I picked this up in Lisbon from the amazing Carbono record store which had a whole load of awesome vinyl encompassing the whole range of the heavy music spectrum. There were some real gems in there, I could have spent hours trawling their racks and brought home a hundred records, but I settled on some vintage Napalm Death as well as this little beauty.
The design and packaging is what you expect from an Eighties demo compilation, all black and white, cut and paste layout, and some great live shots on the sleeve. It also has one of my favourite album covers ever, I even have a patch of it helping hold my jeans together.
The first side opens with 'Never Healed', all ramshackle drums, buzzing guitar and incomprehensible yelling. Brilliant.
'Deprived' pulls no punches with it's immediate grinding three-chord progression, the drums and vocals racing to keep up. 'Mentally Conned' is all bouncing bassline until the drums and feedback cut in. This is one of the longest songs on the record, and is a bit more varied than the rest, the guitar alternating between between chugging along and a loose, squalling punk riff. It's fucking great.
'Blinded By Power' sounds like every other song until about 30 seconds in when the blastbeats hit, showing just how good these guys were at swinging between punk and proto-grind.
A fast blast of an instrumental gives way to 'Cries Of Wind' which has the first 'guitar solo' of the album, a strangled cry from the wrung neck of the fretboard. 'Disfigured World' opens with an almost nice intro, all tasteful hi-hat work and chiming guitar, which only serves to make the second part of the track seem so much harsher when it bursts into full-blown cacophony.
Another recording of 'Never Healed' opens up the second demo, which continues with 'Despair' and 'Deathbiter'. Deathbiter is another of those deceptive tracks which starts out calm enough (well, by comparison) before erupting into chaos. About halfway through they go into this groovy little section that actually gives you time to breathe before they sprint to the end ofthe first side.
The B side opens with 'Anguish of War' from the same session as the last couple of track, but it's 'More Blood Is Shed' from this demo that really stands out. It's the longest song on the whole record, much slower paced, with an almost thrash vibe to it. The playing on this track is much tighter now that they're not all racing against one another, it sounds great, though about a third of the way through it completely switches gears back up to hyperspeed, before closing out with a Metallica-esque riff. Yeah, you read that right.
'Dead' is the last track with this line-up of the band, before things go downhill in my opinion.
The next line-up features a different vocalist and guitarist, and I'm just not that into these tracks, specifically the vocals and lyrical content. They sound just like the countless knucklehead hardcore bands of this era, the apoplectic screech and apocalyptic words of Reevesy scrapped in favour of a 'less metal' approach according to the liner notes. Yeah, not into that idea at all.
I absolutely love the really early stuff on this compilation, but with the line-up change on conscientious about-turn in style towards the end, I lose interest. I haven't checked out any of the later recordings, as to me they just wouldn't measure up to the first incarnation of this band.
It turns out that Boss Tuneage records sells pretty much everything Heresy ever put out, you can snag this compilation from them here: