Metal History Through Fanzines

New Renaissance Records (US)

Level Six #1 (USA) 1987

Level Six #1 (USA) 1987 Ed. “Bill Parker”

Absolute killer zine from Arizona; great bands and a great year for underground metal and crossover. This is the debut issue w/ interviews, features, ads, art and photos of Abnormal Growth, Atrox, New Renaissance Records, Blood Feast, Capital Scum, Casbah, Dirge, Doomwatch, DBC, Death Warrant, Evil Dead, Forefront Records, Have Mercy, Genocide, Hirax, Inner Strength, Insanity, Minotaur, Necropolis, No Fraud, Phantasm, Bathory, Wehrmacht, Possessed, Impetigo, Revelation, Indestroy, Dream Death, Nuclear Assault, Sadus, Sick of It All, The Accused, Tyrranicide, Vacant Grave, Wreckage, reviews, news and more. Thanks to Bill Parker for the submission.

 


Rock Hard #8 (NY, USA) 1986

Rock Hard #8 (NY, USA) 1986. Editor: “Keith Miller”

Rock Hard (not the most original name through the years, by any means) was a US fanzine based out of upstate NY that covered mostly heavy metal, but you could see the heavier stuff creeping in by 85-86, and the extensive record reviews are cool to check out for a nice run-down of all the pivotal albums that were dropping at this time…a very transitional period indeed. Also interesting to see eventual Roadracer/Roadrunner A/R guy Monte Connor in his college radio days here, with the Baruch College playlist featured. Interviews and features with the likes of Wehrmacht, Executioner, Holy Moses, Queensryche, Fastway, Bitch, New Renaissance Records, Savage Death (pre-Nokturnel), Metal Blade Records, Savage Thrust, Siren, Burning Starr, Blacklace and more.


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.