Monday, August 17, 2020

Kalaschnikov - "Desert Storm" [1990]

Artist: Kalaschnikov
Title: Desert Storm
Genre: Heavy/Speed Metal
Country: Germany
Year: 1990

Track List:

  1. Czarewitch
  2. Siberian Werewolf
  3. Homage to the Holocaust
  4. Headbanger
  5. Stinking Shrine
  6. Skull Scratcher
One look at the track titles and artwork of this album is enough to figure out that it can't be taken seriously. Indeed, it's one of several fake "metalsploitation" albums released in 1990 by Ingo Nowotny on his infamous label Metal Enterprises. If you're not familiar with Nowotny's shenanigans (one of the funniest stories that ever happened on the metal scene), here's a pretty good article about the "music" he was releasing on his label:
"Metal Enterprises saw the light of day somewhere around 1985/86. It's very hard to tell exactly, since very few of their albums stated release- or recording dates. The 3 first platters were licensed (?) editions of foreign releases. Nothing strange there, since this was a cost-effective way to get a company rolling (Noise Records started out in the same manner). What's is strange is the undisputed fact that 2 of these acts, KILLER FOX and THRASH QUEEN, are generally regarded some of the worst Metal bands ever put to vinyl. Why he chose to release these particular LPs remain one of the greatest ME-mysteries...
Starting out at the absolute peak of the 80's Heavy Metal wave, Ingo & co. must have discovered that you could easily unload a 1000 or so copies of anything with the Metal-stamp on it, and if you keep production and design costs to an absolute minimum you could even get your money back and then some...
The finest/worst examples of this very special "ME-sound" are to be found on their infamous Fake Follow-ups. They contain what is probably the most retarded music ever released under the banner of Heavy Metal (which doesn't necessarily mean that the music itself is Metal.) They never bare any resemblance to the original bands or projects, but are pretty similar in-between themselves, especially the "2nd" KILLER FOX, GODZILLA, THRASH QUEEN, KALASCHNIKOV and FUCKER albums, and could very well have been recorded on the same occasion. It's really hard to describe the sound on these abominations. If you've ever experienced how comedy-shows on TV or radio sometimes can parody Metal music it will give you a faint idea idea of what we're talking about here. It's the music of someone who might have heard a few minutes of Metal at one point in their life and years later trying to recreate it with gleeful intent. Drum-machines, ultra-generic riffing, strange vocal effects and/or improvised singing. Any dumber than dumb idea you can think of and more, it's in there. Like the sudden burst into whistling in the intro of KALASCHNIKOV's "Czarewitch"..."
All in all, it reminds me of the Blatnyak market in the 90's Russia, when the producers have realized that they can sell several thousand copies of literally anything that has prison bars (or anything else "gangsta"-related) on its cover. To make the Nowotny's case even worse - he later went on "White Power"-sploitation by releasing numerous RAC albums on his label in early 90s. And if you wonder how bad his "metalsploitation" albums were, check out this gem:
However, it's rather "so bad it's good" with that pseudo-operatic female vocalist yelling something like "Trash! Trash! People look like trash!" with thick accent, while the original Thrash Queen (the very first all-female thrash... or, rather, TRASH metal band in history that released one and only album "Manslayer" in 1984) was just plain bad and uninteresting. 
I don't know much about Killer Foxx, another band whose name Nowotny has used in his "metalsploitation" attempts, except for one ridiculously looking photo of them wearing Kiss-inspired makeup (but maybe such looks weren't that ridiculous in the 80s). Anyway, they released one album before two of their founding members were killed in a car crash in 1987. Even this didn't stop Nowotny from releasing a fake album under their name (misspelled as "Killer Fox"). Like the original band, the fake Killer Fox was supposed to have a sci-fi theme, which manifested mostly in crappy "robotic" vocals:

To quote the YouTube comments: "If Beavis And Butthead started a band, this is exactly what it would sound like!". UPD: it turned out that the original band was founded by Matt Brooks aka Mick Stryker, who has lost both legs in a car accident (well, those guys had a really bad luck with cars...) He was paid welfare, which he invested in a small metal label called Landslyde Records, and he's also the person that produced the only album of the original Thrash Queen (and the only album by Killer Foxx turned out to be just as poorly recorded and uninteresting).
As for Kalaschnikov, the original band was actually quite interesting, being a duo with a black vocalist (which is quite rare on the metal scene even nowadays). Leaving aside the ridiculous lyrics, their music wasn't that bad too, and even quite catchy at times:
"Desert Storm" by the fake Kalaschnikov is also nowhere near as bad as the other fake release by Nowotny, especially if we throw away two filler ambient-like tracks. The rest of the album is repetitive yet somewhat catchy heavy metal, and when it comes to the obscure 80s metal bands, I definitely have heard worse. The album apparently has that pseudo-Russian kitsch theme that was quite popular at the time of Perestroika. NB: the tracklist almost certainly doesn't match the actual order of tracks on the album (i.e. "Homage to the Holocaust" is clearly #4)... but who cares?

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