Metal History Through Fanzines

Metal Forces (UK)

Metal Forces #21 (UK) 1986

Metal Forces #21 (UK) 1986. Editor: “Bernard Doe”

[Once more, it’s a given that Metal Forces was certainly not a fanzine, yet it still deserves archival status. As previously stated, the importance of the magazine for the development of the global underground and all ’extreme’ genres can not be understated – they covered many notable bands before any other press did, and were a reliable go-to source for news in the pre-internet era.]

Here I have issue #21, all 47 pages- it’s a good mix of speed and thrash (heavily on the rise at the time), along with the token glam rock sprinkled throughout (posers!!!??)…I wonder why they even bothered with the glam rock then, because if you check out the “Readers Album Chart”- its all thrash and speed?! Lots of cool reviews though with the essential “Demolition” demo review section (Nuclear Death!), pen-pal and fanzine addresses etc. One thing I question however is the “78” review for Fates Warning’s Awaken the Guardian …come on!? And Zebra gets a 91? Anyways, reader mail, plus killer live reviews of Deathrow (plus intie), Overkill, Whiplash, Metallica, Voivod, Possessed and more, as well as features on Anthrax, English Dogs, Attacker, Crumbsuckers, Dark Angel, Helstar, Steeler, Voivod (again) etc.


Metal Forces #20 (UK) 1986

Metal Forces #20 (UK) 1986. Editor: “Bernard Doe”

Once more, it’s a given that Metal Forces was certainly not a fanzine, yet it still deserves archival status. (As previously stated) the importance of the magazine for the development of the global underground and all ’extreme’ genres can not be understated – they covered many notable bands before any other press did, and were a reliable go-to source for news in the pre-internet era. Here I have issue #20, and to some extent I was forced to eliminate the posers from the scans, because as we know, SBMS has never supported poser bands and never will!!!!!!! (Just kidding…well, not really). This issue was put out at the end of 1986, so it features the news about Cliff Burton’s death, and even has a review of his last show with Metallica in Stockholm, Sweden (along with Anthrax) in the “Frontline” live reviews. Also there are live reviews from the Crumbsuckers/Carnivore, Destruction and Kreator. Interviews/features include Abattoir, Possessed, Destruction, Kreator, Overkill, and more, in addition to a fanzine list, penpal addresses, playlists, and news.


Metal Forces #27 (UK) 1988

Metal Forces #27 (UK) 1988. Editor: “Bernard Doe”

Okay, so Metal Forces was certainly not a fanzine, yet it still deserves archival status. The importance of the magazine for the development of the global underground and all ‘extreme’ genres can not be understated – they covered many notable bands before any other press did, and were a reliable go-to source for news in the pre-internet era. With that said, I will be featuring scans of Metal Forces semi-regularly alongside the DIY zines. This issue features  a cover story on Australia’s Mortal Sin, interviews with Agnostic Front, Blind Illusion (pre-Primus), a young Testament, Destruction, and Venom. Tons of cool label ads (like the back cover for Manic Ears Recordscheck out their story here), and a year-end poll to give you an idea of where things were headed at the end of 1987. Finally, there is an interesting interview with Martin Ain of Celtic Frost, that discusses among other things touring, the then just-released “Into the Pandemonium,” and Tom Warrior’s ongoing feud with a Metal Force’s writer.