May 10, 2020

Piledriver - Metal Inquisition (1984)

*First pressing on CD. 
Contains 7 tracks total.
Country: Canada
Language: English
Genre: Thrash Metal
Label Number: 3275-11082-2

© 1984-1991 Kraze
Reviewed by Jeff for Metal
It was probably way back in 1988 when I was attending college at Oswego State University in upstate New York that the band “Piledriver” was first introduced to me. A buddy of mine and I were getting ready to go on a road trip to the infamous, “House of Guitars” in Rochester, NY. (It’s a haven for all kinds of great, hard to find records, tapes and cd’s as well as instruments). Since the trip upstate would take about an hour and a half, we grabbed some music for the long haul. He kept nudging me to listen to this band, “Piledriver”. One look at the cover (a guy dressed in bondage gear “piledriving” his victim with a flying V guitar), the names of the songs, (Sex With Satan, Alien Rape, Sodomize The Dead), made me think twice before playing it. But, being the open minded, objective person that I am, I decided to give it a try. I’m glad I did. To this day this album ranks among one of my favorites.
Piledriver hailed from “The Great White North”, or Canada if you prefer. It was a project put together to make a quick buck around the time Kiss decided to unmask themselves. A guy at the record label wanted a band of mystique and anonymity that could try and fill the void that Kiss left. Piledriver was a heavy metal/thrash “band” who used aliases instead of their real names. A majority of the music and lyrics were written by Leslie Howe. Gord Kirchin was brought in to lay down the vocal tracks. The lyrics were comical in nature. PILEDRIVER’s brand of sick and twisted humor was all about sex, violence, alcohol, drugs and anything else vile and repulsive. Think of GWAR but not as outrageous or technically talented. Even touches of classic VENOM seem to be there both lyrically and musically. What started out as a joke and recording only project turned into somewhat of a success. They sold 250,000 copies in 1985 alone! (There is a very complicated but interesting back-story to this album, so go to this link to read all about it).
The title track, “Metal Inquisition”, is a classic anthem about a modern day heavy metal lynch mob in search of prosecuting those who didn’t listen to heavy metal. Lyrics like “so if you’re in a disco, or in a country bar, you better get the hell out, we know who you are” and “if you’re not a metalhead you might as well be dead”. The sampled sound of a guillotine speeding down to decapitate its victim is what you’ll hear numerous times after the lyrics, “we’re the Metal Inquisition, we sentence you to DEATH ------------by guillotine!”
The second track, “Sex With Satan” is funny. It’s a bit thrashier with lyrics like “sex with Satan, excommunication” and “degradation, humiliation, thrusting, shoving, animals humping”.
Sodomize The Dead” starts off with sounds of screaming, puking and a fart to boot. It’s basically some crazy soloing around chainsaw like guitar riffing with the lyrics “Sodomize The Dead” repeated over and over.
The best track on the album is “Witch Hunt”. ”We're roasting her on the stake, she’s gotta burn, she’s gotta bake”. The sounds of fire, wood crackling and the Piledriver, High Priest of the Metal Inquisition, sentencing a witch to death. There’s lots of guitar soloing played with much feeling on this track. I really like the use of the EMU “Drummulator” drum machine, combined with some simple but steady bass guitar thumps.
“Who Am I? You ask yourself. I'm a dirty rotten son of a bitch! I just want to rule your mind... but first everybody get pissed!” These are the lyrics to “Piledriver”, the theme song for the character. I could really see this being played before the Piledriver’s entrance at a WWF match; that’s if he was a wrestler!
Another classic track is “Human Sacrifice” with lyrics like “I smell like a dead animal's rotten guts, think that I've been to hell and back, kicked in the nuts”.
Alien Rape” starts off with a spoken introduction by an alien recapping the events that led to their conquest of Earth. The effect used for the voice of the alien is just some simple speed and pitch control adjustments to the tape. This gives the voice a slow, deep almost baritone sound. Space like sound effects, screaming and detonations add to the atmospheric “War of the Worlds” like setting.
The first CD pressing of this album was released on Kraze Records, now out of print. This version of the CD seemed to be mastered from a cassette tape. The quality is quite good. However, another release by Full Moon Productions would be a 2 for 1 deal, with Piledriver’s second album “Stay Ugly” included. The thing I must warn people about is that this version is more of a bootleg. This version of “Metal Inquisition” was mastered from a record. My taped version from my original LP sounds better than Full Moons. As for “Stay Ugly” (Dave DeFeis and Eddie Pursino of Virgin Steele helped with the writing), it seems it was mastered from a cassette tape, so it doesn’t sound as bad.
Kerrang Magazine at the time voted this “Best Album of 1985” calling it “genius”. If you like GWAR and VENOM, then you’ll love PILEDRIVER!

tags: piledriver, metal inquisition, 1984, flac,


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