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 Post subject: Ruthless: Discipline Of Steel/Metal Without Mercy
PostPosted: Fri Dec 22, 2006 11:40 pm 
The Lord of Destruction
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Ruthless ~ Discipline Of Steel/Metal Without Mercy

Vital Statistics:

Record Company: Discipline...: Axe Killer // Metal...: Iron Works
Release Date: Discipline...: 1986 // Metal...: 1984
Producer: Ethan James, Ben Jackson & Ruthless
Web Site: No official page (that I could find).


Image

Image

Image

NOTE: In my research, I found two different covers for the EP. The bottom one is shown on my reissue. The middle one I found at several different sites on the Web.


Musicians:

Sami D ~ Lead Vocals
Kenny McGee ~ Lead & Rhythm Guitars
Steven T.ZZ ~ Lead, Rhythm & Acoustic Guitars
Rollen Schroeder ~ Lead & Rhythm Guitars (Metal Without Mercy)
Jack Black ~ Bass Guitar
Bryant Scott ~ Drums
Todd Billings ~ Drums (Metal Without Mercy)
"Rocker" Bob Guitrau ~ Drums (Uncredited on the reissue... See 'The Last Word' below for details.)


The Rundown:

Discipline Of Steel:

1.) Discipline Of Steel [5:10] (Scott/T.ZZ): The intro to this track is slow and ominous... but soons breaks out into a thrash metal frenzy of drums and guitar... A little simplistic but a headbanging rocker nonetheless... Will definitely make you bang your head! Rating: 7/10

2.) Ancient Warrior [4:01] (Ruthless): This song is a mid-tempo rocker with a serious attitude... The vocals and guitar work are very good... the outro solo is a killer! However, the rhythm section is what really drives this song home like a ton of bricks! I like that... :twisted: Rating: 8/10

3.) Know No Evil [4:11] (Scott/T.ZZ): The main riff has a bit of an early Crüe vibe (think Looks That Kill) but even heavier and done with a bigger attitude... This is what Vince and the boys would've sounded like if they had recorded "Shout at the Devil" in a dark, dirty alley with a bum pissing on Tommy's bass drum! :shock: 8) Rating: 8/10

4.) Look Out [3:12] (Ruthless): I think this song displays a bit of the band's inexperience as songwriters. The musicianship is very good but the lyrics and riff are very simple... really a bit too simple. Also, at a few different points, the lead guitarist plays a harmonic which is a bit unpleasant. However, the drum and bass on this track help make this song decent overall. Rating: 4/10

5.) Sign Of The Cross [5:28] (T.ZZ): This song starts off with a very raw acoustic intro that leads into a fireball of blazing guitars and double-barrel drums, fit for any Metallica fan! :twisted: This song could've easily have been the one that broke this band to thrash fans everywhere... This would be have easily been a ten with slightly better production. A real headbanging anthem worthy of any mosh pit! :twisted: Rating: 9/10

6.) Another Day In Hell [2:30] (Scott/T.ZZ): Another Crüe-like mid-tempo headknocker with some 5-star drum work. There are really some cool drum breaks in this one... It would make for an excellent case study for drummers on how to make a fairly standard beat come to life and really ROCK! An excellent tune! 8) Rating: 8/10

7.) Raiders Of The Night [5:10] (T.ZZ): Big bottom alert! This song has to be experienced on 11... This song is slow and just plain heavy. Again, the lyrics are a little simplistic but it really doesn't matter here... The delivery is what counts! You FEEL the bass on this track as much as hear it! This one will make your chest hurt... like you've been hit with TWO tons of bricks! Yes, it's just that damn good! Image Rating: 10/10

8.) Hardcore [6:12] (Sami D/T.ZZ): This is another pounding barrage of mid-tempo headbanging goodness... executed with a whiskey-bent and hellbound attitude! :twisted: The track also features a few simple but effective acoustic breaks... and a couple of solos that'll peel the paint off your walls! Great execution... Hell, there's even a bit o' cowbell thrown in for good measure... :wink: Rating: 9/10

