity. Yeah, I know Milano is alleged to be racist, and if so, then he’s a twat. But, this album was never going to change people socially. Just musically. And musically of course it was the defining moment in the whole crossover scene. The moment when so many hardcore people probably cursed the day metal was ever created. Now of course, it just sounds like a great thrash album, which is all it ever was. More than that, a great Anthrax album musically, because Scott’s guitar and Charlie’s drumming are so instantly recognisable.

So, musically you get the mid paced chuggers, the speed blasts, and, of course, the legendary sub 5 seconds nuggets like The Ballad Of Jimi Hendrix and Diamonds and Rust. Can you imagine SOD and Napalm Death on TOTPs!

Lyrically it gets divided between the absurd, Milk, What’s That Noise, the dodgy politics of the title track and Fuck The Middle East or Kill Yourself and the cries for crossover, unity and macho dancing (sorry, that should be MOSHing) of songs such as United Forces, Fist Banging Mania and Douche Crew.

If you never heard it, try it out. But remember to lay off the “easily offended” pills before you do so. But it is a classic.

Available on SPV