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       [ x x ]           cDc communications presents...           [ x x ]
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        (` ')                CROSS OF IRON FANZINE                 (` ')
         (U)                                                        (U)

         Volume I, Number 1 (Part #2)     May-June 1988     (c)1988 cDc
                      >>> A CULT Publication......1988 <<<
                        -cDc- CULT OF THE DEAD COW -cDc-

[VINYL MAYHEM INTRODUCTION]            by The Raver

         Well, since we received so many albums from all the indie labels we
had to make a separate file for them all to fit.  Every issue of CROSS OF IRON
will be composed of two or more files.  One for all of the articles, inter-
views, and editorials AND one for all the LP reviews.  We're sure that you'll
enjoy the massive amounts of reviews we do.

         Well, we have opened up the surgical theatre this issue and we have
a hell of a lot of reviews for you.  Lined up on the examination slab are the
following metallic slices of death pizza:

         CARNIVORE: Retaliation, ZOETROPE: A Life Of Crime, KUBLAI KHAN:
Annihilation, SACRILEGE: Within The Prophecy, DEATH: Scream Bloody Gore, LIEGE
LORD: Burn To My Touch, INDESTROY: Indestroy, EXE: Stricken By Might, DARK
ANGEL: Darkness Descends, DEATH ANGEL: The Ultra-Violence, JOE SATRIANI:
Surfing With The Alien, EXODUS: Pleasures Of The Flesh, HOLY TERROR: Terror &
Submission, BLOOD FEAST: Kill For Pleasure, PRIMAL SCREAM: Volume One,
AGNOSTIC FRONT: Liberty & Justice For, INFERNAL MAJESTY: None Shall Defy,
ATTILA: Rolling Thunder, NUCLEAR ASSAULT: The Plague, THE NECROS: Tangled Up,
POSSESSED: The Eyes of Horror, and a whole lot fuckin more!

         We weren't lying when we said we had a hell of a lot of reviews for
you to read!  Now we understand that some of these albums are kinda old but
understand that since they were given to us for review we felt that we had to
do them (even if they are a bit crusty now).  All future issues will have new
releases only.  So get with it -- get CROSS OF IRON, the definitive thrash
FanZine (and it's electric, too!).  Wow...

Call The Metal AE   [201] 879-666/8   Primary: KILL   Get CROSS OF IRON there!

EXODUS: Pleasures of the Flesh (Combat)                           by The Raver

         I remember getting ahold of Bonded by Blood and exclaiming about the
day their second LP would hit the streets.  I kept right on exclaiming for the
following two years.  Well, I am happy to say that PLEASURES OF THE FLESH is

         I know that this is probably poor journalism, but I've got to quote
the new EXODUS bio (unsolicited plug: Combat sure does good bio sheets these
days).  "Pleasures of the Flesh literally eats Bonded by Blood alive and spits
the bones back in your face."  This LP is so fuckin' brutal.

         The LP jacket pictures the cannibals of Exodus in, where else but the
Cannibal Bar and Grill (aka Punchline, San Francisco, Ca).  Paul Baloff is now
history, but Steve Souza makes up for it (I still kinda miss Baloff's raging
screams, tho').  From POTF it is apparent that EXODUS has matured, both
musically and lyrically.  They have, however, retained their absofuckinglutely
sick attitudes (a definite plus to this wretched critic).  I even hear that
the original LP cover artwork was scrapped 'cause it was so brutal.

         Enough of my mindless ramblings.  Let me take you on a tour, a
journey through a strange and eerie jungle.  A jungle where the likes of
EXODUS hang out. As we slowly begin our trek on side one with the likes of
"Deranged".  If this tune doesn't make your eyes open then cash it in, 'cause
your ride's over.  Then we get into "'Til Death Do Us Part", a tune that will
rock you out a window and splat you all over the concrete.  "Parasite" is one
of my faves.  It will infect you and leave you lifeless in its wake.  Some-
where near the end of mortal decomposition, "Brain Dead" kicks in and starts
crunching your bones.  The last track on the first side is "Faster Than You'll
Ever Live to Be".  This tune ought to make all pop teenyboppers flee in utter
fear.  'Nuff.

         Side two opens up with the album's title track, one of the most
interesting songs that I have heard all year.  "Pleasures of the Flesh" starts
out with a recreation of pre-death, cannibal-infested South American jungles.
It's as cool as can be.  After bashing to this, lick your skin and see if you
can't taste the cauldron's icky residue.  After this comes "30 Seconds", a
powerful instrumental by axe-master, Gary Holt.  Three cheers to Exodus' song
writing.  Soon to follow, possibly a bit too soon (at this point I wanted more
"30 Seconds") is "Seeds of Hate".  This song will definitely shine forth
EXODUS' intelligence.  The lyrics are extremely well written and thought-out. 
If you are listening to the album right now, then this is the time to sit
down, 'cuz the next track is going to shrink your head.  "Chemi-Kill" is
easily one of the LPs best tracks.  It is a pleasant, yet deadly, mix of
acoustic mastery and the ever popular crunching riffs (with wailing solos
thrown in for good measure) that make thrash what it is.  In addition, the
lyrics are extremely well written.  This tune will go down in cannibal history
(I can just see the Ecuadorian Kanka-bonos thrashing around to this track).
The LP closes out with "Choose Your Weapon", a fuckin' killer.  At the end of
"CYW", the curtains close and you die.

