T.N.T. are one of those groups that most people have heard something by, but know little about. The band’s third album “Tell No Tales” released in 1987 caused something of a stir as guitarist Ronnie Le Tekro did some extraordinary things with his Kramer guitar and vocalist Tony Harnell pitched himself almost as high as an early ‘70’s Geddy Lee.

Prior to that attention grabbing album T.N.T. had already released two albums which saw them struggling to find a style and an image that they could expand on, and live with. Formed in 1982 by Le Tekro and three other Norwegians the band recorded a self-titled debut album in their first year, before the line-up began to change and gradually resemble that of today. Bassist Morty Black joined in 1983 and the band took the bold and necessary step of recruiting an American vocalist Tony Harnell arrived in Norway just in time to contribute to the band’s second album “Knights Of The New Thunder” – which was largely instrumental in forcing T.N.T. to the very front of the Scandinavian music scene. This was their first album for Polygram, doing well not only in Norway (where it went Silver) but, also in the States.

As mentioned earlier it was the band’s third album “Tell No Tales” which really put T.N.T. on the proverbial map. Gone, by this time was the Norse Viking look that had characterised the band in their early days and in was a stylish, clear as a bell sound and look. The album spawned two hit singles “Ten Thousand Lovers (In One)” and “Everyone’s A Star” with the help of their videos introduced many new MTV fans to the band.

T.N.T’s line up was consolidated in 1988 with the addition of drummer Ken Odiin, who apart from being a long-time friend of Blacks also engineered some of the band’s earlier demos.

Now, in early 1989 T.N.T are back with an excellent new album, a settled line-up, and a desire to adopt a much higher profile. Vocalist Tony Harnell spoke to me from Phonogram’s U.S. office on a day where rain was pouring outside both our windows. “Ah, it’s real ugly outside Dave, I’m glad I’m indoors.”

Me too, So tell me about the new album. How do you think you’ve progressed from “Tell No Tales”? “Well, I think that this album is another change in the band’s career, I would even say that it is as significant a step forward as “Tell…” was from “Knights of The New Thunder”. We’ve grown in every way, musically, lyrically, and socially. Perhaps the most noticeable improvement is with the vocal melodies and with the contribution that Ken has made. We’ve become much tighter now, I’m really happy about it all”

“Intuition” continues the trend that you set on your last album, that of being very positive and optimistic – which would presumably appeal to the many Christian fans out there, have you tried to cultivate that appeal? “Not really, but if we appeal to them then that’s fine. Our message is one with a general humanitarian outlook – it’s not driven at any particular religion, it’s just a basic feeling that we have about the way we like to live. We have had a lot of feedback on it though I must admit. There are a lot of subliminal messages in there, and I’m not sure how much they would be into the band if they were to study it in depth, although there’s no reason why they shouldn’t be. We aren’t trying to please any particular group of people, we just feel there is enough negativity around, so if we can be positive then that’s a plus for us.”

In one sense you seem to have gone for a more ‘mainstream’ approach on this album in that there aren’t any instrumentals (there were three on the last album) yet you have included something as ‘off the wall’ as “Ordinary Lover” why? “Ha! WeII, Ronni wrote the song about a year ago and we keep joking around with it, playing it at parties and stuff. Everyone seemed to think it was a kind of novelty so we tried to reproduce that in the studio, we got Ronnie really drunk and made him sing it – it’s his lead vocal debut. We had everyone singing the backing vocals on it Me, Ken, Joe Lynn Turner, Morty, and all the crew and our friends, so you can imagine it was pretty funny.”

The Introduction “A Nation Free” is a little strange. What can you tell me about that? “It’s about the whole World. Basically what it’s saying is say your prayers tonight, which is not so much religious as just hope for the best y’know? Chase your dreams, hold your head high, it’s personal but it’s also about wanting World peace and stuff like that”.

