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Mammal’s most recommended new albums: Assorted genres

Main categories

Metal State often receives ten invitations a day to review new albums. In physical terms, it would be impossible for a whole battalion of writers to do full reviews of so much new music. In practical terms, we don’t want to overwhelm our readers with so many posts that few would have or make the time to read them all. How then to do some justice to the many outstandingly good submissions we take in each day?

One way to help the best bands reach a wider audience is to compile digests of new albums, and that’s what I’m starting to do here. The graphic shows what type of ground I’ll be covering in the next few weeks, months and the rest of my life. After that, I’ll do mixed digests of different flavours of metal and other music as soon as possible after it arrives at our dungeon. For now, I’ve sorted my best albums received so far this year into main categories. You can see them in the graphic on the left. I’ll tick off each category as I add posts.

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Mammal’s Merry Memories: Third World War – Ascension Day (1971)

I was 21 years old when this album came out. We didn’t know or bother what sort of music it was. Everything that didn’t get radio airtime was “underground” music. Terms like metal, hard rock, prog, space rock, etc, hadn’t come into wide use yet. Some of those terms still had to be invented.

My friends and I called Third World War “joller music”. In South Africa, “joller” is slang for a ruffian, a hooligan, a rebel, someone who enjoys a wild good time. That’s what this band sounded like.

Years later, music historians labelled Third World War the world’s first punk band and called their music proto-punk. Therefore this song is the grandfather of punk metal and hardcore.


Mammal’s Merry Memories: The Clash – London Calling (1979)

If you want to know when and where punk metal, hardcore, metalcore, deathcore and grindcore all have their roots, you have to go back to Britain and the birth of the new wave of punk that started in 1976 or thereabouts. Punk developed in its own channel during the 1980s while heavy metal went in a different direction. Punk and metal married at the alter of hardcore at decade later.

The late 1970s was, to me, the worst period in music since the first person hit a log with a stick and chanted something. It was the age of disco and the dawn of the New Romantic era. We had the Bee Gees singing in falsetto and we were about to be bombarded by bands like Wet Wet Wet. The New Wave Of British Heavy Metal wasn’t under way yet. Prog rock was beginning to strangle itself in the pursuit of hit parade listings.

In the 1980s I found myself drawn to Maiden and other metal. At the end of the 1970s, though, bands like The Clash made the airwaves bearable. This song has become iconic, an anthem of the punk movement, and it seems to sound better every time I play it.