Shiva - Firedance. 1982 England

I'm such a sucker for the older NWOBHM bands, before they felt compelled to be in lockstep with the "scene", and here they just sort of made things up as they went along. Very much like my favorite progressive rock bands of the early 70s. Has more of a Rush influence than usual for a UK band from this era. There's some commercial stuff here that keeps it from a higher rating (especially on Side 2), but it's still a great listen. It'll probably grow on me over time (and it has!). File this one in the innovative early metal category next to Legend (UK), Diamond Head, Sacred Blade, and Manilla Road.

Personal collection
CD: "British Steel" (Russia)

Damn. I fear I ended up with the bootleg. I got it on ebay from a US seller, and I'm convinced they would have had no idea. The only way you can tell it is unauthorized is by the matrix on the disc, or lack thereof. Oh well it didn't cost much, so it wasn't worth complaining about. I'll ditch it if and when I get a legit reissue.

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Cast - Nimbus. 2004 Mexico

Nimbus is the 12th studio album from Mexico's Cast, and was released by Mylodon in Chile and Musea in France. At their beginning, Cast...