St. Asylem – Demo

St. Asylem
1990 (no label)
Tuscan, Arizona, USA

Eric James – Lead vocals
Dana Kyle – Lead guitars
Bob “Z_-OB” Cady – Lead guitars
Martii Haviik – Bass, growls
Joey Edwards – Drums

  1. Headed for the Fire
  2. Don’t Forget About Me
  3. Woe to the Wicked
  4. Surrender

The front cover has a logo with a very Lizzy Borden vibe, and that is a good starting place – especially the more metal side of Borden. There are some high pitched wails here and there, as well as some pummeling riffs. Power metal, speed metal, and commercial metal are all mixed in here. Also the obligatory power balled on the second track. Had never of this band until now, but they seemed to have a legitimate quality demo all around here.


Exodus II – Demo

Exodus II
1987 (no label)
Montgomery, Pennsylvania, USA

Greg Synder – Lead vocals, lead guitar, backup vocals
Steve Klopp – Rhythm guitar, backup vocals, vocals on “Handstamp”
Kevin Wendt – Keyboards, backup vocals
John Noble – Bass
Peter Noble – Drums

Bryan Davis – Guest vocals on “Jesus,” backup vocals
Lynn Wheldon – Newsman

Side 1:

  1. Too Late
  2. Children of the Light
  3. I Wanna Know

Side 2:

  1. Handstamp
  2. Jesus

So finally an Exodus II with an actual cover. There are a few tapes out there by Exodus II with no cover and no details about who they are. I’m still not sure if the band’s name a reference to the second chapter of Exodus, or a reference to the need for another Exodus, or simply the second version of a band that was just called Exodus. The sound here rides the line between hard rock and metal. Either the band couldn’t make up their mind which direction they wanted to go, or different band members were allowed to bring in different influences to the sound.

Telestai – Telestai

1991 (no label)
Mt. Prospect, Illinois, USA

Carl Myzia – Vocals
Eric Bentz – Guitar, vocals
Joe Myzia – Bass, vocals
Brian Durkin – Drums, vocals

Chris Yantz – Keys on “Telestai”

Side 1:

  1. Telestai

Side 2:

  1. Why
  2. On the Line

The cover of this demo shows that a simple design can still look pretty cool, even with just two colors. The first songs starts off sounding a lot like “Who Pulls the Strings” by Zion, but then they kick into a power metal/almost speed metal jam with the song itself. The high-pitched wails, crunching riffs, thundering rhythm section, and scorching leads are all there – too bad this was released in 1991. Even the Christian scene was moving away from this style by then, going more hard rock, or thrash/death on the other end. This type of music sits right at the fault line of the split where the two different directions moved away from. Which is a crying shame.

X-Terra – New Terrain

New Terrain
1994 (no label)
Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, USA

Clint Reed – Guitars, lead vocals
Anne Kachline – Bass, back-up vocals
Bob Kachline – Drums, back-up vocals

Tom Borthwick – Hammond organ

Side 1:

  1. Watch Be Ready
  2. Warrior
  3. Father’s House
  4. Sunshine
  5. How Long
  6. Emotional Overload

Side 2:

  1. Wolves
  2. Perilous Times
  3. The First Shall Be Last
  4. Nowhere to Run
  5. Modern Man

I wonder how many tapes this band has put out? They definitely kept them coming, that is for sure. I know I keep harping on this, but I have yet to see why they get the groove metal label. It probably came from one of their many releases, as they do seem to change styles somewhat from album to album. This tape feels more classic rock influenced, especially a mixture of AC/DC and Led Zeppelin. They are not outright cloning either, so keep in mind they still sound like a 90s hard rock band. It’s just that you can detect the classic rock influences in the mix. They play their brand of hard rock well. Don’t get me wrong with pointing out they are groove metal – its not a criticism, just an observation.

