Friday Morning Metal – Sanctuary – Arise and Purify

Straight out of Seattle, Sanctuary is described as a thrash metal band. I guess they broke up and reformed, because Arise and Purify doesn’t necessarily sound thrashy. In reading the Wikipedia, they broke up in 1992 because of Grunge. That’s a shame.

But the song is pretty solid despite not being as thrashy as thought. The guitars are mad noodly and the vocals have a solid edge, with the complement of echo’y harmonizing on the choruses & such.

Not sure about the “Thing and thing” type chorus, but everything else around it is pretty great. I especially like the driving drums working well with the chuggy guitars, plus the peppering of solos and such.

Friday Morning Metal – Rotting Christ – Demonon Vrosis

I am not the biggest fan of Black Metal. Most of the time the vocals are screechy and the guitar is like a wall of 64th notes and the drums are blast for the entirety. But Spotify thought I should give Rotting Christ’s Demonon Vrosis a spin, and it’s pretty legit.

Turns out the band is Greece’s first Black Metal band, going all the way back to 1987. Which is pretty cool.

The song itself sounds a lot like pagan/folk metal, with the backing vocal chants and non-traditional metal instruments used. I dig the drums, they’re driving without being crazy fast, and the guitar work mixes well with the vocals. Which aren’t screechy, they’re kinda yelly. Like Amon Amarth. In case you like that kinda thing.

The guitar solo at the 4-minute mark is noodly and technical without being overly dorky, and breaks into what sounds kind of like a violin-infused coda, something that sounds like a battle march or something.

Anyway, give it a shot!

Friday Morning Metal – Rebellion – The Clans are Marching

Rebellion is German Power metal, and they bring crazy fast drums, chuggy guitars, and harmonized choruses (chorii?) with aplomb.

The vocals are gritty and fit in really well with the rest of the band, giving it an additional edge. And the guitar solo at the 2 minute mark is full of squeadlies, only to be upstaged by a bagpipe solo. And not one of those cheezy Korn bagpipe interludes, but real useful to the song type bagpipes.

It’s pretty awesome the band name is dropped during the chorus. Rebellion is on my mind when I listen to the song.

I was going to say this is a killer cover of a Grave Digger song, but Rebellion contains a big chunk of Grave Digger, so I guess it’s a remake? Like Four Horseman & Mechanix or something?

Here’s the Grave Digger version, from all the way back in 1996. If you watch the video, you can’t tell it’s from then or 1987, which is pretty killer. It’s a bit less “big” but it’s still fantastic.

Friday Morning Metal – Graveyard – Satan’s Finest

Woo throwback protometal from Sweden! Graveyard’s been around since 2006 but their sound is the raw brooding riffs and vocals you’d expect coming from basements, garages, and clubs all throughout the early 70’s.

Satan’s Finest has some great breakdowns, fuzzy vocals & guitars, and killer drum work. The slow burn from the breakdown at around the 3:40 mark back into the combo vocals and guitar solo is haunting and worth a couple relistens.

I assume their album is available on 8-track, or it was released then and they’re time travelers. Either way, go listen to this.

Friday Morning Metal – Elm Street – Metal is the Way

Elm Street’s “Metal is the Way” popped on Spotify for me, and from the name I assumed it’d be similar to Manowar’s Brothers in Metal. But man, it’s a rollercoaster of styles smashed into one song. Thankfully it’s 6 minutes long, so each section has some room to breathe.

It starts off as a noodly 80’s speed throwback, holding in as an instrumental for a while, with solid guitar riffs soaring across the salt flats. But then it’s got this acoustic breakdown that sounds like a Metallica ballad, what transitions into a big bombastic chorus of METAL IS THE WAY. Because it is.

At first it seemed really jarring, the juxtaposition of big fast distortion with plinky plunky verses, but after a while I came to the realization that this would be great for interval training. Take a break during the breakdowns, ramp up with the drums, and go all out during the chorus. By the end of the song, you’ll probably need a solid breather.

Friday Morning Metal – No Return – The Crimson Rider

This is some fast and aggressive metal here from No Return, a French Thrash band since the 90’s, but the vocals are just so death metaltastic. But French Metal is fun to find, and these guys are good at what they’re doing, so it’s not the worst thing in the world that the singer sounds like Cookie Monster hopped up on PCP.

Clocking in at close to 6 minutes, the song gives plenty of opportunity to showcase the shreddy guitars, frenetic drums, and crazy noodly guitar solos. If only the vocals were like Havok, or even Alestorm.

So if you like growly vocals, give it a shot, it’s probably right in your wheelhouse. If not, still give it a spin!

Friday Morning Metal – Enforcer – Katana

This has popped up more than a few times on Spotify, and for good reason. Enforcer’s bringing classic speed metal into the 21st century, and Katana’s a killer example of it.

There’s vocal harmonizing on the chorus! There’s chuggy guitars! Big bombastic drums! And a wicked killer double solo!

Everything about Enforcer is big and awesome and fun, and I really hope at some point they play in Seattle.

Friday Morning Metal – Helloween – Hocus Pocus

Helloween has been melting faces since 1984, and this cover of Focus’s Hocus Pocus is no exception. This should be in the mix for any Halloween party playlist, or killer road trip playlist. The guitars just straight shred, and the drum solos are killer.

It gives off a hell of a Deep Purple/late 70’s hard rock vibe, which makes sense, given when Focus was prominent. But they took the song and kept true to the feel without overly metalicizing it. The guitar solo at the 4-minute mark is a total shred fest too.

Oh and the yodeling is fantastic.

And if you’d like to hear the original, here it is on NBC’s Midnight Special!

Friday Morning Metal – Toehider – It’s So Fikkis

WOO PROGGY STUFF! This song popped up on Spotify Discovery Weekly and is pretty interesting. The vocals give off a strong Andrew Lloyd Webber vibe, which I normally don’t dig, but it fits really well into the funky bass, interesting drumming, and noodly guitars really well. Oh and there’s a keyboard in the mix to really cement the progginess.

The breakdown sounds like it should’ve been part of the Miami Soundmachine, too.

So if you’re looking to up your prog, hear some slappy bass, and generally rock out, Toehider’s pretty legit. Give them a shot!

Friday Morning Metal – Friday the 13th but Metal

There are a ton of metal covers of the Friday the 13th theme on the Youtube. Unfortunately, most of them have drum machine drums that sound like Pip fartin on a snare drum and that’s not cool.

But there was one from Chris Holland Music, called “Groovy Goalie,” what sounds like a combo of the theme and a b-side from an 8-bit metal cover album. It’s really solid, and a hell of a lot better than the other ones I dug through before landing on this.

Anyway, enjoy what could also be a song from Castlevania!