Released: 2011, Heaven and Hell Records
Reviewer: Robert Williams
The back catalogue of NWOBHM all star Thunderstick (Samson, Iron Maiden) is the latest to be featured by Heaven and Hell Records for thier "Lost Relics" re-issue series of hard to find and out of print hard rock and heavy metal albums. Both the "Feel Like Rock N' Roll?" EP and the "Beauty and The Beasts" full length are included, alongside some rare alternate versions of certain songs from the masked man's early solo days.
ECHOES FROM THE ANALOG ASYLUM opens with the upbeat and energetic "Heartbeat (In The Night)" featuring the sassy vocals of Jodee Valentine who fronts an insanely talented group of bar room rockers. Thunderstick, the man himself really keeps things as over the top as possible with his heavily percussive drum fills, perfectly executed. It's easy to see why he was such a sought after skinsman at the height of the NWOBHM movement. "Rich Girls Don't Cry" is a bluesy hard rocker with a catchy chorus and certain cinematic quality where you could imagine this track winding up on a B-Movie soundtrack from the mid eighties. "Feel Like Rock N' Roll?" is pretty kick ass even though it sounds about as dated as all get out. Bands just don't make records like this anymore. It's kind of like Rocky Horror Picture Show on amphetamines.
The "Beauty and The Beasts" material is in noticeable sharp contrast to that of the debut EP as the mellower approach greets the listener on the Rolling Stones inspired "Long Way To Go". "Contact Angel" leans more towards seventies prog rock territory, with riff after riff dealt out spacy, psychedelic even. Is it just me, or is the thought of Thunderstick playing this kind of music in his trademark gimp mask hilarious and even kind of ridiculous? "Afraid Of The Dark" is a pretty cool rocker with backing vocal choirs reminiscent of late eighties Desmond Child produced pop metal and this song predates that style by about five years.
The artwork on this disc is very eye catching, looking a lot like an old seventies horror movie poster with cartoon caricatures of the band looking ghoulish and menacing in front of a haunted graveyard. There's also an essay included in the foldout booklet courtesy of Alex Eruptor of Sleazegrinder.com. As with all Heaven and Hell Records releases an mp3 sampler of roster acts is also included in enhanced CD format. All in all, a fun and comprehensive look into the solo days of the former Samson drummer.