If you are a fan of classic rock like Zeppelin, Floyd, Queen, Sabbath and David Bowie, then you are going to want to check out BigElf. The most recent albums, ‘Hex’ and ‘Cheat The Gallows’ are very cool. But when ‘Hex’ came out, I thought that they almost nailed it, but not quite. Whether it was the tracking or the inclusion of an overly clunky song, I thought that with just a little more or less of something it could have been amazing. The latest album ‘Cheat The Gallows’ suffered the same fate, in my opinion. The solution, of course, was to take the raw material and give it the Barking Chicken treatment. The result is ‘Hex The Gallows’.

In light of BigElf’s dramatic flair, we can talk about this in terms of the film industry. As the artist, BigElf is the director. They shot and edited their film to their liking, but then the big studio Barking Chicken Productions got ahold of it. How nice, but . . . I have now left swaths of their precious art on the cutting room floor. Tough. Now we’ve got a blockbuster on our hands.

Long term, ‘Hex The Gallows’ may be in league with well worn classics like Mother Love Bone and Monster Magnet’s ‘Dopes To Infinity’. Once you fall in love, though, you are going to want to get the director’s cut available commercially in the form of ‘Hex’ and ‘Cheat The Gallows’.

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BigElf – Hex The Gallows

01 Gravest Show On Earth

02 Blackball

03 Pain Killers

04 Disappear

05 Hydra

06 Black Moth

07 Race With Time

08 Sunshine Suicide

09 Burning Bridges

10 Madhatter

11 The Evils Of Rock & Roll

12 Counting Sheep



Portugal’s Moonspell was the perfect candidate for a Barking Chicken Production. They have been around since the early 90’s, but only periodically do they nail it with a really good album. Some albums have been better than others, but even the crap albums have something there that is unique and above average. Century Media just put out a greatest hits album a couple of years ago, but it doesn’t include tracks from the latest album ‘Night Eternal’ which is arguably their most complete effort, and it doesn’t include the sweet rerecorded material from ‘Under Satanae’. This Barking Chicken Production takes you from ‘Night Eternal’ back through time ending with “Serpent Angel,” a pre-Moonspell track written when the band was known as Morbid God. Combining black, death, gothic and folk elements, Moonspell is a juggernaut when distilled to the strongest material.

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01 Night Eternal

02 Spring Of Rage

03 Shadow Sun

04 Finisterra

05 Everything Invaded

06 Southern Deathstyle

07 Firewalking

08 Soulsick

09 HandMadeGod

10 Opium

11 Ruin & Misery

12 Wolfshade (A Werewolf Masquerade)

13 Alma Mater

14 Tenebrarum Oratorium I

15 Serpent Angel



If you want to talk Metal, let's go to the beginning. The birth of the mighty riff coupled with distorted guitar can be attributed to Ray and Dave Davies and The Kinks song "You Really Got Me". This is pretty much undisputed amongst Metal historians. Now, this was in 1964 and no one would claim that it was metal, but it is where it all started. Certainly, The Kinks were the heaviest of the British Invasion bands. They lit the torch and passed it to the likes of Cream, Hendrix, Zeppelin, and Sabbath who eventually used it to set the world on fire.

This compilation is a celebration of the metal foundation built by The Kinks. "You Really Got Me" has been left off because, between The Kinks and Van Halen versions, it is pretty played out. Instead, we start out with the follow up single "All Day And All Of The Night" which has every bit of the heft that its predecessor did. This is followed by "I Need You" and "Till The End Of The Day" which are both done in that early style. "Rainy Day In June" is as close to doom as you are going to get for 1966, and, perhaps, there is nothing quite like it until Sabbath comes on the scene a few years later. "I'm Not Like Everybody Else" is an unrepentant anthem of rebellion. Other notable items are the dark atmosphere of "Wicked Annabella" and the brutal imagery of "Some Mother's Son". As the years advance, the bite moves from the music to the lyrics, but each of these tracks has a unique flavor that makes it worth your time.

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The Kinks - Barking Chicken Sessions
01 all day and all of the night 1964
02 i need you 1965
03 till the end of the day 1965
04 rainy day in june 1966
05 i'm not like everybody else 1966
06 big black smoke 1966
07 dead end street 1966
08 death of a clown 1967
09 wicked annabella 1968
10 mindless child of motherhood 1969
11 some mother's son 1969
12 brainwashed 1969
13 shangri-la 1969
14 top of the pops 1970
15 rats 1970
16 powerman 1970
17 20th century man 1971
18 shepherds of the nation 1974
19 have another drink 1975
20 headmaster 1975
21 live life 1978
22 destroyer 1981
"It wasn't called Heavy Metal when I invented it."
- Dave Davies