by Martin Popoff

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Fresh Metal

TWISTED SISTER - Under The Blade Special Edition CD & DVD

Twisted Sister have certainly plundered their archives repeatedly for the chopping and changing of reissues, and here we go again, but with a pleasing sense of logic. But first off, an addressing of the majesty that is Under The Blade. Talk about a band playing their dues, Twisted spent six, seven years percolating and roiling to the boil that was this kick-ass album, one that captured the contact high of the NWOBHM while also fulfilling the band's vision of pedal to the metal Priest crossed with simultaneous foot to the brake AC/DC, resulting in burnt rubber and blown engines but what a racket and story you can take home to dad. Onto this complete package: what you get is the album, the band's rough 'n' tough Ruff Cutts EP, a high quality reproduction of the band's triumphant Reading '82 stand (the album wasn't out yet, but that didn't stop Dee killin' the crowd) and then modern day interviews addressing all enclosed, making of the album, playing the fest - like I say, a big red bow around this magic point in time and nothing more. Topping 'er, cool UK scribe Garry Bushell (there at the time) turns in a liner essay, there's lyrics, a few graphics - a perfect look at a band arriving potent and proud on day one, because of the 10,000 hours of sweat and determination you don't see, unless you were a regular pitcher-pounder of watered-down Bud in the bars of Jersey. Highlight: closing track of the DVD, which is an AC/DC-accelerated version of the Stones' It's Only Rock 'n' Roll, where late in the sequence, out comes Lemmy, Fast Eddie and Pete Way for a bit of noise-making, Dee making it loudly known that this is the first time since the Motorhead split Ed and Lem were appearing on stage together.
Rating 9

EL CAMINO - The Satanik Magiik
(Night Tripper)

El Camino are a Swedish doom act who have only gotten 'round now to recording their debut album, despite nine years as a band. With so much high quality doom out there, where do they fit? Well, to describe, these guys go for quite the wet drum sound, along with bubbly, psychedelic guitar tones, fused to bass, the way Kyuss pioneered'er in the low to mid '90s. Vocals range from long-beard howls and grumbles to an odd Henry Rollins human touch, but alas, they are generally quite deep in the mix. And the riffs? Quite simple really, and generally slow, not much trickier or eventful than those of Swedish yardstick-swingers Candlemass. Nothing new, under the sun, which I guess is the point of doom, but given the rulebook, boredom is always a big risk.
Rating 6

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