V.A. – Crash! Bang! Wallop! New Wave Of Lowlands Heavy Metal 1979-1984 [2022]

V.A. - Crash! Bang! Wallop! New Wave Of Lowlands Heavy Metal 1979-1984 [2022] full

The New Wave Of British Heavy Metal (NWOBHM) exploded around 1979 and at the same time things started to move in The Netherlands and Belgium as well. More and more bands came out of their practice bunkers, going on stage, recording demo tapes and gathering some first publicity in Dutch magazines like Heavy Metal Demons and Aardschok.
It was an exciting period as every day you were discovering new bands from Europe, the USA, Canada, basically all over the world.
This double CD titled ”Crash! Bang! Wallop! New Wave Of Lowlands Heavy Metal 1979-1984” is wonderful compilation of bands from that proto Dutch / Belgian scene – “Lowlands Heavy Metal”, including very early recordings from bands the later became world-wide known like PICTURE, ACID or BODINE, but also unknown and good acts such as Adrian Vandenberg’s TEASER, or a previously unreleased song by MOVER, Arjen Lucassen’s first band.

Bands like Picture, Bodine and Teaser (Adrian Vandenberg’s first major band with a big Bad Company-touch) had record deals and could record in decent studio’s, other bands did not have that luxury, so there is a bit of difference in the sound quality.
But to be honest I don’t find that so important for this release. It is more about the feel and the excitement that was rising up in those days.

It is actually quite charming to hear some bands like Belgium’s Acid origins, Crossfire (with future Mystery’s Peter De Wint on drums), Ostrogoth and Lions Prideb rock hard while Dutch band Hammerhawk confirm their reputation as The Netherlands’ Motörhead.
Making music in the surroundings of a steel factory is almost a sure lead to heavy metal. The Hammerhawk men grew up in Beverwijk, near Hoogovens. They described their style as a combination of Dolly Parton and Judas Priest, but to the fans Hammerhawk was the ‘Motörhead of Beverwijk’. Singer / bass player Thijs ‘Maniac’ Bruijns indeed sounded like Lemmy, and drummer Ray van Wijngaarden looked very much like Phil ‘Animal’ Taylor. In 1984 they debuted with the EP Breaks Loose.

Vault was a band from Emmen, in the northeast of The Netherlands. The Maidenesque track ‘Suicide’ is taken from its 1983 debut No More Escape. It was recorded in an 8-track studio with very limited budget. It has a bit of a dull sound, but those who listen carefully discover a really good dark and doomy song with some great guitarwork, and a more than decent singer.

Danger from the Belgian city Liège, recorded its only album for EMI, Danger, in 1981. This wasn’t successful, so the management decided to start its own label: Mausoleum Records, and the record was re-released in 1983. The song ‘Woman’ reveals the influence of classic hard rock bands such as Led Zeppelin and Whitesnake. Danger didn’t produce any more records after this.

If Uriah Heep’s Ken Hensley would have started a band with Iron Maiden’s Paul DiAnno, it would undoubtedly have sounded like Victim’s song ‘Nightriders’. They recorded seven songs in 1984 for a first LP. But the album was never released.

Arjen Lucassen is, together with contemporary Adje Vandenberg, the best known and most successful hard rock guitarist in the Low Lands. He played in Bodine and in Vengeance, but the big success came with his solo projects Ayreon and Star One.
Lucassen grew up in The Hague, taught himself to play the guitar, and soon wanted to start a professional band. Through an advertisement, he came across Shmoulik Avigal. The Israeli moved to the Netherlands to join Lucassen. Together they formed Mover, and recorded a demo, but it never came to an album. Avigal later showed up in Picture, Horizon and Hammerhead. With ‘Don’t Touch It’, this compilation has a first ever release for Mover.

Teaser is an outsider on this compilation. Their one and only record, Teaser, was already made in 1978, and they played heavy
blues rock instead of heavy metal. But Enschede-based Teaser was the beginning of it all in the Netherlands. In 1980 the band ceased to exist and Vandenberg was started, got a US record deal and became an international success. Axeman Adrian Vandenberg later joined Whitesnake and became nothing less than an international guitar hero. What You Need Is Love is a rough-edged blues rock song with a great singer who sounds as Free’s Paul Rodgers. And the colorful guitar work by Adje Vandenberg of course is awesome.

As is usual these days release come in different sizes and formats: 2-CD, 2-LP and an exclusive 2-LP boxset that also contains a book. This ”Crash! Bang! Wallop! New Wave Of Lowlands Heavy Metal 1979-1984” 2xCD digipak includes 2 extra tracks.
Highly Recommended


Disc 1
1. Picture – Lady Lightning
2. Black Widow – Heaven is Yours, Hell is Mine
3. Killer – Ready For Hell
4. Warhead – Attack and Kill
5. Bodine – Shooting Dice
6. Steelover – Need the Heat
7. Acid – Bottoms Up
8. Lions Pride – The Nighthunter
9. Gilgamesj – Oppression
10. Jack Pisters / Avalon – Arabesque
11. Mover – Don’t Touch It

Disc 2
1. Crossfire – Demon of Evil
2. S To S – I’m a Killer
3. Vopo’s – In the Book
4. Ostrogoth – Lords of Thunder
5. The Rogers – Metal King
6. Victim – Nightriders
7. Teaser – What You Need is Love
8. Danger – Woman
9. Vault – Suicide
10. Hammerhawk – High Score
11. Tormentor – No They Ain’t Gonna Catch Me *
12. Thunderfire – The Beast On the Run *

* Only CD Bonus Tracks



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