         The music is fairly tense and of an above average quality, as do the
lyrics.  Intelligence is written all over this album.  While the guitars and
bass will make you bleed, the drums leave a bit to be desired.  Ya see, Tom
Hunting produced his own drum tracks and, well, um, could have done it a bit
better.  Still, they are good.  Steve Souza (vocals) sounds a tiny bit like
Udo Dirkschneider (is that "dick sucker" in German?) of Accept.  Not a whole
lot, though, and only in places...

         All in all, POTF is a must buy.  In fact, I'll go a step further, buy
this album or die.  How's that for straightforwardness?  BUY OR DIE...

KAT: Worship Me Or Die! (Roadracer)                               by The Raver

         At first I didn't know what to make of this album.  I mean with a
title like "Worship Me Or Die!" what are you supposed to do?  Hit your knees
and bow down to the blasted thing?  Nah.  The biggest two problems with this
album are Kat's overuse of "greatest, best, fastest", etc, etc, ad nauseum, ad
infinitum; and Kat's remarkably poor lyrical ability.  We're talking
repetition that will run you into the ground.  I don't know about her claim to
being the fastest metal guitarist in the business.  I think Hanneman and King
would give her a run for her money (which she would probably lose anyway).
This LP isn't all bad tho', just mostly bad.  When the price drops to $5 or
less then pick up a copy.  Oh, the song titles are:

Side 1: Metal Messiah, Kat Possessed, Death To You, Satan Goes To Church,
        Worship Me Or Die!, Demons
Side 2: Speed Death, Kill The Muthers, Ashes To Dust, Satan Says, Metal

         Songs worth checkin' out:  Metal Messiah (lousy lyrics, decent
music), Kat Possessed (ignore the arrogance and you're doing alright), Satan
Goes To Church (has one hell of a vehicular intro, but the lyrics are all
repetitious), and Worship Me Or Die! (the name says it all).

         Songs NOT worth listening to:  Just about everything else on the
album.  Get the picture?  Okay.  Enough said here...  On to the next slab...

MERCYFUL FATE: The Beginning (Roadracer)                         by Anaxagorus

         In the beginning... there was MERCYFUL FATE.  And on the first day
was created the legendary "Nuns Have No Fun".  On the second day the BBC
"Friday Night Rock Show" created "Satan's Fall", "Evil", and "Curse of the
Pharoahs".  Whilst on the third day the "Black Masses" were celebrated.
The rest of the week they had a lot of fun.

         Tracks from the MERCYFUL FATE Mini-LP are featured as the first four
tracks on this album ("Doomed by the Living Dead", "A Corpse Without Soul",
"Nuns Have No Fun", and "Devil Eyes) and complete side one.  These tracks were
the band's first real studio work and were recorded and mixed in a scant three

         Soon after the release of the Mini-LP Tommy Vance invited the band to
do a live session for the "Friday Night Rock Show" on BBC Radio 1.  All three
of the songs were recorded on March 19th, 1983 in 8 hours and were mixed later
by Tony Wilson.  These songs make up most of the second side and are:  "Curse
of the Pharoahs", "Evil", and "Satan's Fall".

         The last track on the album, "Black Masses" was recorded while
MERCYFUL FATE were in the Easy Sound Studio (Copenhagen, Denmark) recording
the "Melissa" LP.

         As you can see, "The Beginning" is a collection of MERCYFUL FATE's
early tunes and the album, as a whole, packs a tremendous wallop of bloody
death.  The LP can get a bit muddy sounding at times but is a "must" for all
Fate addicts out there in fucking reader land.  Not a bad LP.

SACRED REICH: Ignorance (Metal Blade)                             by The Raver

         Okay all you fuckin' thrashers.  The order has changed.  Yeah, that's
right. It's time for you all to bow down and recognize SACRED REICH as the
new Godz of Thrash.  Nah, they can't hold a torch to METALLICA or SLAYER, but
they are damn fucking good!  We're talking faster than fast, heavy as Hell,
and a mass of intelligent lyrics!  These guys wail all over the place.

         The album artwork is, in a word, brutal.[and what a word it is.. -Eds]
The front is lined in barbed wire and has the Amerikan flag as a background.
There is an exploding airliner as well as a man's blindfolded head (signifying
a hostage) and, at the very bottom, the souls of the dead.  On the back is the
SR mascot (no name as of yet but the "Name the SR Mascot" contest is over and
I'm waiting to hear the results).  He's dressed right out of some neo-holocaust
 /sci-fi death movie and is holding a smoking gun.  He stands, looking over his
shoulder, in a battle-scarred city.  The artist, Paul Stottler, is fucking

         Now, for a brief track-by-track examination.  Here's a list the
roster of tunes and some notes about the better ones.  Here we go...

Side 1: Death Squad, Victim of Demise, Layed to Rest, Ignorance, No Believers
Side 2: Violent Solutions, Rest In Peace, Sacred Reich, Administrative

         "Sacred Reich" tells a lot about the SR dudes.  They feel that the
fact that people actually believed in and followed (if not worshipped) Hitler
(or any man) is the ultimate ignorance.  The song, as you guessed, is about
Hitler and his Reich.

