Alliance – Spiritual Battle

Spiritual Battle
1986 (no label)
West Columbia, South Carolina, USA

Lonnie Smith – Vocals, keyboards
Garry Bruce – Guitars
Steve Eason – Bass
Tracy Hollingsworth – Drums

Gary Davis – Additional keyboards

Side 1:

  1. Running in the Night
  2. Selfish Ambition
  3. Party Girl

Side 2:

  1. Instant Gratification
  2. Spiritual Battle

This is an earlier demo by the same Alliance that put out Answer Beyond the Pieces in 1988. If the cover has you thinking that maybe the band used to be a lot heavier and they went lighter for Beyond the Pieces, you would be…. wrong. This is lighter rock and more 80s than their later demo. I know the cover looks metal, but to be honest, many non-metal bands went for this art style back in the mid to early 80s. They do still rock out on tunes like “Selfish Ambition,” but it is a mid-80s rock out more than a metal rock out. Before this demo, they were known as Exodus and put out a demo called From Darkness to Light in 1984 that I have not heard.


Intransit – Demo

1986 (no label)
London, England, United Kingdom

  1. Micro on the Move
  2. Bare Face to Face
  3. Troubled Vision

This was kind of a surprise find. I was only aware of Intransit’s Out of the Dark demo and the song they put on their Embryo Arts split with Pete Ward (“Micro on the Move”). Turns out that their song from the split was part of a three song demo, with the other two songs being unreleased (as far as I can tell). The sound of the other two songs are also in the same alternative rock / new wave vein as “Micro on the Move.” The demo packaging itself is pretty much as basic as you can get, so I am not sure who played on this demo. However, it seems to be the same crew from the Out of the Dark demo as far as I can tell. Also of note that the address and copyright name (Sea Dream Music) are the same as on other Plankton Records releases. The version of “Micro on the Move” on this demo seems to be the same one that was used on the split with Pete Ward.

Legion – Red Square – The Bootleg

Red Square – The Bootleg
1986 JLT Records
Windsor, Ontario, Canada

Side 1:

  1. Still Falls
  2. Red Square
  3. Days Before Night
  4. [Unknown Song] [cut short]

Side 2:

  1. Wild Rivers
  2. What’s Going On
  3. Short of Glory

This tape says “The Bootleg” on it, and it is missing the cover when apparently the original had a cover. However, the original demo is basically a cleaned up live recording. So what is this tape? It appears to be a copy of the official release in some way. The crowd clapping at the end of the first song is not there. Also, I think the first 30-ish seconds of the first song got taped over accidentally here when someone was driving, as you just hear a vehicle taking off for a while, and then the song starts in the middle of the first verse. FYI – this is the same Legion that released Evening Dance (not the metal Legion). Then there is the issue that Song 4 cuts off a minute into the song, so I don’t even know what it is. It’s not on the official version. “What’s Going On” is a cover of the famous Marvin Gaye song. The sound is an alternative rock / progressive rock sound, similar to Common Bond in that there is a Rush influence. “Still Falls,” “Wild Rivers,” and “Short of Glory” were all re-recorded for Evening Dance. This is the best version of the original cover I could find:

The Warning – Repent or Die!

The Warning
Repent or Die!
1986 Radicals for Christ
Azusa, California, USA

Burrito – Vocals
Tracy G – All music and production

  1. The Warning
  2. Can Your Heart Still Cry
  3. The Truth
  4. Jesus is the Only Way
  5. Armageddon (an Instrumental)
  6. Abortion is Murder
  7. No Mercy
  8. The Rapture

If I am remembering correctly, this is the first demo tape by The Warning after they formed in 1985. Apparently Dave “Burrito” Villalpando was at a show that Tracy G’s band Swift Kick was playing at. He told Tracy G that he liked how Tracy G approached being a Christian in non-Christian bands, and a musical partnership and friendship was started. I think The Warning started after Burrito’s other band Moral Majority broke up, but I am not sure. Anyways, The Warning was basically a studio project that never played live, because they thought the frantic nature of their music would be impossible to recreate live. This recording is a bit rough, but I still like the trippy different style of music. To me, it sounds like this band was a big influence on Lust Control later. Burrito and Tracy G went on to form 8-Ball Cholos, and Tracy G also became known as a shredder guitarist for several Dio albums. This demo was followed by A Virgin in the Midst of Whores in 1988. The cover above is the original cover, but there was a redesigned cover in about 1989 by Chris Yambar so this demo would look like the other The Warning demos. It looked like this:

TNK – The Noble Knights

The Noble Knights
1986 (no label)
San Antonio, Texas, USA

Ferman Rue – Vocals
Ray Ronzoni – Lead guitar
Phial Galicia – Keyboards
Craig Bell – Bass
Myke Connel – Drums

Side 1:

  1. White Knights
  2. Break Away

Side 2:

  1. Light Speed
  2. Voices
  3. Journey

The first demo by TNK, sometimes called The White Knights (even though it was either self-titled or The Noble Knights depending on where you look on the tape itself). This is a bit rougher than their next demo Sara’s Callin’, but still a good starting point. The sound is mostly traditional metal with a slight neo-classical metal influence. It seems like the drummer and guitarist are the only ones that stayed in the band by the time they recorded their next demo. Like their second demo, this one also ends with a short guitar instrumental.

Seventh Seal – Ruff Draff

Seventh Seal
Ruff Draff
1986 (no label)
Palmdale, California, USA

David Cassells – Lead Vocals
J.R. Montgomery – Lead guitar, rhythm guitar, BGVs
Melvin Booker – Lead guitar, rhythm guitar
Shawn Montgomery – Bass, BGVs
Sylvester Hearns – Drums

Side 1:

  1. Back on Track
  2. Never Loved
  3. I.A.

Side 2:

  1. Interview

The debut single from Seventh Seal proves that their second demo Ruff Draff Too was no fluke. Apparently they had signed to Blonde Vinyl Records to record a full length album, but weren’t able to once the label folded. Too bad – their two demos showcase a very hot band that could shred and write catchy songs. This tape also captures an interview with the band on side two that tells you more about where the band came from (they saw themselves as a Pro-American band more than a Christian band, but also were not shy in saying they are Christians when asked).

Say-So – Say-So

1986 (no label)
Nashville, Tennessee, USA

  1. Fire Song
  2. Celebration Waiting
  3. Strengthening My Grip
  4. Say-So

There seem to be several Say-So demos out there before the band got signed in 1997 to Organic Records. This one was posted online a while back and I missed it (that is where I got his – the Willfully Obscure blog posts a lot of really cool obscure music). This tape is a bit more progressive new wave than their later albums, which tended to be more alternative rock / pop rock. I am assuming husband and wife duo Kim and Jim Thomas were involved with this, but I don’t know who else might have been. They always put out a quality album, so I wonder why it took nearly 10 years to get signed? There are some great songs on this one that should have gotten them signed in 1986. As far as I know, the next demo by Say-So was You Lift Me Up in 1988. But that could be wrong – who knows what else is lurking out there?