‘Five Albums I Would Love to Reissue’ by Matt Rudzinski of Divebomb Records
Matt Rudzinski is what I call a metal lifer.
Not only has he fronted metalcore faves Killwhitneydead for over a decade, he also runs two record labels, in the process helping wave the flag for hard rock and heavy metal.
Besides Tribunal Records (Atreyu, Vanisher), Rudzinski’s passion is Divebomb Records, a label he started to reissue some of his favorite underrated albums. So far, the imprint has released overlooked gems from acts like Cyclone Temple, Anacrusis and Confessor, among others.
For the sake of full disclosure, I’ve written the liner notes to some of Divebomb’s reissues. It’s been a true honor to be part of Rudzinski’s vision and we’re currently working on some killer releases from Midas Touch and some other ones that have to remain top secret for now!
Since he’s always on the hunt for obscure records, Noisecreep asked Rudzinski for his current reissue wish list. If by chance a member of any of the artists he mentions below reads this, please hit him up at his official site!
Great King Rat, Great King Rat
“I have heard friends describe so many albums as a “gem” but few fit that description like Great King Rat’s self-titled debut. Released solely in Sweden and Japan in 1992 it’s one of the finest debut hard rock albums ever released. Since it’s release the members have gone on to be part of acts like Hammerfall, Michael Schenker Group, Talisman, The Poodles and Electric Boys. The songs are sure-fire blues tinged hard rock with some of the catchiest choruses this writer has ever heard. Who knows who holds the rights to it now 20 years later, but it is a crime that the world over hasn’t been able to properly enjoy Great King Rat other than paying outrageous amounts of money on Ebay or resorting to illegal file sharing.”
Under the Spell, Hexx
“Mike Varney’s Shrapnel Records had one of the most impressive stable of acts the metal world knew back in the 80’s. San Francisco’s Hexx fit in perfectly with acts like Apocrypha, Chastain and Racer X delivering some of the most polished American power metal on the scene. Similar to bands like Vicious Rumors, Malice and Helstar, Hexx walked the fine line between melodic thrash and straight forward crunching street metal and came out on the winning end. Originally issued in 1986, Under the Spell has yet to be introduced to the digital format, but luckily for fans like me Varney has been leisurely getting his back catalog reissued. Better late than never I always say!”
Joker and Cool Deal, Joker
“Upon first listen to these albums you would swear Joker was straight off the Sunset Strip, but in fact they hailed from Chicago and unfortunately for them were just a little late to the big hard rock party. The diversity in material is the band’s principal strength especially when they channel acts like Guns N’ Roses, TNT, Warrant and lesser known Wildside. Straight up rock anthems (“Stand Up and Shout” and “Say Yeah”), the occasional acoustic ballad (“Lorraine”) and most shocking is the full on instrumental shred fest (“Stealth”) which wouldn’t have been too out of place on a Jason Becker album. All this only highlighted without a doubt that band definitely had the chops, but time just wasn’t on their side. These two albums have topped Divebomb Records reissue list for years, plus wild rumor has it there is an unreleased third album. Here’s to hoping!”
First Among Equals, Dyoxen
“It’s no secret that I am a sucker for old school thrash metal. I am an even bigger sucker when that thrash is delivered with such technical finesse that it leaves my drooling jaw on the floor. Montreal’s Dyoxen is one of those bands that will leave you in shock and awe. Easily compared to acts like Powermad, Cyclone Temple and Wrathchild America, Dyoxen’s only album, First Among Equals (released via Cargo Records in 1989), is as the title suggests … hard to top. It’s a shame the band broke up so suddenly, but sometimes the greatest things rise to prominence in the blink of an eye and disappear even faster. First Among Equals is a high caliber melodic thrash affair that no fan should be without.”
Wreckage In Flesh, Dr. Know
“I was never a fan of their punk origins, but when I first held Dr. Know’s Wreckage In Flesh on vinyl I knew it was something to behold and all these years later absolutely nothing has changed. Raw, volatile, angry thrash metal that felt at any second it was about to come unhinged violently. Kyle Toucher and company spit forth anthems like “War Theater” and “Wreckage” which easily set the stage for the aural annihilation your ears would revel in during the remaining six classic album cuts. When reissued the first time the label omitted their stellar cover of Black Sabbath‘s “Into The Void” which was an injustice as it is one of the best versions ever committed to tape. Dr. Know ( the “metal” version) is back out on the SoCal circuit playing shows which hopefully is a good sign that this classic slab will hit store shelves again soon, as it rightfully deserves.”
Other albums that need a second chance at life:
Killer Instinct and Just Another Face in the Crowd, Gothic Slam
Hypertrace and Terminal Earth, Scanner
Danger in This Game, Glory
Survive and Something Wicked, Nuclear Assault
Impending Doom, Monstrosity
Get more information on Divebomb Records’ upcoming releases at its official website.