Painted Heroes: The Anthology

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Something of a refined anomaly (along with the Tygers of Pan Tang) amid Neat's roughshod stable of heavy metal acts, Wallsend, England's Tysondog had a lot more in common with New Wave of British Heavy Metal giants like Iron Maiden and Saxon than proto-thrashing labelmates such as Raven and Venom. That is at least in terms of sonic direction, because commercial success was to remain ever beyond the reach of their modest songwriting abilities, and, ultimately, surely contributed to their very short and unfulfilling career. By the end of the 1980s, you'd be hard-pressed to find many heavy metal fans who were even aware of Tysondog's existence -- which is reason enough for the diligent catalog raiders at Sanctuary/Neat to assemble this all-inclusive anthology in an effort to set the group's small but worthy contributions to the cause of metalrights. In effect, this entails the inclusion of their wrongfully underestimated first album, 1984's Beware of the Dog, in its entirety, along with its more rightfully overlooked 1986 follow-up Crimes of Insanity, as well as three solid cuts from 1985's quite collectible Shoot to Kill EP. And while not as packed full with hot rarities as some of the other Neat anthologies out there, Tysondog's generally higher creative standards help make this an excellent addition to the record collection of most serious heavy metal scholars.

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