9.) Run For Your Life [3:00] (Scott/T.ZZ): This one has a pretty good feel to it... Delivered fast and in-your-face... The over-simple lyrics are back again, however. The musicianship really tends to hide the fact that the songwriting is a bit lacking here... A good listen, nonetheless. Rating: 6/10

10.) The Message [6:09] (Ruthless): :twisted: That about covers it! The guitar intro sounds like screams from the depths of Hell... Ah, yes, a lovely sound! :lol: Slow and steady... this one really hammers you into submission with double-bass in the middle section! Some really good theme changes and soloing in there, too... Reminds me of early Metallica or Metal Church... Just plain evil! :twisted: Rating: 9/10

Metal Without Mercy (EP):

11.) Gates Of Hell [4:18] (Ruthless): A little backwards-masking is always a good start... :wink: ...and this is no exception! This song hits you like a piledriver... Smacks you square in the face and asks you if you want seconds! :shock: The vocals are top-notch and the band really screams through this one... This one will send your little surround-sound speakers home crying to Mama! :twisted: Rating: 10/10

12.) Metal Without Mercy [4:47] (Ruthless): Very Metal Church... In other words, very friggin' good! Screaming vocals, great solo work, a killer bottom-end and a big, crunchy riff worthy of any 40-car pileup! Hell... That's good enough for me! Image Rating: 9/10

13.) Bury The Axe [4:18] (Ruthless): Would you believe this song has a little triangle in the intro... and it's still heavy as hell!!! Yep... You heard it here first... :wink: Hard and heavy... like a pair of cast-iron boxers! The vocals sound like Dee Snider on steroids! This song is like an all-out assault on your ears! Beautiful!!! Rating: 9/10

14.) The Fever [3:35] (Ruthless): Wow! Bob must've been tired after this one! :wink: Double-bass damn near all the way through this song... like a thousand hammers! Fast and furious... This one would have fit in on "Kill 'Em All" as is... and that's pretty high-praise! Rating: 9/10

15.) Mass Killer [5:56] (Ruthless): A nice, eerie acoustic intro breaks into a full-frontal attack with a driving beat and a beat-you-over-the head riff... The break is a bit reminiscent of early Maiden and the song definitely fits the Metal Church mold. A great way to close the EP but it leaves you wanting more... I want more! Bob... Get back to work!!! :lol: Rating: 8/10


The Last Word:

OK, kiddies... Story time! :shock:

When I found out RockerBob was in Ruthless, I was curious as to what they sounded like. I had been shooting the bull with him for a few months over at Y&T... I knew he was a drummer... I knew he had been on the road with various bands over the years. However, I was surprised to find out that he was in a band that had recorded and released a couple of discs. I asked around and got a couple of shrugs... Then, a couple of people told me... "Ruthless? Oh yeah... They should've been big! They were great!"

Since we all know by now that I'm nothing if not persistent (read: stubborn :wink: ), I set out determined to find a copy of this gem that I had missed out on for all these years. After a few weeks, I had seen only one on eBay... It went for like $40 (I got outbid with 30 seconds to go... :( ). More determined than ever, Bob finally saw one in Amazon's "New and Used" section... but it was in Europe! I threw caution to the wind and ordered it anyway... Took a while, but it finally arrived... in mint condition! It turns out that the LP/EP combo was done by Axe Killer but was a limited run of 2000 units (mine is #947).

I eagerly threw the disc in for a listen and started looking through the liner notes... As I was enjoying this symphony of shred, it dawned on me that Bob's name was nowhere in it?!?! So, being the inquisitive (read: nosey SOB) guy I am, I PM'd Bob and asked what happened... The response came later on that night: "The EP I did and recorded some of the tracks for the lp, they were my replacements. I did not recv any credits on the reprints." ~ Bob (6/9/06)

Yes, I save all of my PMs... I told you I was obsessive-compulsive... Didn't believe me, did ya? :P

Well, Bob's answer shocked me... The matter-of-fact tone of his answer shocked me, too... He said simply that when Axe Killer rereleased the two discs together, they omitted him in the credits. I would've been pissed! Then I realized, that's the story of many bands like this... They released some excellent music... Unfortunately, no one noticed until it was too late. The rerelease gave a few more people (myself included) the chance to hear a band that could have been HUGE and was very close to being just that.

