Tuesday, December 26, 2006


Angelwitch's debut studio album. If Angelwitch had a fault (and that's a big "if"), it was the overproduction on this album. Maybe it's just because I heard the live album first, but the chorus harmonies always seemed too big and disco-fied on this record. Regardless, this is a legendary recording, and quite possibly the most perfect example of NWOBHM before Witchfinder General and Dickinson-era Maiden. In a perfect world, every jock asshole that claimed to be a Metallica fan in 1993 and DIDN'T own a copy of this album would've been molested extra hard by his wrestling coach as "Enter Sandman" played over the weightroom's loudspeaker.

1. Angel Witch
2. Atlantis
3. White Witch
4. Confused
5. Sorcerers
6. Gorgon
7. Sweet Danger
8. Free Man
9. Angel of Death
10. Devil's Tower

In the middle of last night she went out for her revenge:

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Tammy Sings "You Can Make It"!

In keeping with the Christmas spirit, here’s a sort-of religious album for you all in this season of giving. The Christmas connection goes a bit deeper, as well, as I obtained this album through some deft gift-stealing at my office’s Holiday White Elephant gift exchange. I had a choice of stealing either this album or a folding plastic earring rack. I made my decision, and I stand by it.

Poor Tammy Faye will always be associated with heavy eye makeup, the PTL scandal, and her roofie-slipping, (allegedly) Jessica Hahn-raping ex-husband, Jim. However, if you saw her on “The Surreal Life”, you might agree that she seems like a nice enough lady in spite of all this. We here at Clandestine wish her a speedy recovery in her current bout with cancer, and pray that she’ll make a few more records.

“What does Tammy Faye Bakker have in common with a good ski slope? Two inches of face topped by three inches of powder.” --popular Tammy Faye Bakker joke, ca. 1989

Merry Christmas, ya bastuds:

Witchfinder General- Death Penalty

Even the most casual NWOBHM collector knows that this is one of the Unholiest of the NWOBHM Grails. Back in my mid-teens, amid my piles of Diamond Head, Angelwitch, and Iron Maiden tapes, I’d heard tales of this album with its ultra-violent artwork and skullcrushing metal music. Back in those days, however, collecting records was much harder, and if you wanted the original album with artwork, you pretty much needed an extensive network of overseas connections.

However, now in the days of ebay, filesharing, and digital online storage, you can find almost anything you want, usually for free. Kids today have it so easy compared to MY generation!

I eventually ended up getting my clear-vinyl copy off ebay, and truly, the infamous cover art turned out to surpass the hype. And I’m not even talking about cover model Joanne Latham’s sweet, sweet melons (see more of them at http://www.joannekandylatham.com); rather, the band taking the trouble to dress up in 17th Century garb is a classic metal moment too ridiculous for even Spinal Tap to parody. Is that a crossbow the drummer’s holding?

All kidding aside, the music on this album is some of the best NWOBHM you’ll ever hear. Songs like “Invisible Hate” and “Death Penalty” are quite simply the heaviest examples of rock music since Black Sabbath’s “Vol. 4” album. Witchfinder General would later release their follow-up album, “Friends of Hell” (featuring equally offensive cover art), as well as the crushing “Soviet Invasion” EP. After this, they apparently fell off the face of the earth, going the way of such NWOBHM contemporaries as Cloven Hoof and Blitzkrieg.

Tie Her to The Stake:


Saturday, December 02, 2006

Life After Death- Entering Time

Every once in a while, you come across something you just can't quite figure out. Australia's Life After Death are such a phenomenon. The groovy, hard rock on the opening track, as well as the liberal use of movie/pop culture samples all indicate that these guys perhaps got a hold of some early, pre-Sexorcisto White Zombie singles and decided to take that sound to the extreme. However, you can also find some Devo, Kraftwerk, and even some new wave influence in there as well. The fact that some of the songs are built almost entirely of samples reminds me of such current laptop-based, cut-&-paste artists as Elektrotwist and Stu Walker. I wonder if they have a beat-up vinyl copy of this album somewhere in their stacks?

As a side note, I particularly enjoy the way they sampled the hook from Onyx's "Slam" in "Matthew 23:9". It's subtle touches like this that speak volumes, and propel a good album to greatness, even if only a dozen people in the entire world know about it.

I don't have a date for this album, but I'm surmising it was recorded around '95-'96? If anyone else knows anything about this band, please leave a comment.

I can find the time warp AGAIN: