Surrender 18 – Surrender 18

Surrender 18
Surrender 18
1990 (no label)
Bedminster, New Jersey, USA

Dave Urbanski – Rhythm guitar, lead guitar, feedback guitar, vocals
Jeff Van Ness – Lead guitar, rhythm guitar, slide guitar, vocals
Keith Wittel – Bass guitar, vocals
Tom Cannarella – Drums, percussion, vocals

  1. Circle of Seven
  2. Lyngillian
  3. To Begin Again
  4. A Prayer for You
  5. Springtime Eternity
  6. Inside My Heart
  7. The Only One

Surrender 18 was an alternative rock band with some slight gothic/dark leanings, as well as some punk rock intensity here and there in the music. “Inside My Heart” sounds like a mixture of early Prayer Chain and early Breakfast with Amy – even though it’s still a little too early in the 90s for that. Inspired by the same bands that inspired those two? I’m not sure based on the way members are listed who sung lead vocals, or even if it was a shared duty. It sounds like mostly the same person to me. They also have at least one other demo – 1992’s Modern Dreams. I wonder if the Dave Urbanski of this band is the same one writing for The Blaze now? Hopefully not – the guy writing for The Blaze is… problematic.

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Stone Vengeance – Stone Vengeance

Stone Vengeance
Stone Vengeance
1990 Lilac Records (Lilac 2032)
San Francisco, California, USA

Michael Coffey – Lead vocals, all guitars
Anthony Starks – Bass, vocals
Darren Thompkins – Drums, vocals

Side 1:

  1. To Kill Evil
  2. Time is at Hand
  3. Pain
  4. The Great Controversy

Side 2:

  1. The Persecution
  2. Bullfight
  3. Malice
  4. Higher Now
  5. Wrath Cometh
  6. Long Live Stone Vengeance

Stone Vengeance was one of the first Christian metal bands – formed in 1978. I’m not sure if they released anything until 1985 (the date of their first demo as listed on many sites). As far as I can tell, this is their first full length release, with many songs being previously released on earlier demos. The sound here is mostly a pretty fast and ferocious mix of speed metal, thrash metal, and punk. The exceptions being the acoustic ballads “Pain” and “Higher Now,” along with the flamenco-ish intro “Bullfight.” Kind of weird the band never seemed to break out of the underground – they opened for some big name bands back in the day. Also of note, the song list on the cover appears to be wrong. Either that or they mislabeled the two sides of the tape.

The Choice – On Solid Rock We Stand

The Choice
On Solid Rock We Stand
1990 (no label)

Patrick
Bachelor

  1. Gotta Get Out
  2. If You Love Me
  3. Quality of Love

I grabbed this one because I thought “The Choice” sounded alternative. Then I saw “The Choice Band” on the cover and thought “uh, oh… sounds like cheesy CCM rock?” Turns out, this is pretty heavy epic traditional/power metal. This type of metal was kind of out of style in 1990, but there were some bands still doing it. And like I have said, 30-ish years later, that really doesn’t matter. These guys could rock out. Not much information except what is on the j-card pictured above.

Missing Information: Who was in the band?

Divine Right – Your Rock & Roll

Divine Right
Your Rock & Roll
1990 (no label)
Rensselaer, New York, USA

Kevin Brandow – All instruments and vocals, except:

Dave Brennan – Drums on “The Gavel”
Matt Larkin – Vocals on “I Want You”
Ed Kilgallon – Piano on “Here I Am”
Frank Minissale – Guitar solo on “Age of Awakening”
Dave Hoffis – Vocals on “Freedom”

Side 1:

  1. Your Rock & Roll
  2. Too Hot to Touch
  3. Freedom
  4. I Want You
  5. Age of Awakening

Side 2:

  1. When It’s Over It’s Just Begun
  2. The Gavel
  3. On the Rise
  4. Here I Am
  5. Neon Philosopher
  6. Sneakin’ Around

I believe this is the third demo from Divine Right / Kevin Brandow. As with the past demos, almost all of the instruments and vocals were performed by Brandow. This demo sees a slightly longer list of guest vocalists and instrumentalists here and there (but also a lot more songs as well). All of the songs here made it on the …So Far CD in 1991 (re-recorded I am assuming). The drum machine sound is also stronger here than in the past, but the songwriting is so good you tend to not notice it.

Vague – Rough Mix Demo

Vague
Rough Mix Demo
1990 (no label)

  1. Close My Eyes [rough mix]
  2. 2 Lonely People [very rough mix]
  3. Will You Stay [acoustic snatch mix]

My guess is that this is a collection of songs for the same New Talent Showcase at Cornerstone that other bands were making tapes for as well. Vague is known for being the band that evolved into The Wayside. “Close My Eyes” and “2 Lonely People” are basically just rougher mixes of the same songs that later appeared on A Glimpse of Deep Symbolism. The song “Will You Stay” is a slightly different version of the song that appeared on Collage. I don’t know if it was planned for A Glimpse of Deep Symbolism and then dropped or what. Vague was a bit more Alternative rock than The Wayside, but still very good at it.

Decision D – Testimony of Faith

Decision D
Testimony of Faith
1990 (no label)
Utrecht, Netherlands

Edwin Ogenio – Lead Vocals
Albert-Jan “Riffs” Vink – Lead guitars, rhythm guitars
Daniel Bootsma – Lead guitars
Ronald-Jan Kleisen – Bass, back-up vocals
Gerard van Driesten – Drums

  1. Testimony of Faith
  2. DNA
  3. Rapture
  4. Requiem

“Testimony of Faaaaaith!!!!” That’s not me getting excited about this demo – it is the scream that starts out the first song. Of course, this is a great thrash metal demo by a band that went on to release three full length albums that leaned more towards death metal. The weird thing about this demo was that it did have a cover, but that cover was not with this tape. Don’t know if it was lost by the original owner, never had one, or was a bootleg copy made for a friend of a friend. There really isn’t the loud hiss that comes from dubbing copies of copies, though. It’s pretty clean, actually. So I’ll go with either lost cover, or band ran out of covers. Or this was a “pre-release” of sorts before there was a cover. Either way: MOSH!!!

(the real cover can easily be found online, so I used it above)

HeartAttack – 3 Song Demo

HeartAttack
3 Song Demo
1990 (no label)
Rockland, Maine, USA

Bill Martel

  1. Truly Truly
  2. Wake Up
  3. Go to the Show

This is another demo sent to Cornerstone in 1990 for consideration. This one notes that it is only half of their longer demo Wake Up and Smell the Coffee. The sound here is of the hard rock / glam rock / metal variety that many bands of the time were doing, influenced by AC/DC, Guns N’ Roses, and Poison. Which may seem like an unlikely mix, but many labels still wanted the success of GNR with the rough edges polished down a bit by commercial metal.

Missing Information: Band members names