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Various Artists
Metal For Muthas: Volume I & II
March 2000
Released: Re-R, Sanctuary Records
Rating: 5.0/5
Reviewer: Rick

The Metal For Muthas compilations introduced some of the best bands from "The New Wave of British Heavy Metal" to the world. Volume 1 introduced Iron Maiden to the world as well as such influential yet less well known bands as Angelwitch and Samson. Volume II, while not having the heavyweight acts that Vol 1 possessed, continued with the high quality music that would usher in a new era of heavy metal.



Metal For Muthas Volume I starts out with a track from Iron Maiden who, along with Saxon and Def Leppard, would be the only bands to survive the New Wave of British Heavy Metal. "Sanctuary" is a classic Maiden song and even at this early time the talent that the band possessed can be seen. Up next is the song "Sledgehammer" by Sledgehammer. This is a decent track that sounds like a cross between early maiden and Motorhead. Angelwitch contribute the track "Baphomet" It can easily been seen by this track how Metallica were influenced by this band as the song itself is quite heavy with a really nice time change. Too bad these guys didn’t gain the success that they deserved. Iron Maiden contribute the legendary cut, "Wrathchild" This a classic of the Maiden catalogue and its represented here in a slightly different form that what appeared on "Killers". Again this song shows that Maiden were head and shoulders above the pack. "Tomorrow Or Yesterday" by Samson highlights the vocals of a young Bruce Dickinson who only shows a twinkling of the magic that he will go on to create with Iron Maiden and on his solo releases.



Metal For Muthas Volume II had to follow in the footsteps of its extremely successful Volume I. This disc does not have the big name bands that the first one had such as Maiden and Angel Witch and would ultimately have to stand musically on its own two feet. Trespass opens the show with a great tune called "One of These Days". While not as heavy as Iron Maiden or Angel Witch, Trespass craft up tempo metal that still sounds good after 20 years. Eazy Money are up next with a catchy tune called "Telephone Man". Some nice keyboard/guitar interplay finish out this good tune. Janick Gers of Iron Maiden is present with his band White Spirit. They contribute "High Upon High", a more commercial track than most others on the disc but a standout nonetheless. "Lady of Mars" by Dark Star is a classic metal track with a heavy drum beat and a great twin guitar attack reminiscent of Thin Lizzy. "Horsepower" by Horsepower is a Nazareth inspired romp that is chock full of melody and guitar solos. Trespass close out Volume II with "Storm Child". This song is probably the heaviest thing on this disc. The production is crystal clear, the riffs crunchy and the solos are godly.



Volume I introduced the world to Iron Maiden, Angel Witch, Praying Mantis and Samson. These bands were the forerunners in the N.W.O.B.H.M. and influenced countless bands including Metallica. Vol. I suffers from only 1 weak track and that is from Toad the Wet Sprocket (not the wimpy pop band). A blues based number called "Blues In A" that could never be called metal. Vol. II , though having less big name bands, is also a solid release. Trespass, Dark Star, Horsepower and White Spirit all put in solid performances. My only problem with the re-releases is that I would have liked to have seen a little more in the liner notes about the actual original release dates and some more information about the bands which were included on the compilations. Overall these discs give a great overview of the well known and not so well known bands that helped jumpstart The New Wave Of British Heavy Metal.
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