         The title track, "Ignorance" is a song about how ignorant our society
is.  With lyrics like "Our atmosphere clouded with poison/We're killing
ourselves to live/Filling the world with hate and dissension/We'll have only
our lives to give" you'd have to look far to find anything that hits the
problem better.

         "Administrative Decisions" is my favorite song.  It was written after
SACRED REICH's high school (Coronado High, Scottsdale, AZ) refused to allow SR
to play there.  It is a fast song with lots of complex changes and timing and
is funny as hell [Not to mention true -Eds]... "Conformity training center/Seas
of mindless brain dead kids/Wandering lost forever/What an education is".
Fuckin rails!

         "Victim of Demise" is a catchy track that is about death and dying
and covers just a few of the "industrial" deaths that people can undergo in
this society that we live in.  Other good tracks are: "No Believers" (a
scathing attack on religion) and "Violent Solutions".

         This LP wins my vote for the best debut release of 1987, hands down.
I really must tell you, if you don't buy this LP then I will personally find
you and bash your fucking brains into the cement with ... with ... a sex doll
filled with lead shot!  Buy!  Buy!  Make these dudes rich beyond all belief!

KUBLAI KHAN: Annihilation (New Renaissance)                      by Anaxagorus

         When Decrepit Monarx Firstborn and I first listened to this LP we
were shocked.  It breathed a whole new sound of death into the likes of us. We
immediately dubbed the style as Mongolian Metal and ya know what?  Greg
Handevidt (guitars/vocals) liked it when I told him that.  Hell, it fits.
Just look at the band's name and the LP jacket (one helluva fantastic oil
painting - airbrushes are startin' to become moldy oldies) and you'll see
what we mean.  The music is slightly reminiscent of MEGADETH but that's to
be expected as Greg Handevidt was in MEGADETH for a year or so at the
beginning.  However, KUBLIA KHAN use a hell of a lot more chords and I
like it a lot.  Now I'm not saying that they are MEGADETH clones.  Fuckin
no way!  The tunes are well-written and the drums and guitars will get ya
going.  Among my favorite tracks on the LP are "Death Breath" and "Passing
Away".  These guys can really fuckin jam!  Great buy.

CARNIVORE: Retaliation (Roadracer)                                by The Raver

         Retaliation is one of the most intense thrash LP's I have heard of
late.  No telling how many people I have hooked onto this album.  I mean, hey,
I love all thrash, but Retaliation just has that intensity that really takes
me to bangin' land!  I listened to this album about 15 times the first three
days I had it!  With the advent of this album, CARNIVORE has proven to me that
not only are they outstanding musicians, but outstanding lyricists as well.
The album kicks off with a non-musical piece entitled "Jack Daniels and
Pizza", a sick combination as well as a sick tune.  I don't even know if it
can be called a tune, as it consists purely of a guy puking his guts out into
a toilet.  I dunno, I guess if I mixed JD and pizza I'd puke my guts up as
well.  Aside from that piece you'll find socially conscious tunes "Angry
Neurotic Catholics", "Race War", "Inner Conflict", "Jesus Hitler", "U.S.A.
For U.S.A.", "Over 5,000,000 Dead" (instrumental), and "Sex and Violence"
[Not related to the track of the same name by THE EXPLOITED -Eds].  All of
these tunes are well-written and will send you into a head banging frenzy.
I can't praise this LP enough, so go out and buy a copy.  You won't be sorry.

DIAMOND: Diamond (Mijems Productions)             by Decrepit Monarx Firstborn

         Next album, please.  Keep this keyboard-crammed, hip hit shit away
from me.  Far away.  [Motion seconded -Eds].

ZOETROPE: A Life Of Crime (Combat)                                by The Raver

         This is another example of how intelligent the underground metal
scene can be.  ZOETROPE's second LP, A Life Of Crime, is hellafuckinlacious.
While not always fast (and that's okay, as too much of one thing will burn you
out), their tunes are certainly heavy.  The tracks on the album are aptly
named.  Such titles as "Promiscuity (Slut)" and "Detention" stick out.  At the
tail end of "Promiscuity" is a special audio appearance by El Duce of THE
MENTORS and man, does he make a "whale" of an appearance.  "NASA" is easily
one of the most accessible tracks on the LP and it deals with the Challenger
space shuttle accident.  Another definite hit on the album is "Company Man",
in which Barry Stern (drums/vocalez) sings about some poor loze that kisses
ass all the time (can we say bootlicking?).

         Overall the LP is incredible.  The music and lyrics are outstanding
and the album jacket is an eye-catcher.  It has cut-outs and the inner sleeve
has pictures of the four band members (Barry Stern, Calvin "Willis" Humphrey,
Kevin Michael, and Louie Svitek) and a motley assortment of '20s gangsters.
The vocalez are excellent, considering that Stern does all the drumming, and
hey, every instrument is played to the hilt.  Buy this LP if you are into
real music.  I have been able to turn non-thrashers/metallers onto this
album, for it is very accessible.  Combat plans on pushin' ZOETROPE and if
they didn't, I'd call them all fools.  This album isn't just good, it's
fuckin'-A!  Lyrics included.

