Lockyard best of 2015 part 1: Compilations & Re-issues

5. Prophecy - Whom Gods Destroy - Demos 1985-1986 (Majesté 2015 LP)

This LP compiles both demos released in 1985 and -86 by Denmark's Prophecy. Seven tracks of dark and ominous heavy metal, on the borderline to doom. Judging by the quality of these recordings, they could definitely have become Denmark's equivalent to Candlemass, but unfortunately things didn't really turn out that way. But with this fantastic release you've got the chance to put your hands on some of the best heavy metal to ever emerge from this country, along with Mercyful Fate and Witch Cross.

4. Heathen's Rage – Knights Of Steel – The Anthology (No Remorse 2015 DCD)

Their legendary MLP, originally released in 1985, finally available for us who can't afford a copy of the original pressing, along with lots of unreleased demos. Very high qualitative classic US metal. Feels a little bit unnecessary to include every version of each song they've done though, in some cases there's actually up to three different recordings of the same song. But that's a minor problem, nothing that should stop anyone from getting this historical piece of US steel.

3. Sarcasm – Burial Dimensions (Dark Descent 2015 DCD)

Enormous compilation that includes everything this band ever recorded. Honestly, I've spent most time listening to the unreleased tracks from what was supposed to be their debut album, but for some reason never got released. It's definitely a very impressive work of traditional Swedish death metal with a touch of blackness. Bands like Dissection, Dawn and Evocation comes to mind. I definitely expect to find some gold whenever I find the time to listen through the demos as well!

2. Stone Vengeance – s/t (HTH Productions 2015 DCD)

Now this is some of the most interesting stuff I've come across in a long time. This is yet another compilation that I assume features more or less everything they recorded, and like the Heathen's Rage comp, there's a bit too many versions of the same songs. But just the To Kill Evil-demo makes this an absolutely must-buy. This completely insane trio was formed in 1978 in San Fransisco, and was active during the glorious thrash metal days that we all know about. It almost seems impossible that something as unique as this could even exist among all the trendfollowing and genericness that was going on there and then. I don't even know how to describe it, maybe as a mix between Slayer's Show No Mercy and Judas Priest's Defenders Of The Faith. Do yourselves a favour and don't miss this for all that you're worth.

1. Silver Mountain – Before The Storm (Buried By Time And Dust 2015 LP)

Shakin' Brains, Silver Mountain's debut album is a record that most people who has got the slightesst interest in Swedish heavy metal from the 80's probably own. Now Buried By Time And Dust has re-issued the rather more obscure demo they recorded in 1980. Four of the songs later also appeared on the LP, and one was on the B-side of their '79 single, but otherwise there's lots of killer previously unreleased tracks to be found here. Some of them insanely fast and heavy to be released as early as 1980. overall, I'd say that this is just as good as their first LP, maybe even better.

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