It was great to be a young head banger in the early 80’s. Almost every week a new metal band would appear on the horizon, putting out a great demo, single or album. It all began around 1980 in the with British bands like Iron Maiden, Def Leppard, Saxon, Vardis, Diamond Head, Girlschool, Tank, Raven, Angel Witch and many, many others. These newcomers toured almost non-stop and set many stages alight, not the least in the Netherlands. Their exciting shows and releases left a huge impression on the Dutch audience.
In a matter of months countless young and aspiring musicians locked themselves into the bedroom or garage and started practicing. For other, already existing bands the untamable roar of the New Wave of British Heavy Metal was the last push they needed to find their proper direction. The music climate was in their favor as well. Inspired by the do-it-yourself mentality of the late 70’s punk movement most bands didn’t wait for that big, fat, juicy major record deal to land on their door step. The bands took matters in their own hands. They recorded and sold their own demos, thus creating a flourishing tape trading circuit. Tracks were also spread via independently released singles, EP’s and compilations.
Band like Picture, Sword, Frankenstein, Vault, Highway Chile, Impact, Allied Forces and many others played the clubs, appeared on festivals and all created a dedicated following. Although most bands were heavily inspired by the heavy metal mayhem from across the North Sea, each had their own style, drawing influences from Iron Maiden, Saxon, Judas Priest, Motörhead and others. The classic metal sound of bands like Highway Chile and Picture co-existed very peacefully next to the brutal power of Hammerhawk and Aggressor, the breakneck guitar madness of Sword, the punk-flavored fury of The Vopo’s, the proggy delicacy of Lady or the sword-waving Manowar-worship of Valkyrie. It all lasted ‘til the mid to late 80’s.
In recent years an amazing number of bands reunited, giving their career a well-deserved second youth: Highway Chile, Picture, Elise, Frankenstein, Vortex, Ear Danger, Gilgamesj, Emerald, Martyr and various others. They lost some hair, gained some pounds, but lost none of their dedication, which inspired many fans – both old and new, from all over the world – to check out the original recordings. Music journalist and incurable collector Robert Haagsma starting digging in his own vinyl and tape collection, started toying with tracks and made some cd-r’s to check how a compilation would sound like, focussing on old school heavy metal. Trash-, death- and black metal of later years were entirely different beasts. To create an even more cohesive collection Robert Haagsma decided to concentrate on the cultish kind of bands.
Dutch Steel is a document – a monument if you will – for all these bands that were part of a great, exciting, creative era in Holland.
the anthology will be out as deluxe 2cd box complete with 24 page booklet, and a 3lp vinyl edition, limited to 666 copies and coloured red, white and blue. pre-orders are available from our tonefloat store. pre-orders for the 2cd will be out circa november 25, while the 3lp set will be ready mid january.
01. Picture – Eternal Dark
02. Sword – Excalibur
03. Frankenstein – Jesus
04. Exciter – All Night In Red Light
05. Sad Iron – Powertrash
06. Highway Chile – Fever
07. Vortex – Open The Gate
08. Gilgamesj – Revolution
09. Martyr – Speed Of Samurai
00. Angus – Warriors Of The World
11. Vault – Behind The Walls Of Death
12. Elise – Seven Witches
13. Vopo’s – Conquer
14. Seducer – Torcher
15. Proud Existence – The Trial
16. Defender – City Ad Mortis
17. Highway Chile – Midnight Delight
18. Picture – Bombers
19. Allied Forces – Attack
20. Hammerhawk – Discovery
21. Dark Wizard – Trip To Doom
22. Future Tense – Condemned To The Gallow
23. Ear Danger – Beelzebub’s Frien
24. Highway Chile – Bite In Anger
25. Emerald – Suicide
26. Together – Playing Games
27. Lady – Angels Of Beware
28. Valkyrie – Ancient Steel
29. Final Heiress – You’re In My Heart
30. Impact – Misantrope
31. Black Knight – I’m The One To Blame
32. Warwick – I Want To Live
33. Savage – Starbreaker
34. Aggressor – Profession Of Violence