Columns, Rocko's Travels

Rocko’s Travels – Germany, 1989

With this article I want to start a new column. I like to take a look back at the past. What did German Metal bands do 20, 25 maybe 30 or even more years ago? Which albums got released? What about the bands and their albums development?

Of course it would be funny to get some kind of a time machine for travelling back, but the TARDIS and even the De’Lorean hasn’t been seen here in Duisburg for a while. So I need to use the internet to get my information. Big THANKS to all the guys working on Metal Archives, Wikipedia and sites and stuff like that, who make it possible to get all the information I need so fast.

In this first article I want to set back time for 30 years, on April 1989, and have a look at the releases of German bands. On Metal Archives we can find 9 releases in total. There are a bunch of demos by bands, maybe you heard their names before, like Axel Rudi Pell. Then there is a Live-Album by Helloween, “Live in the UK”, and even a single by The Krupps, “The Machineries of Joy”.

But I want to have a look at the two full-length albums released in this month. The first one is Blind Guardian‘s second album Follow The Blind, which includes already one of the most famous songs of the band, “Valhalla”, which must be played on every concert. “Banish from Sanctuary” is another classic. But to be honest, that’s it on the album. Fast riffs, quite thrashy in total, not bad, but you can hear it’s one of their early albums. Hansi sounds young and harsh, but it fits to the music. I think there is no need to talk much about Blind Guardian themselve, is there? Formed in Krefeld,not far away from Duisburg, my hometown, in 1986 as Blind Guardian, but they started already in 1984 as Lucifer’s Heritage. Their current label is Nuclear Blast for a few years already. On their page we get the information that Follow The Blind was released in October 1989, but that seems to be the CD-Version. The vinyl was released in April already. Did I mentioned the “Barbara Ann” cover? 😉

The second album is by Holy Moses, their third album The New Machine of Liechtenstein. The reason why I started with this column is that I want to take a look back for myself as well. There are some bands of which I know the name, but never really listened to one of their albums, maybe just heard one of their later ones or missed the real classics. Holy Moses is one of these bands. Formed already in 1980, releasing their first full length album in 1986, I got to know them with their EP in 2001 Master of Disaster. This was the first release after their reunion, after a split in 1994. Some of you know the Big Four Teutonic Thrash Bands: Sodom, Destruction, Kreator and Tankard. Holy Moses should be a part of them but is often forgotten. They started earlier than the other bands, and they were the only female-fronted band. Do you know any other female-fronted Speed/Thrash band from the early 80s? (There are some, but they were all founded after 1980!!!) Would you like to know some interesting facts about the band members? Okay, here are some: Andy Classen, guitarist of the band, produced Holy Moses’ 90s recordings on his own. After the split he worked as a producer for many other bands, like Tankard, Legion of the Damned, Belphegor, Graveworm or Krisiun. Uli Kusch, drummer of Holy Moses third album, left the band already in 1990. He joined other bands for a few years, like Gamma Ray from 1990-92 or Helloween from 1994-2001.

I hope you enjoyed the first “Look-Back” on German Metal… See you next time!

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