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Metal/Prog Metal CD Reviews


The Lemmy Sessions (3 CD set)

Review by Gary Hill

Warfare was one of the earliest bands to merge punk rock and heavy metal. This new collection is the first release of an alternate mix of their 1985 album Metal Anarchy. The album was originally going to be produced by none other than Lemmy. That version was never released, and a cassette of it was recently discovered. That mix, rough as it is, makes up the first disc of this set.

The second CD features a freshened up mix of the actual album that was released. The third CD includes a couple of EPs along with a bonus track. I almost wish the Lemmy mix of the album had been fixed up a little at the time and put out as the real disc. It seems to have more of a raw energy to it. That said, nothing this band does here is what you would call over-polished. It's just very interesting to have both versions to compare. I'd consider this to be quite a special set from an important band.

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Track by Track Review
CD One:
The Lemmy Sessions (Metal Anarchy: The Lemmy Mix)
Psycho Express

After a count in, this powers out with a raw ferocity and so much fury. It's driving, screaming hot high energy metal. This takes no prisoners.

Some killer guitar riffing brings this number in. It's perhaps a little less furious, but no less hot. There is some tape drop out on this track that's a bit of an annoyance.
Death Vigilance
No big change, this is a hardcore punkish stomper. There is nothing subtle about this song.
Metal Anarchy
While more of the same, I think some of the riffing on this is particularly potent. Somehow the anthemic hooks are more infectious, too. I love the killer screaming guitar soloing.
Living For The Last Days
This screamer earns a parental advisory. It's punky, fierce and so meaty. I really love the guitar fills on this thing.
Electric Mayhem
Another ferocious metal screamer, this is noisy, driving and so heavy and raw. The guitar solo based instrumental section is absolutely crazed.
There is a bit more of a thoughtful thrash sound to this. It calls to mind bands like Metallica and Megadeth. It's dramatic and powerful. It might also be my favorite on this first. It brings some variety, but it's also just so strong.
Military Shadow
We're back into furious, screaming hot speed metal zones here. This is raw, punky and so classy.
Wrecked Society
Another track that brings some variety, drums get this going. The track builds outward from there in a dramatic, thrash ballad way. It gets more driving and aggressive as it works forward. At over six-and-a-half minutes long, this is the epic of the first disc. They use that space to really make a piece that's complex and evolving.
CD Two:
Metal Anarchy (1985)

This is kind of a trippy introduction that uses a clip from the "Sound of Music" in a twisted way. It's short, but interesting.

Electric Mayhem
The production on this version of the song is cleaner. It loses some of that raw, punk angle in favor of more indie metal sound. It earns a parental advisory. This is fierce and so tasty.
Fierce stomping metal is on the menu here. The Metallica angle that this track had in the other version seems even more visible here. This has plenty of underground metal edge to it, too. It's such a strong tune. The faster section later is purely on fire.
Death Vigilance
This feels more like the first disc. I really love the guitar soloing on this thing. The whole tune is driving and rather raw. It literally gets into screaming territory.
Wrecked Society
This version of the song feels more mysterious and epic as it gets underway. It seems to get a bit brasher and more pounding here. There is a cool movements here that has some more spoken vocals over fast paced jamming. That gives way to a soaring guitar solo section.
Living For The Last Days
Fierce, driving thrash metal is on the menu here. Although this is a bit more polished than the other version, I think I prefer that one. Of course, this also gets a parental advisory.
This almost feels meaner than the other version. It gets a parental advisory. It's driving hot metal that works very well.
Military Shadow
Mellow and melodic guitar work brings this into being. The drum threaten to intensify it as a spoken vocal can be heard barely over the top. The song shifts to near chaos in a fierce, driving way. From there it just drives forth with fury. This works quite well here.
Metal Anarchy
Firing out with ferocity and fury, this is another powerhouse metal screamer. It's not a huge change, but it's very effective. The chorus is seriously infectious.
Psycho Express
Furious crazed jamming gets things underway here.
CD Three:
Two Tribes 12” (Neat 45)
Two Tribes

The intro to this is almost proggy. The track works out to a grinding, raw metal screaming zone from there.

There is a percussive thing with shouted vocals at the start of this. The cut drives out to a rather hardcore punk jam. It drops down for more of that group shouting and alternates between those two things as it continues. While this is definitely not my favorite thing here, it brings variety and works reasonably well.
Blown To Bits
I really love the guitar riffing that gets this underway. It feels like it's just eating away at reality as it marches forward. The track build on that, creating a pounding underground metal stomper.
Total Death EP (Neat 49)
Metal Anarchy

Driving and raw, this is just what I expect for this song. It does feel a little muddy here, though.

Burning Up
This is fairly generic, but still strong. It's not a big change, but it's just solid underground metal with a punk edge. It's a little muddy sounding.
Faster and meaner than the previous tune, otherwise this doesn't feel very different. The lyrics definitely have some issues. There is a real hardcore punk angle to this thing.
This is furious, punky and pretty chaotic. It's noisy and very raw.
Bonus Track
Two Tribes (From Hell Mix)

This mix of the song has a much more polished approach. It's still fierce metal, but just in a more palatable package. I really love the bass sound on this, and the guitar is on fire as it soars over the top. I can almost make out a little bit of a WASP sound here.

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