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Metal News / Promotion » High Roller Records UPCOMING RELEASES
SPARTA - Use Your Weapons Well DLP+7"

MANILLA ROAD - Playground Of The Damned LP

SCARAB - Fight For The Right DLP+7"

AXIS - Flame Burns On LP


these four are mandatory purchase!!
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info about Sparta from high roller site:

Sparta was formed in late 1979 by Tony Foster on lead guitar. The line-up was completed by Tony Warren on bass guitar, Karl Reders on vocals, Steve ‘Snake’ Reders on guitar and Paul ‘Radge’ Reders on drums. Steve explains how the band made their first steps: “Karl, Paul and Steve started a novice band in late1978 and had started following/assisting local Mansfield band Xerox. Xerox split up in 1979 leaving Tony Foster and Tony Warren. Karl, Paul and Steve joined up to form Sparta. Karl laid down his bass guitar to concentrate on vocals.” Sparta came from Mansfield (in Nottinghamshire), back in the early ‘80’s a town with a healthly local scene. According to Steve, “there were a good number of local pub-based venues to play at the time and local bands to play. Savage and Tyrant being among them (as featured on the ‘Scene Of The Crime’ album).
After having established a healthy local following, the next step for Sparta was to have their on vinyl out. In 1980, Nottinghamshire-based label Suspect Records put out Sparta’s debut single pairing “Fast Lane” with “Fighting To Be Free”. Steve explains how the single came about: “Suspect Records was formed to allow us to release our first single, financed by the band. 1,000 copies were pressed primarily for promotional purposes, a single always impressed more than a demo tape.” The band decided to put “Fast Lane” and “Fighting To Be Free” on plastic but there were other hot contenders: “I cannot remember how many Sparta songs we were playing at the time, but I think ‘Boy King’ and ‘Rock Don’t Roll’ were also candidates.” “Fast Lane” was named ‘Single of the Week’ in Sounds magazine. This gave the band some kind of promotional push as Steve explains: “It’s always uplifting to read positive stuff about the band. The single coupled with cuttings from the Sounds magazine allowed us to get interest in the band outside our local area. This, as well as the ‘Angel Of Death’ single, allowed us to be able to secure support slots at bigger venues in the area with Diamond Head, The Ken Hensley Band (former Uriah Heep keyboard player), Praying Mantis, Lionheart, The Groundhogs and Budgie. Budgie were excellent as we were all Budgie fans in Sparta."
A year later, in 1981, Sparta unleashed their second 7" single “Angel Of Death” (with “Tonight” on the flipside), once again on Suspect Records. In retrospective, Steve prefers “Angel Of Death” in comparism to “Fast Lane”: “It was definitely a progression but also a demonstration of a harder edge and different style of songs that we played. It was again released on the same basis as the first single: 1,000 copies were pressed.” My personal copy of “Angel Of Death” features a photocopied wraparound sleeve. So is this an original copy or did initial copies have a printed sleeve? Steve explains that this was not the case: “All sleeves were photocopied due to cost.”
After “Fast Lane” was voted ‘Single of the Week’ in Sounds, England’s most popular weekly music paper at the time, the Heavy Metal bible Kerrang! stepped in and printed an article about the band in their famous “Armed and Ready” section (named after a tune by the Michael Schenker Group). Sparta were happy to be featured in Kerrang!: “Kerrang! was THE Metal magazine of the time, so we were very pleased to have been picked out from the many bands that sent in their details.”
Still in 1981, Suspect Records published a compilation of local bands under the name of “Scene Of The Crime”, the original vinyl sells for anything up to 100 English Pounds nowadays and there also exists a (supposedly Greek) bootleg CD. Steve gives us some inside knowledge on this legendary piece of New Wave of British Heavy Metal history: “’Scene Of The Crime’ featured five bands: Panza Division, Tyrant, Savage, Manitou and Sparta. Each band had an allotted time on the album and contributed their share of the costs. We did not have two songs at the time that fitted the slot, so ‘Lords of Time’ was picked as our sole contribution. ‘Scene Of The Crime’ was our compromise to releasing a third single. Recording was expensive back then.”
Sparta also recorded a session for Radio Hallam (like Phoenix Rising and Seventh Son), you can hear songs from this session on the album. Steve remembers: “There was a session at Radio Hallam after the first single but any tapes have long since been lost. The session put forward for this album is from the second session recorded with new vocalist Trev Morgan after Karl had left around 1982. Initial interest was a result of sending the first single to the Colin Slade Rock Show at Radio Hallam. The studio was not really set up for serious band recording. The material was recorded basically live in a limited time. The recording for the album was done on a cassette on the night - hence its raw sound. Everything sounds better in the studio on the big speakers!”
Sparta carried on through the mid- to late 1980’s with Mark Henshaw on vocals then Steve on vocals but did not make it into the next decade, they disbanded around 1990. There were rumours about further recordings under the name of Richter Scale but Steve sets the record straight: “This was really the last line-up of Sparta with Karl on bass and vocals, Steve on guitar/vocals, Paul on drums and Dave Drury on guitar. Under the name of Richter Scale we recorded a studio demo, a good recording, but lack of gig opportunities and Dave leaving the band caused it to fold.”
Malc Macmillan wrote in his fantastic book “The N.W.O.B.H.M. Encyclopedia” that there was a band named Sparta who released a track on the late 1980’s “Full Force” compilation on the Reaction/Ebony label. By then, Ebony themselves were not putting out any new Metal releases but had branched out into Rock and Indie stuff (releasing obscure compilations on even more obscure sublabels such as Reaction Records). Steve confirms: “If the track is ‘Lord and Master’, then it is us. We bought a slot for a track on a compilation album. The song was written specially as we didn’t have a three to four minute song. We had the recording session, a cassette recording of the session. After that the company went bust, so we thought there was no album. But it seems that this was not the case!”
In 2003, the two Sparta 7" singles were bootlegged by Brazilian label Phoenix Records, each with a circulation of 250 copies, “Fast Lane” on sky blue vinyl and “Angel Of Death” on transparent blue vinyl. For obvious reasons, Sparta are not too happy about this illegitimate release: “Whilst we feel it’s wrong for them to release the singles without any consultation it’s good to know someone thought it was worth releasing. It also shows how far around the world a limited release from a relatively unknown band can go, even without the aid of the internet.“
Matthias Mader

i never knew that Sparta had much more recordings than these that appeared on bootleg LP
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info about new Manilla Road:

This is what a lot of fans have been waiting for for such a long time: A new studio album by one of the most legendray US Metal bands of all time. I am talking about Manilla Road and their brand new album "Playground of the Damned". If you count "After Midnight" and the Circus Maximus project as regular Manilla Road longplayers, then it's their 16th studio album. This is how Mark "The Shark" Shelton views "Playground of the Damned" in comparism to 2008's epic "Voyager": "Well, first of all 'Playground of the Damned' is not a concept album. Some of the songs could be considered inter-related though. Our last two albums were huge conceptual projects and I thought it was time to not be so long winded with the story lines. The song 'Art of War' has some Viking philosophy within it so I guess that comes within the realm of the 'Voyager' theme but lyrically the rest of the album does not have much in common with 'Voyager'. As for the music; every album the Road does turns out a bit different than the others while oddly enough retaining a certain amount of familiarity with the bands overall style which has taken three decades to create. This album follows that path as well as any other that we have done. I think this is the best production we have achieved yet in Midgard Sound Labs and I am more than proud to put my name on this project. It's always difficult for me to describe or compare my music. The lyrics are primarily dark in nature but there is an air of moral warnings within as well. The music is heavy and aggressive with not very many mellow parts (a few though). I think we paid a little more attention to melodic content on this project than we did on 'Voyager'. 'Playground' does not have as much Thrash-like content as 'Voyager' with a little more attention to groove and hook but the project is still very heavy with some pretty intricate parts in several of the songs. The other main difference is that we did not scream as much on this album as we did on 'Voyager'. More singing and less growling. I am personally happier with the solos on this album than I was with 'Voyager'. Once again more attention to melody than just shredding. Although there is ample fast and shred-like soloing going on in 'Playground'. The bass parts sound different also because of using different musicians since Harvey is no longer with us."
There are only eight tracks on the album but some are rather epic, as you can expect from a band like Manilla Road: "Three of the songs are seven minutes plus but the others are around five minutes. Most of our albums in the past have pushed 60 minutes or longer but this time we actually made the album fit the traditional time frame for albums. We have always run into troubles with having more material on our CD's than what we can fit on a LP. So this time we paid really close attention to our times on the songs so that we did not have that problem again. The whole project is a little less than 50 minutes long so you don't have time to get bored with it."
One number is called "Grindhouse", that's the name of a movie released by Quentin Tarantino in 2007. Mark explains: "It relates to the genre and the movies that Tarantino and Rodriguez have been doing such as 'Death Proof', 'Planet Terror' and 'Machete'. I grew up going to Grindhouse theaters and I think it's really cool that the genre is still alive. Just writing about stuff that trips my trigger so to speak."
