Apostle – Hymns

Apostle
Hymns
1988 (no label)
Jacksonville, Florida, USA

Matt Harding – All guitars, vocals
Ray Schmidt – Bass
David Paul McKee – Drums

Side 1:

  1. Hymns
  2. Vanguard
  3. Dragon Slayer
  4. I Am Persuaded
  5. The Sword

Side 2:

  1. Unlimited Power
  2. Split the Sky
  3. Waiting
  4. Holy Soldier

Sometimes it is a bit hard to tell the different Apostle tapes apart. They are all really good power/classical metal. But they also tend to have the same format: start off with an instrumental keyboard song, blast into a metal song with vocals, shred away for a total of nine songs. Hymns seems to be different from its predecessor Chariots of Iron. It starts off with three instrumentals before launching into a song with vocals. The second and third instrumentals are full band. So a totally different format… 🙂 I’m kidding, of course, but it does make it seem like you have an instrumental album for quite a while. They really do this style of metal well – I can see why people always want to see these demos released on CD. To my ears, these songs sound a bit rougher than the ones were later re-issued on the Chariots of Iron / Hymns cassette in 1994, so these songs were probably remixed or maybe just remastered for that release. After this tape, there was a self-titled release in 1989, while Matt Harding also went solo with Matt Harding’s Steel Armada also in 1989.

Apostle – Chariots of Iron

Apostle
Chariots of Iron
1987 (no label)
Jacksonville, Florida, USA

Matt Harding – All guitars, vocals
Mark Borerro – Bass
David McKee – Drums

Side 1:

  1. Chariots of Iron
  2. Rock
  3. Lover
  4. Power in the Blood

Side 2:

  1. Lake of Fire
  2. Sword & Shield
  3. Vivaldi (excerpt from Concert in D Minor)
  4. Lamb of God
  5. Leaders

This was about the 5th or 6th demo by Apostle (there seems to be some confusion online about different versions of earlier demos) – in between 1986’s King of Saints and 1988 Hymns. So by this time, they were a heavy metal machine. They knew how to hit that sweet spot between power metal and traditional metal without sounding dated. This was a bold move, because in 1987 everything was going hair/commercial metal or thrash/speed metal. All of these songs were re-released on the Chariots of Iron / Hymns cassette in 1994, but it seems they remastered the sound a bit on the reissue from what they sound like on here.

Apostle – Chariots of Iron / Hymns

Apostle
Chariots of Iron / Hymns
1994 Lightforce Records
Jacksonville, Florida, USA

Matt Harding – Vocals, guitar
David Paul McKee – Drums

Mark Borrero – Bass (side 1)
Ray Schmidt – Bass (side 2)

Side 1:

  1. Chariots of Iron
  2. Rock
  3. Lover
  4. Power in the Blood
  5. Lake of Fire
  6. Sword And Shield
  7. Vivaldi Violin Concerto
  8. Lamb of God
  9. Leaders

Side 2:

  1. Hymns
  2. Vanguard
  3. Dragon Slayer
  4. I Am Persuaded
  5. The Sword
  6. Unlimited Power
  7. Split the Sky
  8. Waiting
  9. Holy Soldier

This is basically a cassette re-release of two demos on one tape. Side 1 is Chariots of Iron from 1987, and side 2 is Hymns from 1988. Both albums are represented in their entirety here, but it sounds to my ears at least that the songs were probably remastered to some degree. Apostle was a power metal / classic metal band that released a lot of tapes back in the day, but never seemed to get signed. I don’t know if that was on purpose or just a set of unfortunate circumstances. They were really good at the style they played. I will leave the commentary on the two older tapes to posts on those tapes. All of their music was being remastered for a CD release years ago, but the passing away of frontman/guitarist Matt Harding seems to have ended that project.