Clan Diah – Demo

Clan Diah
1992 (no label)
Cincinnati, Ohio, USA

Chris McLennan – Lead guitar, vocals
Tim Schanie – Bass
Kendall Faull – Lead vocals, guitar
Bill Cook – Vocals
Jay Harnish – Percussion, coffee

  1. Matter of Time
  2. What Do I Gotta Do
  3. My Cathedral
  4. Much Too Much
  5. In Life

Not sure if the band name is “ClanDiah” or “Clan Diah”. It is typed out both ways in different places. While the artwork makes it seem like this might be a band influenced by Iona, I don’t detect any Irish influences on the music anywhere. “Much Too Much” actually has more of an Egyptian sound to the guitar solos, but that is about it. The sound is also a bit hard to pin down in one direction. The first three songs are 90s alternative rock like The Prayer Chain, Burning Icons, or many other early 90s “third wave” bands – with a touch of early Dig Hay Zoose thrown in. Then the last two songs take a heavy turn towards hard rock/heavy metal. It is all very well written and played – just a weird change about half way through. I would still say that the last two songs are still mostly under the “alternative rock” label – just a bit of a surprise after hearing the first three songs. The first track from this demo was also on the MooTown Records Comp In the Land of Milk and Cookies. Seems that they went on to release a full length (The Train Journey North) in 1994 and an ep (Dream Sing in 1996). Also found this description online: “Clan Diah, formed in Cincinatti in 1991, got their name when award-winning bagpipe player Christopher McLennan suggested the old Scottish phrase meaning “the children of God.” The alternative rock band gained local fame for their demo tape and live shows, eventually recording a full-length album, The Train Journey North.”


Secret Archives of the Vatican – Across Darkness Benediction

Secret Archives of the Vatican
Across Darkness Benediction
1990 (no label)
Croydon, England, United Kingdom

Vince Millett

Side 1:

  1. Narrow Stone
  2. Tail of the White Tiger
  3. Of Ancient Swords Be Still
  4. Sprog the Dark Cat
  5. I Will Forget You in the Thirteenth Month
  6. Colloquay of the Elders

Side 2:

  1. Dragon Bone
  2. Hall of Stallions (She Moves Through the Fair)
  3. Tent of Silk
  4. Nostra Phalans
  5. Fair White Swan / There is a Garden in Her Face
  6. Sir Robin the Reliant and the Quest for the Holy Ale
  7. The Wind’s Twelve Quarters
  8. Moonrise on a Distant Shore

Secret Archives of the Vatican has been around for a long time – and they are still going today. Their music today is released mostly on their BandCamp page, but back in the 1990s it was all cassette demos. As you can see by the titles above, this is a very unique album. SAotV is known in electronic circles for mixing in all kinds of world music influences into their electronic music. These earlier cassettes seem to be a bit more ambient than the current music, but still very unique and full of world music influences. This was their second tape – I think after the third or fourth they stopped numbering them. I have heard a few later tapes and of course everything on BandCamp as I am a big fan of theirs. I hope to track down the rest of their music soon. An interview on Cross Rhythms digs more into what this band was about at about the time this tape was released.

Missing Information: Who played what on this.

Chris Taylor & Matt Slocum – Better Days

Chris Taylor & Matt Slocum
Better Days
1991 (no label)
San Antonio, Texas, USA

Chris Taylor – Lyrics, singer, guitar
Matt Slocum – Guitars
Chris Dodds – Drum Samples
Teresa Lopez – Vocals on “hole”

Side 1:

  1. Like a Woman
  2. Moon
  3. Who in Hell?
  4. So Cold in Here
  5. Hole
  6. Need You to Be Free

Side 2:

  1. What’s Behind Those Eyes…
  2. Rip.
  3. Another Sunday Morning…
  4. Summer Wind
  5. Selah 140
  6. Just a Little Bit of Me
  7. Silver…

Chris Taylor seems to have a large number of cassette demos from his pre-label days, a couple of which I have heard and a couple more I have only heard of, and probably a couple more beyond that. On this one, he teams up with Lova Coma band-mate Matt Slocum (you might have also heard of him from this little band called Sixpence None the Richer). Two of these songs were later recorded by Love Coma (“What’s Behind Those Eyes” on Soul Rash and “Summer Wind” on Language of Fools). These are more stripped down formats. In fact, the whole thing is definitely alternative like Love Coma and Taylor’s solo work, just much more basic and demo-esque. But the talent still shines through. A few of the tracks made it online for your listening pleasure:

Trial by Fire – Trial by Fire

Trial by Fire
Trial by Fire
1990 (no label)
Babylon, New York, USA

Side 1:

  1. Exodus
  2. Hell is Real
  3. Sandcastle
  4. The Quiet Ones
  5. The Tide

Side 2:

  1. Tell Me
  2. Striving After Wind
  3. Eternity
  4. When You Speak to Me
  5. Hell is Real (fake vocals)

Female-fronted heavy metal that reminds me of a bit more commercial Hellion. The guitarist can shred and the vocalist can belt it out like Hellion, but there are more ballads and grooves mixed in with the metal. “Hell is Real” is a killer song that should have gotten this band more exposure. “Striving After Wind” is an interesting keyboard-based song with a strong Led Zeppelin influence that works well. A Christian reference would be Scarlet Red – in fact, if Trial by Fire had been signed, I could see their album rivaling Don’t Dance with Danger. But it was apparently not meant to be, and there is very little to be found about this band online now. Can’t even find the band members – all the j-card tells me is that this band was based in Babylon, New York and that the cover was designed by Colette Hansen. Too bad – this is a very well written and performed demo that should have gotten more attention. The tenth song is not listed on the card, but it is a “version” of “Hell is Real” with the vocals messed with to sound like… a devil maybe? Pretty funny.

Missing Information: Names of people in the band and what they played

Looking for Info: Transformatix – Transformatix

198? (no label)

Dave Newton: Lead vocals and rhythm guitar
Steve Jenks: Bass and backing vocals
Mark Tuner: Drums
Jeff Bailey: Lead guitar and backing vocals

  1. Let It All Go
  2. Trust In You

Hard to tell if this is a real release or not. The only information about this band is a Wikipedia entry – but no one seems to remember them. Not even the bands that they say they opened for. Some have said the Wikipedia page is a fake, others are not so sure. According to the article, they were a Boston band that “played original very fast-upbeat punk/new wave music, with heavy repeating melodic hooks and strong 3-part harmonies.” The article also states that they had at least 13 original songs written that were played live. If you have their single, or any info on the band (or know that the Wikipedia page is a hoax), please let me know.

Holy Sceptre – Demo

Holy Sceptre
199? (no label)
Cedar Hill, Missouri, USA

Marty Warren – Guitars, backing vocals

– Other possible members:
John Effinger – Vocals
Eric Peterson – Guitars, Backing vocals
Phil Bicklein – Bass, Backing vocals
Ovid Bilderbach – Drums, Backing vocals

  1. Dark Deeds
  2. Asylum
  3. The Return

Not much information on this release, but it is the same band that released Knowledge of the Holy in 1994 (which can be heard on YouTube). Two of the songs here are on that album, with “Asylum” only on this demo (as far as I can tell). Also, Marty Warren is listed as the contact, but no band members are listed. The three songs that are here are pretty good quality speed/progressive metal. A few times the guitarist seems to hesitate on the complex notes being played, but this being a demo, that is to be expected. I could see these songs transforming into killer songs on their later release with just a few tweaks and a bit more practice, so I will need to check those out. The vocals are probably nor for everyone, but if you remember a brief moment in metal history where speed metal vocalists would sing somewhere between a clean power shout and a frantic scream – that is what you have here. Personally I like it. Metal Archives shows that they were active from 1990-2001, so that means this demo could have been from any point between 1990 and 1994 I would guess. They also have a 4 song cassette called Thirst for Blood that there is really no information for online.

Missing Information: Who also played on this tape.

Childhood – Three Geeks and a Hippie!

Three Geeks and a Hippie!
1989 (no label)
Fullerton, California, USA

Alex Rosas – Vocals
Jeremy Carlson – Guitar
Jacob Garza – Bass
Daren Leonard – Guitar/Drums
Darrell Leach – Drums

  1. Non-Conformist
  2. Man
  3. Dark Ages
  4. Nerdball/Dead Words
  5. Now I Live in Peace

Childhood was an Orange County Christian punk band that recorded this demo at Casbah Studios in Fullerton, California in 1989. In 1990 the band changed its name to Blah and released several demos. After a few years they signed to Rescue Records for their 1996 debut album and then to Bulletproof for their second album in 1998. This demo is pretty straight forward fast and frantic punk rock. No pop, no ska, no metal. If it has any leanings, I would say it nods towards skate punk a bit.

There was also a demo in 1990 that had three of the five songs above and the same players. Not sure that Darrell was on either recording, even though he is one that uploaded the songs.