SACRILEGE: Within The Prophecy (Music For Nations/Metal Blade)   by Anaxagorus

         I like to review LP's because of the good feeling I get when I come
across a "musical masterpiece" (if you will).  I am now going to try to
express how good I felt when I heard the new SACRILEGE album, Within The
Prophecy... un-FUCKIN-real!  Sorry, but I decided that it would all fit into
that word.  Let me see if I can get you to understand what I mean...

         It was obvious that their primary influences were METALLICA and
BLACK SABBATH.  This is good, for both of the aforementioned bands are good
in their own right.  What I mean is that this is really good 'n eerie music.
It is both melodic, fast, and heavy.  Each song is a story in itself, and the
average length of their songs is over six minutes!  That's a definite plus in
my opinion - more music to thrash by!

         On "Sight Of The Wise" the band opens up with an interesting intro
piece and run it right into the song with such a mastery that it is nearly
unfathomable (good studio work, at least).  The song is extremely well done.
The drums aren't drowned out at all.  In fact, they are actually quit prom-
inent.  The riffing is extraordinarily good.

         "The Captive" is really good, too.  It starts out with a prominent
bass line and then merges in with the guitars.  The imagery of the song is
unreal.  More meaning is placed on this track's lyrical content.

         "Winds of Vengeance" is my favorite track on this LP.  The intro is
not as good as that of "Sight Of The Wise", but it has the best lyrics and
vocals.  The imagery of this song is fuckin unholy!  The most interesting
part of the song is the classical guitar solo right in the middle of the
song.  It is masterfully mixed back into the song before it is abandoned.

         "Spirit Cry"'s crunching guitar riffs during the intro will pull
a 360 on your cranium (kranium?).  Best place your head between your knees
when listening to this song or you might lose your -WUMP- head.  The wailing
guitars are this song's definite strong point.

         "Flight Of The Nazgul" is my second favorite song on this astounding
album.  The building of this song is good, and the imagery rivals that of "The
Captive" and "Winds Of Vengeance".  The guitars continue to crunch away.  When
I listen to this song I can definitely pick out a Tolkien influence.  When you
listen to it just see if you can imagine the shadowed lands of Mordor and the
horrid black tower, Barad-Dur [from Tolkien's Lord of The Rings Trilogy -Eds].
The drums make this song happen, but I wish the bass were just a tad bit more
prominent.  This songs' "false endings" really keep the suspense up.

         "The Fear Within" has all the crunching riffs of the other songs and
near the end of the song the speed begins to drop but the pounding guitars
get much heavier.  Pretty powerful stuff.

         "Search Eternal" is the longest song on the entire album (a mega 11
and a half minutes long!).  It has a crunching intro and killin' riffs.  All
during the choruses Tam's (vocals) voice seems to fade in and out, and it's
kinda disorienting.  This tune's ending is fucking great.  It ends in classic
riffing and guitar wails.

         All in all this is a fuckin excellent slab of metal from one of the
best English thrash bands.  Since when I met the members of SACRILEGE in
London last summer the lineup has changed.  In fact after the album was press-
ed the lineup changed... twice!  Here's the new lineup:  Lynda "Tam" Simpson
(vocalez), Damien Thompson (lead guitar), Frank Healey (rhythm guitar),
Paul Morrissey (bass), and Paul Brookes (drums).  A quick note is in order
here.  Paul Brookes holds three world drumming records, including the longest
drum solo on record... 24 hours!

DEATH: Scream Bloody Gore (Combat)                by Decrepit Monarx Firstborn

         After several lineup changes and a couple of successful demos, DEATH,
a reincarnation of the band MANTAS, are stalking the bloodsoaked realms of
deathmetal.  Their debut LP, Scream Bloody Gore is, to put it mildly, death-

         Gore begins with "Infernal Death", a track which demonstrates from
the beginning their raw, sledgehammer sound and their songwriting penchant for
a variety of riffs whilst maintaining a constant thrust of speed.  The opening
is filled with imposing power which soon picks up with their "hot rails to
Hell " sound of follow-up riffs.  Chuck Schuldiner, who both sings and plays
guitar (exchanging leads with Rick Rozz frequently) on the album, and displays
to hit both the high howl and the low growl and knows when (and how) to use
them.  The next song, "Zombie Ritual", opens with a mysterious harmonizing of
bass and guitar which explodes directly into malevolent, gut-wrenching speed.
Bill Andrews' drumming in the breakdown is excellent, along with Terry Butlers
thumping bass-lines, which range out above the mix, following it.  "Denial Of
Life" is pure speed, pretending to slow down at times, but always recuperating
just in time [Ahhh -Eds].  The solos churned out of the mayhem by Chuck and
Rick are good, without being the most exciting of events.  Following "Denial"
comes "Sacrificial Death" with its interesting riffs and wide variety of
speeds, setting which come and go throughout.  "Mutilation" conveys a feeling
of wild loss of control.  The instruments doubling the vocal line as Chuck's
shouts of "mutilation" brings that feeling to a climax which doses out side 1.