The "Metal Without Mercy" EP is probably the best independent debut I have ever heard by a band... any band! The five songs (11-15) that made up this EP will melt your speakers and give you whiplash... and that's a promise from us... The Heavy Metal People... Absolutely kick-ass!!! The musicianship is top-notch from top-to-bottom... The sound quality is also excellent, especially considering that this was a small, independent release and probably didn't have much of a budget.

Think... "Kill 'Em All" here (only shorter :wink:)... Yes, it's THAT friggin' good!!!

"Discipline Of Steel" is a little less consistent, however. There are some great songs on there. A few of the songs show a little immaturity in the songwriting department. None of the songs are truly groundbreaking, mind you, but a few of them really could have used a little more work to take them to the next level... The album also suffers a little from the small-label independent production it received. I really believe, however, that this disc could have been massive with the right production and management. The musicianship and talent were all there... in spades. The band was tight... the vocals were killer... They even had the big Crüe hair! :wink:

Even more important to ponder, though, is the "what if" factor...

Like, what if: "Discipline..." had attracted the attention it deserved and gotten a big-label rerelease... It would have been big! However, the follow-up for this disc, with a more experienced Ruthless recording, would've been absolutely stellar!!! These guys could have easily been a top-tier act. There is no doubt in my mind. The possibilities are mind-boggling...

They could very well have been between "Ratt" and the "Scorpions" on our front page here at 80's Metal Server. Of course, then Bob would've turned into one of those big-time metal snobby musicians... :wink:

Just playing, Bob! :B

This reissue is worth the added bucks required to get this one for yourself. They are hard to find, but not impossible. Any fan of heavy metal or thrash (think early Metal Church, Metallica, Anthrax and Crüe) should get their hands on this disc... Enjoy it... and wonder "what if"...

BTW ~ I've asked Bob to stop in and add his thoughts about the review... and about his involvement with the band and the recording process...

Bob ~ If you find any inaccuracies, please let me know... :wink:

Everyone raise a glass to one of our resident rockers... RockerBob... CHEERS! :B :B :B


The Bottom Line (AKA - The Six-Pack Scale):

Metal Without Mercy (EP): :B :B :B :B :B

Discipline Of Steel: :B :B :B :B :b



:BB Steve

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"I told you... that we could fly... 'Cause we all have wings... but some of us don't know why..."
~ Michael Hutchens (RIP)


"Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans..."
~ John Lennon (RIP)


"Don't get cute... Don't get funny now... It's later than you think..."
~ Greg Kihn


"As we celebrate mediocrity... all the boys upstairs wanna see...
How much you'll pay... for what you used to get for free..."

~ Tom Petty


Image

"I think you'd better ask yourself... before you criticize me...
Are you a victim of the System... or the Powers-That-Be?
If there was nothing to gain... would you do it for free?"

~ Sammy Hagar


"I was glad to come... I'll be sad to go... So while I'm here... I'll have me a real good time..."
~ Rod Stewart (The Faces)


"The earth can shake... The sky come down... The mountains all... fall to the ground...
But I will fear... none of these things... Shelter me, Lord... underneath your wings..."

~ Buddy Miller


"Rock hard... Ride free... All your life..."
~ Rob Halford


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Dec 23, 2006 12:34 am 
The Lord of Destruction
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Bob ~ Happy to do it, bro...

I just wanted to get the word out about this little-known classic... The fact that you are a regular here also gives us a great opportunity to hear things from the musician's side of things...