I wondered if it was about Norway for example because other bands like STAGE DOLLS and even FATE felt that there was a close knit community there among the musicians, would you agree? “yeah, I guess there is. I know that it seems to be a bit more between the Norwegian bands because there is a bit of rivalry between bands from Sweden and those from Norway at the moment – it’s something we all try and laugh off though. I mean I know that Ronni was partying with Yngwie the other week and they have become good friends. I’d like to play some more in Sweden because they are a great untapped audience, it’s just a case of getting over there but, we will do soon.”

Talking of the band’s homeland, you excepted, did you have any intentions when you joined of continuing that Norse Viking theme? “You know that was just something that when I joined I just went along with because that was pretty much where the songs were at then. What they did was they took me up into the mountains and showed me some castles and stuff to get me into the mood! After that album though I thought it had run its course and I wanted to move towards writing about more real life issues. When I say that I must add that I don’t like bands that write about reality, but dwell on the negative stuff, to me that’s harmful – whether you’re singing or just living out that kind of attitude. So what I’ve bled to focus on is a mixture of reality and fantasy, but with an emphasis on the positive side of things…”

Having said that though, Tony, does that mean that you don’t sympathise with bands like OZZY OSBOURNE and JUDAS PRIEST who, after writing about the negative side of things have been accused of causing suicides etc? “No. My feeling is that everybody has a good head on their shoulders (with a few exceptions), and I think we all agree on this, that whether they were listening to PRIEST or to God, then I think those people would have done what they did irrespective of what they were listening to – maybe those people just needed an excuse to snap, and that was a convenient one.”

We mentioned image before, in terms of the band’s old look, so what are you trying to emphasise nowadays? “I think we’re just trying to be ourselves – I think that is the most important thing. We’re trying to let our fans see that we’re a real band who write about real issues. We still feel that we’re a new rock n’ roll band because although we have had some success there’s still a lot of people that haven’t seen or even heard of us.

“At our shows we seem to attract a good cross-section of fans – women, rockers, you know the sort. Sometimes I think that the real heavy fans shy away from us – but to do that they have obviously never seen us live. I mean when people like that do take the time to listen to us I know that they get turned onto it ‘cos it is heavy, and it’s intense.”

What was it like working with Joe Lynn Turner then? “It was unbelievable. I mean I’ve admired him for years – when I was in a band playing cover versions in Philly and New York I used to sing all his RAINBOW stuff, I’ve just been a fan of his since I was about nineteen years old I guess. Just to stand next to him and sing all the harmonies with him it was amazing. He taught me so much about how to best do the backing vocals. I’d done them all on the previous two albums, and I thought they were O.K. but I really wanted some more. He showed me a lot of new harmonies, and how to do them a lot quicker. He’s just like a machine, he’ll find the melody then he’ll just do it, he is brilliant. He has such a rich voice, and I think that the bottom end harmonies this time are much fuller thanks to him.”

What made you choose to work with Bjorn Nessjoe again? “Erm, ‘cos he’s good! Ha! Seriously though he just seems to get a sound that just fits us – we’re not looking to sound like all the other bands out there. We don’t sit back and say let’s sell eight million records next time, go get Bruce Fairbairn and Desmond Child y’know? It’s O.K. if one or two bands do it but now that everyone’s having a go there’s soon not gonna be a lot of difference between them all. As a band we all felt that we wanted to keep our own identity, and I think with Bjorn we can do that”

Would you agree that your live profile has been pretty low, and are you going to change that? “Yeah, we are gonna try and change that with this album. We’ve had some real bad luck with some of the tours that we were gonna do, or were doing y’know. Our goal now is to play as much as possible – on the last two albums we were taken off the road before we really wanted to come off. We are a good live band, but that is something that people will just have to accept for now, until they get chance to see us. We’re looking at three options right now as to when and where we’ll be touring. One of the options is to open for a big band in the States, which is the record Company’s intention with this album. But, the band are mostly European and so we all want to do another European tour, and I especially want to do more British dates than the Marquee slot we did last time.”

