Five albums that changed my life: Heval Bozarslan from Sarcasm!
In this new series we present you the five albums that changed my life! The first five albums will come from Sarcasm’s Heval Bozarslan!
An avid record collector as I was, many albums made their impacts and marks in my life throughout the years, the list is too long to even think about it, but there aren’t many albums that actually have changed my life and my way of thinking and breathing. These 5 albums are not the best ever made, but some of the best that have been made. But definitely 5 albums that profoundly made something to my soul and transformed me into what I am today.
Kiss – Alive 1975
When we moved to Sweden in 1979 I didn’t know anything about rock music. I was 8 years old and was like most other kids. I shared room with one of my older brothers who was 7 years older than me. And the only music that was played in that room was classical music, and I liked some of it too, I was just a child but still I could tell who is who and what composition is what. He had this huge collection of every damn composer there was, known and unknown, a collection which I actually bought from him years later. Anyway. he disliked rock music because it was primitive, noisy, stupid etc. I was only into comic books those years anyway so I didn’t care. One day I met this kid who lived in the same street, he was nine and I was 10 by then and he was also into comic books, we became friends immediately and I went to his home one day, and his room was completely covered with Kiss stuff. Posters, patches, flags and records everywhere. What the hell is that I thought. Since I was deeply into Marvel comics, those characters on his walls were super heroes to my eyes, he played some songs from the Alive album, and I loved it, they were super heroes and played music too, how amazing is that. I borrowed that record and went home and begged my brother to put it on, he hated it of course so I had to listen to this live album on his headphones. He also laughed and told mom: “Look, he’s listening to pee”. Kiss means pee in Swedish. The album changed me forever, my introduction to rock music couldn’t have been better. The sound is raw and organic, a truly live-sounding even though most of it is fake, but I didn’t know or don’t care. Their first 3 albums just pale compared to this one, actually, everything they’ve ever done pale compared to Alive. I wanted more so I became a Kiss fanatic, collected posters and stuff, especially pictures of the band. From every magazine I found I just cut out their pictures and made my own “photo albums”, I had thousands of pics, also traded with friends, and actually competing who’s having the largest pile of Kiss pictures. I became so obsessed I could even buy expensive Japanese singles just to cut out those cool photos from the sleeves, it was so stupid and fun. I started to slowly discover other bands soon after, but those bands didn’t look like super heroes so they were not as important, although I liked them too. But it didn’t take long before discovering that band from the UK…
Motörhead – No Sleep ‘Til Hammersmith 1981
I was 11 when I heard Motörhead for the first time with this album, one year after its release. It was through a friend in my class who bought everything that came out, actually it was his mother who bought everything he pointed at, spoiled brat as he was. And I was at his home all the time and checked out the newest stuff he got. He, for some reason bought this album without knowing anything about the band, he hated it wholeheartedly and laughed how noisy and untalanted the band was as we listened to it. And Lemmy’s vocals was just a joke to him. He only liked bands like Iron Maiden and Judas Priest, bands with melodies and “good singers”. But for me when I heard this live album I was completely blown away. I loved this “noisy” music. It was raw and dirty, never heard something like that before, especially the speed of some of the songs that really attracted me already there. And I remember how impressed I was by Lemmy’s vocals, how the hell could someone growl like that I thought, he’s inhuman, a monster. it was just awesome and definitely not a joke to my ears. He then asked me if I wanted the record, of course I shouted, so I traded it for some comic books or something. As I listened to it constantly for a period of time I knew that this kind of music would occupy my whole life. “There is no turning back” was this album’s message to me. It’s one of the best live albums ever and I still listen to it from time to time. Like Kiss Alive, they captured the rawness of the songs perfectly on this record.
Venom – At War With Satan 1984
I actually heard Venom a year before this album was released, they showed the music video for “Witching Hour” on the public TV here in Sweden. Venom was pointed out to be extremely bad and dangerous and that it should be avoided. Well, that was the least thing to do after watching that clip. My jaw was dropped way down and I almost fainted out of excitement. Motörhead was kindergarten music compared to this all of a sudden. I was 12 years old, and never heard extreme music like this till now, There was no internet and finding these type of bands in record stores at that time was not that easy here. I wanted to buy Venom but couldn’t find anywhere in Uppsala. So I didn’t hear a full album with them prior to the release of At War With Satan. We were on a school trip and one of the guys with us had a tape with two albums on he just purchased. On side one Sign of The Hammer with Manowar was recorded and side 2 was At War With Satan. Wow, finally I could hear a full album with these insane band I thought. And we just listened and listened over over and over to that tape (Side 2 only). The title song actually scared the hell out of me and I loved it. It was so fucking evil! To this day I think that song is scary and evil as hell. 20 minutes of pure war and one of the best songs ever written by any band in my opinion. It changed my life forever and Venom became my ultimate heroes and I finally could find and own an album with the most evil band in the world. People around me thought I was sick and should get help after buying that album. But I gave them all the finger and started seriously to collect everything that had Venom logo on it. After Black Sabbath, Venom is without doubt the most important metal band of all time. “Black metal, thrash metal, death metal… Venom started it all” is a quote I read from someone in some magazine ages ago. Don’t remember who it was but that’s very true.