         Side 2 kicks off with "Regurgitated Guts" (ya gotta love these guys-
don't ya?).  "Guts" matches its power felt with alternating speeds of fast and
not-so-fast.  The change is sometimes sudden and sometimes progressive, occas-
ionally interrupted by guitars crying out alone without backups.  The guitars
charge full force into the solo as the bass note ring out behind them.  The
solo ends abruptly, as does the brutality of "Guts".  The long epic "Baptized
In Blood" begins with a bit of slow death, punctured by Chuck's screams.  The
blazing speed of the tune flares off at times with an odd, off-tempo bit which
results in the frantic feel of "Baptized".  "Torn Into Pieces" is a quick, easy
number with Chuck's voice at top form at all ends of the scale.  "Torn" is
followed by "Evil Dead", which supports a melodic opening of electric guitar.
"Dead" is a short song with few variations.  The curtain closes on Gore with
its title track, a brutal song written to maim the listener.  "Scream Bloody
Gore" is a tune laden with riffs, rhythms, speeds, and solos that underline
the fact that in the end, all things must face... DEATH!

INDESTROY: Indestroy (New Renaissance)                            by The Raver

         Reviewing albums can take its toll on you.  I mean hey, look at me.
I'm either eating, sleeping, working, going to school, doing PR, or writing.
But as has been said before, it it is always well worth it when you come
across a gem of an LP, as is the case with the debut from the Rockville, MD,
four-piece known as INDESTROY.

         I was duly impressed by Drew Elliot's bizarre piece of cover artwork -
it's definitely interesting.  As I finished ripping open the album, I groped
about inside hoping for a lyric sheet of some sort.  Lo and behold there it
was.  I don't need the lyric sheet for the lyrics (I can usually figure those
out), I just like to look at the pics and read the thank-you's.  You know what
I mean.  At any rate, these guys have a definite knack for song writing, both
musically and lyrically.  Some of the hooks and riffs are so out of the
ordinary that you just have to sit back and say "Whoah!"  The guitars and bass
are heavy and rip all over the place while the leads wail.  The vocals are deep
and have a lot of character.  And the drums, you ask?  Why they're so heavy
that they'll pummel you into fuckin oblivion.

         Side one starts off with an epic-type tune called "The Gate" which
is lyrically pleasing.  Let your imagination run free with this one.  Next
comes a great tune destined to b a classic... "U.S.S.A.".  This tune pokes
fun at the government in general and has a rag on the P.M.R.C. thrown in for
good measure [That's the way ta do it! -Eds].  "Ground Zero", as the title
implies, takes a stab at nuclear war.  The next track is by far my favorite.
It's called "Dead Girls (Don't Say No)" and it starts out with that old,
yet classic, funeral music and digs on into a tune so sick and powerful that
you'll have an incredible urge to make a midnight run to the local funeral
home (or morgue, as the case may be).  Side one is cleaned out with "Fatal
Sin".  With its bizarre beginning it starts out rather slowly before kicking
into ripping speed.

         Side two opens up with "Brain Damaged", a tune about thrashers in
general and man, does it rage with ferocious velocity.  Next up is another
one of my faves, a track called "Justice Sucks".  Ever get busted for poss-
ession?  Yeah?  Then you'll love this tune.  "Shadowlord" is a tune in the
age-old tradition of Jack the Ripper.  Next is a strange tune called
"A.I.M.L.E.S.S." which is the most confusing track on the album.  Between the
name (an acronym for God knows what) and the lyrical content, I was left
stumped.  The music, however, is not confusing.  Nay, it's just fucking
good!  The last track on the LP is "Dismembered" and it's about the punishment
that thieves in the Middle East received for stealing.  Can we say -WUMP- ?

         All in all INDESTROY exemplifies industrial thrash - exceedingly
heavy with alternating speeds.  The music is good and the lyrics are above
average.  The vocals are good and, well shit!  The whole album is cool.
Yet another excellent 1987 debut LP.  Hopefully 1988 will be just as rewarding

LIEGE LORD: Burn To My Touch (Metal Blade)        by Decrepit Monarx Firstborn

         LIEGE LORD's debut LP, Burn To My Touch, begins with "Transgressor",
displaying their taste for a polished (not the biggest of turn ons for yours
(seldom) truly), vocals sung well with few extremes, not screams nor snarled,
and guitars which make frequent use of lickety-split, two-handed play on the
part of Tommy Trugliano.  The next track, "Birds of Prey", is, like "Trans-
gressor", not the best written tune of the LORD's but does begin to hint at
Matt Vinci's bass prowess.  The action really takes off with "Cast Out",
which combines the bands best aspects in a decidedly winning effort.  Closing
out side 1, "Portrait Of Despair" follows "Cast Out" in its display of song
writing capability, and with the breakdown towards the end, the listener is
made well aware by now of Vinci's bass-bashing power.

         Side 2 kicks off with "Black Lit Knights" with its eerie beginning.
"Knights" loses just enough of LEIGE LORD's polish to make a truly thrashing
tune.  Frank Cortese makes "The Manic's Mask" with his drum play, but this
doesn't keep "Mask" from being a bit on the dull side [Zzzz -Eds].  "Legend"
is more straight metal than thrash, with a bit of an IRON MAIDEN sound, esp-
ecially with Matt Vinci's continually excellent bass work.  The instrumental,
"Walking Fire", presents a variety of guitar riffs and is kept at the right
length for an instrumental of its style.  Burn To My Touch finishes out with
"Speed Of Sound", with its grandiose vocal beginning, a typical LEIGE LORD
style and sound, and a clever surprise of an ending.

