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Piledriver : Metal Inquisition
(Cobra / Roadrunner - 1984)
Category : misunderstood
3,66 stars

Some people who may have heard this album, might be surprised to find out that I'm willing to defend it. It's cliché ridden, simplistic (albeit well executed) old school Speed Metal, it hasn't got one milligram of subtlety, they looked like an over the top version of Slayer (or Slipknot avant la lettre - see picture), the sleeve was one of the silliest ever seen and the lyrics were all about worshipping Satan, sodomising corpses and other such morally commendable activities. But what many people didn't realise at the time (and I was one of them) is that Piledriver never really was a band, but just two Canadians(*) who were put together by a record executive. Nevertheless, whatever the motives behind the project may have been, the tongue-in-cheeck approach resulted in a sort of Metal parody masterpiece, not just because it had that ungraspable something that made you want to get up and bang your head each time the vile and vulgar music blasted through your speakers, but also because the makers seemed to perfectly understand what made rebellious male teenagers tick.

the Pilderiver in person

Of course they had to be skilfull song writers (*), because, while their compositions add absolutely nothing new to the genre, each one of them has such an instant appeal (apart maybe from one track on the B-side of the album), that it's impossible to write their effectiveness down to luck. I for one am greatful for their effort, as this album always manages to bring a smile to my face, and an unhealthy urge to jump on the table and make a complete ass of myself while I shout along those gorgeously cheesy lyrics: "And if you're not a Metalhead, you might as well be dead! We're the Metal Inquisition. We Sentence you to death... Tchack! guillotine!" Pure poetry.

Footnote 1: Another album was made a year later. It was originally meant to be released under another name, but maybe Piledriver had proven to be a bigger succes than they originally anticipated and so they decided to release it as a Piledriver album as well (I can only guess). Whatever the reason, that second album sounds very different and it was a huge disappointment. I was glad to get rid off it after I had recorded the only half decent song to tape.

Footnote 2: The vocalist was later to return in an equally mysterious band called Convict. Their album 'Go ahead... Make my Day' comes highly recommended as well.


(* note= in fact, all songs were penned and played by one of the members, while the other served as vocalist. I later also found out that one of the two members came from the Heavy Metal band Fist (the Canadian one, for there were at least two bands called Fist). Read a Fist review here.)

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