Heirborne – Morbid Reality

Heirborne
Morbid Reality
1990 (no label)
Pleasant Hill, Missouri, USA

Nyk Edinger – Lead vocals
Kenny Carter – Guitar
J.J. Julian – Bass
Shane Goade – Drums

Side 1:

  1. Morbid Reality
  2. Behind Enemy Lines
  3. The Crucified

Side 2:

  1. The Terror
  2. Onward to the Kingdom

Heirborne is part of the Kansas City scene that produced the Crusade Compilation and bands like Hot Pink Turtle and Dig Hay Zoose. The style here is usually listed as thrash metal, but I also hear some speed metal and early black metal influences – along the lines of Mercyful Fate/King Diamond. Nyk and Shane went on to be in Possession and then Frost Like Ashes. You can see the roots of those bands in this demo. Of course, this being 1990, I am sure this freaked many Christians out no matter what they lyrics were. Still, one of the top underground early releases in the Christian world of extreme metal. This is more extreme than Mortification, but a year earlier – and they were criticized for being too extreme when they came out.

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Deliverance – Greetings of Death

Deliverance
Greetings of Death
1987 (no label)
California, USA

Jimmy P. Brown II – Vocals, guitars
Glenn Rogers – Guitars
Brian Khairullah – Bass
Chris Hyde – Drums

  1. J.I.G.
  2. Speckled Bird
  3. Victory
  4. Greetings of Death
  5. No Time’
  6. Awake

So, yes, this is Deliverance’s classic demo. It was on the same tape as Sacred Warrior’s 12-Track Demo. And for some reason, the songs are all in a different order than the official release. Oh, and this one had the end of one Holy Soldier song and a full Holy Soldier demo on it at end. So it was taped over a copy of a Holy Soldier demo. Not much to add to all that has been said about this thrash metal classic demo. This particular copy is a bit rough as it seems to have been a couple of generations removed from the original tape (lots of hiss). And why the re-arranged song order? The world may never know….

D.O.N. – 53 of Your Favorite Disco Tunes

D.O.N.
53 of Your Favorite Disco Tunes as Performed by D.O.N. (and 9 new ones)
1990 (no label)
Gladstone, Missouri, USA

Eric Brown – Vocals
David “Dave” G. Andersen – Guitars
Benji Damron – Bass
Phil Schlotterer – Drums

  1. What Do You Think This Is?
  2. Burning Down the House
  3. Distortion
  4. Short on Time
  5. Tear Down the Cults
  6. Cowboy Bob
  7. Satisfaction
  8. E.C.M.
  9. Death, Screaming, and Pain

This band served as some sort of a precursor of Dig Hay Zoose and Hot Pink Turtle, as well as sharing members with Chancelus, Abhor Evil, and Prophets on Vacation. David and Phil were both in Dig Hay Zoose, while David had also been a part of Hot Pink Turtle, Abhor Evil, and Prophets on Vacation. The sound here is more of the hardcore/punk crossover sound, with very serious turn or burn lyrics. Really different from some of the other bands Dave and Phil were involved in, but “Cowboy Bob” does have some humorous country parts that point to their other bands. Oh, and D.O.N. stands for “Degradation of a Nation” FYI.

Summoned – Look Out – Heaven Here We Come

Summoned
Look Out – Heaven Here We Come
1988? (no label)
Plano, Texas, USA

  1. Satan’s Dead
  2. Death & Destruction
  3. Holy Cross
  4. Fight
  5. Jesus Lives

Good quality thrash metal release, with very little information about the release in the cassette j-card. No year, and just hand-written song titles on the inside. To add to the mystery, this demo was reviewed as a 1988 demo in Heaven’s Metal magazine, but there is also apparently a 1990 release with a different cover but the same tracks. Not much more information about this one out there. No solos on the songs, and the singer is more of the shout thrash vocals style. That may turn some off, but I kind of like it.

