Trinity – New Dawn

New Dawn
1989 (no label)
Anneberg, Sweden

Peter Anderson – Vocals
Fredrik Björk – Guitars
Patrik Carlsson – Bass
Pierre Andersson – Keyboards, backing vocals
Jörgen Björk – Drums

Robban – backing vocals

  1. A New Dawn
  2. Close to the Edge
  3. Bound
  4. One Who Cares

The information I can find on this band says that it was started by four members of Creed. But none of the people above were in the German band Creed (or the American post-grunge Creed for that matter). So there must be a third Creed out there from Sweden. Anyways, Christian “Rivel” Liljegren of Modest Attraction, Audiovision, Divinefire, etc fame was actually the first vocalist on their 1988 demo Soldiers of Freedom. Christian left and they got Peter. As you can guess, the sound here is the Swedish variation of 80s commercial metal. Well, with a noticeable neoclassical influence as well. Its very good, of course – but the band really didn’t seem to go anywhere after this demo.


Sovereign Steel – Demo

Sovereign Steel
19?? (no label)
Denison, Texas, USA

  1. Dark Hour
  2. By Our Love
  3. Market of Destruction

So all I have on this demo is in the picture above. Turns out that this, in fact, the same band that released a demo called Say Your Prayers in 1990. All of the songs here was also on the Say Your Prayers demo. So I don’t know if this an earlier or later demo that was re-recorded, or a sampler of their full demo. These sound like the same versions, but slightly different recordings. Either way, the sound is thrash metal with a heavy early Metallica influence. If you dig around online, you can find the six-song Say Your Prayers demo.

Missing Information: What year was this released? Who played on this?

HeartAttack – 3 Song Demo

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

Distant Thunder – Demo

Distant Thunder
1990 (no label)
Lansing, Michigan, USA

Jim Sayer

  1. Distant Thunder
  2. Sweet 16
  3. Running From It All

This demo was apparently sent in to Cornerstone in 1990 for the New Talent stage. The general sound here is heavy metal, kind of a mix of traditional / commercial and neo-classical / progressive. Sometimes the guitar solos sound really strange and squealing – I can’t tell if this is caused by the guitar player needing more practice to hit the notes cleaner or the demo quality recording. Jim Sayer is the only name listed on the tape – I am assuming he is involved in the band, but he could also be the manager.

Missing Information: Band members names

Divine Right – Tongues of Fire

Divine Right
Tongues of Fire
1987 (no label)
Rensselaer, New York, USA

Kevin Brandow – All vocals and instruments
Bob Alvaro – Rhythm guitar on “Silent Victory”

Side 1:

  1. Tongues of Fire
  2. On Guard
  3. Far Far Away

Side 2:

  1. One Way
  2. Mystery Uncovered
  3. Silent Victory
  4. Lightning

Divine Right got some attention for releasing a compilation CD called …So Far in 1991. I had originally thought that So Far was a complete demo compilation, but now I see that only the songs “Tongues of Fire” and “Lightning” from this demo made it on to that CD. Guitarist Kevin Brandow is also known for joining Petra later on and recording music with them that… sounded nothing like this. Anyways, this demo is heavy metal that seems part commercial metal, part neoclassical metal, part traditional/power metal. I also didn’t realize that all music and vocals were performed by Kevin on this demo except for rhythm guitars on one song. Pretty impressive, as this didn’t sound like a one-person band project. Not that those are always bad, but you can usually tell.

Hozana – Demo

1990 (no label)
Reseda, California, USA

Dana Aaron – Lead vocals, backup vocals
Ray Vidal – Lead guitars, rhythm guitars, backup vocals
Dan Weibel – Lead guitars, rhythm guitars, backup vocals
Tracy Ferrie – Bass
Roland Vergara – Drums, percussion

  1. Short Road to Ruin
  2. Holdin’ On

Another tape that makes the case for checking liner notes before shuffling a tape to the back of the stack. The cover itself doesn’t really look that special, plus I have never heard of this band. But open the case and you find a “who’s who” of Christian 80s metal. Sanctuary Church logos and messages. Produced by George Ochoa (of Recon, Deliverance, and Worldview fame). Jimmy B. Brown II (Deliverance, if you didn’t know) on backing vocals. The band itself has Tracy Ferrie on bass – he would later play in Seraiah, Whitecross, Stryper, and Boston. Ray Vidal was also later in Worldview. Some of the other names look familiar, but I can’t recall right now. Anyways, this is 80s glam rock around the same area as Poison or Enuff Z’Nuff. Only two songs, but both are well done.

Metal Monks – When the Son Comes Down

Metal Monks
When the Son Comes Down
1988 (no label)
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

Lane Walker – Acoustic guitar
Nathan Reiger – Guitars
Sean O’Leary – Bass, vocals
Victor Brassard – Drums
The Monks – Background vocals

Side 1:

  1. Humble Thyself
  2. Can’t You See That He Loves You

Side 2:

  1. Out of Your Living Hell
  2. When the Son Comes Down

This is basically an underground metal band connected with Rez Band and JPUSA. In fact, Rez Band member Roy Montroy helped record and engineer this tape. The first song is a cover of the well-known hymn, while I believe the rest are originals. The sound itself is pretty straight ahead heavy metal, more like the mid-80s straight ahead sound than the glam metal or hard rock varieties of the late 80s. Some sources place this band as from Vancouver, Canada, even though the tape was recorded in Chicago.