O.K. then Tony, does your “Intuition” tell you that this is going to be the album that’s gonna ‘make It’ for you, or do you foresee another one first? “My intuition tells me that this is the one, I’m not gonna jinx it though, so I have to say that it feels very good, that the record company are giving one hundred percent – it’s kinda frustrating because In the past we’ve always done what was expected of us, then fallen foul to outside forces or something. This time though I think we’ll be able to see it through, we’ll play all the shows we need to play, and really give it all we’ve got. We’ve some great plans to do some ‘proper’ videos this time and we’re all really excited about it all.”

Well, there you have it, if you’ve never heard T.N.T. do yourself a favour and grab a copy of “Intuition” – it can’t be wrong after all.




Formed in 1986 by Mark Beaudoin (lead guitar) and Tom Kavanagh (drums), WITCH MASTER GENERAL are a power metal band based in Ottawa, Canada.

The band’s current demo was recorded in October last year and features five songs “October Frost”, “Scarlet Fever”, “Reduced To Ashes”, “On The Warpath” and the title track “Winds Of Salem”.

Musically, the band, whose line-up is completed by Randy Chase (vocals), Dan McNamara (rhythm guitars) and Bryant Dale (bass), mix early METALLICA and SABBATH influences with injections of thrash and enhanced with a strong sense of melody. Vocalist Randy Chase reminds me a lot of Ozzy Osbourne with a touch of CANDLEMASS’ Messiah Marcolin thrown in, which suits the complex story structures perfectly.

On the evidence of this tape, WITCH MASTER GENERAL have some strong material especially “October First” and the pacey “On The Warpath”, which displays excellent musicianship and a desire to be creative and original, and hopefully they shouldn’t have too many problems in securing a record deal in the near future.





Reading based FATAL are a young British metal band who’ve been together for a little over a year and consist of Yeti (vocals/bass), Dave Caton (guitar) and Nigel Farrow (drums).

The band have already supported the dreadful TATTOOED LOVE BOYS which seems a complete mis-match because FATAL’s music is at the heavier, bordering on thrash, end of the metal spectrum.

FATAL’s three song demo kicks off with the title track, “Lynch Law”, a pacey MAlDENesque affair, well structured with some great guitar fills. In fact, guitarist Dave Caton plays with a lot of feel and melody, especially on “First Born”, which puts an exciting edge to bands music. Unfortunately, the final song “Passive Aggressor” is none too clever, sounding like a disjointed early CELTIC FROST, but if FATAL can polish up their song writing a little and get some decent gigs under their belt then they could well be a band to look out for in the future. The band are already planning to record a new demo so l look forward to that with interest.




With the expected interest in MORTAL SIN in the coming months, there’s sure to be a sudden interest in Australian thrash metal. And there’s no doubt dozens of bands are waiting in the wings for the door to open.

Well, one such band that could well be making their own headlines in the near future are ADDICTIVE, a Sydney based quartet who’ve recently released a highly promising five song demo entitled “Ward 74”.

Formed in November1987, and with a line-up of Greg (vocals/bass), Joe and Mick (guitars) and Matt (drums), ADDICTIVE are obviously influenced by the likes of METALLICA and especially TESTAMENT, and although the material isn’t mind blowing or particularly original, it is delivered with plenty of power, precision and conviction to suggest that they could well develop into a class thrash unit in time.




JUNGLE ALLEY is bassist Gary J. Corso’s (ex-ROCKNEE) new act. Joining Gary is his brother Joee (lead guitar), Steve Phillips (lead guitar), Muke Russo (drums) and Bump Scott (lead vocals).

“Ready” hits off the demo in fine AEROSMITH-like style. “Too Loose For Love” has some killer axework from Joee and Steve with the whole song structured around a kind of funky, but really meaty riff.

“Even Though” is a ballad reminiscent of “Sweet Child O’ Mine”, where Bump Scott’s vocals and the band’s harmonies come across exceptionally strong.
‘Tired Of Your Love” has a more commercial feel to it with keyboards and a memorable chorus, plus some more excellent dual axework.

Finally, ‘On My Way” has a mid-west rock’n’roll feel to it and closes a happening demo.