Speed Kills (The Very Best In Speed Metal) Compilation 1985
Before hearing this album, Metallica, Slayer and Venom were the only bands I’ve heard from this very grand compilation of 12 bands. Although I loved both Slayer and Metallica as much as Venom, they never changed my life drastically, Venom already did that transformation and carried me through the gates. I thought both Metallica and Slayer were an extension of what Venom already was doing, and I wanted more of that speed and aggression. The faster, the better. I discovered this record when I was at one of the record stores one day in my town to see if there was any crazy looking album I could buy. I never listened to albums before buying them back then. If the album cover and members looked evil and crazy enough, that meant it was good. But I couldn’t find anything that day beside this compilation LP. I knew there was a band called Exodus and a band called Voivod but never heard them. And that little description to each song made me to just want it more. I bought the record without any hesitation and quickly went home and put it on the turntable, and the first song with Hallow’s Eve with that intro to Metal Merchants was magic and you just waited for that speed kicking in any second, and the rest, well, everything on this record just amazed me. The speed of Exodus and Destruction was insane. The evil of Celtic Frost, Bulldozer and Possessed was beautiful, it was like horror movies to my ears. And Voivod after hearing here became my favorite band to this day. After this I quickly searched and bought every band from this compilation. Back then, compilation albums were extremely important for underground bands to be heard. And I know I’m not the only one who discovered this new thrash phenomenon through this album, I hear often people from my generation point out this album and how important it actually was. And all those other 100+ bands mentioned by Metal Forces Mag on the innersleeve helped me a lot to dig in the underground even more. It changed me completely, to a degree that I stopped listening to “ordinary” metal altogether. I even got rid of all my albums with Saxon, Ozzy, Mötley Crue, and all that “soft” stuff. I couldn’t let those kind of records defile my new record collection. This album also made me want to look like one of those members from those 12 band photos on the back side of the innersleeve, suddenly the hair got even longer and unbrushed, leather and denim jackets, bullet belts, pins etc. were parts of my daily appearance. What this album additionally did was to plant a desire within me to have a band of my own, thus THIRD STORM was born a year after.
Fields Of The Nephilim – Elizium 1990
In those last five years in my teens I only listened to thrash, speed, death metal and other fast and extreme stuff and bought every goddamn album that came out, the faster and harder the music was the calmer I became. Everything else to me was boring and happy and crappy. I was a very restless guy back then and extreme fast music was my only way to relax. I couldn’t even listen to Heavy Metal, it was too slow. And you can imagine what I thought about music that wasn’t metal. But in 1990 something happened, I got a tape (There were lots of tapes circling around back then) from Fredrik, our first guitarist in Sarcasm back then, he told me to check it out, it’s not metal but it’s dark and very atmospheric I was told. Ok, sure, it probably sucks but I give it a try. And damn, something happened within me, It felt like I was raised to the skies and floating on clouds and went occasionally into other dimensions. It was mesmerizing and hypnotizing, How could music that wasn’t metal be so good and affect me so much. I couldn’t stop listening to this masterpiece that whole year. The whole album feels like a one big journey, you can’t just pick one song out, you have to listen to it from start to finish to experience it, it’s extremely atmospheric. A bit Pink Floydish perhaps but much darker and “other-worldy” and it’s actually a very calm album compared to their earlier albums. I went of course and bought everything from them. Elizium truly opened doors to the non-metal world for me, since Fields Of The Nephilim was that good, I thought there must be other similar bands. I checked out more and ended up being a huge fan of bands like Sisters Of Mercy, Dead Can Dance, The Mission and stuff like that. I started even listening to movie soundtracks and ambient stuff. I also began re-purchasing all those old “ordinary” Heavy Metal records I got rid of years earlier. I missed that stuff, Kiss and all those other bands returned to my life again. My musical taste expanded rapidly those early years of the 90s. I still collected and listened to thrash and death metal of course, but I realized that I have to have other music in my life too. But that didn’t meant I listened to everything that came. I hated stuff like grunge and nu metal, and still do. Anyway, Elizium is still the best “non-metal” album of all time.