INFERNAL MAJESTY: None Shall Defy (Roadracer)     by Decrepit Monarx Firstborn

         This new five piece from Toronto presents here a vinyl slab of metal
malevolence for all fans of black metal.  The lyrics are well though out and
eminently evil.  While the playing is tight and strongly united in an effort
to blast out a variety of styles and sounds that keeps anything from getting
in a rut.

         On the downside, however, individual instrumentation is less than
first rate except on "Path Of The Psyco" (written by Psycopath; get it?), a
spine-chilling nightmare number which closes out the album.  At their worst,
on "Night Of The Living Dead", they can leave you cold.  While at their
best, on the title track, nobody is better.

PRIMAL SCREAM: Volume One (Mercenary)                           by The Usurper

         PRIMAL SCREAM decided to make their start in April of '86 and spent
20 hours recording a three-track demo called The Outrage Continues and, after
a mere five performances, were signed to Mercenary Records (the metal division
of Celluloid Records).  Out in April of last year, Volume One appears to be
doing well in the metal realms.

         The cover of the album is rather impressive (artwork done by Rick
Bergere) and depicts the split of a man and a beast (throk?) screaming.  The
album itself is low budget and has an impressive roster of 10 songs.  Let's
hear it for the PRIMAL dudes!  One of the most unusual songs is "Mr. McCreedy"
which is a horror-type song.  I read somewhere that this should have been the
theme song for Nightmare On Elm Street III: The Dream Warriors.  No doubt,
PRIMAL blows DOKKEN right off the face of the earth.  In addition, these guys
are really intelligent.  Take for example, "State Of The State", a very
effective stab at terrorism.  But these guys don't make a screeching halt at
politics, though.  They even delve into the all-metal realm of fantasy with
such tracks as "Poisoned" and "Last Breath".

         PRIMAL SCREAM is back-to-basics metal, uncluttered by garish cost-
umes and paint.  The songs are tight, compact, and have few lead breaks.  The
lyrics span a vast range of topics from the socially conscious to epic Norse
myths and macabre horror fantasies.  Everyone involved does backup vocals,
which enhances the quality of the tunes.  The musical work on this album works
for me [Ahem -Eds].  With an album like this you can be assured of quality.

AGNOSTIC FRONT: Liberty & Justice For... (Combat)                by Anaxagorus

         Good God!  This is a fantastic album from the mighty AGNOSTIC FRONT.
What we have here can almost be construed as the epitome of socially conscious
thinking.  A quick run down of the songs, all eleven of 'em, reveals the fact
that AGNOSTIC will always have a knack for songwriting.  Musically, they have
improved a bit.  Take the sounds of "Anthem", with the ever-gurgling voice of
vocalist Roger Miret and the powerful backing vocals.  The statements made on
this album range from war and rioting ("Liberty & Justice") and hypocritical
people accusing others of being hypocritical ("Hypocrisy") to a song about
why punks are the way they are ("Crucified") [A cover of the song of the same
name by IRON CROSS -Eds].

         I like this album a lot, even though it is rather short.  The musical
ability of this New York five piece soar to new unexpected heights while Roger
gurgles on in the foreground.  Roger can sing but sometimes he can be a bit
difficult to understand, especially on this album.  That's why it's a good
thing that the lyrics are included.  Although not quite as powerful as Victim
In Pain, Liberty & Justice For... makes its standpoint known and refuses to
budge.  A good purchase can be found here.

DARK ANGEL: Darkness Descends (Combat)                            by The Raver

         DARK ANGEL descends violently upon all listeners of this brutal slab
of molten metal.  Exemplifying heaviness, brutality, and speed, Darkness Des-
cends is a very powerful slab of metal.  The five defilers of light that make
up DARK ANGEL have gone full force with this LP and deliver seven razor-sharp
tracks to rend you to pieces.  The abilities of this California band are all
very good and Gene Hoglan's style of power drumming will make casual listen-
ers casualties.  Probably the most popular track on the album is "Death Is
Certain (Life Is Not)", but my favorite track is "Merciless Death".  All the
tracks are fuckin-A with us!  We are talking massive power and speed with
furious riffing courtesy of Eric Meyer and Jim Durkin.  Mike Gonzalez really
pounds his bass to Hell and back whilst Don Doty screams the lyrics out with
wicked intensity.  My only problem with the album is that there wasn't a
lyric sheet inside and there isn't a whole lot of writing on the jacket per
se.  Maybe that's good (more music, less writing), but I'm not sure about
that.  At any rate, you won't be wasting your hard-earned bucks by picking
up a copy of Darkness Descends.

THE NECROS: Tangled Up (Restless)                                by Anaxagorus

         Tirejack.  That's what I first thought of when I listened to this LP.
In case you're wondering what the hell 'tirejack' is, it's a word coined by a
punk friend of mine from Maryland and it means shit (and all applicable syno-
nyms).  I could have sworn that I had heard most of the riffs somewhere else
from other bands.  The initial let down didn't get any better, either.  The
album features eleven songs or, translated to listening time, 24 minutes; and
all for a whopping list price of $8.98!  Is it worth shelling out your cash
for less than a half an hours listening enjoyment?  In some cases, maybe, but
in this case my answer is NO.

