I started the rathole in March of 1998. Partially it was for practice in designing a large database driven site (because at the time that is what I did for a living) but part of it was because there still weren’t many good music websites out there. The music I love fell out of fashion in the early 90s and by 1998 it was hard to find anything worth listening to. Especially if you didn’t know where to look. In the 80s, there was Headbangers Ball and there were a bunch of magazines that were devoted to this type of music, and even if they didn’t focus on the specific type of music you liked, they at least had those ads … Do you remember those full page ads of teeny, tiny type that listed hundreds of cds available from import companies? Sure they all cost a fortune, but if you were willing to squint, you could find some rare treasures that were never available at your local record store. Stuff like Fifth Angel, Rough Cutt, or Crimson Glory … And after you placed an order, you got the catalog. Pages and pages of tiny type, listing bands I never heard of, or bands I never heard, or long-forgotten old bands, or new bands with familiar old members. And that is how I would follow Mike Tramp to Freak of Nature, or Marc Ferrari to Cold Sweat, or Steve Grimmett to Lionsheart, or Stephen Pearcy to Arcade … Some were good, some were bad, but they kept me going and gave me something to listen to. Not everyone knew where to find this stuff or took the time to look though, so that is where the rathole came in. It started as my personal collection and quickly became focused on reviewing new releases. There have been a few lapses over the last fifteen years, and this last one was long, but the rathole is back. Redesigned and streamlined. I have no idea if I will use this blog much beyond this announcement, but it’s here now in case I feel the urge to comment on something other than a cd. Welcome back.