Various Artists

Metal Madness, Vol. 2

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Since the better-known cuts by most of these acts were on another edition, Metal Madness Vol. 2 will mainly please fans of obscure '80s hair (however many exist). With a metallic mega-crunch, Exodus gets things goin' with the appropriately-titled "Lunatic Parade." Richard Marx obviously overpowered writing partner Fee Waybill on Vixen's mediocre "Edge of a Broken Heart," the only real hit on this shiny compilation. Just hitting their stride, the actual Megadeth tears through "My Last Words" like a wild stallion. Vinnie Vincent digs into "Love Kills," a decent bic-flick with some bite. "Ready to Strike" is meaningless fun from meaningless fops King Kobra. Macauley-Schenker always holds interest. Don Dokken produced "Inside Out," XYZ's lost radio ringer, and his influence impacts every guitar and vocal chord. Cats in Boots obviously climb out from the Faster Pussycat school of scratch, and "Evil Angel" is pick-of-the-litter prime and perverse. "White Lace and Black Leather" may not be the defining moment from Canada's Helix, but still delivers the goods. Since this is the '80s, protracted keyboard introductions invade several songs, and, as a result, grand finale White Sister doesn't percolate with the power of many of the other participants of this procession, but Metal Madness, Vol. 2 captures many forms of metal: the sleek, the rough, and the just plain 'eavy.

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