Guitarist Alex Nelson perished in a head-on collision the afternoon of May 17th, 2004.
Two EPs combined into one 8 song CD. The entire 1984, 4 song "Give 'Em The Axe" EP is included in it's entirety. Unless I am remember incorrectly, however, there are a few songs missing from the 1987 "Terror Rising" EP. Two covers are included here, including a cover of Rainbow's "Long live Rock'n'Roll" and Jefferson Airplane's "White Rabbit." Tracks 2-4 feature guest bassist Joey Vera of Armored Saint. Classic metal at it's finest. I had my copy autographed by Lizzy and drummer Joey Scott on the Summer of Blood Tour '06.
October 31 recorded a cover of "Give 'Em the Axe" on their "Visions of the End" EP.
Lizzy Borden - Love You to Pieces (Metal Blade) 1985
1. "Council for the
An obscure classic of the LA metal scene. Most Lizzy Borden fans I have encountered list this among their favorites, mostly for classics like "Red Rum" and "American Metal." The overall package falls in line with what other bands from the L.A. scene were doing at the time. "Love You To Pieces" even has the requisite, hot, big-haired female in lingerie on the cover, making the disc look more like a Ratt album than something from the shock-rocker Lizzy Borden. (That is, until you notice the axe wheedling Lizzy's reflection in the mirror.) Some of the lyrics suffer from the typical L.A./Spinal Tap sexuality ("Council for the Cauldron"). Not that Lizzy Borden was ever an outlet for intelligent, poetic lyrics to begin with, but certainly he was falling in with the crowd here a bit more than he would with his follow-up discs. However, it is not the packaging that matters and the lyrics are easily overlooked as it is the music that matters. 'Ol Lizzy sounds great on this album, at times when he is not in his helium mode, even reminded me of Bruce Dickinson, which is indeed quite a compliment. That is not to say that Lizzy is anything but unique. He has a truly distinctive voice, that most people either love or hate. Originally released by Metal Blade and Enigma Records, this disc has long been out of print, but was finally re-issued and remastered in 2002 by Metal Blade. The new improved packaging features several bonus tracks as well as a ton of cool live pics of Lizzy and Co. One minor complaint is that the song listing is incorrect on the re-release.
Powergod recorded a cover of "Red Rum" on their Tribute to the Gods CD.
Lizzy Borden - The Murderess Metal Roadshow (Metal Blade) 1986
1. "Council for the
Lizzy Borden's "The Murderess Metal Road Show" is more or less Love You To Pieces with a different song order and a few extra tracks from their first EP. While I am sure that seeing Lizzy Borden live would have been quite the experience in 1985, it just doesn't translate well on this album. Usually I like live albums because they give the songs some power and intensity that is lost in the studio. In Lizzy Borden's case, I prefer the studio outputs. Part of the problem may be that this album needed to be fixed up in the studio more than it was, if it was at all. With such a stage spectacle, I am sure the band was not completely focused on playing their very best, and I think this translates to the disc. The overall sound is not that great either. The Murderess Metal Road Show is my least favorite Lizzy Borden album. Without seeing the theatrics, it's just not the same.
Lizzy Borden - Menace to Society (Metal Blade) 1986
Big hair, big stage presence, big chainsaws, big tanks and heavy metal. What more could you ask for from a 1980's metal band? Metal Blade's house band, Lizzy Borden cranks out some decent heavy metal on this disc. Frizzy Lizzy's voice sounds good, having a sound like a more theatrical LA rocker. Reminds me slightly of W.A.S.P. with a different vocalist.
Lizzy Borden - Visual Lies (Metal Blade) 1987
1. "Me Against the
"Visual Lies" is typical 1980's commercial heavy metal, and as I recall I use to own this on vinyl many, many years ago. I don't remember it being a favorite, but once I popped in this cd re-issue, I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed it. Perhaps it was my mood at the time, or perhaps it's just a lot better than I remember it, but "Visual Eyes" is a good, melodic, pop metal platter with some catchy songs. The title track and album opener "Me Against the World" are especially good songs with strong anthemic choruses. Both songs had me still singing long after the cd was turned off. Great production by veteran producer Max Norman, who has also produced, around the same time, such killer metal albums as Loudness' "Thunder in the East" , Ozzy's "Blizzard of Ozz" and "Diary of a Madman", Savatage's "Power of the Night", Armored Saint's "Delerious Nomad" and some years later Megadeth's "Countdown to Extinction" and Death Angel's "Act III", among others. Perhaps this disc is a little more commercial or pop oriented than was accepted by the metal underground in 1987. I really can't remember why I didn't give this album more play in the 80's. Oh well, no time like the present.
