Two obscure metal bands have been completely blowing my mind lately, and I have one of the many mixes that Fenriz has made available online to thank for it. In this particular mix, from a portion of his DJ set at the 2009 Metal Merchants Festival, he included a track from the 1983 "Power Metal" EP by a New Jersey band called The Beast (Pre-Ripping Corpse!?). And that track, "The Beast", is one of the most ridiculously catchy songs I've ever heard in my life:
Don't be misled by the fact that the EP is called "Power Metal", because the band's style is really more of a Motörhead-ish, hardcore/punk-infused take on catchy, energetic metal... and it fucking rules!
Reading more about The Beast led me to discover that they also appeared on the "Born to Metalize" compilation in 1984 (and released at least one demo in 1986, but I've been unable to find it) alongside Sneak Attack (NJ), Hades (NJ), and a New York band called Tortured Dog. Terrible band name, I know, but holy shit are they responsible for this infectious gem (I apologize for the skips in the YouTube track, most versions of this song that are floating around are flawed):
According to The Metal Archives the band never released anything beyond the three tracks on this compilation, which is a damn shame, 'cause this song in particular has been stuck in my head for weeks now with its insanely hook-y brand of traditional metal.
I typically don't promote downloading complete releases for free, but from what I can tell both of these records are out of print and rather rare (or at least the copies you'll stumble upon on eBay, etc. aren't exactly priced within a reasonable range), and it drives me insane that there's so much amazing music out there that you can't get your hands on through honorable means. That being said, The Devil's Music has made The Beast's "Power Metal" 7" available, and you can find a non-skipping rip of the "Born to Metalize" compilation LP over at Lockjaw.