JUNGLE ALLEY has been working with Tony Thompson of the POWERSTATION and keyboard extraordinaire, Jeff Loiter who helped produce this demo, and I’m sure the band will be tearin’ up L.A. by the time you read this.

Jungle Alley from their  myspace page







Originally based in Knoxville, Tennessee but now residing in Seattle, Washington, NO DIRECTION are a five-piece outfit whose mixture of speed metal and hardcore reminds me a lot of Chicago’s underrated AFTERMATH who appeared on the MF “Scream Your Brains Out” compilation album last year.

NO DlRECTlON have been together in some shape or form since ’87 and their current line-up reads: Tim Allen (vocals), Hank Bate (lead guitar), Lenny Burnett (guitar), James Atkins (bass) and David Knight (drums).

The bands four song demo is well produced and the material is fairly strong, ranging from the thrashcore frenzied “Circle Of Fear” to the more metalized “Brain Daze” with brutal METALLICA-like rifling. “Blind Reproach” is a punchy plodder with some blatant SLAYER “Reign In Blood” era riffs, whilst the more pacey “Gestures Of Faith” ends a promising enough tape.



 NIAGARA – The Marquee, London

Whether it was just curiosity or actual interest in the band I couldn’t say, but the Marquee had a large crowd for Spain’s hottest new export: (just edging ahead at San Miguel lager!) NIAGARA.
From the offset they were out to impress – their stagecraft, learnt on stages far larger than this one tonight, was fluid, projective and perfectly executed – culminating in a SCORPIONS style synchronised set-piece (note the alliteration!) which served as an introduction to “Now Or Never” one of the band’s most potent cuts.

Vocalist Tony Cuevas has the voice and the look of a star – his English is virtually flawless and his mike-spinning acrobatics make him the centre of attention, a compliment indeed bearing in mind the quality of the band beside him.

Although touted as a ‘melodic rock’ band NIAGARA really crank it up live. Guitarist VIM. has the ability to caress your ears one minute, then hit you in the guts the next! – which makes for an interesting show I can tell you!
Clearly NIAGARA have got what it takes to be the next big thing their material is excellent, check out the beauty of “Take My Hand”, or the aggression behind “Power” (a fantastic instrumental). The latter displays the perfect Interplay between keyboardist Ricky Castaneda, bassist Angel Alias, drummer Joey Matos, and, of course, guitarist V.M. Arias.

Needless to say the crowd lapped it up, which seemed to spur the band to even greater heights and resulted in a singing contest which actually worked (!) and a couple of encores, one being a cover of DOKKEN’s “Into The fire”.
Hopefully NIAGARA will remove the stigma that so far has been synonymous with Spanish rock.



Rolling Stone, Milan, Italy
I’ve got to say that this gig had all the ingredients for turning into a “Fabulous Disaster” itself and considering the trauma’s suffered throughout the day by bands and crew alike, I was very relieved when it had actually got underway.

On arriving mid-afternoon at the Rolling Stone, a seedy but fairly amiable venue close to the centre of Milan, it became apparent that all was not exactly what you would call…er, well. Problem. The truck carrying all the equipment, PA, amps, etc had not yet turned up and as far as I could make out, nobody seemed too sure about its location either. As time drew on faces grew longer and longer, including my own. By now plans were afoot to hire gear locally, an idea not relished by most, but something that looked like becoming a reality and better than not playing at all.

Moving on to the early evening, things were still unchanged and with proceedings meant to commence at 8 o’clock then time was running very short, However, shouts of ‘the truck’s here’ and a general buzz which suddenly spread around the hall, signalled time for a mad panic in order to get the gear in and setup.