Manilla Road fans are aware of the fact that by now the Viking theme is kind of a trademark for Manilla Road. Lately, a lot of new bands have jumped onto the Viking bandwagon, like Dimmu Borgir or Amon Amarth. Mark Shelton has noticed this as well: "I was asked once why I do so much Viking stuff in our music and my answer was 'because Vikings are fucking cool'. I do believe Vikings are cool but the main reason I touch on the subject so much is because of my heritage. I'm not familiar with Dimmu Borgir but I have seen Amon Amarth live and they were pretty good. I have not really studied their lyrics so I don't know how astute or intelligent they are about the Viking content but I can tell you that we are relentless in researching anything before we write about it. I can see why so many bands want to jump on the Viking bandwagon though. It's because Vikings are really cool. Personally, I think the culture's history and the myths and legends of the people are just incredibly interesting and they played a huge part in the history of the world. And if there is still anyone out there that believes that Columbus discovered America then send them to me and I will set them straight with a real history lesson."
Manilla Road started out in the second part of the 1970's, so I always wondered, if they used the Viking theme from day one or if some of their inspirations came from literature rather than from music: Viking sagas, Edgar Allan Poe and so on … Shark: "The first songs we did that really had the sword and sorcery thing going on were on our second official studio album release called 'Metal'. Songs like 'Enter the Warrior' and 'Queen of the Black Coast' had that going on but it was the album 'Crystal Logic' that I really started to delve into the Viking and Celtic themes. It was early on in the career of the band but not right from the start. Literature has been one of the major inspirations for much of Manilla Road's music and lyric content. History, legend, folklore, myth, fantasy adventure, the occult, pagan and Christian philosophy and stories of horror and the macabre from all over the world have played an important role in the creation of Manilla Road's lyrical style. One of the most re-occurring themes in Manilla Road's lyrics is the idea of standing firm in your beliefs no matter what they be and also never giving up even when the odds are against you. We have a lot of those don't mess with what you don't understand or can't control messages in the lyrics also. But at the root of it all is just spinning a good yarn (tale)."
"Fire Of Asshurbanipal" is a song from the new album "Playground of the Damned" inspired by literature: "'Fire of Asshurbanipal' is inspired from the short story, of the same name, by Robert E. Howard. It's the tale of an adventurer that is searching for a lost city in the desert where is said to be the legendary magik gem called the 'Fire of Asshurbanipal'. He succeeds in finding the city and the jewel but not without flirting with its monstrous guardian. It's sort of like Indiana Jones stuff with demons. My suggestion is to read the story. It is worth the time if you like adventure - fantasy - horror.
They say that life imitates art but in Manilla Road's case our art imitates life and the many philosophies that are weaved into what is the human experience."
Some '70's/early '80's bands also influenced by Viking mythology are Heavy Load from Sweden, Faithful Breath from Germany with their rare debut album "Fading Beauty" (1974) and maybe even Manowar ("Battle Hymns" and "Into glory Ride"). Mark Shelton was aware of those bands and their concepts: "I was really into Heavy Load back then and still break out their albums and play them now and again. I was aware of Manowar and loved the 'Battle Hymns' album especially since Orson Wells was on it. The other band I'm not familiar with even now."
Matthias Mader
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All that nwobhm reissues absolutely kick ass!!!! :-)))
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First I have heard of this new Manilla Road album very exciting.
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URCHIN - High Roller CD (NWOBHM)

Release date: 4th of July 2011
Price: 10,00 EUR
Buy it here: http://www.hrrecords.de/shop/

http://www.hrrecords.de/high_roller/pix/releases/198_urchinhighrollercd_bg.jpg

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Would love to see it on vinyl also - perhaps when you have recouped costs and went into profit on CD.
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Daysbetween wrote:Would love to see it on vinyl also - perhaps when you have recouped costs and went into profit on CD.


