POKOLGEP - Totális Metál LP
When guitarist Gábor Kukovecz and some other mostly forgotten companions founded the band Kommandó in 1980, he most likely had no idea that this would be the cornerstone of a Hungarian and Eastern European Heavy Metal legend that is soon about to celebrate its 40th anniversary. After some changes in music and personnel, the most important modification came in December of 1982, as the band’s name was changed to the now household name Pokolgép (Hell machine). After some appearances on Hungarian TV shows, early on still wearing costumes and masks, Pokolgép earned themselves the interest of state-run record label Hungaroton, who – unsuccessfully though – tried to change the band’s style from Heavy Metal to Rock. Meanwhile a battle for leadership broke out between founding members Gábor Kukovecz and Endre Paksi, resulting in Paksi leaving Pokolgép and forming Ossian, another Hungarian metal legend.
The departure of Paksi and a change of drummers paved the way for the “classic” Pokolgép line-up in 1985, consisting of József Kalapács on vocals, György Pazdera on bass, Gábor Kukovecz and László Nagyfi on guitar and László Tarca on drums. After a 7 inch single release („A Sátán / A Maszk“) that hit the scene like a bomb, Pokolgép would become the first ever Heavy Metal band from Hungary to get permission from the government to release an album on Hungaroton. Although the state-run label fought tooth and nail against releasing a Heavy Metal album, they finally could not withstand the power of Pokolgép’s constantly growing popularity. With the aid of Hungarian rock legend Feró Nagy, who helped the band recording the album and writing lyrics, Pokolgép unleashed „Totális metal”, ten heavy metal classics that proved to be an instant blockbuster. Within the first two months after its August 1986 release a mind-boggling 65.000 units of Pokolgép’s debut were shifted, increasing to 80.000 units until the end of the year. A further boost to the album’s already sensational success was the video for the album-opening track “A jel” that received heavy rotation and turned the track into an immediate Heavy Metal anthem. Due to the success of „Totális metal” Pokolgép had the chance to share the stage with the likes of Motörhead and Metallica during their Eastern European shows even before the fall of the “iron curtain”. But the climax of Pokolgéps career was yet to come…
High Roller Records, black vinyl, ltd 300, 425gsm heavy cardboard cover, lyric sheet, poster