         One of the big problems with this album is ego.  THE NECROS was a
punk band back in the early '80s, but because they think that the hardcore
scene turned hip/new wave and forgot all about the socially conscious chain
of thought, they turned metal.  In fact, they did a rather bad job at it.
As I have mentioned previously, the album is laden with unoriginal riffs and
tunes.  Barry Henssler (vocals) still sings as if he were in a punk band.
There's more wrong with this album than good.  So there you have it.  Toss
it out the window.

NUCLEAR ASSAULT: The Plague (Combat)                              by The Raver

         The latest 12" slice of pizza from the NUCLEAR guys yields complete
speed and power with a socially conscious twist.  From the pure brilliance of
"Game Over" (instrumental) to the massive diversity found in "Butt Fuck".  With
this EP you you will get off like you have never before from the combined fret
action of John Connelly and Anthony Bramante, the drumming of Glenn Evans, and
the bass and vocal prowess of Dan Lilker.  These guys can do more than just
play, the can write.

         Starting off side one is "Game Over", a powerful instrumental that'll
get you bashing.  "Nightmares", the next track, is kinda mysterious and makes
you wonder if you are truly sane.  Just when you thought you were safe "Butt
Fuck" kicks in and makes ya take a long, hard look at the business (record,
that is).  This track wins my vote as best on the album - its even got a blues
part!  Listen to the lyrics...

         Side two opens with "Justice", another kickin' track about, you
guessed it, the legal system.  The title track talks about nuclear war and
the problems of this society we live in.  Dosing out the flipside is a track
with a great name and an even better message.  The tune is called "Cross Of
Iron" [Killin! -Eds] and it deals with good old Hitler and what happens when
people worship the man and not the ideal.

         This EP is truly a great buy.  Six original tracks backed by power
not usually found anymore.  Listen to this and you'll know why the insert in
Speed Kills III says that NUCLEAR ASSAULT piss all over ANTHRAX.  Their great
attitude is plastered all over this EP and it is a commendable one.  Three
cheers to the NUCLEAR guys for another brilliant slab of vinyl.  The lyrics
are included.

HOLY TERROR: Terror & Submission (Music For Nations) Decrepit Monarx Firstborn
                                                      ^^^^^^ fucking long name

         Following his angry departure from AGENT STEEL, guitarist Kurt Kilfelt
has formed HOLY TERROR, a five piece out of LA.  Terror & Submission is their
debut LP.

         Dark and evil sounds introduce "Black Plague", the first track.
"Plague" is tight and very clean, considering its rapid power.  The solos
display the finger talents of not only Kilfelt but also of his six string
cohort, Mike Alvord.  Drummer Joe Mitchell kix tail during the slow(er)
section, while bassist Floyd Flannery can be heard from a bit more.

         The follow-up tune, "Evil's Rising", sets off with strong imagery,
the music slowly building as evil emerges from the bowels of the earth,
finally culminating as the music kix off with a cymbal ride and a guitar
slide.  "Rising" shows vocalist Keith Dean in great form, displaying more
variety than in "Plague" and helping the chorus truly stand out.  What comes
around comes around, and "Rising" ends as it began with a strong image of
its lyrics as evil conquers all, finally and brutally.

         The third song, "Blood Of The Saints", begins with an instrumental
bit, at first slow and grinding, then fast and frantic.  The main body of
"Blood" is a straight forward thrash charge, to which the background to
the solo slightly contrasts with good effect.

         "Mortal Fear" is next in line and is more romping speed until after
the second chorus and things become more melodic, including some bass lines
which finally shine through the mix and a killer guitar solo.

         Closing out the first side is "Guardians Of The Netherworld", a
pounding, march-like anthem with a rousing chorus where, as in "Fear", the
coming and going of the backup vocals form a strong sound.

         Side two opens up with the "Distant Calling", a more accessible tune
with several good riffs.  The harshness in Dean's voice is toned down a degree.

         Following the relatively short "Calling" comes the LP's title track,
"Terror & Submission".  This track is deadly with guitars hitting sudden high
notes amidst the multitude of highly charged riffing.  The muffled voices
introducing the solo add tremendous effect and the scales leading up to the end
close out "T&S" with a crunch.

         Beginning with leery, mysterious guitar, "Tomorrow's End" is the
fastest song on the album until it reaches the jittery, nerve-racking bridge
to set you up for Mike and Kurt's blinding-speed solos.

         Closing out Terror & Submission is the intensely rhythmic "Alpha
Omega, The Bringer Of Balance" whose stop and go will make you do nothing but
go until you stop -- dead.

BLOOD FEAST: Kill For Pleasure (New Renaissance)                by The Usurper

         Formed in late '85, BLOOD FEAST hail from Bayonne, NJ.  The lineup
consists of Gary Markovich (vocals), Adam Tranquilli (guitar), Lou Starita
(bass), Mike Basden (guitar), and Kevin Kuzma (drums).  Originally called
BLOODLUST, they got off to a great start by putting out a demo called Suicidal
Mission [No longer available -Eds].  Since another band of the same name was
under Metal Blade Records they changed their name to BLOOD FEAST.