Missing Information: Who played on this, release year

Thresher – Totally Possessed

Thresher
Totally Possessed
1989 (no label)
Thorndale, Pennsylvania, USA

Mark Buchanan – Vocals, rhythm and lead guitar
Dave Kurtz – Bass, Keys, backing vocals
Jeff Newman – Drums

Side 1:

  1. Totally Possessed
  2. Final Frontier
  3. Face the Rage

Side 2:

  1. Cranial Tremor
  2. No More Lies
  3. Apocalypse Prepare

Totally…. Possessed! Thresher gained some attention in the underground after placing tracks on the Underground Metal 2 and Demolition compilations. They displayed some full throttle no-holds-barred thrash metal on those songs, and their demo is 6 songs that prove those comp tracks were not a fluke. This demo is some of the best thrash metal you will hear out there, underground or above ground. Just take the most well-known thrash albums from the Big Four and mix them together (maybe subbing out Slayer for Testament) and you will have the sound here. After this, they released a demo in 1992 called Here I Am. It was hard to find until it was finally released on CD in 2009. Totally Possessed was also included as a bonus disc with a limited edition of that album. I sadly missed that limited edition somehow. Buchanan and Newman used to be in a band called Lazarus before this.

Crusade Compilation Volume 1

Crusade Compilation Volume 1
1992 (no label)
Shawnee Mission, Kansas, USA

Side 1:

  1. Outcry – Majesty
  2. Hot Pink Turtle – Funky Creep
  3. Majesty – Electric Preacher
  4. Heirborne – A Tear for Babylon
  5. Outcry – Heaven’s Love

Side 2:

  1. Hot Pink Turtle – Breather
  2. Chancelus – I See You Cryin’
  3. Bloodpath – The Truth
  4. Embryo Chrysalis – Vengeance is Mine

This compilation was made to showcase Kansas City area bands it seems. I don’t know if there was ever a Volume 2. This one focuses mostly on heavy metal. Outcry is traditional power metal band – who happened to get help from Jeff Scheetz on guitar. Needless to say, they have some shred. Hot Pink Turtle was signed to R.E.X. Records and is probably the most well-known of the lot. They were more of a funk metal/Red Hot Chili Peppers band that always got lumped in with metal more than grunge for some reason. Majesty is a traditional metal band, but with slight speed leanings here and there. Heirborne is more on the speed metal side, with some black metal influences. Apparently members of this band went on to play in Possession and Frost Like Ashes. Chancelus is also a more traditional metal band with soaring lead vocals. Bloodbath is a bit more of a low-fi thrash/speed metal band. Finally, Embryo Chrysalis is a thrash/speed metal band that has alternating style vocalists and time changes that reminds me somewhat of Tourniquet. The quality of this tape is not bad, but definitely demo/underground levels.

Ivory Castle – Ivory Castle

Ivory Castle
1995 (no label)
Custer, Washington, USA

James Allin – Wrote and performed all music
Steve Polluck – Wrote and performed all music

Side 1:

  1. Inside Your Lonely Place
  2. Land of the Warriors
  3. The Restless Sea
  4. Eternal Paradise

Side 2:

  1. Ascending Beyond
  2. Whispers
  3. From Divine

This was a bit of a surprise. The cover and name really doesn’t say much about this demo, but the thank you notes mention Paramaecium, Mortification, Seventh Angel, and others in capital letters. Turns out those three bands are a good comparison: doomy death metal with a hint of thrash here and there. Well, except for “The Restless Sea,” which is a keyboard instrumental dedicated to James Allin’s “Viking forefathers.” This is a two person project, but I am not sure who did what. Ross Assink of industrial band Arbitrage was onboard to mix and engineer the project (which probably also explains the drum machine sounding drums). This recording is lo-fi and has some limitations, but still serves as a good demo that serves up the promise of a decent to good studio album if they were ever signed. Maybe they were and changed names? I can’t find much else about this demo online. Most songs (except for the instrumentals) are 5-6 minutes long, with “From Divine” stretching out to over 12 minutes long.

Update: James Allin went on to form a one-man band called Visionaire that put out two albums (Mystical Dominion in 1998 and Within the Arcanum Hall in 2000). Then he formed a band called Century Sleeper with Ian Arkley – they released an album for Bombworks records (Awaken in 2006). Also in 2006 he changed the name of Visionaire to Ikarian. As Ikarian, he has released two albums so far (Phantom Minds in 2007 and A Shrine of Fire in 2014). Thanks Matthew Hunt for the updated info!