Admirably enough, soon after eight, HOLY TERROR broke the strained atmosphere by promptly strolling out onstage and shredding the crowd with their excellent and I think very underrated set of songs and although this was not one of their better shows, it was still well above average. The sound was pretty dismal which was hardly surprising and it was this factor that did most damage to the songs – a lot of them being pretty unintelligible. That said though, HOLY TERROR possess some truly excellent material, particularly tine stuff from most recently, “Mind Wars”, combining interesting and cleverly constructed song structures added to relentless thrash rhythms. “Judas Reward” managed to rise above the messy P.A. sound just long enough to grab tine crowd’s shell-shocked attention before disappearing once again and, alongside “Do Unto Others”, about which vocalist Keith Deen declared “you may like it, or you may not”, were the two standout numbers for me.

That quote from Deen though probably sums up HOLY TERROR, because they are a band whose music needs to be worked at before it can be fully appreciated and they don’t follow any real speed metal clichés. Based around the razor sharp guitar axis of Kurt Kilfelt and Mike Alvord then coupled to the blitzkrieg of the Flanary/Mitchell rhythm section, topped off by the snarling vocals of Keith Deen, who’s more of a shouter than a singer but fits in well all the same, HOLY TERROR have some way to go before they reach their full potential and faced with opening up a show like this, may not have excelled quite as much as they may have wished. I’d like to see this band given a tour of their own ideally, because they have the ingenuity, yet more importantly, the ability to turn into something really special.

After the show I asked Kurt Kilfelt what he thought of the show and the audience? “God, it ruled actually man, it was a really happening crowd. The crowds are real good in Europe, they really go for it, you come over here and it’s like ‘Wow, we’re really somebody’.

What’s happening after this tour? “I think we stop in Frankfurt, after that we’re supposed to play over in the U.K., now l don’t know whether that’s going to happen for sure, I mean, we only got one weeks notice about this and all the posters say other bands are supporting so the promotion’s been nil, it’s the second time we’ve been over here with no promotion, but that first tour was pretty happening too.”



Singles reviewed by Xavier Russell

AUGUST REDMOON: ‘Fools Are Never Alone’ (Metalworks Records)

Yet another tacky masterpiece from an LA copy band. August Redmoon (doncha just luv the name?) seem to draw inspiration from early Rush, throwing in a little something of their own. It’s a blend that makes this five-track EP a must – no holds barred. OTT Metal and fairly catchy too. My own personal faves are ‘Bump In The Night’ (even the ‘oohs’ are in the right place). ‘We Know What You Want’, which boasts a catchy riff. One for the Metal charts.



KERRANG ISSUE 33 JANUARY 1983 Feature by Malcolm Dome

Well, in contrast to the frugal humility of most Dutch people, this quintet (thank heaven) proved to be a right rare bundle of loveable loonies.

For a kick-off, during an intense two hour photo session, they managed to anger a director of Phonogram by harking about on his push-bike, consume about 70 crates of bottled Heineken, smoke their way through 100 packets of Marlboro and pour tomato ketchup all over the floor in a real blood-letting exercise.
All of which meant that by the time vocalist Shmoulik Avigal, guitarists Jan Bechtum and Chriz van Jaarsfeld, bassist Rinus Vreugdenhil and drummer Laurens ‘Bakky’ Bakker, were corralled into an ‘interview situation’ none of them was in a fit state to talk seriously about the band.

Still, at least their command of English was fair, so some semblance of sense did eventually vomit forth from certain of these Netherlands nutters. What follows, then, is a combination of their more printable quotes plus info gleaned from other sources about their past.

The story really began in the Autumn of 1979, when the rhythm section of Vreugdenhil and Bakker decided to form a hard rocking’ band because, in the immortal words of the latter, “normally we had to pay for our drinks. But when we are in a band, we knew we could get a contract that stated we were entitled to FREE DRINKS!”

So, the gormless duo teamed up with original vocalist Ronald van Prooien plus the aforementioned Bechtum in search of alcohol. “It was really terrible in the beginning,” quipped the half-drunk, totally-crazed Bakker. “Jan was a good guy, but couldn’t play guitar at all. Within a couple of months, though, we made him into a very good musician. Now, he’s better than Blackmore”

Are you keeping up with this nonsense? Anyway, after a very short time, Picture were discovered by Henk van Antwerpen, a man whose managerial pedigree included work with semi-successful Dutch new wavers the Nits (never really up to scratch on the international circuit, one might say!)