Big Rage! Volume 1 – 1990

Big Rage! Volume 1
1990 Pure Metal Records

Side 1:

  1. The Stand – Don’t Look Back
  2. Paradox – Give a Listen
  3. Zeal – Loner
  4. Mitch Bohet – Bottom of It
  5. Sanxtion – The Resurrection and Life
  6. Heebie Jeebies – Land of the Free

Side 2:

  1. Lust Control – Mad at the Girls
  2. Torah – Pray for the Children
  3. Archangel – Burn, Burn, Burn
  4. Repent – Shadows
  5. Bryan Whited – Heaven Can’t Wait
  6. Outcry – Vessels Unto Honor

Big Rage! was a compilation from Pure Metal that I think was only released on tape. It is technically a label release, but it contained only underground (at the time) bands of various styles. The Stand is the same power pop/alt rock band that also released this song on Heartbreak Town. Paradox is the traditional power metal band from San Antonio – this song has been on many comps and it rocks. Zeal is a power metal/neoclassical metal band that sounds like many similar bands that were influenced by bands like Riot at the time. Mitch Bohet is alt rock artist that had his song produced by Charlie Peacock, and it bears his influence (not a bad thing). Sanxtion is an epic power metal/speed metal band. Heebie Jeebies is an experimental-ish band that uses drum machines, but it is not industrial. I don’t think. Lust Control is, well, Lust Control. Punk and in your face. Torah has been featured here before – female fronted heavy metal. Archangel is a more commercial metal band with AC/DC influence vocals, but a more driving metal sound. Repent is a band that has a regular metal sounding band with kind of haunting vocals that give them a more original sound that others. Bryan Whited is a traditional metal solo project with a full band. Outcry was a one-time name change for Crucifix just for this song – keyboard-laced traditional metal.

Tera – 1990 Demo

1990 (no label)
Bridgeview, Illinois, USA

Tony Palumbo – Vocals
Walter Murphy – Guitars
Perry Basile – Bass
Paul Murphy – Drums

  1. Heaven in Your Heart
  2. Where Were You
  3. City Blues
  4. Tuff Love

This is really just a quick post to note that this demo is pretty much the same as the 1991 demo, except with a different cover and copyright date. Also, to my ears, it sounds like this demo has better mastering. For whatever reason, it seems that in 1991 the band made a slightly less quality transfer of the same versions of the same songs from this demo from 1990 and gave it a different cover. Still a great demo, just don’t want you to think there are two different demos from this band out there.

The Calm – Confessions of a Thirsty Tongue

The Calm
Confessions of a Thirsty Tongue
1998 (no label)
Manassas, Virginia, USA

Ellyn Bussey – Vocals
PJ Bussey – Guitars, programming
Daniel Wilkinson – Bass
Tim Shoemaker – Drums

Side 1:

  1. Riddle in Red
  2. Plight of a Hypocrite
  3. Inner Mission
  4. Letter to a Long Lost Friend
  5. The Raging Calm

Side 2:

  1. Shadow’s Hold
  2. Out from the Shadows
  3. A Breath of Fresh Spirit
  4. Gift Giving

This appears to be the last demo from The Calm, a band that was formed when two members of Taker and Armageddon teamed up with the vocalist from Sorrow of Seven. Well, one of those Taker/Armageddon guys was married to the vocalist from So7, so it was a natural team-up. Also of note is that no band members are listed on the tape itself, so the information above is from various online sources. It seems that this demo finds the band leaving behind some of the gothic influences and going for a mix of traditional metal and progressive metal. “Out from the Shadows” is a re-recorded version of “The Choice” from their 1994 demo. I am not sure if any other songs on this tape are re-named versions of older songs from that demo or their 1995 demo, though. I just recognized that song because it was included on HM Magazine’s Hard Music Sampler 73 in 1998. After this, PJ and Dan formed a band called Attic Symphony that is referred to as “mostly instrumental epic melodic heavy metal.” I should check that out.