Your input is much appreciated, BTW! Great stuff... :B

Oh... and you know who wants the first copy of that demo... :wink:

:BB Steve

_________________
"I told you... that we could fly... 'Cause we all have wings... but some of us don't know why..."
~ Michael Hutchens (RIP)


"Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans..."
~ John Lennon (RIP)


"Don't get cute... Don't get funny now... It's later than you think..."
~ Greg Kihn


"As we celebrate mediocrity... all the boys upstairs wanna see...
How much you'll pay... for what you used to get for free..."

~ Tom Petty


Image

"I think you'd better ask yourself... before you criticize me...
Are you a victim of the System... or the Powers-That-Be?
If there was nothing to gain... would you do it for free?"

~ Sammy Hagar


"I was glad to come... I'll be sad to go... So while I'm here... I'll have me a real good time..."
~ Rod Stewart (The Faces)


"The earth can shake... The sky come down... The mountains all... fall to the ground...
But I will fear... none of these things... Shelter me, Lord... underneath your wings..."

~ Buddy Miller


"Rock hard... Ride free... All your life..."
~ Rob Halford


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Dec 23, 2006 10:24 am 
The Ultimate Metal Master
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Favorite Band: Iced Earth,Blackmore's Night,The Coop
I'd be interesting in hearing that demo as well :)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Mar 21, 2007 9:50 pm 
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Location: Concord, CA
I own the "Metal Without Mercy" EP, and love it.

Mass Fever and Bury The Axe are my favorite songs off of it.

I remember listening to this back in the day thinking....this Ruthless shit is brutal!

In fact I put them on a cassette tape with Venom on side 2 so I could also listen in my car back then.

You have to realize this was some really HEAVY music back when it came out.

I think it still sounds cool twenty years later.....:B...Cheers to Bob


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 22, 2007 8:49 am 
The Ultimate Metal Master
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Favorite Band: Iced Earth,Blackmore's Night,The Coop
so, you'd say it was ruthless then ;)

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 23, 2007 12:00 am 
The Lord of Destruction
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Favorite Band: Pinkmaiden Rainsabbath Zeppepriest
This disc is still getting some regular play time here at the party pit... :twisted:

:BB Steve

_________________
"I told you... that we could fly... 'Cause we all have wings... but some of us don't know why..."
~ Michael Hutchens (RIP)


"Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans..."
~ John Lennon (RIP)


"Don't get cute... Don't get funny now... It's later than you think..."
~ Greg Kihn


"As we celebrate mediocrity... all the boys upstairs wanna see...
How much you'll pay... for what you used to get for free..."

~ Tom Petty


Image

"I think you'd better ask yourself... before you criticize me...
Are you a victim of the System... or the Powers-That-Be?
If there was nothing to gain... would you do it for free?"

~ Sammy Hagar


"I was glad to come... I'll be sad to go... So while I'm here... I'll have me a real good time..."
~ Rod Stewart (The Faces)


"The earth can shake... The sky come down... The mountains all... fall to the ground...
But I will fear... none of these things... Shelter me, Lord... underneath your wings..."

~ Buddy Miller


"Rock hard... Ride free... All your life..."
~ Rob Halford


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Mar 25, 2007 9:02 pm 
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Posts: 218
Location: Concord, CA
Bob did Ruthless ever make it up here to the bay area?

Oakland or S.F. ?

I still love that style of metal Ruthless and others played.

I like a lot of bands that appeared on those Metal Massacre compilation albums.

Bob, you have send me the CD.


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 09, 2007 9:33 pm 
The Lord of Destruction
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Favorite Band: Pinkmaiden Rainsabbath Zeppepriest
Rockerbob wrote:
Guess what I have in my hand. Two "cassettes with the 3 song demo on them! Now I gotta tranfer to cd and then to mp3 format correct?


Sign me up for that, bro! :B

:BB Steve

_________________
"I told you... that we could fly... 'Cause we all have wings... but some of us don't know why..."
~ Michael Hutchens (RIP)


"Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans..."
~ John Lennon (RIP)


"Don't get cute... Don't get funny now... It's later than you think..."
~ Greg Kihn


"As we celebrate mediocrity... all the boys upstairs wanna see...
How much you'll pay... for what you used to get for free..."

~ Tom Petty


Image

"I think you'd better ask yourself... before you criticize me...
Are you a victim of the System... or the Powers-That-Be?
If there was nothing to gain... would you do it for free?"

~ Sammy Hagar


"I was glad to come... I'll be sad to go... So while I'm here... I'll have me a real good time..."
~ Rod Stewart (The Faces)


"The earth can shake... The sky come down... The mountains all... fall to the ground...
But I will fear... none of these things... Shelter me, Lord... underneath your wings..."

~ Buddy Miller


"Rock hard... Ride free... All your life..."
~ Rob Halford


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Apr 10, 2007 7:46 am 
The Ultimate Metal Master
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Favorite Band: Iced Earth,Blackmore's Night,The Coop
RockHard wrote:
Rockerbob wrote:
Guess what I have in my hand. Two "cassettes with the 3 song demo on them! Now I gotta tranfer to cd and then to mp3 format correct?


Sign me up for that, bro! :B

:BB Steve


I'm on that list too right ;)


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 10, 2007 6:12 pm 
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"The time has come....BURY THE AXE"... :twisted:


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 11, 2007 12:15 am 
The Lord of Destruction
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Favorite Band: Pinkmaiden Rainsabbath Zeppepriest
Rockerbob wrote:
I will get copies out to everyone as soon as I can convert it to an mp3 format
Thanks again for the kind words and interest in a band that should have had more label support.


Couldn't agree more, bro... :B

Looking forward to hearing those demos. 8)

:BB Steve

_________________
"I told you... that we could fly... 'Cause we all have wings... but some of us don't know why..."
~ Michael Hutchens (RIP)


"Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans..."
~ John Lennon (RIP)


"Don't get cute... Don't get funny now... It's later than you think..."
~ Greg Kihn


"As we celebrate mediocrity... all the boys upstairs wanna see...
How much you'll pay... for what you used to get for free..."

~ Tom Petty


Image

"I think you'd better ask yourself... before you criticize me...
Are you a victim of the System... or the Powers-That-Be?
If there was nothing to gain... would you do it for free?"

~ Sammy Hagar


"I was glad to come... I'll be sad to go... So while I'm here... I'll have me a real good time..."
~ Rod Stewart (The Faces)


"The earth can shake... The sky come down... The mountains all... fall to the ground...
But I will fear... none of these things... Shelter me, Lord... underneath your wings..."

~ Buddy Miller


"Rock hard... Ride free... All your life..."
~ Rob Halford


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 Post subject: Re: Ruthless: Discipline Of Steel/Metal Without Mercy
PostPosted: Wed Sep 05, 2012 3:40 pm 
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Hello everyone,
I'm new to the site and was just cruising though when I saw this post. First, thanks for the kind words and compliments. Second I would like to clear up a possible missunderstanding. The reason Bob's name isnt on the drum credits for metal without mercy (or most recently metal without mercy +6) is he didnt play on them. I did. Not to take anything away from Bob, he's an outstanding drummer and a friend, but I played on metal without mercy and metal plus six with the exception of two songs from +6 (white death and winds of war) which were played by Briant Scott. Thanks again for the kind words and Im sure the inconsistency was unintentional and just a missunderstanding.

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 Post subject: Re: Ruthless: Discipline Of Steel/Metal Without Mercy
PostPosted: Wed Sep 05, 2012 4:46 pm 
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Welcome to the board Todd!

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 Post subject: Re: Ruthless: Discipline Of Steel/Metal Without Mercy
PostPosted: Wed Sep 05, 2012 4:55 pm 
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Thanks Kitty! Luv ur handle. Like Ronnie Dio I'm a huge cat lover!

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 Post subject: Re: Ruthless: Discipline Of Steel/Metal Without Mercy
PostPosted: Thu Sep 06, 2012 5:30 am 
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Welcome to the board! I dance in your honor!
:bildo:

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