"Visual Lies" included guitarist J. Holmes, who would go on to play with Ozzy in Zakk's absence.
Lizzy Borden - Master of Disguise (Metal Blade) 1989
1. "Master of Disguise"
Wow! This disc was a bit of a shock and surprise. I was already familiar with much of his early material, and it stayed within the confines of 80's heavy metal, never really straying far from that formula. Shock-rocker Lizzy Borden has always been known more as a follower of such bands as Kiss and Alice Cooper, loving the showmanship as much as the music and unfortunately never rising above the pack. This disc, however, is a big change. This is much more commercial adding in horns, keyboards and even some orchestration to Lizzy's metallic sounds. That is not to say this is totally wimpy, sellout pop metal. I actually enjoy this disc quite a bit. From the stories I have read, Lizzy fired his entire band and brought in some professional studio musicians for this disc, thus accounting for the radical change in style.
Lizzy Borden - Deal With The Devil (Metal Blade) 2000
1. "There Will Be
Blood Tonight" (3:55)
I have long been a Lizzy Borden fan, however when this CD was released I didn't rush out to buy it. I'm not exactly sure what my reservations were, besides the overall concept of the album. I also feared the band would soil their legacy. "Deal with Devil" was the first Lizzy Borden studio release in a little over a decade, so it follows that the band's sound might have changed a bit. However, upon seeing Lizzy live I was instantly hooked on songs like "There Will Be Blood Tonight" and "Loving You is Murder". This is real heavy metal. Unlike many other bands that came out of the LA club scene on the Hollywood Strip in the 80's, Lizzy is not chasing trends. For the most part, "Deal with the Devil" is pure heavy metal, chock full of meaty guitar riffs and memorable harmonies. Lizzy does experiment a bit in a few songs. "Zanzibar" has a Middle-Eastern influence, while "We Only Come Out At Night" has a bit of an industrial flavor, not unlike something you might hear from White Zombie. However, even these songs don't come off as trendy. The band is in fine form from Joey Scott's pounding drum work to Lizzy's signature, shrill vocal performance. I might even go so far as to say that this is one of Lizzy's best work. The band recorded two covers for this CD including the underrated Alice Cooper track "Generation Landslide" and the Blue Oyster Cult classic "(This Ain't) The Summer Of Love". It's also worth mentioning that Joey Vera (Armored Saint) played bass on "Lovin' You Is Murder" and "Believe".
Lizzy Borden - Appointment With Death (Metal Blade) 2007
It is my opinion that Lizzy Borden haven't released a bad album. Some are stronger than others, but none have been complete duds. That says a lot when a band has been around as long as Lizzy have. "Appointment with Death" is the band's first new album in seven years and is easily one of their best. This CD is full of energetic traditional heavy that is immediately infectious. Upon receiving this CD in the mail, I couldn't get it out of my CD player for several weeks. However, what I think Lizzy Borden have succeeded in doing with this album is retaining their traditional heavy metal sound without sounding completely out dated. The songs here sport beefy guitar riffs, hook laden vocal melodies, smokin' guitar solos and despite the dark imagery, very upbeat songs. This is Ira Black's first album with Lizzy Borden. His biggest contribution is his insane soloing. Along with Black, however, there are some guest shredders like George Lynch and Dave Meniketti (Y&T). (Other guests include Corey Beaulieu of Trivium and Erik Rutan of Hate Eternal.) Having seen Lizzy Borden live, I had no doubt that this line-up would provide solid musicianship, and not just with guitars. Bassist Martin Andersson is a beast! He blew me away on stage and is equally a great here. I was, however, surprised at how heavy some of the riffs are on this album. "Tomorrow Never Comes" comes to mind immediately. This song sports a heavy guitar riff along with layered vocal harmonies. Also, the main guitar riff for "Somethin's Crawlin" reminds me of Megadeth's "Symphony of Destruction". As usual, Lizzy's unique vocals are the star of the show. His vocal melodies give each and every song a memorable hook. "Bloody Tears" has one of those instant vocal hooks that will make the song part of the band's live show for a long time. All in all, I can't see any longtime Lizzy Borden fan being disappointed with this album.