Abattoir Vicious Attack / The Only Safe Place

After thrash and power metal started to develop in both sound and popularity through the early ‘80s, the Los Angeles scene (otherwise known for a glut of glam bands), began to spawn its own signature sound. This included a driving, up-tempo power metal sound, melodic Euro-style riffs, stratospheric, air raid siren vocals, and dextrous guitar work with solos galore. Abattoir will always be best known for their awesome "Ace of Spades" cover but they personified and represented this style better than most and sadly, self-destructed after their debut, Vicious Attack. This album had the hallmarks of the L.A. power/speed metal sound featured in such raging tracks as "Don't Walk Alone," "Game of Death" and the classic "Screams From the Grave." Awesome stuff, even if it's almost 15 years old. The band really faltered with their second album, The Only Safe Place. Recorded at a time of line-up, management and financial turmoil, it ended up sounding a lot more commercial than its predecessor. Its monstrous drum sound, vocal emphasis and less-than-challenging riffing had the band sounding a lot less aggressive and a lot more like Judas Priest. Didn't matter anyway, cuz they broke up about two months later; bassist Mel Sanchez and guitarist Juan Garcia went on to form Evil Dead, and drummer Danny Anaya resurfaced in MX Machine. (Century Media)