         Their debut LP, Kill For Pleasure, continues to be one of Renaiss-
ance's top sellers.  BLOOD FEAST also makes brief appearances on Speed Kills
III and Thrash Metal Attack [Both are compilation albums -Eds].

         BLOOD FEAST have a sound similar to that of DEATH and POSSESSED but
have their own technique of putting forth their message, which is rather
brutal.  Upon casual listening you will discover that Kuzma's drumming is at
top form, hard and fast, and that the guitars wail in the ever-so-close dist-
ance.  Even though the music has a "hellbent for leather" approach to speed
you can understand the lyrics easily.  The lyrics rhyme and makes the music
just that much better.  The songs, averaging about 5 minutes in length,
cover everything from "Vampires" to the "Destruction" of the earth.  Gary's
bloody screams tie the knot for this album.  Their longest tune is "Vampires"
but I think my favorite has got to be the title track, "Kill For Pleasure".

         This album is definitely a must in your record collection.  In fact,
I recommend it highly.  This band will definitely be around for a long time,
thrashing and bashing all the way!

EXE: Stricken By Might (Shatter)                                  by The Raver

         I had mixed feelings when I first heard this album.  I am happy to
say, tho', that Stricken By Might grows on you.  The style of playing really
makes me think of SLAYER.  This is not to say that their own bits of
style aren't creeping about in the mass, for they are.  I just wish they'd
make their own presence a bit more well known.  Among the better tracks on
the LP are "Stricken By Might", "Warchild" (where the vocals get toned down
a bit - almost aesthetically pleasing), and "Crib Death", a sick tune with an
equally sick beginning (that of an old rhyme we all heard when we were but
babes).  The most embarrassing track has got to be "Metal Hell" [Ahem -Eds].

         While not a bad album, Stricken By Might is not without its defects.
Take for example the wretched cover artwork.  In addition, it's too bad that
the lyrics don't progress beyond the Jack and Jill style of death metal.  In
fact, most of the lyrics are rather lame.  I have had an opportunity to hear
selected pieces of of a recent practice tape that had songs to ne featured on
their upcoming LP.  If EXE's new LP sounds anything like that practice tape
then it would appear that they have begun their journey down the path of
originality.  This album is not terrible, but it could have been a lot better.
Lyrics included.

THE BIRDHOUSE: Burnin' Up (Link Records)                          by The Raver

         Oooh...  Uh..sorry, my brain is just slightly rattled from Billy
Scarr's bashing bass.  THE BIRDHOUSE's first domestic U.S. release has been
kicking my ass for the last couple'a hours.  This LP is fucking good.  Since I
work at a college radio station I feel that I can safely say that this album
is going to be a hit on college stations everywhere.  THE BIRDHOUSE are really
a fusion of music forms.  From Detroit punk to metal to thrash to Australian
rock.  It's a good mixture.  It's not all thrashy but it's damn good.

Tracks: Die Baby Die (a personal favorite), F.U.P., Hurricane In My Head, Rev
It Up, My Wicked Way, Bad Love, Sick Boys, No More, Shake It Loose, and Suck
This Bitch.

These guys have this raw talent and, well hell, I just fucking like it.  That's
all.  If you can deal with music that's a bit more diverse than your average
metal/thrash/core then check out this killin' LP.

JOE SATRIANI: Surfing With The Alien (Relativity)                 by The Raver

         When I first received this album I caught myself saying "What in the
fuck?"  I decided not to let the jacket artwork (a pic of Galactus' hand
hurling the Silver Surfer into the vast cosmic void, compliments of Marvel
Comics) freak me out too much [Then why were you in a nut house for those 3
months, huh? -Eds].

         For those of you who have not heard of Joe Satriani, he is the dude
who taught Kirk Hammet (METALLICA) and Larry LaLonde (ex-POSSESSED, now BLIND
ILLUSION) how to play guitar in the first place.  This is, I believe, Joe's
second LP to date and it is of a completely instrumental nature.  In addition
to doing all the guitarwork on the album, Joe also does bass, percussion, and
drum programming (Shit, does this guy get any sleep?).  While not thrashy at
all, Joe's outstanding guitarwork makes this album rather enjoyable to the
musically inclined listener.

         For about $9.00 you get 34 minutes of instrumental music.  You must
be the judge as to whether or not this is worth it for you.  My copy came
with a Joe Satriani "Surfing With The Alien" guitar pick.  Wowzerz.  A list
of the tracks follows: "Surfing With The Alien", "Crushing Day", "Always With
Me, Always With You", "Satch Boogie", "Hill Of The Skull", "Circles", "Lords
Of Karma", "Midnight", and "Echo".  This is a good album if you are musically
open minded and like drum machines.  To all narrow minded readers: steer clear
from this album, as it is not your style.

 Well, we're out of room for this part of Issue 1.  Now read parts #1 and #3!

                  CROSS OF IRON (c) 1988 cDc communications
                    >>> A CULT Publication......1988 <<<
                      -cDc- CULT OF THE DEAD COW -cDc-
CROSS OF IRON Number 1, Part #2                                     0/5,6/88-53