“Henk was one of the biggest problems in Holland,” asserted Bakker. “Since we’re a bunch of trouble-makers and he is one also, it was a perfect match. He’s not really up to much as a manager. But since he is smoking…we are smoking..and we like the brand he buys, Henk does have his uses. Look at the money he saves us on fags – we always nick his!”

With van Antwerpen on the case, the band were rapidly snapped up by WEA Records in Holland. However this union was never consummated vinyl-wise and the band soon split with the label. “They wanted us to sound like Kiss and become really commercial, even do a modern version of ‘Chirpy, Chirpy, Cheap, Cheap’, you know,” explained Bechtum.

Undaunted by such an experience, Picture were soon back in the frame with Back Door Records (a subsidiary of Phonogram in Holland). This deal led to the band, still in their original quartet format recording two LPs in 1981, viz ’Picture I’ and ‘Heavy Metal Ears’.

Now, neither album can really be classed as outstanding. Indeed, both have as much appeal as, say. Krokus in their pre- ‘Metal Rendezvous’ days. In other words, perfect bargain-bin fodder. However, the lads did manage to garner a surprisingly large following not only in Holland (where they’ve supported the likes of Saxon, Ted Nugent, April Wine and AC/DC on major tours) but also in Italy, Germany, and Mexico.

“In Mexico, particularly, they go mad for us,” revealed Bechtum in all seriousness. “Kiss are the most popular band there, followed by Black Sabbath – and then comes Picture.”
On top of that, the band were last year voted the top domestic act in two of the leading rock magazines in Holland – a positive pointer that at last true heavy rock is beginning to make a home-produced impact on the docile Dutch.

“We are the first really heavy band to come from Holland,” boasted Bakker with good reason. “Golden Earring and their like are very good people, but they’ve never been HM, more just pop/rock. We have been fortunate enough to get the support of the rock press in Holland and to have built up a good number of fans. But, there’s a long way for us to go yet. Neither the radio stations nor the television people want to know about heavy music at the moment.”

“To some extent, we’re in the same position now as the Scorpions were originally in Germany,” continued Avigal “It was only after they made it in England that they were accepted at home. I think to make it BIG in Holland. Picture is first of all gonna have to build an international reputation.”

All the signs are currently pointing towards Picture being able to do just that. And, as I’ve already said, much of this is due to the undoubted dynamism of ‘Diamond Dreamer’.

With Avigal being railed in for the departed van Prooien (a vital change as the former is a top-class Dio-like hard rock singer, in a different league to his predecessor), ‘DD’ could (in the potentially prophetic words of Bechtum) prove to be “as important for us as ‘In Rock’ was for Deep Purple.”

Already the LP has established Picture as the premier heavy band in Holland, ahead of pretenders such as Vandenberg, and provided them with the possibility of true global clout. Certainly the drafting in of Peter Hinton to co-produce the ‘Diamond….‘ sessions with local lad Ton van der Bremen (who was responsible for the sound on the first brace of Picture LP5) has drawn forth richly melodic and fruitfully powerhouse performances scarcely hinted at before.

“We got on swell with Pete, he’s such a colourful character,” laughed Avigal. ‘We only had 10 days to work on the songs in the studio, and considering all of that, it came out very well. Hopefully, the next album will be even better.

“But, whether or not we’ll still be with Phonogram in Holland by then is doubtful. As far as hard rock bands go, they’ve done very well in promoting us. But we’re an ambitious group, and we don’t think the company can really help us to make it in the wider context.”

Yet, if their Dutch label situation is a little murky, one thing is for certain – ’Diamond Dreamer’ will get a long-overdue UK release next month on Carrere, and the band hope to follow this up with a support slot on the upcoming Motorhead UK tour.

“We’re looking forward to playing England,” admitted Avigal with obvious relish. “Our music is basically English. Our influences are the heroes we grew up with Hendrix. Purple and Zeppelin. So the best place for us to go is England.”