Scepter – The Scepter Tapes and Other Rarities​

The Scepter Tapes and Other Rarities​
2004 Hapi Skratch Records
Colorado, USA

Dave Beegle
Keith Rosenhagen
Fred Babich
Bob Burgett
Jim Iltis
Jeff Seaton
Jo Ellen Faruch

  1. Scepter Intro/Tuning Up
  2. Eye for Eye
  3. In a World
  4. Last Chance
  5. Straight From My Heart
  6. Meet Me There
  7. Against the Reds
  8. Memories of Love
  9. Falling Down
  10. Song About Television and Dogs
  11. Andy G. and Sadie D.
  12. Apocalypse When
  13. Bass Solo
  14. Flight of the Bumble Beegle
  15. The Classical Song
  16. Take It All the Way
  17. Memories

This was an interesting collection I found  on BandCamp while searching for Fourth Estate information. There are other bands called Sceptre and Holy Scepter that are not related to this band. This is the band where the members of Fourth Estate met. It seems they went their separate ways for a bit after Scepter, and then three of them came back together to form Fourth Estate. This is a collection of tracks from Scepter and various other recording sources in the mid-80s. The sound is more metal than Fourth Estate, and with vocals. A picture in the liner notes indicated this band opened for Stryper at one time, and you can see why. I still prefer Fourth Estate, but this is an interesting look at their beginnings. Of course, you can listen to the whole thing on BandCamp (embedded below). You can also find the complete liner notes and band story scanned on Discogs, but here are a few notes about the songs:

  • Tracks 1-9 are “The Scepter Tapes” (tracks 1-4 are listed as 1983, 7-9 are 1984)
  • Tracks 10-17 are “And Other Rarities”
  • Tracks 10-12 were written and performed by Jim Iltis in 1986
  • Track 13 was written and performed by Fred Babich in 1986
  • Track 14 was arranged and performed by Dave Beegle in 1981: “This was the piece that got Dave an audition with Kiss when Ace got the boot from the band”
  • Track 15 was written and performed by Dave Beegle in 1981
  • Tracks 16-17 were written and performed by Dave Beegle and JoEllen Faruch in 1982

Fourth Estate – In Phase

Fourth Estate
In Phase
1991 (no label)
Loveland, Colorado, USA

Dave Beegle – Guitar
Fred Babich – Bass
Jim Iltis – Drums

  1. Burning Bridges
  2. Juggernaut
  3. Taste of Heaven
  4. Nosmo King
  5. Hello

More quality instrumental/jam metal/rock from this talented trio. This is the last demo release of theirs after Edge of the Shadow (1989) and Fourth Estate (1988). No vocals again, but also quality songs that are not just meant to be shred-fests. Well – almost no vocals. There is someone answering a phone at the beginning of “Hello,” before it breaks into an 80s Miami Vice-ish beat (with guitars wailing over the top, of course). Two of these songs would go on to appear on later full length albums (“Juggernaut” on Finesse and Fury in 1994 and “Taste of Heaven” on See What I See in 1995). Also, it seems that one song is a newer version of a 1987 Beegle solo track – an earlier version of “Hello” can be found on the Dustbuster Demos collection.

Fourth Estate – Edge of the Shadow

Fourth Estate
Edge of the Shadow
1989 (no label)
Loveland, Colorado, USA

Dave Beegle – Guitar
Fred Babich – Bass
Jim Iltis – Drums

Side 1:

  1. Joy
  2. Kentucky Burgoo
  3. Someday
  4. Dance of the Spider Monkey
  5. Locomotive Breath
  6. Pipedream
  7. Highlander
  8. Mason Street Shuffle
  9. Remnant

Side 2:

  1. War of the Worlds
  2. Hoedown
  3. Reflections

Another excellent demo by Fourth Estate, a worthy follow-up to their 1988 self-titled demo. This is instrumental metal/rock for those that hate repetitive guitarist-dominated shred metal. The band crafts excellent songs that allows all instruments to shine, all while crafting enjoyable songs on top of that. Interesting thing about this demo is that some sources list it as having 10 songs. The j-card shows ten songs on Side 1 and two songs on Side 2 (with the last one handwritten in there as you can see above). The actual tape has nine songs on Side 1 and three songs on Side 2. “Reflections” from their self-titled first demo is also on this demo, but I am not sure if it is the same recording or a newer one. Half of the songs here (“Joy,” “Pipedream,” “Highlander,” “Mason Street Shuffle,” “Remnant,” and “Reflections”) all went on to appear on Finesse and Fury in 1994. The other half appears to have been released on the Dustbuster Demos collection. This demo was followed up by a third shorter demo (In Phase) in 1991.

Fourth Estate – Fourth Estate

Fourth Estate
Fourth Estate
1988 (no label)
Loveland, Colorado, USA

Dave Beegle – Guitar
Fred Babich – Bass
Jim Iltis – Drums

Side 1:

  1. Grunt Rock
  2. Sweep the Floor
  3. Reflections

Side 2:

  1. Hocus Pocus
  2. The Hammer Song

This is the same Fourth Estate that went on to release two national CDs (Finesse and Fury in 1994 on Rubicon Recording Co. and See What I See in 1995 on Liquid Disc Records). This is the first of three demos preceding those releases, the next two being Edge of the Shadow in 1989 and In Phase in 1990. “Grunt Rock” and “Reflections” from this demo made it on to Finesse and Fury, and “The Hammer Song” made it on to See What I See. But don’t think of this demo as a rough beginning for the band – they seemed to spring out of non-existence into a full quality instrumental rock/metal band on this demo. If you like the idea of a tight band with all three players contributing high-quality parts to every song, while avoiding sounding cliché or repetitive like many 80s guitar shredder bands did, you will like this. Fourth Estate is a band band – not a “band” band where the bass and drums are just there to hide behind the guitarist shred. And while you get a good amount of shred on this, Beegle proves he has much more soul and feeling than the stereo-typical shredder. Certainly a quality release. You can hear three of these songs on a demos collection on BandCamp, as well as listen to the later full release versions of the other two songs on BandCamp as well.