The vinyl is out for approx. 9 months.

Buy it here: http://www.hrrecords.de/shop/

http://www.hrrecords.de/high_roller/pix/releases/126_urchinhighrollerlp_ex3.jpg
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I'm not LP collector - just CD's.
But verry respect your company.
And now my time is come - Urchin and ( i visited your page ) WARHAMMER !!!!!!
Really perfect surprise !!!! (clap4)
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I might be crazy but I only really liked the one single when Adrian wasn't singing.
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Too damn many that I can't follow,haha,I'm waiting for that Manilla Road LP anytime soon!Can't wait.
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Does High Roller have any kind of North American distribution?
They have a lot of stuff I want (Deep Machine EP!!) but it'd be really expensive to have it sent to the US.
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profroche wrote:Does High Roller have any kind of North American distribution?
They have a lot of stuff I want (Deep Machine EP!!) but it'd be really expensive to have it sent to the US.


Have a look at Shadow Kingdom Records and also Nuclear War Now, most of our releases are available there.
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Tokyo Blade - Early demos released by High Roller.... (NWOBHM)

Hey people newbie here ;)

For those interested the early demos from the days when the Blade were known as Killer and Genghis Khan have been released by High Roller as a lovely double LP set, 150 in red vinyl and 350 in black.

Tracklisting is :

Side A
1. Hellbound
2. Urban Warrior
3. It Don´t Matter To Me
4. Black Hole
5. Winner Takes All

Side B
6. Killer
7. Killer On The Run
8. No Surrender
9. Victim Of Hate
10. No Love No Mercy
11. Radio Love

Side C
12. Just Killing Time
13. Nightmare
14. Fire In The Sky
15. It Don´t Matter To Me
16. Cry For Mercy
17. Breaking The Rules

Side D
18. If Heaven Is Hell
19. Highway Passion
20. Midnight Rendezvous
21. Mean Streak
22. Death On Mainstreet

More details on the following link and order bits...

http://www.hrrecords.de/high_roller/sit ... php?id=179

And don't forget they also have a new album out - all details over at http://www.tokyoblade.com

Cheerz!

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Thanks, I really loved their first albums
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Tokyo Blade all the way!
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great label!
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http://www.hrrecords.de/high_roller/pix/releases/157_stormchildst_bg.jpg
Since nobody have mentioned STORMCHILD'S LP comp 'Maiden Voyage' yet I'll do it.

INFO: http://www.hrrecords.de/high_roller/sit ... ?relno=154
BUY IT HERE: http://www.hrrecords.de/shop/STORMCHILD ... -SPECIAL_1

Also be sure to join them on Facebook!: http://www.facebook.com/stormchilduk

01) “Rockin’ Steady”: album version with keyboard intro, recorded at Riverside Studios, London, 1982.
02) “Last Night”: B-Side of the single, also recorded at Riverside Studios, London, 1982.
03) “Sands Of Time”: recorded at Jamm Studios, Bolton, 1982, with Joe and Chris on vocals. This was a demo for a possible second single.
04) “Lights Camera Action”: also recorded at Jamm in 1982, demo version as possible single.
05) “Lights Camera Action”: album version with Ian singing, recorded at Jamm in 1982.
06) “Lonely Nights”: Jamm Studios, 1982, recording for the album.
07) “Riders On The Rain”: Jamm Studios, 1982, recording also for the album.
08) “Prelude”: Jamm Studios, Bolton, 1980.
09) “Say Yes”: Jamm Studios, Bolton, 1980.
10) “The Storm”: Jamm Studios, Bolton, 1980.
11) “Lightning Never Strikes Twice”: Jamm Studios, Bolton, 1980.
12) “Rock Goddess”: Jamm Studios, Bolton, 1980.

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hey looks cool.never checked their single
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yes, it has just been released on CD with a very nice obi (like the urchin stuffs). The double vinyl was available 1 year ago. High roller often release vinyl formats much more time before the CD.
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