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Rust Metallic As Iron

Posted by THE DUKE on January 14, 2011 at 5:02 PM

Rust- Shoot Them Higher

1990 Seagull Records

CD Release: 2003 Unisound Records


Greece (known by its own population as Hellas) has always been a place where today’s metal bands go to perform in front of some of the largest crowds that metal has to offer. Many countries, outside of the United States, love their metal. Some like Greece and Brazil love it more than others. Iced Earth even recorded a now legendary live album there. However, back in the 80s, metal bands in Greece were scarce. There were two bands that stood out in Greece in the 80s. Supposedly Vice Human was the first, and the band Rust came a little later.

The album “Shoot Them Higher” was released on Seagull Records in 1990, but Rust was kicking their brand of classic metal around the club circuit for about five years prior. Therefore, the album has a sound more in common with 1985 than 1990. The best comparison that I can give for Rust’s sound would be Belgium’s Ostrogoth, which was on the Mausoleum label back in the 80s. Also, without knowing the band’s country of origin, Rust could have been grouped in with the classic Swedish metal bands of the day, having much in common with bands like Overdrive and Axe Witch. The singer Makis Makris is mostly a crooner. He rarely attempts the higher register, but what he does fits in perfectly with the solemn almost gothic tones produced by the guitars. The music is straight-ahead with a plethora of fiery licks and Euro-tones. Again this formula was common of many European bands especially classic metal bands from Sweden. Even the cover of “Shoot Them Higher” is blatantly metal; literally, the cover shows a sheet-metal background with metal letters spelling out the name “Rust.” The cover even adds a pair of handcuffs for good measure. The definition of Rust is the loss of the metallic properties of iron due to oxidation. However, this Rust is as heavy and metallic as the hardest of iron.

I, personally, love this type of timeless, classic metal. Rust still exists as a metal band in Greece. The only remaining member from the classic line-up is guitarist George Stratakis. The only disappointment, regarding Rust, is that the current members seem to be trend chasers. During the 90s, the band changed its style to progressive metal, which is a logical progression that many bands embraced. However, most currently, the band is trying its hand at thrash metal with death metal style vocal arrangements. Often times, too many style changes can alienate a fan base. Just ask Loudness, whose style changes over the years can make a metal listener’s head spin. They embraced classic metal, hair metal, doom metal (Heavy Metal Hippies album), grunge, and nu-metal all to the dismay of many a metal maven. Bottom line is that I wish that Rust, like their fellow countrymen Vice Human, had kept their classic sound.

On a final note, this re-pressing of “Shoot Them Higher” was released on the Greek Unisound label. It’s common knowledge that although most of the Unisound releases were legitimate, some of their recordings were re-issued without either band or label endorsement. Rust expresses such to be the case with “Shoot Them Higher” on the band’s website. In order to counter Unisound Records and offset sales on what the band considered an illegitimate release, Rust has made the album available as a free download on their website. The songs are available as high quality mp3 files, and the production is superior to the Unisound Release to boot. I can attest to this, because I own both the limited, numbered edition released on Unisound, and the band’s free download. So, get to work, download the album, and send a comment my way making your thoughts known regarding this classic, Greek release.

Categories: The Duke's Classic Metal Journal